President’s Message

The IA at Work By Jackie (Jay) W.D. Robbins II, PE, TSP, CAIS, CID

I would like to take this opportunity to personally welcome you to our first issue of Irriga- tion Today! It is my hope that you enjoy our new publication, and that you find the articles useful in enhancing your knowledge and your business opportunities.

Irrigation Today is a quarterly publication, which will be utilized to share with the industry information regarding education, certification, training opportunities, industry and mem- ber news and so much more. It is a direct result of research, member surveys and careful planning. Creating Irrigation Today isn’t all IA has been doing lately.

The IA has been facilitating a series of agriculture focus groups across the country. To date, three have been held, with one more planned later this month. These focus groups have provided leadership an opportunity to listen to key irrigation players on the indus- try’s biggest issues; all in efforts to direct the association to take the necessary steps to better serve our members.

In keeping with the IA’s mission to promote efficient irrigation, the association continues to collaborate with experts and stakeholders from industry, academia and the public sector to define best practices for effective water management, establish benchmarks and guidelines for irrigation products and applications, and advocate water policies based on sound science. IA’s Industry Development Director Brent Mecham, CID, CLWM, CIC, CLIA, CAIS, has been traveling the country to take part in conferences, meetings and research sessions on industry standards and codes. IA’s Government and Public Affairs Director John Farner Jr. and Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager Elizabeth McCartney have been focusing on state and federal legislation. Advocacy has been focused on drought- resilience plans, WaterSense authorization and state licensing, just to name a few.

The Irrigation Foundation, our sister charitable organization, recently hosted its Faculty Academies, two-day, train-the-trainer events for both agriculture and landscape edu- cators. These events create a space to share the latest irrigation technologies and tech- niques that can be used in the classroom and give educators a place to network and collaborate with others.

It’s an exciting time for the irrigation industry. Both the agriculture and turf/landscape sectors are growing. While challenges such as legislation, commodity prices, and a stag- nant economy do exist, the Irrigation Association is engaged and actively supporting the industry.

I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to become a part of the growing indus- try through membership in the IA. Take advantage of the services and opportunities the association offers: education and training on new technologies and processes, certifi- cation exams, and networking opportunities with manufacturers, dealers/distributors, contractors and potential clients.

Perhaps the best way to take advantage of all that the IA offers is by attending the 2016 Irrigation Show and Education Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year, the IA is co-locating with the National Ground Water Association. The trade show will provide an opportunity to visit with more than 600 exhibitors from the irrigation and groundwater industries. The education conference offers irrigation seminars and technical programs on hot industry topics and the latest irrigation research, and the ability to obtain continuing education units. These are all great steps for taking your business to the next level.

Thank you for your involvement in IA, and we hope to see you in Las Vegas! 4 Irrigation TODAY | July 2016

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