The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) has created a new opportunity for their Golden Opportunity Scholars who intend on entering the workforce after graduation and have an interest in the Certified Crop Advisor certification. Called the “Greenfield Scholars” program, it is co-sponsored by the International Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program.

The Golden Opportunity Scholars Institute is a program of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America that matches undergraduates with scientist-mentors during the ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Annual Meetings. The program encourages talented students to study agronomy, crop and soil sciences while cultivating networks to develop the necessary workforce to sustain the profession.

“The Greenfield Scholars program encourages students who are going into professional agronomy practices after college,” says Sharon Clay, a professor at South Dakota State University and former president of ASA. “We provide undergraduate students with mentors from the CCA program to increase the student’s knowledge of what is required by CCA and what their customers will be looking for.”

A recent report published by The STEM Food & Ag Council (http://stemconnector.org/stem-food-ag-council-0), found that the demand for young professionals in agriculture careers is greater than the number of students graduating from programs. The report recommends that industry and education work closely together to close this gap.

The Greenfield Scholars program will help close the gap, too. Besides a financial stipend, Greenfield Scholars also receive mentoring support from professional Certified Crop Advisers.

Katrina Sudbeck, a student at Kansas State, is choosing a career in agronomy “because there is such a wide array of opportunities just waiting for me upon graduation. I could be in anything from sales and consulting to research to international affairs.”

“Being a Greenfield Scholar has given me an opportunity to pair up with a mentor who is already out in the ag industry and interested in seeing me succeed,” says Sudbeck. “The program allows you to explore different careers that agronomy has to offer and provides you a mentor to help guide you down the right path.”

For more information about ASA and its Greenfield Scholars program, see this related story: https://www.agronomy.org/publications/csa/pdfs/59/4/4. For more information about the Certified Crop Adviser program, visit https://www.certifiedcropadviser.org/