2019 Winter Terra Firma

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WINTER 2019 | VOL. 73 NO. 1



The Premier Online Destination for Exceptional Farms, Ranches, and Land for Sale

In Celebration of 75th Anniversary of serving the land real estate industry and its land professionals

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THE VOICE OF LAND Table of Contents




Winter 2019 Edition An Official Publication of the REALTORS® Land Institute

Publisher Aubrie Kobernus, MBA, RCE, Chief Executive Officer

Published by the REALTORS® Land Institute 430 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60611

Editorial Director and Contributing Author Jessa Friedrich, MBA, Marketing Manager

Phone: 1-800-441-5263 E-mail: rli@realtors.org Website: www.rliland.com

Contributing Author Laura Barker, Membership & Communications Specialist

Messages from RLI Leadership


2019 RLI Board of Directors


















The Chicago 60




Back to the Future


Past RLI Leadership Award Winners


History of the National Land Conference


RLI National News Brief


RLI Chapter News


Education Update


NLC19 Events


Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Views expressed within the publication are not necessarily endorsed by the REALTORS® Land Institute and information should not be construed as recommendations for any course of action regarding financial, legal, or accounting matters.




MESSAGES FROM RLI LEADERSHIP 2018-19 REALTORS® Land Institute President’s Message Dear RLI Member: It is my goal for the coming year to continue working with leadership and staff to implement the three-year strategic plan which we began in 2017 which continues to steer us towards success in becoming The Voice of Land. I am honored to serve at such an exciting time in RLI’s history as we celebrate our 75th Anniversary in 2019. As RLI President, I look forward to continuing our momentum in building a more member-centric, value-providing organization that all members can be proud to call their own. Our main goals in the coming year will be to keep growing our membership and providing the industry with valuable expertise and resources. We will accomplish this through: • offering an enhanced education program; • implementing targeted inbound marketing campaigns; • supporting and growing our RLI Chapters; • recognizing our top producing agents as part of our APEX Awards Program; • having a continued presence advocating on important government issues that affect landowners and land agents; • and by continuing to add more benefits for all of our members. It is also my goal to make sure RLI is known for all types of land, not just agricultural, timber, ranch, and recreational land, but also transitional land, like that used for commercial or residential development. By producing relevant, educational content and being the main source of information both for agents conducting land transactions and for landowners, we are establishing ourselves as experts in the industry and as The Voice of Land. The more awareness we can create about our organization, the more valuable your membership becomes. So we encourage our members to get the RLI Member logo, and all our ALCs to get the ALC Designation logo, out there in the industry on their marketing materials. One event I am excited to invite you to in 2019 is our annual National Land Conference at the Tamaya Resort in Albuquerque, NM, from March 3-6. This is a can’t-miss event for land professionals looking to make connections, gain expertise, and discover the most innovative industry resources. Additionally, we 2


plan to celebrate RLI’s 75th Anniversary with a bang! How you ask? We will be hosting a welcome reception unlike any you’ve ever attended at NLC before, featuring RLI Trivia in our event app, reflecting on and honoring RLI’s history, and so much more that you have to attend to see. Hope to see you all there! In 2019, we will have eight updated courses and one brand new Recreational Land Real Estate course on the new LANDU LMS (Learning Management System). These new courses are designed to better engage attendees both with each other and the content to create an enhanced learning experience. Make sure to check out these newly updated courses at our 2019 LANDU Education Week from June 2-11 in Denver, CO. If you are thinking about earning the elite ALC Designation, this is a great opportunity to complete all six courses towards the education requirement in one place. Plus, the networking and expertise gained at this event will help you long after you leave the classroom. Additionally, in 2019 we will be bringing back the ALC Retreat! All ALCs are invited and encouraged to attend. Save the date to join us in Charleston, SC, from July 26-27! The event will be a mix of educational and networking sessions that will allow attendees to build relationships with fellow ALCs from across the country. Another pillar of the strategic plan focuses on developing our RLI Chapters. In 2017, we invested in providing our RLI Chapters access to RLI National’s database to better manage and recruit members. Through this initiative, we are excited to announce that over half of our chapters have adopted the new branded website template and more are transitioning in 2019. We have also put in place an RLI Chapter Leadership Council (CLC) allowing the RLI Chapters to work more closely with National. We are also proud to announce the chartering of a new chapter in Louisiana in 2018 as we continue to support and grow our chapters. As a member of RLI, you make all the difference. You are the lifeblood of our organization and the power behind our prestige. Thank you for being a member and for your part in keeping the organization strong. Sincerely,

Jeramy Stephens, ALC 2018-19 RLI National President


A 75th Anniversary Message From RLI’s CEO We are excited to present this special edition of Terra Firma magazine celebrating 75 years of history of the REALTORS® Land Institute. When the Agricultural Institute was first formed in 1944, I wonder if the founders ever imagined what this organization would come to mean to generations of land professionals who specialize in our most precious resource: the land. Did they imagine the ups and downs? The near-closings? The name changes and reinventions? The scale of the networking and education it would someday provide? But most of all – did they imagine the devotion of the members, which is what makes RLI the very special organization that it is today. In these pages, we present to you 75 years of RLI history, as best as we can reconstruct it. Unfortunately, over the years, much of RLI’s history has been lost. From multiple database changes where not all information was transferred correctly, to people literally throwing away historical documents, much of our past has been deleted and lost. To prepare for this edition of Terra Firma, staff has combed through the National Association of REALTORS® Library Archives reviewing old newsletters, documents, and publications. We’ve taken oral reports from members directly involved in important time periods of our history. We’ve reviewed files, pictures, and information mailed in to us directly from members who have preserved their own pieces of our history. We know some puzzle pieces are missing (we certainly wish we had more historical information on our RLI Chapters), but we have meticulously reconstructed these puzzle pieces as best as we can to present a solid picture of RLI’s 75 years. Please excuse any inaccuracies or holes – we will continuously work to fill them in.

published two books, The Farm Brokers Manual, which was created to add value and became a long-standing publication given to all new members, and a second book about tax law that was sold to create needed revenue. Membership rose to over 6,000 in the 1970s. In 1985, we had our last name change to the REALTORS® Land Institute and our designation was changed to the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC). With all of these highs came some lows, too. The Great Depression put an end to the Land Men Realtors Committee and delayed RLI’s official start until 1944. RLI has almost gone bankrupt at least four times, even as late as the 2000s. However, even in our darkest times, our dedicated members have always united to pull RLI through. As we reflect on the past, know that we are also building for the future and preparing for the next 75 years. Today, RLI stands stronger than ever. We’ve worked to build a solid and enduring organizational foundation. With a strong balance sheet, we are investing in our LANDU Education Program so we can continue to be the best resource for land real estate curriculum. We’re enhancing the National Land Conference to make it a “can’t miss” event every year. We are working to raise the profile and brand value of RLI and continuously adding value to membership. We have a dedicated Board of Directors and tireless Executive Committee who work with staff towards a shared vision for the future. We are The Voice of Land and our best days are ahead. We hope you enjoy reading through our history documented in this publication as we look forward to the next 75 years serving the land industry. Cheers to the future!

Aubrie Kobernus, MBA, RCE RLI Chief Executive Officer

From the first iteration of RLI, the nine men who created the Land Men Realtors Committee in 1920, to the official start of the Agricultural Institute in 1944, to today, RLI has always been seen as the place to provide the expertise, camaraderie, and resources to make our members the best in the land real estate business. In 1953, the first designation, the Accredited Farm and Land Broker Designation (AFLB) was launched to distinguish the brokers who had impeccable knowledge of the land plus the integrity and service to set them apart from the rest. In 1959, RLI first




MEET YOUR 2019 RLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2019 RLI Executive Committee Jeramy Stephens, ALC RLI National President National Land Realty Little Rock, AR jstephens@nationalland.com Jeramy Stephens, ALC, is a graduate of Arkansas State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business with an emphasis in Farm Management and Ag Marketing. He joined RLI in 2011 and earned the elite Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation in 2012. Jeramy has served RLI as the Vice Chair of the 2016 Education Committee and as a member of both the Future Leaders and Government Affairs Committees. He was also the 2016 President of the RLI Arkansas Chapter and continues to be an active member of the Chapter. In 2018, he was included in the 2017 APEX Producers Club as part of the new RLI APEX Awards Program. Jeramy is serving his third year of his fouryear term on the RLI Executive Committee after taking on his role as President early after the passing of beloved 2018 RLI National President Jimmy Settle, ALC. Jeramy believes integrity is very important and that is one of the reasons for his involvement with RLI. He says on the topic, “I trust the members of our organization and know they will do the right thing in their respective businesses. I read a lot of James C. Maxwell and one of my favorite quotes in one of his books is ‘Integrity is not what we do, so much as who we are. And who we are, in turn, determines what we do.’ I have always felt that one sentence is what RLI is all about and I’m proud to be the President of an organization that values and exemplifies integrity.”



Kyle Hansen, ALC RLI National President-Elect Hertz Real Estate Services Nevada, IA KyleH@hertz.ag Kyle Hansen, ALC, has been a member of RLI since 2008, receiving his Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation in 2011. In 2015 and 2016, he served as Chair of RLI National’s Future Leaders Committee. He is an active member of the RLI Iowa Chapter, serving as their President from 2012-2013 and continues to serve as Chair of their Land Trends & Values Committee. The Chapter also awarded him the RLI Iowa Chapter Land Broker of the Year Award in 2013. Then in 2014, he received the RLI National Rising Star Leadership Award which recognizes a member approaching a mid-level in their career who is on their way to making significant contributions to the land profession and to RLI. Kyle also received a 2017 RLI Top 20 Producer APEX Award as part of the new RLI APEX Awards Program. Kyle received his Broker’s license in 2016 for the State of Iowa and Missouri. As PresidentElect, he is dedicated to seeing the new strategic plan through to enhance the value of an RLI membership and it’s LANDU Education Program for land professionals across the country. He looks forward to continue working to ensure RLI continues to be The Voice of Land in the real estate industry. Renee Harvey, ALC RLI National Vice President Century 21 Harvey Properties Inc. Paris, TX rharvey@c21php.com Renee Harvey, ALC, has been a longtime member of RLI, receiving her Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation in 2011. Renee has served as Chair of the RLI National Education Committee in 2013, 2014, and 2017. She has also served as Vice Chair of the RLI National Government Affairs Committee in both 2015 and 2018 as well as serving as a member of the National Land Conference Planning Committee in 2010. She’s been a licensed broker for over 30 years with offices currently in Paris, Clarksville, and Bonham, Texas. As the Broker/Owner of Century 21 Harvey Properties, she is proud that her brokerage has attained the prestigious


Centurion Award for sales production from Century 21 Real Estate Corporation for the past 12 years. Serving as 2019 Vice President, Renee is looking forward to ensuring our education program remains valuable to land professionals in all markets as well as further exploring and expanding member benefits for land professionals across the country to help further establish RLI as The Voice of Land.

The 2019 RLI Board Members Ray Brownfield, ALC Government Affairs Committee Chair Land Pro LLC Oswego, IL ray@landprollc.us

Clint Flowers, ALC Future Leaders Committee Chair National Land Realty Mobile, AL cflowers@nationalland.com

Randy Hertz, ALC NAR Executive Committee Representative Hertz Real Estate Services Nevada, IA Randy.Hertz@Hertz.Ag

David Hitchcock, ALC At-Large Director (2019-2020) CBC Saunders Real Estate, LLC Lakeland, FL davidh@saundersrealestate.com

Sam Kain, ALC Treasurer (2018-2019) Farmers National Company West Des Moines, IA skain@farmersnational.com

Bart Miller, ALC At-Large Director (2019-2020) Mason & Morse Ranch Company Glenwood Springs, CO bart@ranchland.com

Minor Taylor, ALC ALC Designation Committee Chair Taylor Land Investments Houston, TX minor@taylorlandinvestments.com

Rick Taylor, ALC At-Large Director (2018-2019) Mossy Oak Properties Forest Investments, Inc. McComb, MS rtaylor@mossyoakproperties.com

Luke Worrell, ALC Education Committee Chair Worrell Land Services, LLC Jacksonville, IL lukew@worrell-landservices.com

Russell Riggs (non-voting) RLI Government Affairs Liaison National Association of REALTORS® Washington, D.C. rriggs@realtors.org

Aubrie Kobernus, MBA, RCE (non-voting) Chief Executive Office REALTORS® Land Institute Chicago, IL akobernus@realtors.org




Meet Your RLI Staff Aubrie Kobernus, MBA, RCE Chief Executive Officer 312-329-8837 | akobernus@realtors.org As the CEO, Aubrie is responsible for the overall management of RLI. This includes working together with the Board of Directors to develop the vision, goals, objectives, and related policies for the organization. Within that framework, Aubrie organizes and directs the staff, programs, financial performance, and activities of the organization. In 2017, Aubrie achieved the REALTOR® Certified Executive (RCE) Designation conferred by NAR. The RCE is the only professional designation specifically for REALTOR® association executives and she is currently the only commercial affiliate CEO to hold the designation. Members may contact her anytime with questions or concerns. Aubrie has been with RLI since March 2016.

Karen Calarco Operations Manager 312-329-8287 | kcalarco@realtors.org Karen manages RLI’s expenditures within the budget, oversees member records, and invoicing. Members may contact her for assistance changing their profile information, paying membership dues, and answering financial inquiries about their account. Karen has been with RLI since September 2007.



Jessa Friedrich, MBA Marketing Manager 312-329-8353 | jfriedrich@realtors.org Jessa manages all aspects of RLI’s communications, branding, and marketing efforts; including for events, courses, the designation, and the organization as a whole. She also serves as the staff liaison for the Future Leaders Committee. Members may contact her with any member or chapter news, for contributing to Terra Firma or the RLI Blog, or with questions about logo use. Jessa has been with RLI since March 2015. Laura Barker Membership & Communications Specialist 312-329-8519 | lbarker@realtors.org Laura, formerly a Marketing Intern for RLI, is now the Membership & Communications Specialist. She is the main point of contact for member inquiries and for agents in the industry interested in learning more about our organization. Laura also writes regularly for the RLI Blog and assists with creating content for RLI’s social media channels. In her role, she continues to assist with tasks in the Marketing Department. She has been with RLI full-time since June 2018.



The history of the REALTORS® Land Institute may have officially started in 1943, but many believe that the real history of the land profession in the US started in the roaring 20s. Many parts of America were enjoying the economic prosperity after World War I, but the farm industry was not. A massive agricultural surplus forced land prices down. They would decline even steeper in the 30s at the beginning of the Great Depression. In the 20s, land was averaging $69 per acre (“Farming in the 1920s”, 2015). In fact, one in five Americans in the 20s was making their living off the land (“Bust: The Story Of Us,” 2011). The land industry’s struggle became worse in the 30s. Years of drought, erosion, and damage in the wake of the Dust Bowl made the farmers’ losses even worse. By 1936, losses had reached $25 million per day (that’s around $453 million per in today’s dollars). President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the drought “one of unparalleled intensity.” Those still pioneering the land market frontier were most certainly impacted by these issues. On top of these economic struggles, land agents were expected to do it all: appraisal, mortgage finance, property development, commercial brokerage, tax assessment, etc. Even though land brokers had to have specialized expertise to conduct land transactions compared to what urban brokers needed, they were all lumped together in the same category. Specialty groups were practically unheard of before the 40s. “The responsibility of the farm land dealer was even greater than that of the city dealer,” said C.E Southwick, the head of the Minnesota Real Estate Association. “The latter sold a man a home but the farm dealer sold not only a home but also a business. The ethical question was therefore stronger with the land dealer than with any other class of real estate men” (Heller, 2009). It was a tough time for land agents. They needed a voice. At the 1920 Real Estate Convention, the first land group was formed as the second specialty group to gain recognition from the National Association of Real Estate Boards (NAREB), known today as the National Association of REALTORS®. The Land Men Realtors Committee was made up of nine men determined to create a group that would be a voice for land experts and provide the resources and connections they needed to succeed in their field. The nine men worked hard to bring land experts from across the country together. They conducted national surveys of the trends and conditions of the farm real estate market, hosted education sessions, and gathered the support of farm brokers all across America. After two years of hard work, the Land Men Realtors Committee recommended that NAREB create the Farm Lands Division to represent the unique needs of farm land brokers. “The committee feels that farm land dealers, because of their activity in their respective communities, have a wonderful opportunity to create a pre-eminent standing in public opinion for themselves and for the association as a whole,” wrote A.J. Simonson, Chair of 8



the Farm Lands Committee in the 1922 National Real Estate Journal. “They should become members of the National Association and adopt the National Code of Ethics. They should have monthly meetings and invite farmers and farm tenants to attend… The work of farm land dealers is unlimited in scope and the results are limited only by the activities of the farm land dealers individually and collectively” (Heller, 2009). The motion was approved and the Farm Lands Division enjoyed immediate success. They developed a strong voice in Congress that RLI still has to this day. In between national meetings, members of the Farm Lands Division communicated via the Idea Service, a regular mailing of innovative marketing brochures, government reports, and articles. Unfortunately, this boom would not last. The Great Depression hurt all of America, and the land market took an especially hard hit. Land values dropped rapidly. In tough economic times, it was difficult for people to pay dues. Many left the land industry for good. Membership dropped from over 2,000 to barely 200. To attract more members, the group changed its name to the Farm Lands and Country Estates Division in 1931 to attract brokers who specialized in luxury residential properties as well. In 1933, the Farm Lands and Country Estates Division reorganized as the Institute of Farm Land Brokers and Managers. The name change didn’t have much of an impact. Membership dwindled to under 100 members. Finally, in 1940, the executive committee of the NAREB recommended that the Farm Land Brokers and Managers should drop its name and simply be known as the Farm Land Section of the Brokers Division. What started 20 years ago was dissolved. Only a few of the remaining members moved over to the Brokers Division. For many, this was the end of the first beginning of what is known today as the REALTORS® Land Institute. But all hope was not lost. One of the few remaining members who joined the Brokers Division, George Domm, was not satisfied with the downgrade of the group. He would go on to start his own land group and the second beginning of the REALTORS® Land Institute.

