President’s Message

IA Leaders Set Future Strategy By Jackie (Jay) W.D. Robbins II, PE, TSP, CAIS, CID

This past July, 40 representatives of IA member companies participated in a day-long strategic planning session in Orlando, Florida. Facilitated by association guru Glenn Tecker of Tecker International, LLC, the group reviewed the association’s current mission and vision statements, conducted an environmental scan and developed statements to represent the group’s “envisioned future.” Prior to and during this discussion, the group reviewed results of the recent membership survey, as well as a compilation of the input received during four agriculture focus groups across the country. The following state- ments were developed as a result of the exercise and summarize the envisioned future for the IA and the industry:

1. The public recognizes the value of what irrigation does for food production and managed green spaces.

2. End-users demand IA-certified professionals for design, installation and mainte- nance.

3. Irrigators have access to water needed due to widespread adoption of efficient irrigation practices.

4. The irrigation workforce is highly skilled due to the widespread use of training/ education materials developed and supplied by the IA.

5. Policymakers use and support data from IA to develop regulations.

From these statements and additional discussion, the group developed goals and strat- egies to direct the association’s efforts over the next few years. The IA Board of Directors will be reviewing the final plan at its meeting in December, and the new plan will be released in early 2017. Rest assured advocacy and professional development remain high priorities for the association. New initiatives under consideration are further aligning with the Irrigation Foundation to promote careers in irrigation, expanding the organization’s public affairs efforts and ensuring the association has the resources it needs to accom- plish its new plan.

The board continues to strive to collect input from a wide cross section of the indus- try to ensure decisions are made in the best interests of the whole. It is efforts like the planning session above that fuel my optimism that the association and the industry are on a solid path for the future.

At the Irrigation Show and Education Conference in Las Vegas this December (see p. 40), I will complete my term as the president of the Irrigation Association. It has been a great year. I am proud of what the association has accomplished and for the plans that are in place for the future. The industry is in great hands with 200+ volunteer leaders working on behalf of the organization, the professional staff and the incoming presi- dent, Greg Hunter of Hunter Industries. It has truly been a pleasure to serve you on the IA Board of Directors and as IA president. I would like to encourage each one of you to think about how you can participate in the IA in a more active way. I can say with confi- dence that it’s an experience that you won’t want to miss.

4 Irrigation TODAY | October 2016

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