Diganta Adhikari, PhD, is the global head of on-farm IoT for Syngenta. Previously, he was the director of engineering for Irrometer Company Inc. He has over 19 years of experience in water management, environmental engineering, consulting and project management, focused on both government and industry clients. He also serves on various domestic and international technical and standards committees on smart water technology.
Jonathan Aguilar, PhD, PE, is an associate professor, extension specialist and irrigation engineer for the Kansas State University Southwest Research Extension Center. Aguilar’s research is focused on water resource issues, particularly as they pertain to irrigated agriculture in western Kansas. The major emphasis of his work is in technology development and management related to irrigated agriculture. He provides leadership and support on irrigation technology and water management-related programs for county extension agents and producers. His current educational programs focus on crop water allocation, ET-based irrigation scheduling, soil moisture sensors, mobile drip irrigation, groundwater quality and subsurface drip irrigation.
Dan Berne is the portfolio manager at AgGateway and served as the project manager for the AgGateway Precision Ag Irrigation Language (PAIL) project, which developed the ASABE/ANSI S632 Data Exchange Standard for Irrigation.
Anne Blankenbiller is the Editor-in-Chief of Irrigation Today magazine and the senior communications manager for the Irrigation Association. She has worked with the magazine since 2017 and regularly consults with the Irrigation Today Editorial Committee to determine content for each issue. She has worked with the Irrigation Association since 2008, when she started as a part-time editor and worked her way into her current position. Blankenbiller resides in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she enjoys spending time with her family, cheering on the Nebraska Huskers and appreciating the fresh air and low-stress life in the great Midwest.
James Bordovsky, PE, F. ASABE, recently retired from Texas A&M AgriLife Research where he served as a senior research scientist and agricultural engineer. While at Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Bordovsky’s research on subsurface drip irrigation greatly influenced field productivity in Texas and other areas of the world. He and his team have focused on research, design and management of innovative irrigation engineering systems to increase the productivity, sustainability and profitability of agricultural production in water-limited environments.
John Farner serves as the industry development director for the Irrigation Association. With more than 15 years of experience in working with water, agricultural and landscape technologies and more than 20 years working in international government and public policy, Farner’s expertise in government and public affairs is closely aligned with issues and technologies relating to water use in agricultural production and landscape management. Farner joined the IA in 2008 and currently oversees the advocacy and public affairs programs, focusing on water use technologies in agriculture, landscape, turfgrass and golf.
Jason Farnsworth is the executive director of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program at Headwaters Corporation. For the Platte Program, he has focused on implementing and assessing adaptive management experiences and overseeing all restoration and habitat management actions on the program’s 12,000 acres of habitat. He was previously the director of habitat management and rehabilitation services at Headwaters and is an environmental scientist certified by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Chadron State College and worked as a project scientist who worked on reservoir and aquatic habitat projects at Olsson Associates.
Andres Ferreyra, PhD, works as data asset manager for Syngenta Digital. His responsibilities include leading development of Syngenta’s global machine data integration platform and the semantic infrastructure that supports it. He sees standards implementation as an important step to make field operations data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) within the context of a data ethical process.
Bill Green is an education manager at the Center for Irrigation Technology at California State University, Fresno, while also farming and managing his family’s raisin grape vineyard near Fresno.
Sargeant J. Green is a water management specialist with the Center for Irrigation Technology and California Water Institute at California State University, Fresno. CIT provides testing laboratories for water equipment, conducts water use research and training, and houses a water and energy business incubator. CWI provides water issue facilitation and research on water quality and water policy issues. Green is also associate director of the Water Resources and Policy Initiatives program for the CSU Chancellor’s office.
Mike Hamilton, MSc, is an irrigation instructor with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and an irrigation specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service in Arkansas. He is a certified UAS pilot.
Ahmed Hashem, PhD, is an assistant professor of agricultural systems technology at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. He is an agricultural engineer and certified UAS pilot.
Chris Henry, PhD, PE, is an associate professor and water management engineer at the University of Arkansas. He holds several patents and is a visionary, mobile app developer, air quality modeler, embedded system developer, and a construction, irrigation and manure management systems designer. His work involves agricultural development and production system advancement.
Charles Hillyer, PhD, is the director of the Center for Irrigation Technology. Before CIT, he was an assistant professor and researcher at Oregon State and Texas A&M Agrilife Research and Extension Service in Amarillo. In addition to working with Texas farmers in the North Plains, he also worked on the Precision Ag Irrigation Language, a data exchange standard that helps irrigation technologies work together better.
Gary L. Hix, RG, CWD/PI, has been a fixture in numerous and varied capacities in the groundwater industry for nearly 40 years. A former licensed water well drilling contractor and registered geologist, Hix is actively involved in the National Ground Water Association and the Arizona Water Well Association. Throughout his career, he has been a contributor to Water Well Journal and taught classes for the Bureau of Land Management and the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Service. He is the founder and owner if In2Wells.
