As seen on the Ontario Certified Crop Advisor Association https://www.ccaontario.com/recently-released-
Neil McGregor – CCA-ON, 4R NMS, RMS
"Agronomy has always been the career path I wanted to follow and the CCA program/designation fit perfectly into the plan” says Neil McGregor, Market Development Agronomist with Pride Seeds in Eastern Ontario.
Neil earned his CCA in 2017 while working with a retailer in Midwestern Ontario before moving to his current role with Pride Seeds in 2019. As a Market Development Agronomist, he spends time focusing on the agronomy of corn, soybeans and forages – products within Pride Seeds’ lineup. “I enjoy seeing how all the different genetics we bring to the market behave,” says Neil. “I find it interesting how different genetics can handle stress and act one way in one environment and completely different in another.” This product knowledge allows him to work with his dealer network for product training and positioning in specific situations.
Neil enjoys the satisfaction of the “full circle” moment - seeing positive results with a grower at the end of the season. “In my first year as a CCA, I convinced a grower to try spraying some high-risk acres with a fungicide. It was very fulfilling to see the success the grower had and the confidence it gave me.” Having his CCA accreditation has created a lot of confidence for Neil, both in himself and for his customers and employer within him. “Those letters mean a great deal in the ag community,” he says.
Agronomy is not without its occasional challenges Neil points out. On a day-to-day basis, time can be the limiting resource for him, as he comments it can be hard to be everywhere for everyone. Working in his home county of Lanark has given Neil some of his more unique challenges – wildlife damage and its variability hybrid to hybrid. “I know it has to do with timing of the reproductive stages, but it always seems that wildlife will prefer one corn hybrid over another,” he says.
Keeping up to date with agronomy became slightly harder in the times of COVID but Neil aims to attend as many local events and meetings as he can. His strategy? “I try to pick relevant content from industry experts on the topics.” Attending events like the CCA Conference and Annual Meeting as well as the Ontario Agricultural Conference allow him to stay up to date with information he needs. He also says continuing education credits (CEUs) as part of the CCA program help keep his skills sharp. “To me, the CCA is a designation and organization that is well known and respected in the ag community,” he says. For anyone thinking of becoming a CCA, Neil has some simple advice. “Do it. It is a phenomenal community to be a part of.”