The Certified Crop Adviser Program is a certification program of the American Society of Agronomy. In North America, there are more than 14,000 Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) providing information to farmers on agronomic practices. These certified advisers have met standards set by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) including examination, education and experience. You will find CCAs working in public, private and commercial positions as field sales or agronomists, natural resource conservation, extension, consulting and farm management firms.
Certification is the criteria developed by a profession to confirm that an individual meets the minimum qualifications to practice the profession. It is a standard of excellence used in many professions, including law, accounting and engineering. With the CCA program, you can demonstrate your valuable agronomic expertise to the farmers you advise.
Following are some of the most commonly asked questions about the CCA program:
What is the Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program?
CCA is designed to establish base standards of knowledge for individuals who advise growers on crop management and production inputs. It’s a way for our industry to demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to help growers produce economical and environmentally sound crops.
Is certification mandatory?
The CCA program is a voluntary effort to establish base standards of knowledge, skills and abilities for crop advising. Participating in the CCA program is a positive step for both you and your industry.
What are the benefits of certification?
Many professions use certification to promote a high degree of professionalism and instill public trust. Take, for example, accounting. Think how much more comfortable you feel working with an accountant who is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). That’s the expectation your customers will have of a Certified Crop Adviser, as well.
Who is behind this program?
CCA is one of the certification programs of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA). It is being coordinated by the Federation of Certifying Boards in Agriculture, Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences (ARCPACS)–which is a membership service of the ASSA. Certification of the CCA credentials and development of CCA exam questions are being handled by state/regional/provincial (local) boards composed of representatives from agribusiness, agricultural consulting, universities and government agencies.
What are the requirements for certification?
First, you must have two years of crop advising experience and a BS degree in agronomy OR four years of post high school experience. An applicant must also pass a CCA local and international exam plus sign a code of ethics.
Why is a local board necessary?
The CCA local boards are needed to provide direct linkage between the registrants and state agencies which have oversight of agricultural environmental compliance.
What will the international and local CCA exams cover?
Four areas are covered in each exam:
- soils and soil fertility;
- soil and water management;
- plant growth and development;
- pest management (weeds, insects and diseases).
How can I prepare for the exams?
Obtain the International CCA Performance Objectives from firstname.lastname@example.org and the Northwest Regional CCA Board Performance Objectives from: email@example.com
Materials to review the agronomic information covered in the exams are available from many excellent sources, including your local Extension Service, and colleges and universities offering agronomy courses. Study materials for the Northwest Regional CCA exam can be obtained from the Far West Agribusiness website at: https://www.fwaa.org
When will the exam be offered?
Exams sites and dates can also be located on the Far West Agribusiness website at: https://www.fwaa.org
I am currently a CCA, but I did not reach my required CEU’s by the stated deadline. What can I do?
“A CCA who does not earn the required amount of CEUs by the stated deadline may write a letter of appeal to their local CCA board explaining any extenuating circumstances that prevented them from earning the CEUs. Extenuating circumstances include: loss of job, health condition, maternity leave, active military service, changes of locale and position. The CCA needs to file the appeal (within the appropriate timeframe) in writing to the ICCA office, which will forward the written appeal to the local board.”
The local CCA board can do one of the following upon review of the appeal letter:
- Waive the deficient CEUs and allow the CCA to continue to their next CEU cycle;
- Add the deficient CEUs to the CCA’s next CEU cycle; or
- Deny the appeal and uphold the termination of the CCA’s certification.
If you have additional questions regarding this policy, please contact Lacey Edwardson at the American Society of Agronomy – (608) 268-4953 or firstname.lastname@example.org