In 1986, several Accredited Rural Appraisers began developing a standard form appraisal report that would capture the appraisal methodology taught by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA). AgWare, Inc. was established in 1990 and after several years of extensive testing, the Uniform Agricultural Appraisal Report (UAAR) format was developed. The UAAR consists of rural appraisal forms, worksheets, and supplemental pages for describing and analyzing data for rural properties.
In 2004, AgWare worked with several lending institutions to build a new sales database for the AgWare software. The Enterprise AgWare DataLog uses a central SQL Server database to share sales among the appraisers of an organization. The Enterprise System was also designed to provide secure access to other users across an association.
The addition of the Microsoft Excel plug-in opened up more uses for the AgWare DataLog by allowing sales data to flow into narrative appraisal reports without re-keying the data.
The majority of AgWare’s Farm Credit customers are now using the Enterprise AgWare DataLog for their sales database.
Current Farm Credit Use of the AgWare System
In April of 2013, AgWare expanded into the Farm Management software segment by purchasing the FarmMGR system from Accutech. The redesigned AgWare MGR program provides Farm Managers the tools they need to fully support their clients. This accounting based management system provides users a farm database, inventory control center, accounts payable and receivable sections, and reporting and financial statement sections.
2017 brought the development of AgWare Maven. AgWare Maven is a browser-based application that interfaces with the AgWare Enterprise Database. Maven allows for the creation of Model Assisted Valuation (MAV) Reports. These reports are created by defining a model that generates completed valuation reports. The final report can be used in an automated manner, or it can be reviewed and adjusted by an appraiser or evaluator.
Maven is not a cloud base software as a service (SAS) application. It is intended to be run on internal corporate services and interfaced with the existing DataLog SQL Server database.
Maven is an off the shelf software solution that allows for customization through configuration and templates. It provides the following functions:
- The configuration and management of valuation models.
- Market Area reports assisting with the creation of valuation models.
- The ability to enter and manage property descriptions for subject properties.
- The ability to run a model against a subject property.
- Viewing and downloading capabilities of complete valuation reports and work files.
A properly loaded and maintained AgWare Enterprise Database is required for Maven to function.
Maven will also be required for any Web API or Rest API access to the Enterprise database. No APIs are built at this time but will be built as customer needs arise.
AgWare’s initial owners were as follows:
- John Widdoss, ARA, MAI: John is an independent appraiser and a partner in Hall-Widdoss & Company, a firm established in 1977. This real estate appraisal and consulting business generally covers the western states, specializing in urban investment property, agricultural, mineral, recreational, condemnation, conservation easement, and subdivision land appraisals. His work also expands into rangeland, irrigation, and dry cropland management. John received his ARA designation from the Society in 1982 and has been an instructor since 1984. He is a past National President of the ASFMRA. He has also served on the Appraisal Education and Membership Development Committees, the Advisory Council of the Education Foundation Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, the Strategic Alliance Committee, the UAAR Ad Hoc Committee, and received the Excellence in Education Award. He was a member of the Appraisal Institutes Trust & Fund Committee, a Trustee-at-Large of the Appraisal Foundation, and a Board Member for the Centre of Advanced Property Economics (CAPE). He is also the author of ASFMRA’s Advanced Rural Appraisal (A-30), and Uniform Agricultural Appraisal Report (A-22) courses, plus he co-developed the Advanced Resource Appraisal (A-34), Advanced Appraisal Review (A-35), and Advanced Rural Case Studies (A-40) courses. He was also involved in the revision and rewriting of the Appraisal Report Writing (A-15) course and has authored several appraisal seminars for the ASFMRA and the Appraisal Institute. Plus he is a contributing author to Appraising Rural Properties, a joint project between ASFMRA and the Appraisal Institute.
- Jerald “Jerry” E. Kjerstad, ARA: Jerry was involved in farm and ranch real estate appraising and lending for 35 years. He was the president and owner of Kjerstad Realty, Inc., which specializes in rural properties including ranches, feedlots, rural/ag-related commercial properties, as well as recreational properties. He worked as a loan officer and appraiser with the Federal Land Bank, and has been on the appraisal review staff of the Farm Credit Administration. He also worked in Washington D.C. conducting reviews of appraisals and industry studies in all 50 states. He later became the Assistant Vice President and Chief of Appraisals for the Federal Land Bank of Omaha, which led him to the position of Vice President of Credit Standards. He then headed a consulting business for the Omaha Bank of Cooperatives. The consulting services included business evaluations and appraisals of large grain handling facilities, feedlots, confinement hog and poultry operations, and other agriculture related business. Jerry has been an active member of the ASFMRA. He served as National Chair for the Young Professional Committee and the Membership Recruitment/Retention Committee, he was a Co-chair of the Government Relations Committee, and served on the Technology Committee. He was one of the developers of the Highest and Best Use (A-29) course and served on the UAAR® Ad Hoc Committee. The company unfortunately lost Jerry in October of 2006. His wife Margy Kjerstad now holds his stock in the company.
The company now has 4 owners. The two majority owners are John Widdoss and Margy Kjerstad. The minority owners are Mark Elder and Lisa Evans.
AgWare software is built with a focus on the lending institutions nationwide. In fact one of the benefits AgWare brings is our close working relationship with other institutions. We also work closely with the ASFMRA. Working with these groups ensures that we are meeting the needs of appraisers and managers while staying current with USPAP and best practices.
Supporting and maintaining complicated appraisal systems can be difficult to sustain with a small number of users. AgWare’s sole focus is appraisers, and over half our customer base comes from lending institutions. We understand the industry and the unique problems that appraisers face. We would welcome the opportunity to meet the needs of your users.