Austin, Texas – Four thousand attendees and more than 300 exhibitors traveled to Texas in November to attend the Irrigation Association Show. With the state still recovering from one of its worst droughts, water conservation and system efficiency were top discussion points.
New product contest.
The 2013 show saw 50 entries to the new products contest, its highest number since the contest began. Entries were judged on innovative qualities, increased water efficiency, ease of use, cost benefits, time savings and design quality.
The winner in the landscape/golf category was the Toro Co., for its EVOLUTION Series Controller. Honorable mentions went to Hydro-Rain for the HRC990 Battery-Powered Controller and Moisture Sensor Plug-In and Rain Bird Corp. for the ESP-SMTE controller.
The winners in the specialty category were Hydro-Rain for its Irrigation Audit App and Hydro-Rain Sprinkler Catch Cups. Honorable mentions went to the Illumicare Group, Woody, and to RainHarvest Systems for the RainMaster 5100 Pro Rainwater Harvesting System.
During the show, the association named Warren Thoma, of Warren Thoma and Associates, Crystal Lake, Ill., as its incoming president. Other executive board members are President-Elect Aric J. Olson, Jain Irrigation, Fresno, Calif., Vice President Jay Robbins II, Irrigation-Mart, Rustin, La., Treasurer Greg Hunter, Hunter Industries, San Marcos, Calif., and immediate past President Robert D. Dobson, Middletown Sprinkler Co., Port Monmouth, N.J.
“Our volunteer and staff team have done an incredible job setting us up for success in the years to come,” Thoma said. “In 2014, we plan to follow through on our revised mission of promoting efficient irrigation while working toward our vision of being the recognized authority on irrigation.”
Three additional board members were named to their positions after the show. Jeff Lanahan, senior vice president, John Deere Landscapes, Troy, Mich.; Chris Roth, president, Reinke Manufacturing Co., Deshler, Neb., and Ed Santalone, CEO/president, Atlantic Irrigation Specialties, White Plains, N.Y., will serve through 2016.
During the show, the association gave its Industry Achievement Award to Vince Nolletti, Paige Electric Co., Fresno, Calif. The award was established in 1966 and recognizes an individual whose career demonstrates outstanding contributions to the advancement of the irrigation industry.
Nolletti is recognized for his outstanding contributions to the industry, which include introducing the first commercially available microprocessor-based irrigation controllers, the KCS system and increasing awareness of best management practices for electrical aspects of irrigation systems.
David Zoldoske, director of the Center for Irrigation Technology, California State University, Fresno, won the IA’s Person of the Year award, which recognizes those outside the commercial irrigation industry who have made outstanding contributions toward the acceptance of sound irrigation practices or policies.
As the director of the Center for Irrigation Technology, Dr. Zoldoske has established the center as an internationally renowned irrigation testing facility – a facility that is now the primary testing lab for WaterSense-labeled irrigation products. He also served on the IA Executive Committee for five years and was president from 2004 to 2005.
The 2014 Irrigation Show will feature keynote speaker Lowell Catlett, regents professor in agricultural economics and agricultural business and extension economics and the dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University.
The 2014 show will again include exhibitors and education sessions from both the International Professional Pond Companies Association and the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association.
The 2014 show will take place in Phoenix Nov. 17-21. In 2015, the show moves to Long Beach, Calif., Nov. 9-13 and in 2016 heads to Las Vegas Dec. 5-9.