Irrigation Association Honors 2016 Award Winners


During the 2016 Irrigation Show and Education Conference, four individuals and two organizations were honored as recipients of Irrigation Association or Irrigation Foundation awards. Award winners received plaques on stage during the general session on Thursday, Dec. 8.

Excellence in Education Award

Ronald Sneed, PhD, PE, CAIS, CIC, CID, CLIA

The Irrigation Foundation Excellence in Education Award recognizes a person who is actively teaching or has taught irrigation, water management and/or water conservation in affiliation with a two- or four-year institution. This person helps supply the irrigation industry with educated professionals that provide efficient irrigation solutions that protect water and the environment.

Ronald Sneed, PhD, PE, CAIS, CIC, CID, CLIA, professor emeritus of biological and agricultural engineering at North Carolina State University, has been involved in the irrigation industry for more than 56 years, 32 in the North Carolina State Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department and the remainder as a consultant.

He is a lifetime technical member of the Irrigation Association where he has served on a number of committees and on the Certification Board for over 20 years. He was one of the authors of Irrigation, Fifth Edition and was very involved in Irrigation, Sixth Edition, co-authoring four chapters.

After attending and teaching at the Irrigation Show and Education Conference for decades, he is now often referred to by his peers as the father of many IA courses.

“Ron has been an active instructor with the IA for more years than anyone can remember. His passion for irrigation, both ag and turf/ landscape, is infectious to anyone who meets him or learns from him,” said Lynda Wightman, CGIA, CLIA, industry relations manager at Hunter Industries.

“Dr. Sneed has taught more Irrigation Association courses than most can remember,” added Bob von Bernuth, PhD, PE, CID, CLWM, CIC, former technical advisor at the Irrigation Association.

Sneed also chaired the North Carolina Licensing Board for irrigation licensing. He helped start the North Carolina Irrigation Society Inc., and in 1992, the society established the Ronald E. Sneed North Carolina Irrigation Society Inc. Scholarship Endowment, which provides an annual scholarship to a BAE student.

Sneed was active in the American Society of Agricultural and Bio- logical Engineers, serving on and chairing a number of committees in the soil and water division. He also was involved in helping form what is now the Carolinas Irrigation Association, and in 2011 the CIA established the Dr. Ronald E. Sneed Excellence in Irrigation Award to honor dedicated service to the irrigation industry.

“It can safely be said that very few people have had the impact on the irrigation industry that Dr. Ronald Sneed has had,” added von Bernuth.

“Education is my life,” Sneed said. “Learning is a lifelong occupation; you can never get too old to learn.”

His advice on being a leader in the industry to up-and-comers is to “surround yourself with good mentors who are going to lead you the right way while also being honest with you and correcting you when you are wrong.”

Crawford Reid Memorial Award

Andrii Gogolev

Established in 1979 and named for Canadian Crawford Reid, the second president of the Irrigation Association, this award recognizes individuals who have significantly advanced both the irrigation industry and proper irrigation techniques and procedures outside the United States.

Andrii Gogolev founded his own company, Terra Ltd., in 1998 to become a mainstream supplier and was the first to introduce thin- walled laterals into the Ukraine with T-Tape.

36 Irrigation TODAY | January 2017

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