Reference Entry List 1. Farming in the 1920s. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.dhahranbritish.com/history/A9_Farming20s.htm 2. Bust: The Story of US. (2011). Retrieved from https://www.worldcat.org/title/bust-america-the-story-of-us/oclc/783245601 3. Heller, Frederik. (Fall 2009). The Two Beginnings of RLI. Retrieved from https://www.rliland.com/history-realtorsland-institute 4. Heller, Frederik. (Fall 2009). The Two Beginnings of RLI. Retrieved from https://www.rliland.com/history-realtorsland-institute





This decade opens with President Franklin D. Roosevelt winning his third term. America was in the tail end of the Great Depression, but the land industry continued to struggle during World War II. However, a post-war push for farming and an economic boom brought the land industry to a level of prosperity it hadn’t seen before. After decades of poor land values and tough times for farmers, things were finally looking up for American land – and those who served it.

George Domm, ALC, 1945-1946

FDR was a strong supporter of farm issues, and believed that true prosperity would not be possible in America until American farmers were thriving (Leuchtenburg, 2018). He created dozens of programs to ease the economic tension for farmers, such as the Agricultural Adjustment Act and the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act. World War II had taken a massive toll on the land industry. The war left thousands of urban jobs to be filled as workers went off to fight. The farm population dropped from 30.5 million to 25.5 million (Tutwiler, 1988) as farmers sold their land to take jobs in urban areas. Additionally, farm men were given very little coverage at the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ (NAREB) conference since the focus at the time was primarily residential and commercial. After the war ended in 1945, things started looking up for the land industry. To alleviate the economic pressure of returning veterans, the government created the Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Loan program. This program included farmland as eligible property for a VA mortgage to help increase the dwindling number of farmers (Legislative History of The VA Home Loan Guaranty Program, 2006). As the land industry began to thrive, so did the second beginning of the REALTORS® Land Institute. After being disbanded in 1940, it seemed as if there was no future for a land real estate division. Luckily, George Domm, the farm specialist from Flint, MI, wasn’t going to let the idea of a farm institute fade into the background. Domm organized a five-day education session at the Michigan Agricultural College in 1943. The group attracted more and more members, growing from 20 to 80 by 1943, and grabbed the attention of NAREB. Domm may or may not have known it at the time, but he was laying the foundation for today’s REALTORS Land Institute®. In late 1943, the group of members approached NAREB’s board of directors at its meeting in Cleveland, OH, and politely suggested that they “might be interested in having a special division.” A few months later in June 1944, the board responded by authorizing the formation of a national Agricultural Institute — today’s REALTORS® Land Institute. Although his efforts started years before, Domm was elected the first president of the Agricultural Institute in 1945. He created chapters in 16 states and nearly tripled the original membership of 80 in 1943 to over 550 in 1946. He also organized the group’s very first board of directors in 1944.



C.A. Bresnahan, 1947


With booming membership, the Agricultural Institute was ready to face the 50s which unveiled a new era of technological advancement and a changing farm industry.

Past Presidents 1945-1946: George Domm, ALC Frank L. Huffman, 1948

1947: C.A. Bresnahan 1948: Frank L. Huffman 1949: Otto Knudson

Reference Entry List 1.Leuchtenburg, William E. (2018). Franklin D. Roosevelt: Domestic Affairs. Retrieved from https://millercenter.org/president/fdroosevelt/domestic-affairs 2. Legislative History of The VA Home Loan Guaranty Program. (2006). Retrieved from: https://www.beneďŹ ts.va.gov/homeloans/documents/docs/history.pdf 3. Tutwiler, Ann. (1988). U.S. Agriculture in a Global Setting: An Agenda for the Future. Retrieved from: https://goo.gl/e8XAfK

Dec 1944 Bylaws of Institute of Farm Brokers

Otto Knudson, 1949




1949 NIFB Member Meeting

1944 Board of Directors Resolution

1949 NIFB Board of Governors

1949 Board of Directors and Marguerite Moyer at the Desert Air Hotel 1949 NIFB Members 12




The 50s were a time of cultural landmarks. Rock and roll, The Red Scare, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and, later on, the Vietnam War all shaped what America is today. The 50s were also an important time for the land industry. New land technology and dynamic leaders would change the organization’s history forever during this decade. The land industry enjoyed the success of the era’s economy. Towards the end of the decade, the average American family had 30% more purchasing power than they did towards the beginning of the decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor, n.d.). This meant people had more money to buy more produce which was a huge advantage for agricultural landowners. The residential land market was also booming since people had the disposable income to buy residential land for building the house of their dreams (Davis & Heathcote, 2005). According to the USDA, land values hovered around $150 per acre — that’s about $1,569 per acre today (Milhollin, 2018). Land values rose slowly yet steadily from the beginning to the end of the decade. One of the biggest changes to the farming industry were the farms themselves. The number of farms dropped from five million in 1950 to three million in 1960 (Population Reference Bureau, 2003). However, the size of the remaining farms was getting bigger. The average farm in 1950 was 216 acres compared to 303 acres in 1960 (Spielmaker, D. & Mitsuoka, Y., n.d.). Changes were happening at the organization as well. When 1952 President Don W. Reed, ALC, was elected, he was the youngest president in all of the organization’s history (Heller, 2009). At 32 years old, he was decades younger than his predecessors. This caught some members by surprise. When Reed arrived for a member meeting in New Jersey, he recalled one older member saying to another, “My God, we were looking for a man and they sent us a boy! (Groff 1970)” Reed’s youthful energy turned out to be a boon for the organization. During his term as president, he traveled 55,000 miles for meetings and lectures, 40,000 of those were in his own car. Thanks to his tireless networking and promotion of the Institute, membership grew from 648 members in 1950 to over 800 members in 32 states by 1959 (The Rural Realtor, 1959). To keep up with the growing membership, the organization hired longtime volunteer Marguerite Moyer as the very first full-time staff person to be the Executive Secretary. Moyer was with the Institute for eighteen years. In 1953, the organization’s first designation was born — the Accredited Farm and Land Broker Designation (today, known as the elite Accredited Land Consultant Designation). The idea of having a designation came to 1953 President Owen W. Sherrill, ALC, when a business associate said to him, “Owen, we’re in need of the names of outstanding Farm and Land Brokers across the Nation. We’d like to have them listed by states so when we, here at national headquarters, are called to recommend a Farm and Land



Marguerite Moyer, Longtime Institute Executive Secretary


Broker in some other state, we can refer them to the list and know the broker selected will be qualified to render service and will have the knowledge of the land he is selling plus integrity” (Groff, 1970). Thus, our organization’s very first designation was born. Having knowledge of the land would turn out to be extremely important as new land technology popped up every day. New machinery, like tractors, weeding machines, and mechanical harvesters helped productivity skyrocket. In fact, for the first time in history, tractors outnumbered horses and mules (Spielmaker, D. & Mitsuoka, Y., n.d.). Over 70% of all farmers had cars, and over 90% had electricity during this decade (Spielmaker, D. & Mitsuoka, Y., n.d.). Like the rest of 50s’ America, farmers were trying to keep up with the Joneses. Although more work could be done faster with the new technology, farmers were faced with a unique problem. The machinery was extremely expensive and was designed to work for one specific crop (Bechman, 2015). Farmers went from growing dozens of crops to specializing in a few cash crops to get the best return on investment for their pricey equipment. These advancements in technology also softened the labor drop of the Vietnam War. The number of people that served in Vietnam was much less compared to World War II (Roughly nine million served in Vietnam, compared to the 16 million that served in World War II (Hack, n.d.)), but it still left a dent in the labor force. Tractors and other automated machines helped to pick up the slack. To keep members up-to-date on the ever-changing land industry, the Institute published the first of many publications — The Rural Realtor. While the first issue was published in February of 1949, the publication flourished in the 50s. The Rural Realtor published articles updating readers on the latest in land technology and land market trend news. Marvin B. Ross, the journal’s editor, said the publication summarize[d] news and business developments of significance to brokers, managers, and appraisers of farm property” (Rural Realtor, 1949). The publication also posted chapter news and had an ads section that connected buyers and sellers. Despite all the hard work and the increase in membership, the organization was still low on funds. Dues were so low that they couldn’t cover the necessary expenses to keep the organization running. To solve this problem, 1959 President R.D. Seden, ALC, raised dues from $10 to $15. To add value, the Special Service Committee collected all the need-to-know information about buying and selling land and created their very first publication – The Farm Brokers Manual. It was distributed to all members for free. The book was such a huge success, that it was decided to publish and sell a second book about tax law. The revenue from the second book, along with the increased membership that came with the free first book, finally got the organization in the black. Armed with new land technology and research, the land industry was ready to face the next decade.





Ralph A. Hunt, 1950

L. Louis Gairaud, 1951

Don W. Reed, 1952

Owen W. Sherrill, ALC, 1953

Charles J. Happ, ALC, 1954

Frank W. Baumann, ALC, 1955

Elton Boudreau, ALC, 1956

J. Vernon Groff, ALC, 1957

R. A. Capshaw, ALC, 1958



Reference Entry List 1. U.S. Bureau of Labor. (n.d.). 100 Years of U.S. Consumer Spending. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/opub/uscs/1950.pdf 2. Davis, M., and Heathcote, J. (2006). The Price and Quantity of Residential Land in the United States. Retrieved from: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3ccb/402238899fc0c631d5d1626c0645470955d6.pdf 3. Spielmaker, D. & Mitsuoka, Y. (n.d.). Historical Timeline – 1950. Retrieved from https://www.agclassroom.org/gan/timeline/1950.htm 4. Heller, Frederik. (Fall 2009). The Two Beginnings of RLI. Retrieved from https://www.rliland.com/historyrealtors-land-institute 5. Milhollin, Ryan. (2018). Farmland Values for Midwestern States. Retrieved from https://extension2.missouri.edu/g404 6. Groff, Vernon. (1970). History of National Institute of Farm and Land Brokers, page 4. 7. Spielmaker, D. & Mitsuoka, Y. (n.d.). Historical Timeline – 1950. Retrieved from https://www.agclassroom.org/gan/timeline/1950.htm 8. Spielmaker, D. & Mitsuoka, Y. (n.d.). Historical Timeline – 1950. Retrieved from https://www.agclassroom.org/gan/timeline/1950.htm 9. Bechman, Tom. (2015). 1950s Farmers Had Different Farm Machinery Priorities. Retrieved from https://www.indianaprairiefarmer.com/blogs-1950s-farmers-had-different-farm-machinery-priorities-10183

Richard D. Seden, ALC, 1959

10. Hack, David. (n.d.). Vietnam War Facts, Stats, and Myths. Retrieved from https://www.uswings.com/aboutus-wings/vietnam-war-facts

Past Presidents 1950: Ralph A. Hunt 1951: L. Louis Gairaud 1952: Don W. Reed, ALC 1953: Owen W. Sherrill, ALC 1954: Charles J. Happ, ALC 1955: Frank W. Baumann, ALC 1956: Elton Boudreau, ALC 1957: J. Vernon Groff, ALC 1958: R. A. Capshaw, ALC 1959: Richard D. Seden, ALC 1950 Group Picture





For most of America, the 60s were an era of political unrest, social change, and the counterculture movement. For the REALTORS® Land Institute (called the National Institute of Farm Brokers, or NIFB, at the start of the decade) it was an era of growth and dynamic leadership. Agriculture was booming in the 60s. Thanks to modern equipment and new knowledge about land, the average farmer was able to produce four times as much food per hour than farmers in the 20s did. Many crops, such as cotton and sugar beets, were harvested mechanically, cutting down labor costs (Bellis, 2018). With less laborintensive work and more crops for less money, landowners had cash to spend and land agents saw an increase in business coming their way. Each president of the REALTORS® Land Institute has their own unique vision and theme. The motto of 1961 President Leonard P. Kane, ALC, was “Let’s Revive the Spirit of 1776”. Kane wanted to bring a dynamic and patriotic energy to the organization, encouraging members to sing the National Anthem with vigor and gratitude at member meetings. This attitude of patriotism came at a time when America was entering the global market. Tariff income skyrocketed from $585 million in 1955 to over $1.44 billion in 1965 (White House Office of Management and Budget, n.d.). President John F. Kennedy signed the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to give the president more tariff-cutting authority as globalization began to take hold (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, 1962). Kennedy viewed this move as key to protecting America’s agriculture business from a tariff war, saying, “This act recognizes, fully and completely, that we cannot protect our economy by stagnating behind tariff walls, but that the best protection possible is a mutual lowering of tariff barriers among friendly nations so that all may benefit from a free flow of goods. Increased economic activity resulting from increased trade will provide more job opportunities for our workers” (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, 1962). During this time, there was a push within the farming industry for less government interference. The organization’s 1962 President Don L. Temple, ALC, of Kenton, OH, was instrumental in getting the National Institute of Farm Brokers to adopt a five-point National Agricultural Program that reflected this movement. Here are the five points: 1. Encouragement, without federal subsidy, of industry to expand and new industry to locate in small town or rural communities to help upgrade such communities now losing employment and business, thereby, making part-time employment available to farmers. 2. Change the methods and procedures of the Farmers Home Administration and expedited appraisals and applications. 3. Encouragement, without federal subsidy, of the conversion of marginal croplands to recreational areas, wildlife development, tree farms, and grass lands.



1960s Top center: 1967 Currell, Harmara, Juisbrie, Bushart. Bottom left: Logo from 1950 – 1975.

4. Finding new use for farm grain surplus. 5. Gradual but certain withdrawal of the federal government from control of the nation’s farm economy. During the 1963 National Institute of Farm Brokers Convention, members overwhelmingly voted to change the Institute’s name from the National Institute of Farm Brokers to the National Institute of Farm and Land Brokers. The Institute’s 1963 President Jack Justice, ALC, believed that this name change would bring in other REALTORS® in addition to farm brokers. With a new name came a new logo. This new logo included the motto we still adhere to today, “Under All Is The Land,” as well as the new name, “National Institute of Farm And Land Brokers”. Membership increased over the era. When Quentin Williams, ALC, was president in 1968, there was an increase in educational programs by state chapters. At this time, three new chapters were formed in Louisiana, Hawaii, and Virginia. After 18 years of long and faithful service, Marguerite Moyer retired from the Institute. RLI historian J. Vernon Groff, AFLB, said of her service, “For 18 years, she guided the NIFLB presidents by her counsel and experience. She proved herself to be a most valuable and reliable officer.” The 60s were a time of growth and change for both the Institute and the land industry. This era of slow but steady growth was polar opposite of the unpredictable swings to come in the 70s.





