PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CFGP)
The American Forage and Grassland Council offers two-certification programs aimed at showing a forage industry professionals dedication to the industry through professional development. Each certification program was established to meet the needs of the demographic served and several components overlap each certification program.
CERTIFIED FORAGE AND GRASSLAND PROFESSIONAL (CFGP)
This certification program was designed to recognize the seasoned forage industry professional as well as a path to simplify the Technical Service Provider application process. The NRCS Technical Service Provider (TSP) program accepts the CFGP designation to fulfill a portion of the TSP application process. To simplify the TSP entry process even more, AFGC now offers the TSP Orientation Training online.
The CFGP requires a Bachelor’s Degree in an approved area and 5 years of industry experience in order to apply. Once the application is submitted it will be reviewed and if approved the candidate will be notified and the CFGP exam scheduled. There is an online practice exam available and the exam can be taken hard copy or online. A 70% is required to pass the exam. The exam fee does cover the cost of one retake of the exam.
Once the exam is passed, the member receives a CFGP certificate and if interested in becoming a TSP then your name is passed onto to NRCS.
USDA/NRCS offers a variety of webinars with most qualifying for CEU credit in the CFGP program. Click here for a link to a list of webinars.
The fee is $100 and covers the application and exam. Current AFGC Membership is required to participate in the CFGA or CFGP programs including access to the Practice Test.
CERTIFIED FORAGE AND GRASSLAND APPRENTICE (CFGA)
The Certified Forage and Grassland Apprentice program was established in 2014 to engage more students in the forage industry and the organization. The designation can be utilized in applying for employment and/or advanced degree programs and shows the students dedication to the forage profession.
The CFGA application process requires a Bachelor’s Degree, Letter of Recommendation from a current professor, and a current college transcript. Once the application is received, reviewed and approved the CFGP exam is scheduled. There is a CFGP practice exam available online. A 70% is required to pass the exam. The exam fee does cover the cost of one retake of the exam.
Once the exam is passed, the member receives a CFGA certificate and has 6 years to obtain the necessary work experience to become a CFGP.
The fee is $50 and covers the application and exam.
HOW CFGP WORKS WITH TSP:
Certified Forage and Grassland Professionals will have the opportunity to qualify as Technical Service Providers (TSPs) based on their AFGC credentials and the completion of a one day training session offered by the NRCS at the AFGC Conference. The training focuses on the unique aspects of grazing and forage planning, management application of practices, including the required elements that are unique to USDA program participants. A new opportunity will be available for AFGC TSPs to become certified in conservation planning for lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Attend this workshop for more details on this and other potential conservation work.
THE TECHNICAL SERVICE PROVIDERS PROGRAM:
The TSP Program opens up new opportunities for AFGC members to work directly with clients who are participating in conservation programs with the NRCS. The Farm Bill allows farmers a choice in using a technical service provider to plan and design conservation systems including grazing and forage management practices in conjunction with Farm Bill Programs. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) now provides financial assistance to qualified farmers for hiring TSPs to plan for grazing management through a Conservation Activity Plan. AFGC members who become Technical Service Providers can help service the need for grazing and forage planning and management.
For more information on becoming a Technical Service Provider please go to the following website,http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/technical/tsp/.