Project Director Rick Kellison attributes the ongoing success and growth of the project to the team’s specific focus on growing a relationship with these producers. “We bring information to them,” Kellison said. “Instead of telling them what to do, we focus on putting a multitude of tools in their hands to be successful.”

Kellison advises others to do the same by being specifically cognizant of what the industry is in need of.

“In the end, you can come up with outstanding ideas but if the production side doesn’t see a need to use your idea to help them create awareness of what’s going on in the field, then your brilliant idea isn’t going to get any traction,” he said.

Partner of the Year

Irrigation Training and Research Center

Established in 1995, this award honors a person or group mak- ing exceptional contributions or distinctive accomplishments to irrigation as part of an organization that is allied with, related to or an integral part of the irrigation industry.

The Irrigation Training and Research Center at California Polytechnic State University is recognized for providing innovative irrigation teaching, research and technical assistance to projects that blend on-farm irrigation needs with improved water delivery service, protection of the environment, and reduced energy consumption.

ITRC has helped to modernize over 200 irrigation districts in the United States, has evaluated or provided training in over 40 projects outside the United States and has trained thousands of technical specialists on the relationship between field irrigation and water delivery systems. ITRC supports the largest irrigation bachelor’s/ master’s teaching program in the United States at Cal Poly, and the Cal Poly graduates and ITRC short-course students form a core professional irrigation group in the Western United States.

ITRC is the most active university-based organization that works with irrigation district modernization programs. Most of the irrigation districts have sent their operators, engineers, managers and, in some cases, boards to ITRC for training in flow measurement, modernization of irrigation projects, etc.

ITRC provides about 60 short courses per year for the irrigation industry, covering topics such as flow measurement, landscape drip design, evaluation of on-farm irrigation systems, irrigation scheduling and salinity, pumps, hydraulics, supervisory control and data acquisition specifications/troubleshooting, soil-plant-

water relationships, fertigation, row crop drip and irrigation district modernization.

The center was a driving force in getting the IA certification program started. As they continue to attack the gaps in irrigation issues, they share the results of their efforts with the IA and its members.

“The classes that they have prepared and continue to offer are impeccable for irrigation designers and the irrigation industry and, in particular, the irrigation districts,” said Mike Grundvig, senior engineer at Rain for Rent.

ITRC has created a partnership with IA to provide online landscape irrigation design classes and teach numerous other classes at IA’s annual Irrigation Show. Each year, the center waves the IA flag both in the community and in their booth at the Irrigation Show and Education Conference.

“I have personally been a part of the training and have taken many classes at ITRC and received the educational foundation for my IA certifications. We regularly send our employees to their top notch short courses for irrigation training,” said Aric Olson, CID, CAIS, CSSBB, CPIM, CSCP, president of Jain Irrigation, Inc.

Chairman and founder of ITRC, Charles Burt, PhD, PE, CAIS, CID, wrote almost all of the initial materials (study and exam) for the drip, sprinkler and surface irrigation certification.

Burt said he is honored to be recognized by an organization that he described as “unique across all countries.” He spoke to the importance of being a consistent provider while discussing how to maintain a successful partnership over time.

“You can’t just take, you have to give also,” Burt said. “You have to constantly contribute rather than being briefly involved. We really try to give back in a meaningful way.”

Person of the Year

Richard Allen, PhD Established in 1952, this award is presented to a person outside the commercial irrigation industry who has made outstanding contributions toward the acceptance of sound irrigation practices. This might include the development or implementation of irrigation or water management policies or principles. Award recipients receive a lifetime technical membership to the Irrigation Association.

The Irrigation Association is proud to honor Richard Allen, PhD, as its Person of the Year. Among his vast list of publication accomplishments is the major world book on agricultural evapotranspiration for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.




rriga ion ODAY

ation TODAY | Jan

January 2017 nuary 20


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