Wayne Adams, ALC, 1960

Leonard P. Kane, ALC, 1961

Don L. Temple, ALC, 1962

Stephen Dorcich, ALC, 1963

Jack Justice, ALC, 1964

L. M. Bushart, ALC, 1965

Bert Hanson, ALC, 1966

John L. Currell, ALC, 1967

Quentin Williams, ALC, 1968


1960s Reference Entry List 1. Bellis, M. (2018). History of American Agriculture 1776-1990. Retrieved from: https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-american-agriculture-farm-machinery-4074385 2. White House. (n.d.). Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or DeďŹ cits as percentages of GDP 19302023. Retrieved from: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/historical-tables 3. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. (1962). Remarks Upon Signing the Trade Expansion Act. Retrieved from: https://www.jfklibrary.org/asset-viewer/archives/JFKWHA/1962/JFKWHA-136002/JFKWHA-136-002 4. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. (1962). Remarks Upon Signing the Trade Expansion Act. Retrieved from: https://www.jfklibrary.org/asset-viewer/archives/JFKWHA/1962/JFKWHA-136002/JFKWHA-136-002

George Simon, ALC, 1969

Past Presidents 1960: Wayne Adams, ALC 1961: Leonard P. Kane, ALC 1962: Don L. Temple, ALC 1963: Stephen Dorcich, ALC 1964: Jack Justice, ALC 1965: L. M. Bushart, ALC 1966: Bert Hanson, ALC 1967: John L. Currell, ALC 1968: Quentin Williams, ALC 1969: George Simon, ALC

Top: 1960s Dinner in Miami alongside NAR Annual Meeting. Bottom: 1960 Group Photo





The 70s were a roller coaster for farmers. Extreme swings in land prices were caused by waves of surplus and shortage. Net farm income doubled, then fell by one-third (Sonka & Heady, 1974). While the farm industry struggled again, the Institute enjoyed a period of prosperity. In the 70s the organization welcomed a new group of members into the Institute and saw one of the biggest member increases in its history. In a 1970 letter, President Wayne D. Phipps, ALC, said, “In this ever and rapidly changing world of ours, keeping current with the times represents a real problem. Keeping current involves staying close to the sources of information that relate to your sector in the real estate business” (Farm and Land Realtor Journal, 1970). This was a curious thing to say, considering that this decade was when the organization proved that it was always in the know by adapting to the needs of the member base and staying ahead of the trends. One of the ways the organization adapted to the changing times was by creating City Model. The 70s were shaped by urban sprawl. City Model was a computer simulation of the processes that go into planning, developing, and building a city. This cuttingedge technology simulated a hypothetical urban area and allowed participants to affect changes and watch the results. This allowed attendees to learn the real-life effects of different developments without any real-life consequences. Another way the Institute adapted to the times was by publishing articles written by professionals about real estate trends in their journals. For example, Karl G. Pearson, a professor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan, wrote an article covering common questions about the real estate boom and urban sprawl (Farm and Land REALTOR, May 1970). Having articles written by experts gave members an inside look into the inner workings of the industry and helped to raise the level of expertise among all land professionals. As the farm industry faced wildly fluctuating prices, residential and commercial land was proving to be more stable in the 70s (Davis & Heathcote, 2004). This was a time when huge tracts of farmland were being transformed into housing and shopping malls. The Institute realized the need to do more to address the needs of members dealing with urban tracts of land. They updated the 1959 Farm and Ranch Brokers Manual in 1975 to include sections about buying and selling urban land (Farm and Land Institute, 1975). At the start of the decade, articles featured in the organization’s various publications were more geared towards farm brokers, but they soon added articles that impacted the growing urban member base. Articles on topics such as site selection and soil types for building homes became a mainstay in the Farm and Land REALTOR® publication. The publication even updated its logo to feature a farm broker and urban broker standing in front of their respective properties. The organization also used its publications to help its members stay on track with recent land news. They covered breaking land stories such as the largest transitional land transaction of all time in 1972 – the purchase of 27,000 acres of swampland for the building of Disney World (Farm and Land REALTOR®, 1972). 22



Membership was booming — in 1971, the Institute had 3,244 members (Farm and Land REALTOR®, 1971). The continued efforts to bring in urban REALTORS® plus efforts to add value to membership for farmers increased membership to a whopping 6,000 by May 1978 (Farm and Land Institute, 1978). Although things were going well, James A. Brewer, ALC, ALFB, warned the good times would not last forever, saying “It could be that making a profit was too easy in every segment of the real estate industry in the immediate past and we all became lazy and overconfident.” In a January 1975 issue of the Farm and Land REALTOR®, President Owen Hall floated the idea of a new name. Although no new name was suggested, at the time, the president pointed out that “We must select a name that will serve us for at least ten years as well as our current name has for the past twelve. The name should be easy to remember; it should identify the areas where we have expertise; and it should help us reach new membership with whom we have common interest” (Farm and Land REALTOR®, 1975). The ‘Farm and Land Institute’ name was recommended and approved by the board later that year. Shortly after the name change was approved, they debuted a brand-new logo. Much like the new name, RLI’s new green and white logo was simple and eye catching. The 70s proved that the organization always had its finger on the industry’s pulse and was ready to adapt to changing market conditions. It was a time of incredible growth for the Institute. However, James A. Brewer’s words of warning should have been taken a little more seriously, as the next decade would pose some of the biggest challenges the Institute would ever face.

Top: 1972 Honolulu. Left: May 1970 Farm and Land Realtor Magazine cover. WINTER 2019



1972 Honolulu, Hawaii Member Meeting


Wayne D. Phipps, ALC, 1970

Lester R. Arie, ALC, 1971

Burr Brown, ALC, 1972

Dwight W. Jundt, ALC, 1973

Thad S. Cwik, ALC, 1974

Owen V. Hall, ALC, 1975



Robert W. Van Arsdale, ALC, 1976

Cyril M. Kuefler, ALC, 1977

Bake Young, ALC, 1978

Reference Entry List 1. Sonka, Steven T.; and Heady, Earl O. (1974). American farm-size structure in relation to income and employment opportunities of farms, rural communities and other sectors. Retrieved from: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1047&context=card_reports 2. Farm and Land REALTOR® Journal. (1970). Volume XXII, No 3. Page one. 3. Heller, Frederik. (Fall 2009). The Two Beginnings of RLI. Retrieved from https://www.rliland.com/historyrealtors-land-institute 4. Davis, Morris and Heathcote, Jonathan. (2004). The Price and Quantity of Residential Land in The United States. Retrieved from: https://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2004/200437/200437pap.pdf 5. Farm and Land Institute of the National Association of REALTORS®. (1975). The Farm and Land Real Estate Manual Revised. 6. Farm and Land REALTOR® Journal. (1971). Volume XXIII. Page twelve. 7. Farm and Land REALTOR® Journal. (1970). Volume XXII, No 3. 8. Farm and Land REALTOR® Journal. (1972). Volume XXIV. 9. Farm and Land REALTOR® Journal. (1972). Volume XXIV.

Ron Bentz, 1979

Past Presidents 1970: Wayne D. Phipps, ALC 1971: Lester R. Arie, ALC 1972: Burr Brown, ALC 1973: Dwight W. Jundt, ALC 1974: Thad S. Cwik, ALC 1975: Owen V. Hall, ALC 1976: Robert W. Van Arsdale, ALC 1977: Cyril M. Kuefler, ALC 1978: Bake Young, ALC 1979: Ron Bentz, ALC

1972 Honolulu, Hawaii Member Meeting WINTER 2019




After the farming boom of the 70s, the land industry hit a rough patch in the 80s. New regulations and record production numbers halted the farm industry’s growth. The organization was also facing difficulties as membership dropped and financial stress mounted. Through hard work and staying ahead of the curve, the organization was able to survive through one of the biggest farming losses since the Great Depression (Barnett, 2000). There were many factors that went into the farm crisis. Strict financial policies caused farmland values to drop 60% in parts of America (primarily the Midwest) from 19811985 (Lawton, 2016). Many took Nixon’s USDA Secretary Earl Butz’s motto of ‘go big or get out’ seriously, creating record production numbers that resulted in a massive surplus, driving commodity prices down as well. The low prices and high debt resulted in $215 billion in farm debt by 1984. The Farm Credit System experienced its first losses since the Great Depression (Calomiris, Hubbard, & Stock, 1986).

Carl F. Hertz, ALC, 1980

The Institute was also feeling the sting of the farm crisis. Member numbers dropped as farm brokers left the business or couldn’t afford the dues. In 1987, national dues were raised from $150 to $225 to create needed revenue (RLI Newsletter, July 1996). State dues varied from $40 in Michigan to $5 in West Virginia (REALTORS® Land Institute journal, 1987). However, the Institute was always able to find a silver lining. In order to invest in and promote the value of education, the Farm and Land Foundation (now called the Land Education Foundation) was chartered exclusively for land educational purposes by members Robert C. Meeks, ALC, and Harry Finkelman, ALC. While members from the farm segment decreased, there was an uptick in members who sold both urban and rural land (Heller 2009). The Institute had its final name change to date and became the REALTORS® Land Institute in 1985 to attract more agents that specialized in conducting urban land transactions. This name reflected the opening words of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics: “Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization.”

Judge B. Fite, ALC, 1981

The logo was updated to reflect the Institute’s latest name. The name was updated, and the green branding was changed to blue – a popular color at the time reflecting urban real estate marketing. The organization’s designation also got a makeover. The previously named Accredited Farm and Land Member Designation was shortened to the designation we all know and love today, the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation. Armed with the fresh new name, the REALTORS® Land Institute didn’t let the farm crisis stop it from thriving. In 1986, they got a new logo and RLI’s journal publication also got a new look with the name tailored down from Farmland REALTOR® to just LAND. They expanded their content to reflect people from all sides of the land industry. LAND covered the traditional need-to-knows (such as land laws and news), but also included new trends, such as timeshares; even offering a terminology section in their November 1987 Journal (REALTORS® Land Institute journal, 1987). 26


A. Thomas Lund, ALC, 1982

1980s Past Presidents 1980: Carl F. Hertz, ALC 1981: Judge B. Fite, ALC 1982: A. Thomas Lund, ALC 1983: Richard E. Beaty, ALC 1984: Richard G. Palmer, ALC 1985: John E. Cyr, ALC 1986: J. Alvin Hawbaker, ALC 1987: Otto Sprenger, ALC 1988: Jerry G. Brewer, ALC 1989: G. Edmond Massie, ALC

Richard E. Beaty, ALC, 1983 To connect land agents and encourage the sharing of ideas, the REALTORS® Land Institute began hosting more networking and educational events in the late 80s. The Midwinter Meeting set the foundation for today’s National Land Conference. Events like the Cowboy Auction, property marketing sessions, award luncheons, and more were started and so popular that we still do them today. The 1980s were a tough time for both the land industry and held a lot of change for RLI. However, RLI was able to adapt and improve, further setting the stage for what the organization is today.

Reference Entry List 1. Barnett, Barry. (2000). The U.S. Farm Financial Crisis of the 1980s. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/3744858?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents 2. Lawton, Kurt. (2016). CSD75: Soybean Digest – The 1980s, part I. Retrieved from https://www.cornandsoybeandigest.com/soybeans/csd75-soybean-digest-1980s-part-i 3. Calomiris, Charles, Hubbard, R. Glenn, & Stock, James. (1986). The Farm Debt Crisis and Public Policy. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/wpcontent/uploads/1986/06/1986b_bpea_calomiris_hubbard_ stock_friedman.pdf

Richard G. Palmer, ALC, 1984

4. REALTORS® Land Institute journal. (November 1987). 5. Heller, Frederik. (Fall 2009). The Two Beginnings of RLI. Retrieved from https://www.rliland.com/historyrealtors-land-institute 6. REALTORS® Land Institute journal. (November 1987).

John E. Cyr, ALC, 1985

1980 RLI Member Meeting WINTER 2019



J. Alvin Hawbaker, ALC, 1986

Otto Sprenger, ALC, 1987

Jerry G. Brewer, ALC, 1988

G. Edmond Massie, ALC, 1989

1980 Roland Trudel, recipient of CT Farm and Land Broker of the Year Award

RLI Meeting Dinner 28


1980 RLI Member Meeting



After the turbulent 80s, the land industry enjoyed a period of success in the 90s. Those in the farm industry did especially well – the net farm income in 1996 reached a recordbreaking $54.9 billion (“Growing A Nation”, 2014). RLI embraced a new era of technology and growth. However, while RLI started the decade with over 1,400 members in 1991, the organization again faced economic woes (REALTORS® Land Institute magazine, 1991). Farm real estate values grew steadily, increasing 65% from around $700 an acre to $1,000 an acre by the end of the decade (USDA, 2001). Farmers were also noticing a new type of customer in the marketplace: Consumers that were becoming concerned about what they bought and the health implications behind it. Then, in the mid-90s, the USDA modernized their meat inspection procedures over growing food safety concerns. RLI kept members in the know by writing articles about these topics and updating courses to make sure members were getting the most current information possible. In May of 1990, RLI hosted the first ever LANDU Education Week. Created in conjunction with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, this weeklong event gave attendees the opportunity to complete the education requirement for the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation in six days of intense course work. Taking all eight courses cost RLI Members $2,360 and non-RLI Members $2,760. Eight classes were offered: • Subdivision Development • Agri-Land With Property Packaging • Transitional Land With Property Packaging • Managing and Counseling For Profitability • Land Valuation • Investment Analysis • Introduction to Federal Taxation • Tax Ideas With Exchanging And Creative Ideas The event was so popular that we still offer it today, 28 years later! LANDU Education Week has now become a staple of RLI. In 1991, the RLI Board of Directors approved an ambitious plan to reduce dues and increase membership. At the time, annual dues were $225. The board decided that any member who could recruit two new members with national dues of $100 would also have their dues decreased to $100. The idea was three people paying $100 each was better than one person paying $225. The dues revenue was supposed to increase along with membership. However, that theory did not exactly play out as expected. In 1996, RLI had a financial crisis, yet they could not raise dues that year because of a bylaws provision. Along with austerity measures, eight Past Presidents stepped in and paid $1,000 each to keep RLI going until the dues could be changed in 1997 and were equalized to $185 for everyone. 30


50th Anniversary Senate Resolution


Larry Caldwell, ALC, 1990

Top: 1993 Midwinter Event. Bottom: RLI 50th Anniversary Magazine.

Robert C. Meeks, ALC, 1991

David Hemenway, ALC, 1992 WINTER 2019



The biggest change of the 90s was in the increased use of technology, and RLI made sure not to miss out on the new internet age. RLI’s very first website was created with RealtyPro.Net software (REALTORS® Land Institute magazine, 1997). In 1998, RLI created an agreement with Loopnet.com and switched to the domain name we still use today – www.rliland.com (REALTORS® Land Institute magazine, 1998). To keep members up-to-date on the latest technology trends, RLI added a technology section called “Technology for Today’s REALTORS®” to their monthly publication (REALTORS® Land Institute magazine, 1997). This section covered everything from setting up your own website to marketing properties online and even covered using GIS (geographic information systems) for property marketing.

Barbara Shaw Douglas sworn in as 1997 RLI National President

RLI also stayed on top of the growing concern for environmental issues during the 90s, as they realized this was an issue with staying power. In articles, they discussed the pros and cons of conservation easements, wind farms, and other green issues. As a way to strengthen chapters, RLI started a National Bowl Award Point Scale for RLI Chapters. Points were given out to chapters for taking certain actions that would make their chapters stronger, like giving their election report by December 1, having officers attending national meetings, producing regular chapter newsletters, and creating annual treasurer’s reports (REALTORS® Land Institute, 1999). After decades of hard work, it was time to celebrate! The REALTORS® Land Institute hosted their 50th Anniversary Inaugural Celebration on November 5, 1994 (REALTORS® Land Institute, 1994). Guests could pre-order commemorative wine your choice of Chelois (red) vintage 1993 NY for 12 bottles or a Johannisberg Riesling (white) 1993. Each order cost $78 for 12 bottles. Guests danced the night away and networked as they dined on Southern California cuisine at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Arts. Despite financial troubles, the 90s were a time of growth and celebration for the REALTORS® Land Institute. However, RLI’s staying power has always come from its ability to change and adapt with the times, and that would come in especially handy in the next decade.

