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Blue Earth, MN

1700 Gian Drive, PO Bbox 220
Blue Earth, MN 65013
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Compeer Client Services

The Importance of a Qualified Appraisal Team

Despite the previous seasonal cold temperatures, farmers across America are now focusing on spring planting season in anticipation of warmer days ahead. These operators look to their on-farm historical production data to learn what changes or enhancements they can make to improve their yields. Although much of the success of a crop hinges on a cooperative weather forecast, there are some necessary steps they will take to optimize production.

With results from the 2022 National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC) released, many producers look to the winners for insights to apply to their own farming operations. Perennial contenders, like David Hula and Randy Dowdy, are often revered for their willingness to share their methodologies. In many ways, the competitors of the NCYC are striving to learn from one another and advance their wisdom in their industry.

Similarly, the appraisal team at Compeer Financial invests in their team members to develop the skills necessary to serve all clients in rural America. Our internal appraisers immerse themselves in agriculture from the beginning of their career with supervision and guidance from more experienced team members. Once the appraiser has obtained licensure from their respective state, team members are encouraged to continue their education by pursuing a designation from the Appraisal Institute (AI) or the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA).

With a focus on agriculture, the ASFMRA offers prescriptive courses that have a focus on rural America. These seminars give both perspective and real-world examples of appraisal problems across the U.S. The society offers the opportunity to be designated an Accredited Rural Appraiser (ARA). Successful candidates demonstrate a number of accomplishments including: mandatory course work, five years’ experience in the discipline, submission of experience log with random sampling of reports, peer-reviewed demonstration report and passing of ARA exam.

Seven Compeer appraisal team members hold the ARA designation, with six more in the process. To serve our market, team members are strategically located throughout the Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois territories for comprehensive coverage.

Diane Zelhart, who currently holds appraisal licenses in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, is currently pursuing her ARA designation. According to Zelhart, “I am pursing an ARA designation to give my clients confidence in my education and expertise. Complex and unique properties often come with complex and unique needs for valuations. The ARA designation shows my dedication to being a trusted partner.”

The rigorous program helps appraisers distinguish themselves from others in the industry as it demonstrates commitment and shows a desire to grow within the profession. According to the American Society, “A wide range of property types exist in in the rural areas of the country. These properties are often among the most complex, from a valuation standpoint and require a sophisticated valuation expert to properly appraise them.”

It is imperative to have an expert who understands the nuances of the industry and specific ag businesses. With dedicated team members serving businesses including grain facilities, small and large-scale dairies, swine (farrowing to finish), cattle and more, Compeer Financials’ appraisal team has someone with the knowledge and experience to help solve your valuation problem.

For more insight into the appraisal process or to find your local appraiser, visit

Andrew J.


Appraisal Team Leader
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