There is a new certification focused on sustainable agricultural practices developed by the United Soybean Board (USB), American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and the International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA). The certification will ensure best management practices are used by the industry.
“The majority of U.S. soybean farmers are using sustainable practices, but we want to continue to improve our operations,” said Bill Beam, USB farmer-leader and soybean farmer from Elverson, PA. “Programs such as this will help to create credible resources for farmers who are looking to implement more of these practices on their farms.”
Many farmers are turning to professionals to advise them about how to more sustainably manage their land. Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) and Certified Professional Agronomists (CPAgs) are trained in the field of agronomy. To become certified, CCAs and CPAgs have undergone rigorous training and testing, and must continue with professional development to keep their certification. Additional training will be required for the new Sustainability Specialization Certification.
“CCAs are the single best influencers to work with local producers,” said Luther Smith, Director of Certification. “They can help growers adopt more sustainable crop production practices that will satisfy the future demands of the food industry and consumer.”
There are currently 13,000 CCA/CPAgs certified by the American Society of Agronomy/International Certified Crop Adviser program.
The program will define sustainable crop production, best CCA practices, and develop standards for CCA certification in sustainability. USB is providing financial support to ASA and the ICCA Program as well as recommendations for content expertise. ASA and ICCA will manage the project and provide technical support through their staff and members.