Reference Entry List 1. Growing A Nation: Historical Timeline – 1990s. (2014). Retrieved from https://www.agclassroom.org/gan/timeline/1990_2000.htm 2. REALTORS® Land Institute magazine. (September/October 1997). Volume 50, #5. 3. Agricultural Land Values August 2001. (September 2001). Retrieved from http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/nass/AgriLandVa//2000s/2001/AgriLandVa-08-022001_Land_Values.pdf 4. REALTORS® Land Institute magazine. (September/October 1997). Volume 50, #5. 5. REALTORS® Land Institute magazine. (November/December 1998). 6. REALTORS® Land Institute magazine. (November/December 1997). Volume 51. 7. REALTORS®Land Institute The Stars Are Out Tonight promotional booklet 1994



1997 World Congress


Robert E. Rhodes, ALC, 1993

Stephen England, ALC, 1994

Mark Cumbest, ALC, 1995

Pierre Vining, ALC, 1996

Barbara Shaw Douglas, ALC, 1997

Roger Heller, ALC, 1998

Past Presidents 1991: Robert C. Meeks, ALC 1992: David Hemenway, ALC 1993: Robert E. Rhodes, ALC 1994: Stephen England, ALC 1995: Mark Cumbest, ALC 1996: Pierre Vining, ALC 1997: Barbara Shaw Douglas, ALC 1998: Roger Heller, ALC 1999: JR Larsen, ALC Left: RLI 50th Anniversary Reception in DC in 1994

JR Larsen, ALC, 1999





In the early 2000s, the REALTORS® Land Institute faced one of its biggest challenges ever. RLI yet again found itself unable to financially continue and was faced with the possibility of closing down forever. Instead of folding, the hardworking leadership and members of the REALTORS® Land Institute helped the organization make it through these tough times and come out stronger on the other side. After a string of financial mismanagements and land market fluctuations, RLI found itself seriously in the red. The funds to keep going were simply not there. The REALTORS® Land Institute was faced with a choice: petition NAR for a loan and work with them to restructure RLI or shut down entirely. RLI Leadership decided to pursue the loan, which at first was rejected by NAR Leadership. Special thanks goes to Dr. Almon R (Bud) Smith, retired Executive Vice President of NAR and owner of ARS Consultants, and all of the members who actively lobbied NAR for the funds; as well as to 2002 NAR President Martin Edwards, CCIM, who ensured RLI would have the resources needed to survive. Restructuring the REALTORS® Land Institute required hard work from every level of the organization. Six groups of about 10 members each, who became known as ‘The Chicago 60‘, worked day and night to re-frame the organization’s governance, financials, membership value, and education program to be more cost-effective while still providing the standard of excellence RLI Members were used to. John M. Dean, ALC, the 2002 President of RLI, focused his presidency on advocating the benefits of membership to land agents to regrow the membership base.

2002 Funeral For The Old RLI

The hard work of The Chicago 60 and all RLI membership had magnificent returns. Most of the three-year loan from NAR was paid off in just one year. Through an innovative membership program where each Land 101 student was given a free year of membership, RLI had regrown to having over 2,100 members in 2005 (Terra Firma, 2005). This was an 80% increase from 2003 when the program started and a 46% increase from 2004. The number of courses sold increased from 31 in 2003 to over 75 in 2005 (Terra Firma, 2005). To quote Julie Collins, contributing editor for RLI at the time, “The Chicago 60 and staff leaders at NAR had a great vision and showed much courage in devising a bold plan that enabled the REALTORS® Land Institute to flourish. They didn’t just think outside the box – they shook it up and built a solid framework out of everything that spilled out!” (Terra Firma, 2005) To celebrate the success of their plan and mark the end of an extremely difficult time, RLI hosted a traditional New Orleans ‘second-line funeral’ for the old RLI during their annual meeting. The Governor of Mississippi declared November 8th, 2002 as ‘RLI Day’ (Terra Firma, 2002). The hard work wasn’t over for the Institute though. To keep track of what members wanted and needed out of the upgraded RLI, the Institute sent out surveys to all members. In 2003, 62% of survey takers said they specialized in recreational land; 56% in rural development land; 52% in ag land; 52% in commercial land; 48% in residential 34


2002 Funeral For The Old RLI


Left: Ray Brownfield, ALC, at 2009 National Land Conference. Above: Winnie Stortzum, ALC, presenting Keith Morris, ALC, with the 2005 Land REALTOR® of America Award.

Middle: 2009 RLI Inaugural. Bottom left: 2006 NAR President Tom Stevens installs 2006 RLI National President Randy Hertz, ALC, in San Francisco, CA. Bottom right: 2003 RLI National President John Dean, ALC, accepts proclamation from the Gov. of MS proclaiming November 8, 2002, as REALTORS® Land Institute Day. WINTER 2019



land; and 30% in ranch land (Terra Firma, 2003). This was the first time in RLI history that more members specialized in recreational and rural land transactions than in agricultural land transactions. RLI made sure that a tighter budget did not come at the expense of quality education and resources. The Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage and Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges courses were some of the first classes to be held online in the early 2000s. RLI’s first e-newsletter, the RLI HotSheet, was also introduced in this decade. This online RLI HotSheet brought land related news to members every week. There was also the SmartBrief for Commercial Real Estate Professionals, a thrice-weekly enewsletter that covered hot topics in the broader field of commercial real estate, which offered something beyond membership’s more commonly discussed rural land topics.

Past Presidents 2000: Gooley Orr, ALC 2001: Robert Hatcher, ALC 2002: Mac Boyd, ALC 2003: John M. Dean, ALC 2004: Norma J. Nisbet, ALC 2005: Samuel Kain, ALC 2006: Randall V. Hertz, ALC 2007: John McAllister, Jr., ALC 2008: Michael Landreth, ALC

On November 4-6, 2004, RLI celebrated its 60th Anniversary. Members wined and dined at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida (REALTORS® Land Institute, 2004). To commemorate 60 years in the business, RLI unveiled a new company logo and the first ALC Designation logo. Those logos were colorful and modern, a new style for a new millennium. Just when it seemed as if RLI was back on track, the housing crash of 2008 hit. The housing crash sparked a recession that impacted people from all walks of life. Unemployment rose to 10% by 2009 (Bureau of Labor, 2018). Despite all the hard work put in by The Chicago 60 and RLI leadership, many members left the business and those that stayed in it no longer had the funds to pay membership dues. Plus, while the free membership given away with the Land 101 course provided a much needed boost in membership numbers and helped create awareness of the organization at the time, in the long run many of those with the free memberships ended up not renewing. The end of the decade saw membership numbers dip yet again. The REALTORS® Land Institute had faced one of its toughest decades in its entire history. Yet even in the toughest of times, RLI was again able to create a new beginning from something that seemed like the end. Could they do it again?



2009: Keith Morris, ALC

Reference Entry List 1. Terra Firma. (2005). Volume 58 #4, 4th Quarter. 2. Terra Firma. (2005). Volume 58 #4, 4th Quarter. 3. Terra Firma. (2005). Volume 58 #4, 4th Quarter. 4. REALTORS Land Institute Magazine. 4th quarter 2002 Volume 55, page four 5. REALTORS Land Institute 60th Anniversary Final Packet. (2004). 6. Terra Firma. (2003). Volume 56, #2, page one. 7. Databases, Tables, & Calculators By Subject 2008-2018. (2018). Retrieved from https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000


Gooley Orr, ALC, 2000

Robert Hatcher, ALC, 2001

Mac Boyd, ALC, 2002

John M. Dean, ALC, 2003

Norma J. Nisbet, ALC, 2004

Samuel Kain, ALC, 2005

Randall V. Hertz, ALC, 2006

John McAllister, Jr., ALC, 2007

Michael Landreth, ALC, 2008

Keith Morris, ALC, 2009



The Chicago 60

When first setting out to write this article, The Chicago 60 almost seemed like a myth. A story passed down through RLI’s history that members from the time shared bits and pieces of throughout the years — but there was never any solid documentation about it. In some cases, it seems the story of The Chicago 60 has been swept under the rug, out of sight, as a messy piece of our history. However, as more information came to light, it became obvious that the story of The Chicago 60 was in fact a story about the dedication of the RLI Members and the team from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) that exemplified the type of people this organization was – and still is – made up of, as well as the open arms of support our organization gets from NAR.

DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN On October 31, 2001, after poor financial and structural mismanagement was uncovered, RLI found itself belly up with no resources left to continue operating. According to 2003 President John Dean, ALC: After the dust settled from the shocking discovery of the RLI office mismanagement and massive embezzlement, followed by hasty and generous membership financial contributions to temporarily keep RLI afloat, the ensuing four plus months into the Spring of 2002 involved numerous undocumented conferences and calls at various times between me, RLI 2002 President Mac Boyd, ALC; NAR 2002 National President Martin Edwards, CCIM; NAR CFO/CIO Dale Stinton; NAR Legal Counsel Ralph Holmen; RLI 1973 President Harry Finkelman, ALC; and former NAR CEO Bud Smith to strategically scope out possible courses of action for RLI. From these discussions emerged a plan for funding the RLI reorganizational work study groups, to which I coined the name ‘The Chicago 60’ in a toast to their efforts during my Inaugural in November of 2002 as we ceremoniously ushered in the ‘New RLI’ after holding a New Orleans Jazz Funeral for the ‘Old RLI’. Subsequent acceptance by NAR of our reorganizational and operational plan enabled NAR to approve a Loan Agreement and Promissory Note in the total amount of $426,423.00 in January of 2003, which NAR CEO Terry McDermott for NAR and I, for RLI, signed.



In 2002, the decision was made by the RLI Board of Directors in New Orleans to accept the reorganizational plan presented by Bud Smith. The RLI Board, led by 2002 President Mac Boyd, ALC, then approved the restructuring of the organization and accepted the loan agreement from NAR. As part of the Executive Committee, RLI’s 2003 President-Elect Norma Nisbet, ALC, also played a large role in seeing the restructuring of the organization through during that time. As she recalled the period, she said: As an officer, I knew that we had a huge responsibility to reconstruct and reorganize the Institute in accordance with the recommendations from the Chicago workgroups. Martin Edwards, NAR President, and Bud Smith, consultant, along with Ron Miles, NAR Commercial Liaison, and Pat Kaplan, NAR Treasurer had supported RLI and the maintaining of its existence from the beginning and through the entire approval process of NAR for the necessary financial support. There would be no second chances. We needed to get this right. After the New Orleans meetings, we, as RLI leadership, then worked diligently to create the new organizational structure with the resurgence of new bylaws, committees, and educational venues. All the while, we were cognizant of the three focuses RLI needed to continue to focus on as determined by The Chicago 60 mandate: Education, Legislation, and Member Benefits and Services. These remain some of the focused directives of RLI today, just as they were in 2002. We should be proud of how far we have come, and where we are now. I truly believe that the ‘best is yet to come’ for RLI.

SETTING THE STAGE FOR THE FUTURE According to the Structural and Programmatic Study of the REALTORS® Land Institute Interim Report “In late February, 2002, Dr. Almon R (Bud) Smith, retired Executive Vice President of NAR and owner of ARS Consultants, was engaged by RLI to do a three phase study of RLI.” In this extensive report, Bud worked with RLI Leadership, the remaining staff, and various focus groups to outline the current state of the organization and to determine a path through which it could regain viability.

The success of this initiative was so successful that most of the three-year loan from NAR was able to be repaid in just over one year! However, shortly after completing the report and taking on an official consultant role as part of RLI’s agreement with NAR, Bud suffered a heart attack. Though he did later recover, he was unable to continue as RLI’s new consultant in implementing the plan. NAR then turned to Janet Branton, the Executive Director for the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) to replace Bud in the consultant position. RLI Leadership soon after offered Branton a job as full-time CEO, but she offered an alternative. She and the REBAC staff became the management company for RLI, and the Business Specialties Group at NAR was born. Several years later in 2004, she appointed Jan Hope, who was at the time the Manager of Resort and Appraisal, to act as the new Managing Director of RLI. Later, in 2005 Janet appointed Jan as RLI’s new Executive Vice President to take over Janet’s responsibilities and lead RLI. Six different work groups with about 10 members each were created, including governance, finance, and education. Doing the math, six work groups times about 10 members each equaling about 60 – hence, what John Dean, ALC, coined ‘The Chicago 60’ was born. The groups each met three times the summer of 2002 and created a vision for the new RLI. Each of these action groups worked to investigate a major area and report back with definitive action recommendations which could be presented to NAR. Below are the original Work Groups formed:

RLI Educational System and Designations Charge: The work group will review all educational matters, including the designation requirement changes, updating existing courses, creation of new courses, expanding cadre of instructors, pricing and revenue sharing methods focused on objectives, etc. Participants: Winnie Stortzum, ALC; Mary Jo Hays; Ned Massie, ALC; Ari Feldman, ALC; Jacob Casanova, ALC; Keith Morris, ALC; Chuck Sweet, ALC; Chuck Hawley, ALC; Michael Durkin, ALC; Tom Jewell; and Norma Nisbet, ALC, as Coordinating Officer.

RLI Organizational Existence Charge: Study and recommend RLI’s organizational existence as a separate entity or as a part of another organization – including financial and programmatic steps to get there. Participants: Fletcher Majors, ALC; John Thomasmeyer, ALC; Jerry Brewer, ALC; Roger Heller, ALC; David Hemenway, ALC; Joan Dodd, ALC; Bob Turner, ALC; J.R. Larsen, ALC; Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC; Randy Hertz, ALC; and Mac Boyd, ALC, as Coordinating Officer.

RLI Accounting System Charge: Study and recommend accounting principles and practices that RLI should put into place to assure that there are adequate “checks and balances” for generally-accepted accounting practices. From study of appropriate budgeting options available, select those best suited for program decision-making. Participants: Ted Glaub, ALC; Bob Molenbeek; Kirk Swenson; Roger Spahr; John Knipe, ALC; Carl Maier, ALC; Virgie Orr, ALC; John Pehrson; Flo Sayre, ALC; and Norma Nisbet, ALC, as Coordinating Officer.

RLI Programmatic Thrusts Charge: Study and determine limited, specific, manageable and doable programmatic thrusts as perceived by the membership, not just the leadership and/or committees. Participants: Dean Saunders, ALC; Mary Davidson; Ricardo Cantu; Monty Meusch; Dale Aupperle; John Stone; Doug Deininger, ALC; Terry Rupp; Rick Hauge, ALC; Lloyd Thomas, ALC; and John Dean, ALC, as Coordinating Officer.

RLI Operational Policies Charge: Study and recommend written operational policies for each staff and member position, including authority, responsibility, results accountability, etc. Participants: Sam Kain, ALC; Kalvin Garton, ALC; Dennis Gillig; Kathleen McKenzie-Owen, ALC; Reggie Caruthers, ALC; Huddy Hudgens, ALC; Bruce Owens; Marie Rosol; John McAllister, ALC; Gooley Orr, ALC; and John Dean, ALC, as Coordinating Officer. WINTER 2019


RLI Governance System Charge: Recommend a governance system for the future of RLI, whether it is part of a larger organization (subsidiary, alliance partner, etc.) or stand-alone organization. Participants: Don Lombardi; Richard Kelsey; Dan Hatfield, ALC; Chuck Wingert, ALC; Mark Goodwin, ALC; Doug Fenstra, ALC; Weis Wrobel; Randy Becht; Michael Landreth, ALC; Bob Rhodes, ALC; John Frankhouser, ALC; and Mac Boyd, ALC, as Coordinating Officer.

