CCA Program Frequently Asked Questions

Certification is a standard of excellence used in many professions, including law, accounting, and engineering. With the Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program, you can demonstrate your valuable agronomic expertise to the farmers you advise.
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. For example, consider 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?
The CCA program is coordinated by the American Registry of Certified Professionals in Agronomy, Crops, and Soils (ARCPACS) - a membership service of the American Society of Agronomy. Certification of CCA credentials and development of CCA state exam questions are handled by state 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 production experience and a B.S. degree in agronomy OR fours years of post high school experience. An applicant must also pass a CCA state and national exam plus sign a code of ethics.
Why is a state board necessary?
The CCA State Boards are needed to provide direct linkages between the registrants and state agencies which will have oversight of agricultural environmental compliance.
What will the national CCA exam cover?
Four areas are covered in the 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 exam?
Materials to review the agronomic information covered in the exam are available from many excellent sources, including your local Extension Service, colleges and universities offering agronomy courses and the Potash and Phosphate Institute (PPI). In addition, many ag supply companies offer company-sponsored training programs.