CROP ADVISERS often are the unsung heroes of agriculture, be it in Florida, across the nation, or around the world. In the Sunshine State, the Florida Farm Bureau works to give credit where credit is due for quality agricultural results by singing the praises of one top crop adviser annually.
Among the highlights of the Florida Farm Bureau’s annual meetings is the awards program, and among the prizes is the Certified Crop Adviser of the Year Award, or the Excellence in Crop Advising Award. The award is sponsored by the Florida Certified Crop Advisers Board and the Florida Farm Bureau Federation.
Several certified crop advisers are among the members of the Florida Fertilizer & Agricultural Association, or they’re working for FFAA-member companies. One of them just might be the winner of 2018 Certified Crop Adviser of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the 2018 Florida Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, set for Oct. 24-26 at the World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort in St. Augustine. The award application deadline is Oct. 1, and details can be found here.
What is a certified crop adviser (CCA)? A CCA is a practicing agronomy professional who spends the majority of his or her time advising growers or farm managers/operators on agronomic practices. These practices can encompass field and crop management, soil bed management, seeding and fertility management, and post-harvest and storage management. CCAs are experts in identifying and recommending solutions for diseases, pests, and weeds, and they also have expertise in efficient agricultural water usage, irrigation systems, and flooding controls and response. Abiding by a strict code of ethics, CCAs often are hired by busy farmers and agricultural managers who don’t have time to keep up with all the advances in crop technology and agricultural best practices.
According to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, (UF/IFAS) approximately 175 certified crop advisers (CCAs) are working in Florida. They include private consultants, technical representatives, sales people, producers, and extension agents. According to UF/IFAS, CCAs have “the common goal of advising and educating Florida’s agricultural and horticultural producers about production practices that both maintain profitability and protect the environment.”
Working in conjunction with the Florida Certified Crop Adviser Educational Program, personnel with UF/IFAS are instrumental in getting CCAs educated and keeping them certified. Learn more with an online visit here.
The most recent Certified Crop Adviser of the Year Award winners are Rob Millings (Columbia County), for 2017; Frank Dowdle (Palm Beach County), for 2016; and Ryan Atwood (Lake County), for 2015.