THE REBIRTH OF AN ORGANIZATION The first priority under the new leadership was to restructure the organization and distill the 150 person board of directors down to about a 15 person Board of Directors. Per the agreement, the new board included an NAR lobbyist and the Chief Financial Officer of NAR. The next move was to downsize the 30 RLI Committees to around half of a dozen. With the new leadership and new board in place, a loan was granted from NAR to RLI to help them get back on their feet. Between the Business Specialties Group at NAR and the RLI Members that made up The Chicago 60, plans were made to right the ship. One initial move was to add all of the RLI courses into the REBAC Course License Provider Agreement. An education initiative to help RLI increase its awareness in the industry that proved especially successful was the development of an introductory Land 101 course which would count towards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) Designation as well as the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation. The course was then offered to include a free one-year RLI membership to anyone who registered. In addition, the Business Specialties Group staff rolled up their sleeves and set out to reach a goal of hosting 126 chapter courses in year one of their rebirth. At the end of the year, they fell short by only four courses. The success of this initiative and the others happening around it, like implementing a new database, was so successful that most of the three-year loan from NAR was able to be repaid in just over one year! RLI was back on track and ready for greatness. Once RLI had fully repaid the loan in May of 2007, a group of RLI Members joined EVP Jan Hope outside the hotel in Washington, DC, after NAR’s Budget and Finance Committee



meeting during NAR Mid Year meetings, and ceremoniously burned the note. In late 2007, Jan stepped down as EVP and Gloria Bowman, who worked for RLI while it was under the NAR Business Services Group, was promoted to EVP. In 2011, RLI officially broke away from being under NAR’s Business Services Group and became one of NAR’s Commercial Affiliates. So as we celebrate 75 years of expertise, camaraderie, and prestige, and reflect on the history of The Chicago 60, it is important to also realize that it’s you – the members – and your dedication that are the constant driving force behind the success of this great organization. It’s you that hold an unwavering belief in the value of RLI. It’s you that keeps pushing us forward. It’s your never failing tenacity that came through as RLI encountered one of its most difficult and dark eras that took the initiative to turn the boat around and steer us into a bright future. Despite the twists and turns along the way in the past or in the future, whatever it is that makes RLI Members so special, so distinct, and so well known as salt of the earth kind of people, is what keeps RLI going through thick and thin. About the author: Jessa Friedrich, MBA, is the Marketing Manager for the REALTORS® Land Institute, The Voice of Land. Jessa has a Bachelor of Science with a dual major in Marketing and Business Administration as well as a Master of Business Administration in Marketing. She has been with RLI in the land real estate industry since March 2015, managing all matters pertaining to marketing, branding, and communications for the organization. Note: Thank you to Janet Branton; Jan Hope; John M. Dean, ALC; Norma Nisbet, ALC; and Winnie Stortzum, ALC for providing the context through which this article was written. RLI would not be where it is today without their and countless other’s dedication.



After a tumultuous decade and recovery still happening slowly from the 2008 market crash, the REALTORS® Land Institute was finally hoping to be back on their feet. In 2010, RLI’s 2010-2013 Strategic Plan was approved by the RLI Board of Directors. The focus of this strategic plan was to improve communication, increase membership, and maximize operational effectiveness. This plan included many steps, including better communicating the organization’s niche in the real estate industry, promoting the commitment and knowledge of ALCs, and continuously updating education programs. An overview of the strategic plan was disbursed to all members to keep them in the loop. However, by 2012, RLI again faced financial difficulties and austerity measures were put into place to ensure the organization’s viability. Due to the financial struggles, RLI’s Executive Committee received no reimbursement for their many travels made on behalf of RLI. Despite this, RLI Leadership persisted in trying to get RLI back on its feet yet again. They changed staff leadership in October of 2012, promoting Michele Cohen from RLI Education Manager to EVP and eventually changing her title in 2014 to CEO. To drive revenue, the new CEO placed a strong focus on increasing participation in the LANDU Education Program, increasing membership numbers, and cutting costs. To increase registrations for LANDU Courses, the organization began offering new onlinehybrid courses featuring weekly webinars in 2010 and, then, its online courses with no webinars in 2012. To increase membership, membership drives, featuring promotional offers like discounts on membership dues and waiving the application fee with staff cold calling prospects, happened monthly. Then in 2013, RLI launched their exclusive listing site, The Land Connections. Powered by Lands of America through a newly founded partnership that still exists today, this listing site created a way to connect buyers with properties on the market listed by RLI Members and ALCs. Finally, to keep land experts in the know during the new digital age where content and data had become king, RLI launched their first-ever online blog and started up social media sites on all the main channels in 2014. After almost three years under the new CEO, in 2015, RLI was finally getting back to being financially stable. However, it came at a cost. Funds were not being invested back into the organization and the LANDU Education Program suffered as content became outdated. The organization was criticized for losing touch with its members and for creating an environment with high staff turnover. In November 2015, as Bob Turner, ALC, came into his year as 2016 RLI National President, he knew RLI needed change. He made the tough call to change staff leadership, take over managing the organization in the interim as a new CEO search pursued, and empowered staff with the authority and funding needed to maximize their potential in their roles. In late 2015 right after Bob took the reins, RLI Marketing Manager Jessa Friedrich, MBA, created and released a brand new website within one week and the board approved her proposal to invest in a custom Association Management System (AMS) in late 2015. With 42



board support and approval, Jessa and Karen Calarco, RLI’s Manager of Operations and the organization’s second longest employed staff member at ten years, quickly got to work with a third-party developer to build out RLI’s new AMS; which was later named DOL-e (Database of Land Experts). These actions helped to increase the professionalism of our organization, improve efficiency on staff, and more comprehensively store membership data. The new system featured a more intuitive Find a Land Consultant search tool as a member benefit; a new membership database for storing and recording member data; and the ability to add on branded chapter websites as well as give RLI Chapters access to the national database. Most of all, it signaled a change in tides for the organization as moving towards a more member-centric approach. However, one of the most influential signals of change was yet to come… When it came time for the 2016 National Land Conference in Dallas, TX, Bob and the rest of the Executive Team, including Brandon Rogillio, ALC, Jimmy Settle, ALC, and Terri Jensen, ALC, had a big announcement to make. RLI Members and Staff were introduced to their new CEO Aubrie Kobernus, MBA, from Memphis, TN. She was brought in to drive growth and ensure the vision of returning RLI to being a membercentric organization was seen through. Aubrie’s first goal as CEO was to improve RLI’s governance and update the organization’s bylaws, which had become increasingly convoluted over the years. For a year, she worked with a Governance Policy Taskforce, which was chaired by 2004 President Norma Nisbet, ALC, and included the 2003 President John Dean, ALC; 2010 President Dan Hatfield, ALC; 2012 President Ray Brownfield, ALC; 2015 President Terri Jensen, ALC; 2016 President Bob Turner, ALC; 2016 President-Elect Brandon Rogillio, ALC; 2016 Vice President Jimmy Settle, ALC; Danny Smith, ALC; Kyle Hansen, ALC; and Jeramy Stephens, ALC. The taskforce reviewed, revised, and recreated a newly cleaned-up version of the bylaws. The bylaws were refined, parred down to no longer include non-essential items, and were enhanced to give members more input into RLI. The taskforce also created a Governance Policy Manual to oversee the operations of RLI. All of this was just the start of the bright future that was about to be created between 2016 and now – but more importantly, it was just the start of RLI’s best days which are yet to come.

Top left: 2016 RLI National President Bob Turner, ALC, speaking at the 2016 National Land Conference. Top right: 2011 RLI Member Meeting at NAR Annual. Top middle: 2013 LANDU Education Week Practical Navigation Course. Middle left: 2014 National Land Conference. Middle right: 2011 LANDU Education Week Class in Chicago. Bottom left: 2015 RLI National President Terri Jensen, ALC, Innauguration. Bottom right: RLI Members at 2017 RLI Leadership Induction Ceremony.




Dan Hatfield, ALC, 2010

Jesse Lane, ALC, 2011

Ray Brownfield, ALC, 2012

Charles Wingert, ALC, 2013

George Clift, ALC, 2014

Terri Jensen, ALC, 2015

Bob Turner, ALC, 2016

Brandon Rogillio, ALC, 2017

Past Presidents 2010: Dan Hatfield, ALC 2011: Jesse Lane, ALC 2012: Ray Brownfield, ALC 2013: Charles Wingert, ALC 2014: George Clift, ALC 2015: Terri Jensen, ALC Jimmy Settle, ALC, 2018

Jeramy Stephens, ALC, 2018-19

2016: Bob Turner, ALC 2017: Brandon Rogillio, ALC 2018: Jimmy Settle, ALC 2018-19: Jeramy Stephens, ALC



Back to the Future A Path to RLI’s Future Is Born In early December of 2016, after 2017 President Brandon Rogillio, ALC, had taken the reins and RLI’s new CEO was in place, RLI Leadership and Staff gathered on a cold winter day in Chicago to set in place a 2017-2020 Strategic Plan under the guidance of a strategic planning consultant. With feedback from the consultant and RLI Board and Committee Leadership and Staff, the plan’s five main pillars were established: Membership Growth and Involvement; Improving the LANDU Education Program; Increasing Brand Awareness; Chapter Development; and Staff Capacity and Development. During the planning session, Aubrie voiced the desire for RLI to become the most trusted resource, the go-to place for anything related to land real estate. That desire, to make RLI The Voice of Land became the overarching goal of the strategic plan, weaving itself into each pillar of the plan, and since then leadership and staff have been making that vision a reality.

Membership Growth & Involvement As a membership organization, it was essential that one of the main initiatives as part of the new strategic plan was adding value to membership and increasing engagement. The first tactic was improving the annual RLI National Land Conference to increase attendance through providing added value to attendees and increasing awareness about the event. In 2018, RLI was able to increase NLC attendance by 44% and the number of sponsors by 60% through their investments in promoting, managing, and adding value to the conference. To better encompass all land professionals and change its perception in the industry, RLI was set back on track to once again focus on the five land types that had long been a part of our bylaws: farms and ranches; open tracts of land, including recreational, timberland, and other resource lands; transitional and development land; subdivision and wholesale development of lots; and site selection. To become The Voice of Land, the new plan also focused on expanding our target market to include landowners in addition to land agents. Under RLI Marketing Manager Jessa Friedrich’s direction and supervision, we began more consistently generating content for our blog and other industry blogs which helped to increase organic traffic to our website. We invested in 46


functionality to allow us to organically capture leads, so for the first time we could add them to our marketing funnel. A new email platform was also purchased so we could more effectively target marketing efforts to better convert those leads and engage current members through drip campaigns. Additionally, per Aubrie’s suggestion and under her direction, the plan called for creating a production awards program to further promote the prestige and success of RLI’s Members through a production awards program. Created in 2017, the RLI APEX Awards Program was designed to recognize excellence in the land business based on production. The awards distinguish the Broker of the Year in seven different land categories as well as awards for the Top National Producer; the Wrangler (the applicant with the largest number of transaction sides closed during the year); the Top 20 National Producers; and the Producers Club (all applicants with at least four million dollars of qualifying dollar volume). Staff worked to find a partner that could elevate the recognition that award winners would receive in the industry and found the perfect partner in The Land Report. The awards caught the attention of the media, including members being featured on a Times Square Billboard, spotlighting the best of the best in the industry. In its first year, the program saw over $1B in land sold from 50 RLI Member applicants! In its second year now, we saw the number of applicants nearly double and almost $3B in land sold.

Improving RLI’s LANDU Education Program There were various attempts at education updates throughout the decades. However, the most recent, successful, and encompassing one started in 2017 as part of the new strategic plan. Volunteers from the Education Committee worked with staff to review every aspect of all 21 LANDU courses. After a deep-dive was completed by the committee, it was determined the curriculum should be reduced down to 10 strong courses. In 2018, RLI hired an instructional design consultant to work with staff in updating all course materials and creating guidelines for course execution and management. For the first time, Instructor Policies were created and put in place as well as professional development requirements for all LANDU instructors. In April, 2018, RLI’s LANDU Education Program also got a new logo just in time for the release of its first newly

“I truly believe RLI’s best days are ahead of us!” – AUBRIE KOBERNUS, CEO

updated course Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage. The course was released in the new VILT (Virtual Instructor Led Training) format on the new RLI LMS (Learning Management System). The organization also hosted a recordbreaking LANDU Education Week in June 2018 with a 63% increase in course registrations sold and a 31% increase in attendees. The highly promoted event hosted three of LANDU’s newly updated courses.

Increasing Brand Awareness All marketing efforts quickly shifted to establishing RLI as The Voice of Land in the industry. After over a year and a half of working with member taskforces, RLI Marketing Manager Jessa Friedrich created a new logo, defined a fresh new brand, and set Visual Standards Guidelines that were all approved by the RLI Board of Directors in January 2017. The fresh new logo and brand debuted at NLC17 as part of the 2017 RLI Strategic Plan. It served as a visual representation of RLI moving into a new, brighter future. With its release, staff also solidified its branding and messaging guidelines as well as refined its Mission and Vision Statements to better reflect the purpose of the organization in the industry as The Voice of Land. RLI continued placing ads and articles in all major industry magazines as well as on targeted websites. From these promotions and partnerships, RLI Members benefited from an 816% increase in traffic to the Find A Land Consultant tool since 2017. Additionally, for the first time, RLI was able to focus on

creating guest posts that would drive traffic back to its website and into its membership funnel. To be seen as The Voice of Land in the industry, a focus was also put on creating more content that would be valuable to landowners, content that land professionals could share to showcase their expertise and affiliation with our organization. The blog was broken into two sections: “The Voices of Land” with posts for land professionals and “Your Land” for content helpful to landowners. The organization also put a focus on continuing to grow its National Land Markets Survey and ended up increasing participation by 31% between 2017 and 2018. Finally, a stronger focus was put on building relationships with NAR state and local associations as well as with the large industry brokerages to expand our reach and raise awareness of RLI with a wider audience.

Chapter Development RLI Leadership and Staff recognized that the relationships with our chapters needed to be rebuilt and trust needed to be established. To make chapters more connected to RLI National, the RLI Board of Directors approved the development of a portal through which each chapter could access the RLI National Database. Chapters can now view and edit member records, submit courses for approval, take course and new member payments, and manage their membership all in one simple to access location. In addition to accessing the national database, chapters can also now purchase a premade branded website template from National at a discounted rate.

In an effort to strengthen our chapters, RLI National wanted to ensure each of them had chapter bylaws in place. In 2017, RLI National created and presented them with a set of Chapter Model Bylaws. Within the first year of the plan, all chapters had an approved set of bylaws in place for their chapter. Next, national established the RLI Chapter Leadership Council (CLC) to give chapters a voice at National. Now that RLI has built its foundation by accomplishing some of the above strategic plan initiatives, we are looking forward to focusing more on chapter development in the coming years.

Staff Capacity & Development RLI recognized that in order to succeed in becoming The Voice of Land, RLI Staff needed to be the best of the best for our members. Leadership found this so essential that they made the decision to invest in developing staff and creating a workplace that would make it more competitive when trying to attract and hire the best employees. Staff now regularly attends professional development sessions and has joined an association for associations where they can share ideas and gain expertise that can be used to bring more value to RLI Members. As we continue forward, there is no way of knowing what the future holds. What we do know is that, no matter what is in store, the REALTORS® Land Institute has the strength of its members and leadership, a dedicated staff, and a rich history of new beginnings and hard work to carry it through even the toughest of times.



