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The CCA program was created specially for professionals who advise growers on agronomic practices and meet the standards of the program. There are 4 steps to certification.

  • Pass the comprehensive international and state exams
  • Acquire at least 2 years experience with at least a Bachelor of Science Degree in agriculture or 4 years with no degree
    • Note: Experience can be gained after exams have been passed.
    • Note: Farming may count up to 1 year of the total work experience requirements.
  • Document education and crop advising experience with transcripts and supporting references
  • Sign and agree to uphold the CCA Code of Ethics

Once certified, individuals must earn 40 hours of continuing education units (CEUs) every two years and pay an annual maintenance fee.

CCAs are recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) as eligible to register as Technical Service Providers (TSPs). They provide assistance to farmers in protecting resources through conservation planning in soil and water and nutrient, crop and pest management. CCAs are also recognized as Agricultural Experts by the USDA Risk Management Agency, which administers Federal crop insurance programs. The Pennsylvania Park-the-Plow project requires farmers to work with CCAs in establishing their no-till programs.

The certification program provides CCAs with the credentials and professionalism important for maintaining respect on the farm, with industry, and with the agricultural agencies supporting crop production and protecting natural resources. Everyone serving or planning to serve the crop production industry should become certified.