Benchmark Agribusiness is a Full Range Support Services Practice.
We're More Than Farm Appraisers. Our Other Services Include:


Commercial Real Estate Appraising - We appraise the "big box" commercial buildings. Machinery dealerships, warehouses, repair shops and local industrial buildings fit in the category of "big boxes". We can refer you to very well qualified Certified General Real Property appraisers for specialized use buildings like motels, restaurants, Laundromats and strip malls.

Financial Consultation - All three of our associates have been lenders previously during their careers ranging from ten years to 44 years. That is a wealth of experience from which to draw. We've had the opportunity to watch literally hundreds of family businesses develop, expand, mature and then transition to the next generation. We're not tax or legal experts. We just know what has worked for other businesses, other families and other generations.

Expert Witness Testimony - This is a growing segment of the services offered by Benchmark Agribusiness. Many families and many businesses find themselves resolving disputes through the formal court system. We have testified at arbitration hearings, at the district court level and in federal bankruptcy court.


Bankruptcy Plan Feasibility Analysis - Benchmark's consultants can inject a dose of realism into those Chapter 7, Chapter 11 & Chapter 12 Plans. If you are a debtor trapped in an over extended debt situation, we can help with your Chapter 12 Plan. You need a debt write down plan that is based on solid values and, you need a cash flow plan that's based on realistic projections - projections your lenders will accept. If you're a lender, we can help you convince the Bankruptcy Court when a reorganization plan has no chance of working.

Property Partition Consultation - A massive turnover in the real estate industry is going to take place over the next several years as the "baby boomers" begin to receive their inheritances. Not all heirs have the same aspirations and goals. An increasing number of cases require independent consultants such as Benchmark Agribusiness to advise with the partition of the assets. It's not as easy as it sounds. Equal isn't always equitable. The sum of the parts don't always equal the value of the total. We can help you sort it all out.

Special Use Valuations- More and more family owned and operated farms are finding that the size of the estate of the patriarch or matriarch of the family exceeds the minimum threshold for federal estate tax liability. That is especially true since the recent and rapid rise in farmland values. Section 2032A of the Internal Revenue Service Code allows qualified family owned and operated farms to take advantage of a special election that could lower the value of the farmland for estate valuation purposes. We are very familiar with the details of the fine print of Section 2032A and experienced in preparing these "special use valuations". Past "special use valuations" have lowered the value of the real estate by 30 - 40%. In the future, the Section 2032A value will probably be an even lower percentage of the full value because there is "lag effect" built into the calculations. We'd be happy to provide a free phone consultation.

Court Appointed Referee - Sometimes we can't help the property co-owners amicably split their holdings. In those cases, we are available to serve at the discretion of the Court to equitably divide the property in question.

Property Inspections - Real Estate, Fixtures, Personal Property - Sometimes you don't need to know what things are worth. You just need to take inventory of what's there. But, you can't do it all and you can't be everywhere at the same time. Or, maybe you can do it all and can be everywhere but it is preferable to have a third party to do the fieldwork. Benchmark can provide you with another pair of arms and legs. Let us leverage your time.

Digitized Soil Mapping - Benchmark Agribusiness has the soil maps for all of the North Central Iowa counties on a digitized database. Our computer software can measure the productivity of whole farms, partitioned farms, individual fields or combined fields. We will generate color-coded maps for your use.

Mediation Services - Fred Greder has had training in the alternative resolution process of mediation. Give us the opportunity to help you work through the following types of situations.
  • family disputes over all kinds of real estate (with special emphasis on agricultural property)
  • voluntary or involuntary real estate partition actions
  • real estate brokerages disputes
  • USDA program appeals
  • lender/borrower disputes
  • debt collection disputes
  • eminent domain issues
  • business transfers
  • livestock facility nuisance claims

The transition of farmland ownership from the "Greatest Generation" to the "Baby Boom" generation is not always a thing of beauty. Usually the argument over Grandma's butter churn has more to do with who was Grandma's favorite daughter or granddaughter than about who used the churn the most when they were kids. We'd like to try to help the Baby Boomers get from here to there with the least amount of damage along the way.

There may be other ways in which our experience and knowledge of the North Central Iowa farmland market can be of use to you.  If your have more questions, don't hesitate to call us at 641-424-6983 or email benchmarkag@mchsi.com.