Past RLI Leadership Award Winners Past RLI Rising Star Award Winners

1990 Jerry G. Brewer, ALC

2012 James Miller, Esq.

1989 G. Edmund Massie IV, ALC

2012 Andre J. van Rensburg, ALC

2017 Kasey Mock

1988 Otto H. Sprenger, ALC

2011 Rick Taylor, ALC

2016 Caleb McDow, ALC

1987 John E. Cyr, ALC

2010 Ben Crosby, ALC

2015 Aaron Graham, ALC

1986 Frank W. Geiger, ALC

2010 Andre J. van Rensburg, ALC

2014 Kyle Hansen, ALC

1985 Carl V. Hertz, AFLM ®

Past Land REALTOR of America Award Winners 2017 Flo Sayre, ALC 2016 Ray Brownfield, ALC 2015 George Clift, ALC 2014 Ben Crosby, ALC 2013 Kirk Goble, ALC 2012 Danny Smith, ALC 2011 Bob Turner, ALC 2010 Randy Hertz, ALC 2009 Sam Kain,ALC 2008 Tony Rickard, ALC 2007 Dan Hatfield, ALC 2006 Norma Nisbet,ALC 2005 Keith Morris, ALC 2004 Winnie Stortzum, ALC 2003 Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC 2002 D.L. Gooley Orr, ALC 2001 Roger Heller, AFLB 2000 David Hemenway, ALC 1999 Carl Maier, ALC

1983 A. Tom Lund Sr., AFLM 1982 Owen V. Hall, ALC

1980 Thad S. Cwik, ALC 1979 Bake Young, AFLM 1978 R.A. Capshaw, ALC 1977 Cy Kuefler, ALC 1976 Lyle Erickson, ALC 1975 Wayne D. Phipps, AFLM 1974 John L. Currell, AFLM 1973 Burr Brown, AFLB 1972 Lester R. Arie, AFLM 1971 John J. Brennan, AFLM 1970 George A. Simon, AFLM 1969 Harry A. Finkelman, ALC 1968 Bert Hanson, ALC 1967 Wilfred. Raynor, AFLB 1966 R.D. Selden, AFLM 1965 Duane W. Sandage, ALC 1964 Allan A. Stamler, JR., AFLB

1997 Dan Bock, ALC 1996 Fletcher Majors, ALC

2017 Fletcher Majors, ALC

1995 Porter Martin, ALC

2016 Ben Crosby, ALC

1994 Mac Boyd, ALC

2015 Steve Anderson, ALC

1993 Robert E. Rhodes, ALC

2015 Andre J. van Rensburg, ALC

1992 Robert C. Meeks, ALC

2014 Ben Crosby, ALC

1991 Mark Cumbest, ALC

2013 Randy Hertz, ALC


Past ALC-to-ALC Networking Awards Winners Now Part of The APEX Awards Program

1981 Ron Bentz, ALC

Past Excellence in Instruction Award Winners

1998 John Dean, ALC


1984 Judge B. Fite, ALC

2017 Ray Brownfield, ALC Luke Worrell, ALC 2016 Kyle Hansen, ALC Troy Louwagie, ALC Kirk Weih, ALC 2015 David Hitchcock, ALC Clay Taylor, ALC 2014 Ray Brownfield, ALC Doug Deininger, ALC 2013 David Hitchcock, ALC Clay Taylor, ALC 2012 Ben Crosby, ALC Squire Smith, ALC 2011 Bruce Erhardt, ALC Nancy Surak, ALC 2010 Ray Brownfield, ALC Mark Goodwin, ALC 2008 J. Frank Monk, ALC Donald Cornett, ALC

Past Robert C. Meeks, ALC, Distinguished Service Award Winners 2017 John Dean, ALC 2016 Mac Boyd, ALC 2015 Porter Martin, ALC 2014 Fletcher Majors, ALC 2013 Bill Eshenbaugh, ALC 2012 Norma Nisbet, ALC 2011 Randall Hertz, ALC 2010 Carl Maier, ALC 2009 G. Edmond “Ned” Massie, IV, ALC 2008 David Hemenway, ALC 2007 Jerry Brewer, ALC 2006 Roger Heller, ALC 2003 Gooley Orr, ALC 2002 Roger Poppen, ALC

Robert C. Meeks, ALC Since 1999, the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) has awarded chosen members the honor of holding the Robert C. Meeks, ALC, Distinguished Service Award – but who was Robert? And what makes receiving this award one of RLI’s most esteemed honors that a member can be chosen to receive? Robert “Bob” C. Meeks, ALC, was a longtime RLI Member and REALTOR® from Sylacauga, AL, who developed residential and commercial properties and sold residential, commercial, and farm and land real estate. His long-time friend and fellow RLI Member Fletcher Majors, ALC, recalled him as being “a doer. While other people talked about what needed to be done, Bob did what needed to be done.” Fletcher went on to say “Bob was born in 1930 and died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1998. In his 68 years on this earth he made an impact on many people both in Alabama and across the nation.”

2001 Carl Hertz, AFLM 2000 Judge Fite, ALC 1999 Harry A. Finkelman, ALC

Past Outstanding Chapter Award Winners 2017 RLI Iowa Chapter 2016 RLI Wyoming Chapter 2015 RLI Illinois Chapter 2014 RLI Colorado Chapter 2013 RLI Iowa Chapter 2012 RLI Colorado Chapter 2011 RLI Texas Chapter 2010 RLI Colorado Chapter 2009 RLI Minnesota Chapter

Past Chapter Administrator Awards Winners 2017 Ladonna Ignatuik, RLI Arkansas Chapter 2016 Maggie Thomas, RLI Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming Chapters 2015 Molly Zaver, RLI Iowa Chapter 2014 Patricia Webb, RLI Texas Chapter

At a national level, Bob was a dedicated member of RLI where he valued raising the level of expertise of every land agent in the industry through education. Bob served as the 1991 RLI National President and in 1992 he was chosen for the Land REALTOR® of America Award for his “work expended in the interest of [his] fellow RLI Members, [the] profession, [his] clients, and their community.” Bob also taught for RLI’s LANDU Education Program, inspiring and educating land agents in the industry. His contributions, passion, and dedication to educating land professionals also extended beyond only those he could teach in classrooms. In 1982, he and 1973 President Harry Finkelman, ALC, the first recipient of RLI’s Robert C. Meeks, ALC, Distinguished Service Award, started the Land Education Foundation (LEF). Bob was a Hall of Fame Donor to LEF contributing lifetime gifts of over $10,000 to help LEF fulfill its mission “To support and build educational programs and services that contribute to the wise utilization of land.” As an active member in RLI, Bob was also a leader in his local RLI Alabama Chapter multiple times throughout the years dedicating his time and service to growing the Chapter and helping fellow land professionals. Fletcher recalled of his service to the state chapter “In the late 70s and early 80s, the land business was almost dead across the nation because the farm economy was dying and very high rates on money market accounts were pulling all the investor funds away from the land investment market. Everyone was barely holding on, people were dropping out of the real estate business in general, the land business in particular and, in turn, RLI. Bob Meeks, Laura Edwards from Wetumpka, and I would take turns being president of the RLI Alabama Chapter just to keep it alive. I got to know Bob and [his partner] Frances very well during these hard times.” In 1999, one year after Bob passed away, The Robert C. Meeks, ALC, Distinguished Service Award was established by RLI in his honor. The award is known as RLI’s most esteemed honor as part of the RLI Leadership Awards Program and is presented to an Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) in recognition of long-term commitment and service to fellow-Institute members, the land profession, and the community. Criteria for the award state that nominees must hold the ALC Designation, have completed at least 15 years of service to the Institute, have made unique contributions to the REALTORS® Land Institute, and be involved in community and professional activities. WINTER 2019


RLI was not the only organization to recognize Bob’s dedication through the creation of an award in his honor. As a part of the Alabama Association of REALTORS® (AAR), Bob was an Alabama REALTOR® Political Action Committee (ARPAC) Chairman twice and led AAR to become one of the most involved and successful associations in state and federal governmental and political affairs. For his dedication and service, the AAR also created the The Robert C. Meeks ARPAC Award to “recognize the local board that aggressively defends and promotes REALTOR® legislative interests, reaches, and maintains favorable communications with elected officials and surpasses all others in ARPAC support as determined by the ARPAC Trustees.” In the article by the AAR, they stated so accurately “the fact that the Alabama Association of REALTORS® and the REALTORS® Land Institute would each, independently, create their highest award for Political Action and for Distinguished Service speaks volumes about who Bob Meeks was and how far his influence reached.” As we look back on our history while celebrating our 75th Anniversary, we are honored to recognize and tell the story of members like Bob whose dedication and passion for the land industry exemplify the essence of what an RLI Member is known to be.



Since 1999, the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) has awarded chosen members the honor of holding the Robert C. Meeks, ALC, Distinguished Service Award

History of the National Land Conference



RLI’s National Land Conference is the biggest land event of the year. It’s a place where land experts from all over the country come together to network, learn, and have a great time – the perfect combination of work and fun! It’s a cherished tradition. Over the years, some things have improved and inevitably changed. While other things, such as the amazing speakers and once-in-a-lifetime networking opportunities, remain a staple. The RLI annual meeting used to be held alongside NAR’s Annual Meeting every year before growing large enough to break off and become its own separate event. Let’s take a look at some of the historical highlights of our National Land Conference.

‘Weird 1031 Exchanges…I Didn’t Know I Could Do That!’ and ‘Dubai – Arabia’s Field of Dreams’. The RLI Texas Chapter held a Texas Chapter Networking Reception immediately following the conference. This conference was only two days long and had four sessions – a fraction of what we have today! Registrants: Unknown Partners: Unknown

on what was going on inside the Beltway. This was Riggs’s first appearance at National Land Conference, but it wouldn’t be his last – he has spoken at every conference since! In 2008, the REALTORS® Land Institute debuted the Reverse Marketing Session, the first of its kind. Instead of properties looking for cash, this event had cash looking for properties. This networking opportunity matched dozens of buyers and sellers within the two-hour time span. Registrants: 103 Partners: 7

2008: Building Knowledge. Building Relationships. Building Business.

2007: Elevating ALCs To New Horizons The very first National Land Conference was held in San Antonio, TX. Sessions included topics such as ‘Driving New Business Through Online Marketing’,

Following a successful first conference, RLI took the National Land Conference back to San Antonio, TX, for round two. The number of sessions increased, including topics such as ‘GPS & Mapping: Where Are We Headed?’, ‘Economic Outlook for Land Professionals’, and ‘America’s Cheap: Foreign Investors in U.S. Real Estate’. Russell Riggs, RLI’s government affairs liaison for NAR, also updated attendees

2009: Breaking Through: Fresh Opportunities for Land Professionals The theme for Keith Morris, ALC’s presidency in 2009 was “Opening New Doors”. The 2009 National Land Conference in Nashville, TN, introduced new sessions such as ‘Economic WINTER 2019


Outlook for 2019’, ‘Expand Your World with Facebook’, and ‘Emerging Opportunities in Recreational Land’. While there were plenty of new programs, RLI also renewed popular events such as the Reverse Marketing Session. The event wasn’t all work, though. Guests enjoyed a ride aboard the General Jackson Riverboat. After the paddleboat ride, attendees enjoyed dinner at the Victorian Theatre and a live music tribute to Country Music USA. The fun didn’t end after the conference did. Attendees toured and sipped whiskey at the Jack Daniels Distillery. Registrants: 109 Partners: 10

ALC, said, “We’re facing rough terrains – mountainous budget deficits, financing dead-ends, unemployment quagmires, and a range of obstacles at every turn. But I’m convinced that with the right gear, the right team, and the right knowledge, we can navigate our way to success.” Sessions at the 2010 conference took an in-depth look at the “rough terrains”. These sessions included ‘An Insider’s View on the Land Deal Landscape’, ‘Going Forward with Auctions’, and ‘Recognizing the Transition of Toxic Assets to O.R.E.O.s (Owned Real Estate Opportunities)’. There were also sessions about pressing environmental issues, such as carbon credits, water rights, wind energy, and more. New times also meant new technology. A GPS demonstration in RLI’s Tech Lab gave agents a hands-on look at the latest in land technology. Spouses had a full itinerary as well. They kicked off the conference with a welcome breakfast and tour of Grapevine, a town that has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The spouses toured the Vetro Decorative Glass Studio & Gallery and sampled local wines at the Delaney Vineyards.

2010: New Terrain, New Tactics The 2010 National Land Conference in Fort Worth, TX, didn’t shy away from tough topics. In his letter in the brochure, 2010 RLI National President Dan Hatfield, 56


The conference wrapped up with a night in Fort Worth’s Stockyard district. Attendees enjoyed a hearty dinner of Australian lobster, grilled Texas catfish, and roasted beef at the Lonesome Dove restaurant before heading over to the historical White Elephant Salon. There, guests danced and played Black Jack until the wee hours of the morning. Registrants: 108 Partners: 10

2011: Landing the Deal The 2011 conference in Nashville, TN, hit the jackpot when it came to speakers. RLI welcomed CEOs, investors, professors, and more from all over the country to share their expert insight with attendees. Another big winner in 2011 was the very first Hot Topics Breakfast Round Tables event. As the name might suggest, guests discussed current land issues over breakfast. This event was so popular that it became a staple of National Land Conference that still occurs today. Land brokers went on a sight-seeing tour of Nashville to kick off the conference. Sessions included hot topics like ‘Show Me the Money – Working with Lenders in Today’s Economy’ and ‘Winning in Any Cycle’. In between sessions, attendees were able to take in the culture and history of

Nashville. Guests learned about the past in a tour through the sprawling Belle Meade Plantation, while a night out at Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant let them explore Nashville’s vibrant culinary scene. Registrants: 109 Partners: 12

advising the Secretary on foreign policy issues regarding disability. The Hot Topic Breakfast Roundtable session was so popular that they had over a dozen different topics. ‘Today’s Technology’ was led by Kirk Goble, ALC, ‘Expanding and Partnering into a New Business’ was led by Dean Saunders, ALC, and ‘Young Leadership Involvement Strategies’ was led by Kyle Hansen, ALC. Exploring important topics continued after breakfast was cleared away. The sessions included pressing issues such as ‘Federal Income Taxes Impacting Real Estate’, ‘The Global Scramble for Natural Resources’, and ‘Navigating Water Rights’. At the Cowboy Auction, guests bid on dozens of fantastic prizes donated from members and sponsors. These included a four-day fishing trip, hunting trips, weekend getaways at luxury resorts, custom cowboy hats, and more. The proceeds went towards the LANDU Education Program. This auction became a fan favorite at National Land Conference and still takes place annually at the event.

2012: Colorado ROCKS RLI’s National Land Conference traveled to Denver, CO, for its sixth year. The Centennial State provided the perfect backdrop for inspiration and new connections. The keynote speaker was John F. Register, a Paralympic Silver Medalist and U.S. Army Desert Storm and Desert Shield Veteran. He spoke about overcoming his struggles after having his left leg amputated, as well as his time

Registrants: 169 Partners: 20

2013: Land: The Real Deal Between amazing outings and brandnew sessions, attendees won big at the 2013 National Land Conference held in Las Vegas, NV. Sessions covered current land trends including a speaker on ‘The New Administration’s Impact on the Economy, Current Land Values- are they

sustainable?’ and topics being covered for the first time (like Vineyards & Orchards). The Roundtable Breakfast event’s topics continued to expand. The list now included ‘How to Be a Mediator’, ‘Fracking’, ‘Land Ops in Canada’, and ‘Developing an International Land Practice’. In addition to new topics, RLI debuted the first ever Haves & Wants session. This member-only marketing session connected the Haves (sellers) and the Wants (buyers). This event was and continues to be the largest opportunity in the industry to market and find properties on a national level. Today, the Haves and Wants property marketing session goes by the name Let’s Make Deal$ LIVE! The keynote speaker was Brian Binne, a former US Navy Officer and one of the test pilots for SpaceShipOne, an Experimental Spaceplane developed by Scaled Composites. He inspired the crowd with tales of turning the impossible into reality.



To wind down at the end of the conference, guests enjoyed a Hoover Dam Group Tour.

landowners, 1031 Exchanges that benefit landowners, and international business opportunities.

Registrants: 214 Partners: 21

Attendees left the conference with all the RLI swag they could carry. Every guest got a 2014 National Land Conferencebranded mouse pad, portfolio, flash drive, cup, and business card holder. Registrants: 234 Partners: 25

One of the many speakers at the event was Dr. Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist of National Association of REALTORS®. He spoke about ‘Economic Real Estate Trends and Outlook’, focusing on improving economic signs and an in-depth look at the GDP. The popular Speed Networking event returned with an upgraded format and a new name: Meet, Greet, and Make Money. Participants swapped cards and one-minute pitches in a lightning-fast networking event. Attendees wound down after the conference with a few rounds of golf at the Giddy Up Golf Event. Registrants: 245 Partners: 29

2014: If Land Could Talk In Charleston, SC, land experts were excited to hear from the wide variety of speakers lined up. The list of speakers included Leonard Jordan, Associate Chief of Conservation at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; William Emmons, PhD, Assistant Vice President and Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; and Samuel Boxer, Esq., Partner of the Environmental Practice Group of Sidley Austin LLP. Sessions covered topics from every corner of the land industry. Here are just a few of the topics that were covered in the sessions: energy, hydraulic fracturing, mineral rights, new technology, land conservation opportunities for 58


2015: Unbridled. Unleased. The theme for the 2015 National Land Conference was all about taking your business to the next level (Unbridle) and making deals from unlimited networking (Unleash). Held in Tucson, AZ, there were dozens of sessions brought back by popular demand such as ‘Our Man on the Hill’ political updates from RLI’s Government Affairs Liaison to the National Association of REALTORS®, Russell Riggs and new sessions such as ‘The Increase in Regional Wines and Vineyard Development’.

