In 2013, a record number of aspiring and current agronomy professionals made a commitment to agronomy by taking their first step toward becoming a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA). More than 2,200 individuals took the Local-Board, International, or both exams.

The CCA program is growing because the agricultural and resource-conservation industries demand it. Through the CCA program, the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) has been providing a uniform set of standards by which to measure agronomy professionals for over 20 years. The continually changing landscape of agriculture and environmental regulation has led to an increased reliance on the rigorous program benchmarks, by government agencies and industry employers. Organizations find value in the program through the hiring process, reduced risk, and a multitude of benefits associated with having a more well-rounded and prepared employee.

Employers want to ensure that their employees are providing customers with the most profitable and environmentally-conscious options for their land-usage planning. The program provides that a certified professional has demonstrated the commitment, education, expertise, and experience to make a difference. The adherence to the four main knowledge categories-Nutrient Management, Soil & Water Management, Crop Management, and Integrated Pest Management-has not changed, but the content has to coincide with the advancement of agronomy.  These International Performance Objectives are updated annually to provide a knowledge-base evaluation that aligns with current research, technological advances, and real-world application principles.

Any individual whose education, experience, and career path is associated with the practice of agronomy should take the CCA exams. This includes college students, agronomists, salespeople, consultants, educators, and conservation personnel. Join fellow agronomy professionals by starting the process to become certified and register for the February 7th, 2014 Certified Crop Adviser exams. Registration opens Oct. 7, 2013, and closes Dec. 6, 2013. Go to http://www.certifiedcropadviser.org/examsto learn more about examination details and locations.