A Certified Professional Agronomist (CPAg) is a qualified agronomy expert who has met the standards – exams, education, experience, and ethics - set by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA). The CPAg certification adds credibility through an independent certification process. In return, those holding the CPAg certification gain opportunities in employment and advancement, recognition with government agencies, and validation that one is qualified to practice – valuable when presenting credentials to current and future clients.
Any agronomist who advises growers on agronomic practices, conducts educational programs and /or does research in agronomy, manages other agronomists, or provides technical support to field agronomists and can meet the standards of the program should be certified.
Certification as a CPAg is based on being a CCA in good standing, a minimum of a B.S. degree in Agronomy, five years of experience (post degree) and five references. All applicants are reviewed by the Local Certifying Board which is appointed by the President of ASA.
A quick way to determine if you are eligible for certification is to turn to the Summary of Core Requirements form. To qualify as a CPAg you must have a B.S. degree which includes a minimum of 6 to 9 hours in each of the professional core categories; crop management, pest management/crop protection, and soil science. An applicant must also have 6 to 9 additional semester hours that relate to the three professional core areas. To become certified, applicants must have a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work in agronomic related courses.
The Local Certifying Board is concerned with whether an applicant can demonstrate they have successfully completed undergraduate (or graduate) course work in the professional core categories. If you meet these core course minimums, have a B.S. degree, and have five years of agronomic related work experience, we encourage you to apply for certification by completing the forms and submitting the required fee.
A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 is required in the total professional core course requirement. This does not include the supporting core courses.
If you do not meet the core course minimums or have questions, please call the certification representative for your state/province/region.
All successful certification programs have one common element and that is to serve and protect the public’s interest. Many professions require a license to practice such as in medicine, engineering, and accounting. A license is basically a certification program offered by the state. If a profession is licensed, it is generally required that a person have a license to practice in that profession.
Certification programs offered by ASA are voluntary, but offer similar benefits to the public as licensing programs. Certification programs set standards for knowledge, skills, and conduct. These standards define the profession of agronomy which gives farmers, employers, and government agencies a tool to help them choose professionals with the necessary skills to meet their needs.
1. Be a CCA in good standing and hold a minimum of a BS degree.
2. Have at least 5 years experience with at least a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agronomy or closely allied field, 3 with an MS Degree or 1 year with a Ph.D.
3. Document education and experience with transcripts and supporting references. (View Credential Forms)
University degrees and transcripts must be in English and based on the United States educational standard. If you need assistance in the translation process, you may use one of the following services:
4. Sign and agree to uphold the Agronomy Code of Ethics
5. Once Certified: Earn 50 hours of continuing education (CEUs) every two-years and pay an annual renewal fee.
More information on the Memorandums of Understanding (MOU):