2016: The Best Stop Here! The 2016 National Land Conference went BIG in Dallas, Texas. The sessions covered topics such as 1031 Exchanges, agricultural law, negotiating oil and gas

leases, surface use agreements, drones, and more. Land use attorney Daniel P. Dalton of Dalton & Tomich, PLC, was one of the guest speakers who held a session on ‘Land Development and Riparian Rights’. For the first time, the conference included events exclusively for ALCs. These included ‘Utilizing Business Plans’, ‘Technology Use For Your Business’, and ‘Building Identity’. This was also the first year that attendees could use an app to engage with the event.

‘How to Market Your ALC And CCIM’, ‘Working With All Generations’, and more. Guests had a blast trying out the NASCAR simulator at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Welcome Reception. This year, the Cowboy Auction raised a record amount of funds for the Land Education Foundation (LEF). NLC17 was the first year the NLC term was coined and the conference finally took on a brand of its own. Each year also started to take on its own hashtag: #NLC17.

The Cowboy Auction continued to bring in incredible donations. In 2016, attendees bid on oil paintings, bourbon, turquoise jewelry, hunting trips, and more. The REALTORS® Land Institute donated two free LANDU courses. The auction raised over $40,000!

RLI added a social media mini-series to keep attendees in-the-know. The first course covered getting started on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, while the second course helped guests create a strategy for success.

At the Hot Topics Breakfast Round Tables, ALCs led discussions on everything from ‘The Activist Client’ led by Terri Jensen, ALC, ‘Transitional Land’ with speaker Jesse “Butch” Armistead, ALC, and ‘Bridging Generations in the Land Industry’ with Luke Worrell, ALC.

To help members voice their opinion, the REALTORS® Land Institute introduced the RLI Town Hall. At this event, attendees could join leadership to talk about the state of RLI, learn about bylaw updates, and ask questions.

After a long weekend of networking and learning, guests let their hair down at the Denim in Dallas Bash. The event featured live music, an open bar, and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Registrants: 231 Partners: 31

NLC17: Expertise. Camaraderie. Prestige. Hosted in Charlotte, NC, land professionals attended breakout sessions such as ‘Art of Negotiation’,

Registrants: 213 Partners: 22

NLC18: Ideas. Inspiration. Innovation. NLC18 opened with a welcome reception at the Valentine, a prohibitionthemed bar in Nashville, TN. Sessions included industry topics such as timberland, social media, the 2018 Farm Bill, title issues, investing in land, hunting land, and so much more. At NLC18, the REALTORS® Land Institute launched the first-ever APEX Awards Program, sponsored by The Land Report. This awards program was designed to recognize the best in the industry and had over 50 applicants totaling over $1B in land transactions. Every National Land Conference hosts amazing speakers, and 2018 was no different. Keynote Speaker Dr. Mark Dotzour, the former Chief Economist of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, talked about the current WINTER 2019


financial landscape and its impacts on the land industry. Keynote Speaker Edsel Charles, the Founder and Chairman of the Board for Market Graphics, discussed his research on national and regional single-family development lots. RLI launched the Land Tech Accelerator Program at the 2018 conference. The winners had the opportunity to showcase their winning new technologies to attendees and also became a Bronze partner for the event. NLC18 had record breaking attendance and partners. Attendance was up 44% over the previous year, and we had a 60% increase in partners. Registrants: 316 Partners: 35



Join us at NLC19 This year’s National Land Conference (NLC19) is poised to be the best one yet as we celebrate our 75th Anniversary. Held in stunning Albuquerque, NM, from March 3-6 at the Tamaya Resort, NLC19 will be an event with valuable sessions and networking events you can’t find anywhere else.

RLI NatIoNaL News BRIef

RLI NATIONAL NEWS BRIEF RLI LEADERSHIP + STAFF ATTEND 2018 REALTOR® CONFERENCE & EXPO RLI Leadership and Staff headed to Boston from November 15 to attend the 2018 REALTORS® Conference & Expo. Throughout the event, staff manned a booth and hosted presentations in the NAR Commercial Marketplace to help create awareness in the industry about our organization and designation.

TOP SOCIAL POSTS The best in the business follow RLI on their social media pages for the latest updates and educational pieces relevant to the industry. Stay at the top of your game by following RLI on social!

Top Instagram Post New! Follow us on Instagram at realtors_land_institute Date Posted: 9/4/2018

On November 1, RLI Members gathered for the annual member meeting hosted at the event where they discussed the latest issues affecting members and the land industry, including an update from our very own NAR Legislative Liaison Russell Riggs. The following evening RLI Members and invited guests attended the 2018 RLI Officer Induction Ceremony at local hot spot Top of The Hub Restaurant & Lounge. Incoming leadership was inducted, including Jeramy Stephens, ALC, as 2018-19 President; Kyle Hansen, ALC, as 2019 PresidentElect; and Renee Harvey, ALC, as 2019 Vice President. CEO Aubrie Kobernus also thanked the outgoing 2018 leadership as well as RLI’s staff at the ceremony for their dedication and hard work in further establishing RLI as The Voice of Land over the past year. Overall, the event in Boston was a great success, thank you to all who were in attendance!

2019 ALC Retreat: Save The Date! RLI is excited to be bringing back the ALC Retreat event! All ALCs are encouraged to join us in Charleston, SC, from July 26-28 for a few value-packed days of educational and networking sessions that will allow attendees to build relationships with fellow ALCs from across the country. ALCs, keep an eye out in your email inbox for more information soon!



Post Title: How To Increase The Equity Value Of Your Recreational Land Post Content: “In my opinion, the cheapest and most effective thing you can do to grow equity and value to your recreational property is purchasing some trail cameras,” says Bob Stalberger, ALC, with @whitetailproperties in his post on the RLI Blog titled “How To Increase The Equity Value Of Your Recreational Land.” Read the full post at rliland.com/blog

RLI NatIoNaL News BRIef

Top Facebook Post

Top Twitter Post

Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/RLILand/

Follow us on Twitter at @rliland

Date Posted: 8/1/2018

Date Posted: 5/14/2018

Post Title: Here’s How America Uses Its Land Post Content: Gathered together, cropland would take up more than a fifth of the 48 contiguous states. Pasture and rangeland would cover most of the Western U.S., and all of the country’s cities and towns would fit neatly in the Northeast.

Post Title: RLI Land Markets Survey Post Content: 21% of all land sold in 2017 was recreational land. See how other land types sold in our 2017 Land Market Survey http://bit.ly/2HTcIiV #landrealestate #land #recreationalland #recland #sellingland #buyland



RLI NatIoNaL News BRIef

Top LinkedIn Post

Top RLI Blog Post

Follow us on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/realtorsland-institute

Date Posted: 12/12/2017

Date Posted: 10/23/2018

Post Title: 13 Important Questions to Ask Before Buying Land Real Estate Post Content: Even if a piece of property seems perfect, there are a lot of questions you should ask before you take out that checkbook. There’s so much you need to know about a property that a seller might not tell you right away.

Post Title: Is Pine Timberland Still a Good Investment? Thoughts on the WSJ Timberland Article Post Content: Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article called “Thousands of Southerners Planted Trees for Retirement. It Didn’t Work”. Jonathan Goode, ALC, gives his take on it.

FOUR MOST EXPENSIVE PROPERTIES ON THE LAND CONNECTIONS The Land Connections is the official member only listing site of the REALTORS® Land Institute. The page has a robust mapping feature which makes searching for properties on-thego easier than ever. With over 14,000 prime property listings from the best in the business land professionals, this is the place to find and post properties. RLI Members are able to post listings to this page at no cost as a member benefit thanks to our partners at Lands of America and LandBrokerWebsites.com To add your properties, please contact RLI at 800-441-5263. Thank you to Lands of America for providing the information for our top properties. Learn more about these properties and others on the Land Connections at www.rliland.com/the-landconnections.



RLI NatIoNaL News BRIef

1. Antone Ranch | $55,000,000 | 36,663 Acres Listing Agent: Bart Miller, ALC | Location: Mitchell, OR

The Antone Ranch, located 100 miles east of Bend, Oregon is a legacy recreational ranch consisting of approximately 36,663+/- deeded acres in a large private block with exceptional water resources, including live water creeks, numerous ďŹ shing lakes, and irrigated lands. With the Spanish Peak as its backdrop, the topography ranges from timbercovered slopes, grassy hillsides, steep canyons, and large irrigated meadows.

3. Durando Yeehaw Ranch | $47,400,000 | 11,995 Acres Listing Agent: Ben Crosby, ALC | Location: Okeechobee, FL

Sprawling over more than eighteen sections of land, this fantastic ranch property is an investment and enjoyment opportunity of the rarest kind. Only minutes from access to the Florida Turnpike, the ranch presents the opportunity for multiple agricultural income pursuits, as well as some of the ďŹ nest hunting in the state. Cattle operations, sod cutting, hunting leases, and multiple deep wells offer the prospective buyer many avenues for revenue. Home to a plethora of endangered species, and situated in the headwaters of the Everglades, this property is also very valuable as a land and wildlife conservation asset. 4. Historic Hunting Property | $42,500,000 | 7,456 Acres Listing Agent: Tom Brickman | Location: Hamilton GA

2. Old Fort | $49,000,000 | 8,300 Acres Listing Agent: Jeff Davis | Location: Old Fort, NC

One of the last and the LARGEST private land holdings in the Southwestern Mountains of North Carolina the ninth most populated state in the United States. Located less than 30 minutes from Asheville, NC, the most cosmopolitan city in the Southeastern United States where they claim altitude affects attitude.

Five-hundred acres+/- of prime commercial, retail, and multifamily development land ideally located on the new twomile corridor known as Route 242 connecting Hwy 54 to Horseshoe Bend Pkwy and the community toll bridge. Unparalleled opportunity and exposure on Route 242, the new gateway to the lake, which is surrounded with signalized intersections. Incentives are available due to property being located in Transportation Development District and Tax Increment Financing District. WINTER 2019


2019 ALC Retreat Charleston, SC | July 26-28

Save The Date

“The better you are at surrounding yourself with people of high potential, the greater your chance for success.” — John C. Maxwell

RLI is excited to bring back the ALC Retreat! All Accredited Land Consultants are invited to join us in Charleston, SC, from July 26-28 for three value-packed days of professional development and networking that will allow attendees to build relationships with fellow ALCs from across the country.

REALTORS® Land Institute 430 N Michigan Avenue | Chicago, IL rliland.com | rli@realtors.org | 800-441-5263


RLI ChapteR News


RLI Alabama Chapter

RLI Carolinas Chapter

The RLI Alabama Chapter had another busy and successful year in 2018. In April, the chapter hosted a one-day continuing education class in Dothan covering two required Risk Management courses. The training was attended by 30 agents and brokers from around the state. The RLI Alabama Chapter also hosted the LANDU Timberland Real Estate course from August 2-3 at the Alabama Nature Center in Millbrook. Over 40 students attended the course!

The RLI Carolinas Chapter is alive and well. Trey Allen, ALC, took over as the 2018-2019 Chapter President from Dustin McClure in their Annual Chapter meeting in Charlotte NC. Lou Jewell, ALC, was honored with the RLI Carolinas Chapter Land REALTOR® of the Year Award. The Chapter will be providing a 4-hour non-LANDU Introduction to Land Brokerage class next year in Charleston, SC, and Asheville, NC.

On October 18, the RLI Alabama Chapter held their annual membership meeting at the Department of Agriculture in Montgomery. After opening remarks from John McMillan, Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture, the Chapter recognized Jonathan Goode, ALC, as the 2018 Land REALTOR® of the Year. Following the presentation, the Chapter finished the meeting by installing its 2019 Officers and Board of Directors, including the 2019 Chapter President Joe Blackburn, ALC, and the Vice President/President-Elect Eric Leisy, ALC. They were sworn in by outgoing President, Calvin Perryman, ALC.

RLI Arkansas Chapter The RLI Arkansas Chapter had a big year in 2018 as they focused on membership growth. The Chapter continues to strive to bring multiple benefits to its membership from excellent education opportunities to networking with the best in this rural land market sector. They look forward to 2019!



RLI Colorado Chapter Congratulations to Kem Winternitz, ALC, Mason and Morse Ranch Company, for being awarded the 2018 Land REALTOR® of the Year Award for the Colorado Chapter at their September meeting in Grand Junction. Unfortunately, the traveling trophy didn’t make it to Grand Junction for the presentation, so Bart Miller, ALC, presented Kem with the trophy after the meeting. The Chapter has the 2019 meeting dates all scheduled, so be sure to check the website for the upcoming events throughout the year in Colorado!

RLI ChapteR News

RLI Illinois Chapter

RLI Minnesota Chapter

The RLI Illinois Chapter has seen an increase in new members, many of whom are just starting their careers in the land industry. Recently, at the Chapter’s annual dinner, 25 members and potential members came together for an evening of sharing, learning, and networking. The Chapter is grateful for the strong leadership and support from RLI and joins all RLI Members in the celebration of 75 years!

The RLI Minnesota Chapter conducted a survey about their annual conference. The survey found that attendees enjoyed the round tables, CE Credit, speakers, and food. In the Chapter’s quarterly conference call, the team discussed the latest trends in local land. They found that premium quality ag land was the type of land that was selling and prices were holding steady to slightly increasing as a result.

RLI Iowa Chapter

RLI Mississippi Chapter

The RLI Iowa Chapter is excited to kick off 2019 under their new leadership team – Travis Smock (President), David Thien, ALC (President-Elect), and Ryan Kay (Vice President). In 2018, they focused on education and offered three ALC classes to their members including Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage taught by Sam Kain, ALC; Tax Deferred: 1031 Exchanges taught by Jim Miller, Esq.; and Transitional Land Real Estate taught by David Farmer. In 2019, the Chapter plans to continue their focus on educational opportunities for their members as well as membership growth and engagement. Their leadership team has decided to waive the RLI Iowa Chapter dues for 2019, so there’s no better time to join their chapter than today!

The RLI Mississippi Chapter had their 2018 Annual REALTORS® Convention in Point Clear, AL, October 9-11. During the Convention, the RLI Mississippi Chapter 2018 Land REALTOR® of the Year Award was presented by John M. Dean, ALC (2003 RLI National Past President) to 2018 Mississippi RLI Chapter President Wesley Webb with Mossy Oak Properties, Tupelo, MS.



RLI ChapteR News

RLI Oklahoma Chapter The RLI Oklahoma Chapter had a very educational and social year in 2018: A duck hunt in January; a few Chapter members held ranch tours in their area; an Introduction to Pasture Management class followed by a drone photography and video presentation; a very informative Mineral Management Opportunities & Revenue Enhancement seminar at the annual membership meeting; a broker open and fishing tournament; and they wrapped up the year with another duck hunt. Wow, that’s a lot! Thanks to all those who helped put these events together. Be sure to check out the Chapter’s website to see what they have lined up for 2019!

RLI Tennessee Chapter The RLI Tennessee Chapter Board of Directors met in Knoxville while attending the TN REALTORS® Fall Convention in Knoxville. They worked on committee formations, memberships, events and future meeting dates for the organization. In attendance were: Geoff Hurdle, ALC, President; Shawn Massey, ALC, Vice President; Thomas Krajewski, ALC, Board of Directors Member; Travis Robeson, ALC, Board of Directors Member; Todd Henon, ALC, Board of Directors Member; and Robert Hicks, RLI Member. In the photo are those that made the late night dinner at Lonesome Dove (ALCs from left to right) Thomas Krajewski of Knoxville, Geoff Hurdle of Lebanon, and Todd Henon of Chattanooga.

RLI Wyoming Chapter The RLI Wyoming Chapter would like to thank Ivan Judd, ALC, for representing the Chapter on a panel at the Wyoming Water Association’s conference in October to discuss state water rights and real estate transactions. The Chapter held the nonLANDU Industrial Hemp – Impacts to Real Estate class in conjunction with the annual membership meeting in Casper.

