Certified Crop Adviser Program
The Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Program of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) began in the United States in 1992 which quickly expanded to the 50 states. The certification program improved the knowledge base and abilities of those who provide agronomic advice and inputs to farmers. CCA certification is a voluntary process, whereby ASA recognizes individuals who meet its standards in regard to exams, education, experience and ethics. To remain certified, participation in a life-long learning process is required. Wherever the Program has been established, farmers or employers can rely on CCA certification as a quality control measure that identifies appropriate agronomy advisers.
There are now 11 600 CCAs in the US while in Canada, which established the Program in 1997, has 1 200 CCAs. The CCA Program expanded to South Asia in 2009 with India as the first country to establish the program resulting in the certification of 78 CCAs. Development of India’s CCA Program is part of the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) is the India-based administrator, through a licensing agreement with ASA. In the future, the Program will be extended to Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
In Latin America, Argentina established the Program in 2010 by setting up a certification board and exam committee. Performance objectives and exam questions are under development and the first exam is targetted in March and another in August 2012. Likewise, Mexico is organizing a CCA certification board and exam committee. They will develop performance objectives and exam questions, with the goal of offering an exam for the first time in August of 2012. Brazil has not yet established the CCA Program but consider establishing the Certified Professional Soil Scientist Program of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), a companion organization of ASA.
Although participating countries will each have a stand-alone program financially, they will use the same standards for the certification process and will be interconnected through the International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) Program. Each country’s program will have performance objectives specific to agriculture in its region. Performance objectives determine the content of exams in particular, and of the program in general. They are developed by in-country technical experts in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop management, who review international performance objectives to decide what applies or needs to be changed with reference to agriculture in the region. This approach has greatly reduced start-up costs in these countries. The ICCA Program is supporting new CCA Programs until they become self-sustaining.
Learn more about the CCA Program