- Over Six Billion Dollars of real estate appraised since 1988!

- Over 50 years combined experience in the North Central Iowa real estate industry.

- Over 6,000 properties appraised.

- Gather 200 plus sales transactions every year.

- We've appraised hog facilities in Nine States!

- We serve ALL North Central Iowa communities and neighborhoods.

- Fred Greder has been nominated twice by the Iowa Chapter of the ASFMRA to be National Farm Appraiser of the Year

- We're MORE than farm appraisers - Ask Us How!


Land for Sale - 33.37 Acres in Worth County, Iowa

Land for Sale - 71.5 Acres in Butler County, Iowa - SALE PENDING

Land for Sale - 40 Acres in Worth County, Iowa - SALE PENDING

Land for Sale - 75.52 Acres in Worth County, Iowa - SALE PENDING

Land for Sale - 120 Acres in Worth County, Iowa - SALE PENDING

Land for Sale - 161 Acres in Chickasaw County, Iowa - SALE PENDING


September 2019

The Iowa Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board held a Special Meeting in Mason City on September 18, 2019 at 12pm.  The meeting is open to the public and will be in the Third Floor Event Room at the Chamber of Commerce.

Read the Globe Gazette preview here.

June 2019

Fred Greder has been re-appointed to a third term on the Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board by Governor Kim Reynolds and confirmed by the Iowa State Senate.

Read the
Press Release

Greder was elected Chairman at the May 2018 State Board Meeting. Greder has been serving on the State Board since November 2012. He was appointed to the Board by then-Governor Terry Branstad.


IN 2018



See our Weather Almanac
in the
Globe Gazette
on the first day of
each month!

See Our October Almanac
October 2020 Weather Almanac
(Click to Expand)

Special Thanks to Valerie Borchardt at the Globe Gazette for her help in compiling and designing the almanac each month.

The Premiere North Iowa Farm Appraiser Staff

Benchmark Agribusiness, Inc.
Courtside Offices

23 Third Street NW
Mason City, IA 50401


Have you ever noticed that things seem to go in cycles? If an airplane gets hijacked, thereís probably going to be more. If a volcano erupts, you can count on there being another eruption. Recently, the Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board has reviewed a rash of farm appraisals prepared by folks with very little experience and background in agriculture.

Just because you grew up in the Tall Corn State, visited Grandpaís farm every summer as a kid and you know that John Deere tractors are green doesnít automatically make you competent to appraise farms. Personally, I know about soap and, on any given day, I probably have quarters in my pocket; but, that doesnít make me competent to appraise a car wash.

Letís see how much you know about agriculture.  The following is a farm appraiser competency quiz.

Farm Competency Quiz

What color are Case IH tractors and equipment?

What does CSR stand for?

What does HEL stand for?

What does CRP stand for?

What is the current farm bill called?
            A)  Freedom to Farm
            B)  Direct & Counter Cyclical Payments
            C)  Agricultural Risk Coverage 

Are Holstein cows beef cows or dairy cows?

What is the Master Matrix?
            A)  A spreadsheet of soil type productivity indexes
            B)  Canvas stretched over a grain truck to keep the grain dry
            C)  Hog confinement permitting rules
            D)  Grid of soil samples for fertility levels 

What is the breakeven price per bushel to raise corn according to ISU Extension?

What is brome?
            A)  Cyclones' Head Basketball Coach
            B)  Used to sweep out livestock pens
            C)  A type of grass
            D)  Common soil type South of Interstate 80                    

Match the item in the left column with the appropriate item in the right column:
            Sweet corn                                                Weed
            Soybeans                                                   Vegetable
            Potatoes                                                     Legume
            Morning glory                                           Grass                  

Rank the following like terms by age/size:
            A)  Sows, Weaners, Feeder Pigs, Market Hogs, Gilts
            B)  Feeder Cattle, Calves, Heifers, Cows, Market Beef 

Ideally, one should have a perfect score because these are all beginner level questions. A 17 year old member of the local high schoolís (FFA) chapter is going to correctly answer over half of these questions.   If you canít score as well as your nephew back home on the farm, youíre probably not competent to accept the farm appraisal assignment. BTW, do you know what FFA stands for?

If you accept a farm appraisal assignment for which youíre not competent, you have just violated the Competency Provision of USPAP.  The Competency Provision reads as follows:

(See USPAP Website for more details)

You can begin your quest to become competent by researching the answers to the Farm Appraiser Competency Quiz above.

Just because youíve recognized that you may not be competent, doesnít mean you have to turn down the assignment.  You still have the option to associate yourself with someone who is competent. In other words, find somebody who does know the answers to the Quiz.  It does not have to be a certified appraiser. Your local, active, experienced farmland broker or farm manager are excellent resources of market information.

USPAP also requires you to be geographically competent. Hereís a little tip.  If you donít know the unique way to pronounce Osage or Knierim or Kamrar or Nevada, then you arenít geographically competent to appraise near Osage, Knierim, Kamrar, or Nevada.

The following examples are problems identified in farm appraisals submitted for Standard 3 review to either the Work Product Review Committee or the Discipline Committee of the Board.

1)    Wooded ravines on the subject property were compared to wooded ravines on the sales on the basis of CSR2 average.

2)    Pig nurseries were compared to hog finisher sites in the Sales Comparison Approach.  (This is like comparing a single family home to an apartment building.)

3)    The search for large hog confinement facilities was confined to within an hour drive of the property being appraised.

4)    The cropland or building sites sales were not documented. The sales were just pulled from a subscription service or the Assessor website. Was it sold by auction? Was the buyer an adjoining owner? Did it have any market exposure? 

5)    There is no evidence in the report that the USDA Service Center was ever contacted. Are there any designated wetlands? When does the CRP contract expire? What would be the CRP termination penalty? How can you value a farm if you donít know how many acres are tillable?  The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has sophisticated digital measuring capability using high resolution satellite photography. It is not uncommon for the FSA measurements to be more accurate than the gross acre and net taxable acre figures according to the Courthouse. Just ask a surveyor. 

A university football assistant coach recently told farm boy recruits that they wouldnít benefit from studying agriculture in college. Wrong. Maybe someone should turn that football recruiter into the Discipline Committee of the Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board!  ;-)

Helping Peers Be Better Farm Appraisers
            Fred Greder