Providing Continuing Education for Certified Crop Advisors
This article was originally published on July 23, 2012 and expired on July 30, 2012. It is provided here for archival purposes and may contain dated information.
Central Illinois growers rely upon an army of skilled crop advisors to help them make sound production decisions. University of Illinois Extension helps assure that this "agronomic army" is in "fighting condition" by providing agronomists with Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education. Crop advisors must pass a state and federal exam to become Certified Crop Advisors and can only maintain their status by attending 40 hours of continuing education every two years. U of I Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit complements statewide programming with local CCA programming and web-based CCA resources.
Local CCA programming, under the direction of Sustainable Agriculture Educator Matt Montgomery, consists of co-sponsored programs, scout schools, and winter teleconferences. Working with industry and local community colleges, our unit provides meetings that explore issues associated with nutrient management, crop management, soil and water management, and integrated pest management. Each summer, the local office also participates in a series of crop scouting schools sponsored by the neighboring Logan-Menard-Sangamon Unit. These crop scouting sessions discuss emerging crop production issues and troublesome pests both in the classroom and in the field. Winter teleconferences provide another CCA educational opportunity. They typically address issues associated with nutrient management and soil and water management. These sessions feature face-to-face and remote presenters. These local activities complement statewide programming, such as the Ag Masters Conference, U of I Corn and Soybean Classics, and U of I Crop Management Conferences.
Web-based CCA resources have also been developed locally and are incorporated into a statewide online CCA series developed by Duane Friend, Environmental and Energy Stewardship Educator, in the Calhoun-Cass-Green-Morgan-Scott Unit. These fee-based courses provides continuing education credits for crop advisors who prefer web-based learning or who find it hard to fit meetings into a busy schedule (see http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state/commag.html). Courses in this series developed by Matt Montgomery include one on crop scouting (http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cca/?8rules) and another on the nitrogen cycle (http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cca/?nitrogen).
For more information about the Agriculture and Natural Resource programs in the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit, please contact Matt Montgomery, Extension Educator, Sustainable Agriculture, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 309-547-3711.
Source: Matt Montgomery, Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms, email@example.com
Pull date: July 30, 2012