RLI Pacific Northwest Chapter The Pacific Northwest Chapter recently held the LANDU Agricultural Land Brokerage & Marketing class in Medford, OR, with instructor Kirk Goble, ALC. The course material was presented in such a way that he held everyone’s attention. The attendees commented that the information presented was very good and that when they walked away felt that they had a stronger understanding of agricultural land’s best uses and how to best value and market it this type of property.




EDUCATION UPDATE LANDU Education Program Revamp Progress 2018 was a year of growth, improvement, and change for the RLI LANDU Education Program. As The Voice of Land and the nation’s leading land real estate education program, it is imperative that we continue to strive for greatness through our LANDU Education Program. In conjunction with the RLI Strategic Plan, RLI worked closely with an expert education instructional design consultant to collaborate with instructors and subject matter experts to update and provide consistency to all LANDU program materials. The following courses are updated and are currently available: • Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage • Transitional Land Real Estate Transactions • Real Estate Mapping Techniques and Technologies • Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges Courses Coming Soon: • Subdivision Land Development • Recreational Land Real Estate • Land Real Estate Site Selection • Timberland Real Estate • Land Investment Analysis • Agricultural Land Brokerage and Marketing

The New RLI LMS Learning Management System Continuing the goal of improving the LANDU Program, RLI debuted its new LMS (Learning Management System) in May 2018. The RLI LMS is now the go-to place for all RLI education. This new education platform will help members reenergize their education journey by providing courses that better engage learners with both the course content and fellow participants. In the LMS, participants will be able to track course completion, view course certificates, communicate directly with instructors, and post on discussion forums with other participants.



RLI is also offering a new variety of distant learning education called VILT (Virtual Instructor Led Training) courses. These VILT courses will take the place of the hybrid courses RLI used to offer. VILT courses will include a mix of no-travel, interactive lectures with expert instructors and independent study by the participants. New professional development opportunities will be available throughout 2019. Visit the RLI website to learn more about the exciting growth of the LANDU Education Program

Mapping Your Path to the ALC: Meeting the Education Requirement In 2017, the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation Committee conducted a deep-dive review of the courses that were required to earn the elite ALC Designation. The committee decided that in order to remain the prestigious, top-notch provider for land real estate education we had to improve our ALC Education Requirement. We also wanted to ensure the ALC Education Requirement reflected the direction of our bylaws in covering the five types of land we identify in our bylaws. Those who began their coursework after March 2018 will now follow the new education path towards the ALC. The committee decided the best path would be to divide our courses into three categories: Core, Specialty, and Elective. A breakdown of the courses in each tier as well as what courses are needed to meet the ALC Education Requirements can be found at rliland.com Anyone who began their education path before March 2018 can still follow the former requitements of six courses, with the three required courses being Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage, Land Investment Analysis, and 1031 Tax Deferred Exchanges.


2019 LANDU Ed Week

2019 LANDU Hot Topic Webinars

The dates are set! The 2019 LANDU Education Week will be taking place in Denver, CO, from June 2-11. During these nine days of best-in-class education, participants will have the opportunity to complete all of the courses needed to complete the ALC Education Requirement.

Digging Into The 2018 Land Markets Survey: Top Market Trends

Courses offered: • Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage • Land Investment Analysis • Transitional Land Real Estate • Land Real Estate Site Selection • Recreational Land Real Estate • Timberland Real Estate

View the recording at rliland.com Presenter: Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton, Research Economist, National Association of REALTORS® Research Group Every year, the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Research Group work together to create an unprecedented and comprehensive Land Markets Survey report for land and real estate professionals. This webinar will get into the nuts and bolts of the current trends and the current state of land markets across the US. The Dirt on Land Surveys

The RLI Colorado Chapter and LANDU Week sponsors Mason & Morse and Land Broker Co-Op are excited to welcome LANDU participants to the Mile-High City for a week of professional development.

Member Rate: $59 | Non-member Rate: $89

Registration will open in early April. We look forward to seeing you in Denver this June!

Land surveys can be complex documents and bookend most projects. From start to finish, survey work will have an impact on your project or transaction. This webinar will walk through different kinds of survey requests, as well as how to interpret the information on a typical survey.

Wednesday, April 10, Noon CT Presenter: Jay Wittstock, MSP Surveyor Leader, Westwood PS

More webinars will be added soon. Check back at rliland.com for more information about upcoming educational offerings.



FARMERS NATIONAL COMPANY Serving America’s Landowners for Nearly 90 Years • Completed 800 real estate sales and 285 successful land auctions in 2018 • Completed over 1,400 appraisals last year • Manage over 5,000 farms and ranches in 28 states comprising over 2.0 million acres For all of your agricultural land needs, contact Farmers National Company today!

1-800-346-2650 Omaha, Nebraska Info@FarmersNational.com Serving America’s Landowners Since 1929


Real Estate Sales • Auctions • Farm and Ranch Management • Appraisal • Insurance • Consultation Oil and Gas Management • Forest Resource Management • National Hunting Leases • FNC Ag Stock

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO “Where else can I glean that much knowledge in three days from that caliber of sources? I leave the National Land Conference every year a better land consultant, broker and farm manager. The quality and depth of the education keeps me coming back year after year.” – LUKE WORRELL, ALC, Broker, Worrell Land Services




awards program is designed to recognize the excellence and performance of our RLI Members — the best in the business! Could you be recognized as one of the top land producers in the country?

Reflections: 75th Anniversay Gala Kick off the conference with us at the Reflections: RLI 75th Anniversary Gala Welcome Reception! Enjoy light hors d’oeuvres, a bar to use your drink tickets at, and networking with fellow attendees at The Cottonwoods Pavilion for an upscale event honoring RLI’s story. Dress it up for an evening celebrating RLI’s 75th Anniversary by reflecting on where we came from and what has made our organization such a valuable place for land professionals over the past 75 years. Make sure to attend this historic event as someday it too will be a part of RLI’s history. The welcome reception is a great opportunity to take advantage of networking with current acquaintances as well as to meet new fellow land professionals.

2019 Cowboy Auction: Pony Up! Get ready to pony up! and lasso-in some great items at this year’s Cowboy Auction! This will be your opportunity to take home a piece of NLC19. This fun filled event is brimming with energy, drinks, and laughter. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Land Education Foundation (LEF).

Let’s Make Deal$ LIVE!

RLI APEX Awards Ceremony The second annual RLI APEX Awards Program, sponsored by The Land Report, will be at NLC19! This production-based

Close more deals for your clients! This live ‘Haves & Wants’ session is the largest national opportunity in the industry to market and find the hottest properties with the best in the business. Plus, use this session as an added benefit for your clients for choosing you as their agent since you are able to market their property to over 200 land agents with interested buyers across the country. All conference registrants are invited to attend. WINTER 2019


NLC19 EXPERT SPEAKERS Unprecedented Industry Expertise Gain exclusive knowledge and information from an elite line-up of expert speakers who will share their secrets to success on a wide range of hot industry topics. Be inspired and motivated by success stories from leading land real estate professionals and participate directly in discussions.

Keynote Speakers Dr. Mark G. Dotzour Presentation Topic: Economics + The Land Industry Dr. Mark G. Dotzour is a real estate economist who served for 18 years as Chief Economist of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University in College Station. He has given more than 1,500 presentations to more than 275,000 people and has written over 90 articles for magazines and journals. His research findings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money Magazine and Business Week. After earning his PhD in finance and real estate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1987, Dotzour was a tenured professor of real estate and finance at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas for 10 years. Prior to his academic career, he was President of Gleneagles Development, Inc., which was a residential land development firm in Wichita. Dr. Terry Barr Presentation Topic: Global Challenges for U.S. Agriculture Terry Barr, a nationally recognized economist, is senior director for CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division (KED), an information- and-knowledgesharing initiative created in 2009. KED’s mission is to identify and analyze key industry trends, structural changes, and policy initiatives that have the potential to affect agricultural markets and rural infrastructure.



Previously, Dr. Barr served as chief economist for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives in Washington, DC from 1985 to 2009. Prior to joining NCFC, Terry held several positions during a 14-year tenure at the USDA. He served as chairman of the World Agricultural Outlook Board, which is responsible for coordinating USDA’s commodity forecasts and for publishing its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. He also served in the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture as director of economic analysis.Terry holds a doctorate in economics from Washington State University.

Breakout Session Speakers Steve Apfelbaum Presentation Topic: Turn Your Land Green – Making Money Off the Ecological Value of Land Steven Apfelbaum has conducted ecological research, designed award-winning projects, successfully navigated regulatory programs, and contributed his unique creative scientific expertise and enthusiasm to over 7,000 projects throughout North America and beyond. He is one of the leading ecological consultants in the U.S., providing technical restoration advice and win-win solutions where ecological and land-development conflicts arise. Steven has authored hundreds of technical studies, peer-reviewed technical papers, books, reports, ecological restoration plans, and regulatory monitoring and compliance reports. Steve’s book, Nature’s Second Chance (Beacon Press), won accolades from the New York Times, and was listed as one of the “Top 10 Environmental Books of 2009.” Restoring Ecological Health to Your Land (Island Press), his most recent book (coauthored with Alan Haney and part of a three-volume series), has won praise as the first comprehensive ‘how-to’ restoration books for landowners. Steven promotes using ecological and conservation design principles in developments, industrial projects and parks that help clients save money while increasing ecological functionality, improving public perception and generating award-winning outcomes. Steven is also a much sought after speaker at educational events focusing on ecological restoration, ecosystem assessment, alternative stormwater management and conservation development.

Melissa Clark Presentation Topic: Millenials & Real Estate Melissa is a business graduate from New Mexico Highlands University and is currently employed as the Western Region Business Consultant and Corporate Trainer for United Country Real Estate in Kansas City, Missouri. As a Business Consultant, she specializes in helping office owners develop business and marketing strategies and trains the company affiliates on the latest trends for real estate marketing and technology. She is also employed as a Qualifying Broker for United CountryNorthern New Mexico Real Estate in Chama, New Mexico where she has received many accolades for her success in the real estate industry since 2000 and works actively in that market. Jimmie Dean Coffey Presentation Topic: Millenials & Real Estate An auction and real estate expert since 1983, Jimmie Dean Coffey’s focus is developing a pipeline for new business as the Director of Business Development for United Country Auction Services. Offering a thorough knowledge of the auction process, real estate markets and the services provided by UCAS, Coffey is an expert at building relationships with real estate owners, asset managers, financial institutions and brokers. Managing business contacts and relationships in addition to developing and conducting marketing presentations are also of utmost importance for Coffey; a liaison between UCAS clients and affiliates. Coffey is motivated to connect the most qualified auction professionals with the nation’s largest integrated real estate and auction company.

Kirk Goble, ALC Presentation Topic: Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Kirk Goble is an active land broker in Greeley, CO. Kirk has been a member of RLI for 30 years, holds the ALC Designation and has served on the RLI National Board of Directors. He was the recipient of the RLI 2013 Land Broker Of America Award. Kirk has been an RLI Land University instructor for over 25 years, teaching various courses and workshops. Kirk also serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Agriculture Sciences and Technology for Aims Community College in Greeley, CO. Amber Hurdle Presentation Topic: The Secret to Building Your Personal Brand With all of the fluff advice about building a brand whirling around the Internet, it is easy to get overwhelmed or to even misstep in your marketing. Differentiating yourself from your competition, and building trust with your customers and potential customers, can be wildly frustrating without the right road map. In this interactive session seasoned brand expert, Amber Hurdle, walks you through: how branding fits into the bigger picture of your business, the #1 secret to brand clarity, examples of large brands competing in the same industry (and what you can learn from them), and how to create THE essential statement that will guide not just your marketing, but your business practices for years to come. Through this engaging presentation and complementary worksheet, attendees will leave this session with the vision and confidence to craft their brand promise— eliminating confusion, awkward elevator pitches at networking events, shoddy social media posts, ambiguous website copy and more. Freshly equipped with this secret, participants will boldly attract the right customers: customers participants will enjoy serving and who will gladly pay for the product or service they offer.



Mark Lesswing Presentation Topic: Blockchains: Events, Consumption, and Data as Labor Mark Lesswing is a Blockchain Entrepreneur who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University. He started programming robots just out of college and in 1988 began working with object-oriented programming. Mark has worked for large database vendors such as Sybase (as a startup) and Oracle spending a summer in Europe setting up international operations. In 1992, he launched his own consultancy and was involved in corporate turnarounds. Mark joined the National Association of REALTORS® in 2001 and as the Chief Technology Officer was a tenacious advocate for data standards and innovation. He is a frequent speaker at major trade conferences and is listed in the International Who’s Who of Information Technology and the National Register of Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals. Del Markward, SIOR Presentation Topic: The Industrial Land Development Process Del Markward has owned and operated Markward Group since 1995 as a real estate consulting, advisory, and brokerage firm. He has worked for some of the largest companies in the world, including IBM, CIGNA, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Microsoft, GE, GM, Chrysler, Dun and Bradstreet, amongst many others. Del also founded Caracor, LLC, a real estate development and investment firm. Caracor specializes in land development and permitting, mixed use, industrial, retail and general commercial. Mr. Markward was the 2018 President of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR) and is currently on the Board, Executive Committee, and is Global Treasurer. The SIOR network provides access to the brightest and most successful real estate brokers in the world, and gives access to best practices by clients and brokers in all aspects of corporate real estate.



Kasey Mock Presentation Topic: Camp Fire Chat – Land Pro Idea Exchange Kasey Mock has served as the director of KW Land at Keller Williams Realty International since its inception in 2014, leading the company from startup to a nationally recognized brand for top producers to build their careers. Motivated by growth and innovation, Kasey pairs a vast network of land professionals with KW’s leading technology to build land businesses worth owning, careers worth having and lives with living. Kasey holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Services and Development from Tarleton State University. He has worked with the Texas A&M Extension Service, founded a hunting and outfitting firm, hosts a podcast, and owns Mock Ranches, a premier farm and ranch real estate team in Texas. Kasey is a founding member and owner of the Land Broker CO-OP, a committee member with the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI), a founding member of Texas Real Estate Advocacy and Defense (TREAD) Coalition, founding member of the Driftwood Heritage Conservation Society and serves on the board for Safari Club International in Austin, TX. Kasey lives in Driftwood, TX with his wife, Elizabeth and their two children, Maddox and Caroline. Paul Mussman Presentation Topic: Commodity Price Update and Implications Paul Mussman lives and breathes the Ag commodity markets. Over the last 15 years, Paul has gained a solid understanding of the risk management industry and the importance of hedging for today’s Ag producer. He was raised on a family farm and ranch where he witnessed firsthand the importance of having a plan and setting expectations for a successful season. Paul graduated from Fort Hays State University with an Ag Business degree and also has an extensive military record, serving in the Army for 15 years, including several deployments.

Dr. John Newton Presentation Topic: Reviewing the 2018 Farm Bill – Impacts On Agricultural Land Values Dr. Newton is the Chief Economist for American Farm Bureau Federation, the largest farm organization of independent farmers in the United States. In this role Dr. Newton provides analysis used for the development of and advocacy for Farm Bureau policy. Prior to joining Farm Bureau, Newton worked for the United States Department of Agriculture as an agricultural economist. While serving in this role Dr. Newton was detailed to both the Senate Agriculture Committee and the USDA Office of the Chief Economist to provide policy analysis on the 2014 farm bill. Following his service to USDA and the Congressional Committee, Dr. Newton was an award-winning faculty member at the University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign working in agricultural commodity markets, risk management and farm policy. Dr. Newton also serves on the board of directors for the Council on Food and Resource Economics, and in 2016 was appointed to USDA’s agricultural trade advisory committee and advisory committee on agricultural statistics. In 2018, Dr. Newton was appointed to the advisory council of American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Inc.

Russell Riggs, NAR Presentation Topic: DC Update from The Hill Russell W. Riggs is the Government Affairs Liaison for NAR’s Resort Committee and the Senior Regulatory Representative for NAR. For over 15 years, Russell has engaged Congress and federal regulatory agencies, such as the EPA and FEMA, on issues impacting the resort real estate community, as well as issues related to property rights, the environment, natural resources, energy, land use and insurance. Prior to his position at NAR, Russell held positions with the Department of Energy, the Council of State Governments, the National Governors Association and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Russell has a Bachelors degree in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Masters in Public Policy from Tufts University, and a Masters in Public Administration from New York University.