AgCareerSpotter, a recruiting Web site, has recently added online search features that highlight Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) and allow employers to quickly find CCAs.

"When an employer is in need of a highly qualified agronomy professional, they look for the CCA designation, and the new features on AgCareerSpotter make that easy to do," said Luther Smith, director of certification for the American Society of Agronomy.

CCA's have met exam, experience, education and ethics requirements to become certified. The credential indicates the individual is qualified and lowers the risk exposure for a client or employer when hiring a CCA.

AgCareerSpotter's new features make CCAs easy to find. Employers can search for the name or simply look for the CCA logo.

The CCA Program is one of the professional certification programs offered by the American Society of Agronomy. This voluntary program requires those who choose to pursue certification to reach a base level of standards through testing. Those standards are then raised through continuing education. The program is administered locally by 37 state/regional/provincial boards called "Local Boards" throughout the United States and Canada.

In order to become certified, each CCA has to submit two references and credentials detailing his or her education and crop advising experience. They must also pass two exams (international and local). The exams cover four major competency areas: nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop management. Once certification is achieved, CCAs are required to get a set number of CCA Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in order to keep the title of CCA. Continuing education must fall into one of the four major competency areas to be valid for CEUs. As part of their commitment as a CCA, applicants sign and adhere to a code of ethics.