Walt Sandbeck, AGGRAND’s fertilizer specialist, was recently certified as a Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) by the American Society of Agronomy, and it couldn’t have happened to a better guy. Having known Walt for quite a number of years, he has always been a true professional. On quite a number of occassions he has assisted me with questions I may have had about the products or application of them.
In order to obtain this certification, Walt passed an International CCA exam as well as the CCA exam for the State of Wisconsin. In addition, the ASA considered his nearly 10 years working as a crop advisor at AGGRAND and the additional documentation that he provided to show his professional competence.
“Walt brings a high degree of knowledge and professionalism to AGGRAND,” said Chris Orr, AGGRAND business manager. “He is the front line of our Technical Assistance department and does a fantastic job supporting our customers with all of their growing needs.”
Being a Certified Crop Advisor, Sandbeck is required to uphold the CCA Code of Ethics. Specifically, this means that his focus should always be on the profitability of those he’s working with while endeavoring to optimize and protect critical natural resources in accordance with the code.
“Getting the CCA means I can start a directed study program,” Sandbeck said. “I had to pass both the International and Wisconsin CCA exams in the same calendar year to be qualified to submit my application initially.”
Certification Calls for Continuing Education
The certification brings with it a requirement for ongoing education. “Now, I must accumulate 40 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) every two years, by attending/reading qualifying webinars, seminars, and magazine articles. The subjects covered will include nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop management. Each of these disciplines dovetails on some level with my job as fertilizer specialist at AGGRAND.”
For the most part, research scientists at land-grant universities will provide much of the cutting-edge training for Walt’s continuing education.
“More than 13 years of AGGRAND experience, coupled with Walt’s landscaping and gardening background and hard work passing the CCA exam, make it a natural fit for him to be a Certified Crop Advisor,” said AGGRAND’s R & D manager, Richard Holappa. “This milestone will be a
definite asset to the AGGRAND business.”
As a long-time dealer with the company, I am very happy for Walt, and I’m certain that this new certification will prove to be a significant benefit to dealers and customers receiving assistance from Walt in the future.
More information about the CCA program and a CCA directory is available at www.certifiedcropadvisor.org.