Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2011
Publication Date: 3/1/2011
Citation: Kitchen, N.R. 2011. Growing the science of agronomy by growing the profession: a Message from the President of the American Society of Agronomy. In: Proceedings of Indo-US Workshop on Precision Agriculture, February 28-March 3, 2011, Ludhiana, India. p. 15-16.
Technical Abstract: We often refer to the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) as being both a scientific and professional society. Membership within the organization includes a wide range of people from diverse regions and cultures of the world working with complex and diverse cropping systems. Yet members are unified by their passion to work together to develop the science, create better solutions, and effectively communicate agronomic knowledge. But just as science grows with new discovery, so should the profession. Thus the organization of a society that is concerned with both scientific and professional needs of its members should not remain stagnant. During its strategic planning in 2006, the ASA Board of Directors took a careful look and realized that the science of agronomy was being held back by an out-dated society organizational structure. It was struggling to keep up with members’ needs. It was obvious a change was needed. Over the past three years, actions have been taken to restructure ASA. Then in the summer of 2010, members voted and with over 90% in support, the change of organizational structure was approved. The new ASA organization officially started January 1, 2011. In just 3 months, 35 Communities have been formed within the broad identified Sections. The new structure gives new language to describing ASA and the science it represents. In addition to ASA organization restructuring, a second major effort has been undertaken to grow the impact of agronomic science. This is accomplished by enhancing professional services to those who work on a day-by-day basis with farmers and land managers with the International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) program. This program consists of over 13,000 practicing agronomic professionals throughout the world. While members of this certification program are currently concentrated in North America, ICCA programs are quickly emerging in other areas of the world. Most notably, India launched a program with ICCA in 2010.