The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers announced S. James Rickert, the co-owner of California-based Western Agricultural Services, as its new president. ASFMRA is currently holding its annual meeting in connection with its Agronomics Vision 2014 conference and trade show in Reno, Nev.
Rickert has co-owned Western Agricultural Services with his wife, Mary, since 1981. Their son, James Rickert, joined the family business in 2004. Jim is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and provides farm and ranch management services on over 50,000 acres in five counties in Northern California.
Jim served as president of the California Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers in 1987 and as District VII Vice President for the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
In 2002, the Rickerts were recognized as the Farm Manager of Year by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, Syngenta and a trade publication. The Prather Ranch, managed and co-owned by the Rickerts, was awarded the Commercial Producer of the Year Award in 2005 by the Beef Improvement Federation.
The ranch was also recognized by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association with the Environmental Stewardship Award/Region VI and the State of California's Governor's Award for Environmental and Economic Leadership. Jim, Mary and James Rickert were selected as winners of the Livestock Category for the Leopold Conservation Award in 2006 and 2007 by Sustainable Conservation and the California Farm Bureau.
S. James Rickert graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a degree in Agricultural Business and received a master’s degree from Purdue University in Agricultural Economics. He was a fellow of Class 16 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program. Jim has served on many state and local boards such as the Shasta County Consolidated Farm Service Agency, Fall River Resource Conservation District and the California Polytechnic State University Agricultural Business Department Advisory Council.
Jim and his family specialize in organic beef production by marketing a branded beef product and supply bovine raw materials for bio-medical device companies. The Rickerts raise approximately 20,000 tons of alfalfa, timothy and grass hay and produce specialty crops such as wild rice and peppermint. Many of the properties they manage provide recreational opportunities for hunting and fishing.
Serving as president-elect is Fred L. Hepler of Cottonwood Management in Edmond, Okla. Merrill W. Swanson, Dugger, Canaday, Grafe, Inc, in San Antonio, Texas, has moved into the role of first vice president of ASFMRA. Paul J. Joerger of Agriland in Collierville, Tenn., will serve as the immediate past president.
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