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Former Agronomy Faculty Honored with Indiana CCA Legacy Award

In 2021, under the leadership of Quentin Rund and Brian Mitchem, the Indiana CCA Board initiated discussion to recognize and honor key members that have been instrumental in the success of the CCA program in Indiana. Indiana is widely recognized as having one of most active and sound CCA organizations in North America.

The honorees express the core values of agronomic excellence, leadership, continuing education, integrity, commitment and hard work. All honorees have been dedicated in the mission and foundational values of the CCA program. Each individual recognized has been a tireless advocate of the value of being a CCA.

The Indiana CCA Legacy Award Class of 2023 included two former faculty from the Department of Agronomy - Dr. James Vorst and Dr. Tony Vyn.

Jim Vorst

Jim Vorst

Dr. James Vorst was one of the founding fathers of the International Certified Crop Adviser program, and also worked closely with the Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois programs. He was a part of the first discussions in 1991 about developing a certification category for agricultural practitioners that did not require a college degree. Soon thereafter the American Society of Agronomy voted to establish CCA, and he led development of the learning objectives, protocols, and the first exams offered in 1993. His CCA work continued past his retirement in 2010.

Vorst’s combination of agricultural knowledge and education principles helped to assure the program had solid foundations. From the start, he organized teams of subject matter experts as well as practitioners in the field to ensure the program met the needs of the end users. He engaged with testing organizations such as SAT and ACT to ensure the outcomes were measurable and the tests valid, and used reading specialists to keep materials at the appropriate level for the audience. He asserted the emphasis should be on learning, not just passing a test. CCA is now the largest, most recognized agriculturally-oriented certification program in North America, with nearly 13,000 members.

Vorst grew up on a farm in Putnam County, Ohio. He received his B.S. in Ag Engineering and M.S. in Agronomy/Turf from Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. Dr. Vorst was on the Purdue faculty from 1969 to 2010, where he taught courses in grain crops, crop ecology, and agricultural ethics, was an adviser for the Agronomy Club and hundreds of students, and directed graduate student research in crop production. He received numerous national and university awards and was honored as Fellow by both the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society.

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Tony Vyn

Dr. Tony J. Vyn, Professor of Agronomy and Corteva Agriscience Henry A. Wallace Chair in Crop Sciences. Tony has studied crop rotation and tillage systems for his whole career, first at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, and then at Purdue University since 1998. For the past 25 years, Tony has directed Purdue’s long-term tillage plots that were started in 1975 by previous faculty at Purdue. Together with many graduate students and research team members, Tony has investigated the applications and challenges involved in adopting more sustainable cropping systems. He has always been interested in getting to a better understanding corn physiology and nutrient efficiency changes with modern genetics and new management approaches. Tony plans to retire at the end of 2023.

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