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Background

Sustainability Specialty (SSp)

Next CCA Exam Date:  February 2, 2018
Registration period October 2 - December 8, 2017


Sustainability - Meeting the needs of the present while improving the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Field to Market)

  • Follow three global (UN) principles
    • Environmental
    • Social
    • Economic (profitability)

The purpose of implementing a Sustainability Specialty is to utilize CCAs to help farmers/producers to become better acquainted with and adopt/enhance/implement sustainability concepts, stewardship, and best management practices within their operations. CCAs are the single best influencers to work with local producers and help them adopt more sustainable crop production practices that will satisfy the future demands of the food industry and address demands from consumers for safe food, while protecting the environment and preserving natural resources.

Sustainability can sometimes be a misunderstood word as many people and organizations use it to describe different versions of agricultural production practices.  Food companies and retail businesses are working towards becoming more sustainable and reinforcing it with publicly stated goals.  These companies have realized that in order for them to achieve their sustainability goals the crop based resources and commodities they purchase also have to use sustainable production practices.  They identified CCAs as the logical partner to help reach their objectives in working with the farmers on their agronomic production practices.

The ICCA Program partnered with and received funding from the United Soybean Board (USB) to develop the CCA – Sustainability Specialty Certification.  A cross section of the agricultural community with sustainability experiences and interests came together to develop the performance standards that are available here.  This specialty is in direct response to the demand by consumers on food companies and retail businesses to implement more sustainable production practices and to ensure to the consumer that the food they purchase is produced sustainably.

This is a great opportunity for CCAs who want to focus their work on sustainable agronomic production practices and help their farmer clients implement those practices.  The specialty centers on advanced knowledge and skills beyond the ICCA performance standards.  The specialty will help build awareness and provide recognition for those CCAs with the knowledge and skills.  An individual must be a CCA before they can register for the sustainability exam.  This exam will not be offered in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan at this time.  Once the exam is passed, an annual maintenance fee will be charged in addition to your CCA renewal and a CCA with the specialty will need to earn 5.0 CEUs in Sustainability.  The new CEU category will be added to records, but the total of 40.0 CEUs every two-years will not change.  Please contact your local board contact if you have any questions.

  • Sustainability Exam Registration
  • Sustainability Performance Objectives
  • Preparatory Course: Launching Sustainability Webinar Series

    The United Soybean Board (USB) supported the development of this American Society of Agronomy webinar series and the Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Sustainability Specialty certification (SSp).

    Now is the time for the rubber to meet the road. This series addresses the three new competency areas and twelve proficiency areas to inform and equip those Certified Crop Advisers interested in the new upcoming CCA Sustainability Specialty.