Agriculture News

August 31, 2017

Agronomy certificate program distinguishes agribusiness professionals

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s Agronomy e-Learning Academy is awarding Crop Professional Certificates to its first group of agricultural professionals who completed all three courses as part of its curriculum: agronomy essentials, precision agriculture and nutrient management.    

“The academy and its certificate program was developed for agricultural professionals seeking to grow their technical expertise,” said Bruce Erickson, director of the program. “We met with a dozen or more agribusiness leaders in 2014 who helped us define not only the topics needed, but the delivery methods.”

Now, three years later, the Agronomy e-Learning Academy has served more than 800 online students from 41 U.S. states, 26 countries and 90 companies. 

Students attending the program reported a very positive experience. According to surveys, 99 percent of respondents said the program improved their understanding of the subject, and 97 percent indicated they would recommend the course to a colleague. Also, each of the agronomy essentials and precision agriculture courses received Purdue’s highest award for online education, The Digital Education Excellence in Teaching Award.

Students include sales and marketing professionals who want to increase their knowledge of crop production and technology, local retailers wanting a refresher, crop producers and others working in agriculture.

“Working professionals need educational opportunities that they can fit into their work and family schedules,” Erickson said. “The online format of all three courses offers a way to learn that provides a structured learning environment but also the needed flexibility.”

Each of the courses contains approximately 100 high-definition video lessons accompanied by online reading, glossaries, graphics, downloadable slides and links to additional information sources. Students are held accountable to demonstrate their knowledge and must pass a test at the end of each module to progress in the course.

Besides earning course certificates, participants who are certified crop advisers receive continuing education units.

The next session of all three courses runs from Sept. 20 to Dec. 13. More information, course preview videos and links to registration are available on the Purdue Department of Agronomy e-Learning webpage at

For more information, contact project manager Janine Black at or instructor Bruce Erickson at

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Shari Finnell, Manager/Media Relations and Public Information,  
Agriculture News Page

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