The academia leaders shared with Currie that some students were keenly interested in entering the field of agriculture, including the PCA business, but the state PCA licensing requirements then were too inflexible, if not impossible, for students to achieve without additional years of college courses.

Some college course titles were changed and would not count toward the specific course names spelled out in the rules required for a PCA license, even though the new courses covered the same technical material. Potential PCAs were frustrated and considered other vocations.

Currie found this same situation at Fertizona, his employer and Arizona’s largest agricultural fertilizer and crop protection retailer based in Casa Grande. Currie serves as the company’s marketing and safety director.

Student interns at Fertizona shadowed the company’s PCAs and were interested in following the PCA career path. The inequities between college class titles and other issues in current PCA rules made becoming a PCA almost impossible.

Currie brought this issue to the AzCPA board which tackled the issue head on. The board consists of manufacturers and retailers of agricultural chemicals and fertilizers in the state.

AzCPA worked tirelessly with academia and ADA to develop fresh ideas to modernize the PCA license requirements. The ADA had heard similar feedback and was very interested in changing the PCA license rules.

“The ADA reception to the ideas was extremely positive,” according to Robert Shuler, an attorney registered as the lobbyist for the AzCPA.

“The agency was doing the best they could with the existing rules. They were very appreciative of the collaborative efforts between all parties to bring the rules up to date,” Shuler said.