Tops in crops

Kevin Moore exemplifies CCA program’s emphasis on knowledge, commitment to growers

Kevin Moore, left, receives recognition for being Missouri’s top Certified Crop Adviser at the 2018 University of Missouri Crops Conference in Columbia, Mo. Presenting the award is MFA senior agronomist Jason Worthington. Moore is one of 75 CCAs employed by MFA. There are 296 CCAs in Missouri.MFA Crop-Trak area sales manager Kevin Moore was named the 2018 Missouri Certified Crop Adviser of the Year Dec. 18 during the University of Missouri Crops Conference in Columbia, Mo.

The award is designed to recognize a crop advisor who delivers exceptional customer service, is highly innovative, has shown leadership, and has contributed substantially to the exchange of ideas and the transfer of agronomic knowledge within Missouri’s agricultural industry.

“I’d say there is a formula to being a top-notch CCA,” said Jason Worthington, MFA senior agronomist and Moore’s supervisor. “It takes a deep knowledge of agronomy, a keen eye, genuine curiosity and a high level of commitment to the growers you are helping. You also need to put in the hours—and to sweat. Someone like Kevin walks miles and miles in Missouri’s summer heat to get the job done.”

The Certified Crop Adviser program is coordinated through the American Society of Agronomy. To become certified, a candidate must have two years of crop production experience and a bachelor’s degree in agronomy or at least four years of post-high school experience, pass a CCA state and international exam as well as sign a code of ethics. CCAs must earn continuing education credits to remain certified.
Missouri has 296 certified crop advisers. MFA employs 75 of them.

“Kevin is a great example of the value of the Certified Crop Adviser program,” Worthington said. “To get certified, there is an expectation for the level of agronomic expertise you must have. There is a requirement for real-world experience and a real commitment to the customer. There is an expectation that you continue to learn throughout your career and stay involved with the changes the industry undergoes. I think it’s an important program for agriculture and valuable to growers.”
Moore made news in Today’s Farmer and around the state in 2016 when he discovered populations of extended-diapause rootworm in northwest Missouri and southwest Iowa. It was the first confirmed case of the pest in Missouri. Its discovery has helped corn growers better understand the agronomic and economic threat posed by the pest and to adjust management practices accordingly.

Interestingly, this wasn’t Moore’s first rootworm discovery. In 2013 when he was a crop consultant in Illinois, Moore was first to discover Bt-resistant soybean-variant western corn rootworm. Again, it was relevant information for growers in the area to understand and consider in management decisions.

Jeff Leonard, who administers the Certified Crop Adviser program for the Missouri Agribusiness Association, said he is impressed every year when the top CCA is announced.

“It reminds me that we are providing a valuable service,” he said. “Kevin Moore, a 14-year crop consulting veteran, exemplifies why this program exists. When he started in the business, we didn’t have extended-diapause corn rootworm in Missouri. But things change. He identified that change and passed that information on to the industry. The goal with certification requirements for knowledge and continuing education are meant to drive our business toward excellence. Clearly, Kevin is leading the way.”

CLICK TO READ more stories from the Feb. 2019 Today’s Farmer Magazine.

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