Brandon Hunnicutt is chair of Field to Market, Nebraska farmer and member of the National Corn Growers Association Board. Hunnicutt raises corn, soybeans, seed corn, popcorn and sorghum on his family farm in Nebraska. Along with his father, Daryl, and brother, Zach, he utilizes the latest technologies while integrating conservation tillage practices and cover crops on a nearly 100% irrigated farm.
Diann Ilkenhons is the marketing manager for Senninger Irrigation, a Hunter Industries Company based in Clermont, Florida. She has worked with Senninger for more than 24 years in various marketing roles, which has allowed her to meet growers and customers worldwide and learn about the irrigation needs and concerns of those in the agriculture, horticulture and even the mining industry. Diann previously served on the IA Board of Directors and IA Expo Advisory Committee, and she presently chairs the IA Editorial Committee. Married for 37 years, Diann also has two grown married children.
Troy Ingram is an irrigated cropping systems extension educator for the University of Nebraska, located in Howard County, Nebraska. His main focus is on ag irrigation, scheduling, technology and efficiency. Ingram received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in mechanized systems management.
Ted Kowalski, JD, is a senior program officer, leading the Walton Family Foundation’s Colorado River initiative. In this role, he supports work that promotes sustainable management of the Colorado River in order to benefit rivers and communities. Prior to joining the foundation, Kowalski was the chief of the Interstate, Federal and Water Information Section for the Colorado Water Conservation Board. In this role, he represented the State of Colorado in state, federal, inter-state, and international negotiations. Kowalski is recognized for his deep expertise in Colorado River water management issues.
Amy Kremen is the operations manager for the Irrigation Innovation Consortium. She also serves at the manager of the Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture project and is a water expert at Colorado State University. She has worked in agriculture for nearly two decades as a farmer, researcher, writer, editor and policy consultant in the United States and Canada. She earned her master’s in soil science studying nitrogen capture and turnover from Brassica cover crops.
Rodrick (Rick) D. Lentz, PhD, is a research soil scientist at the USDA-ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory in Kimberly, Idaho. His research has examined the effects of irrigation water quality and amendments on infiltration and erosion in channeled flows, organic and inorganic amendments on nutrient leaching and nitrogen cycling in soils, and changing agriculture on groundwater quality.
Ashwin Madgavkar is the CEO at Ceres Imaging. He first learned about the advances in spectral imaging through research being done in the Amazon while he was a graduate student at Stanford. His quest was to apply that advanced technology to help farmers improve their yields, while saving water in drought-prone areas like California. Madgavkar founded Ceres Imaging in 2013 and recruited a talented core team of scientists to develop the hardware, software and know-how that has made the company the leader in imagery for irrigation management across the United States and Australia.
Steve McCoon, CID, is a territory manager at Nelson Irrigation where he manages several different regions of the North America and sells irrigation equipment into the agricultural and industrial markets.
Joshua M. McEnaney, PhD, is the CTO of Nitricity and a Cyclotron Road Fellow. Josh is a lead innovator/strategist for the technologies at the heart of our team’s push for carbon-free N-fertilizer.
Steve Melvin is an irrigated cropping systems extension educator for the University of Nebraska. His work focuses on teaching farmers and others involved in crop production how to conserve irrigation water, effectively manage their irrigation and how water stress at different growth stages affects yield. He has specifically focused on irrigated cropping systems for the past 15 years.
Michael Meyer has been with Coast Water Solutions for just over five years and in the ag industry for about eight years. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in agricultural systems management and minors in ag business and water science. After working in the field for Terry Farms and Southland Sod Farms, he began his career at CWS. He can provide knowledge and assistance in all aspects of irrigation design for any type of manual system to full irrigation and fertilizer injection automation.
Aaron Nygren serves as the Nebraska cropping systems extension and irrigation educator in Schuyler, Nebraska. He provides local agronomic support for Colfax, Cuming and Stanton counties. Growing up on a family farm near Ashland, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agronomy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After completing his master’s, he started his current position in Colfax County in 2005.
George Oamek, PhD, is an economist for Headwaters Corporation. His areas of expertise include agricultural and natural resource economics, public finance and mathematical statistics. George is also a staff member of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program’s Executive Director’s Office. In this capacity, his responsibilities include devaluating potential water acquisitions, developing water leases, and planning assistance for meeting the Program’s long-term water goals.
Nicolas H. Pinkowski is a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at Stanford University. He is Nitricity’s CEO and is involved with the business development.
Brian A. Rohr, PhD, holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from Stanford University with expertise in N-fixation and theoretical modeling. Brian is focusing on customer discovery and modeling/machine learning of Nitricity’s R&D systems for accelerated development.
Jay A. Schwalbe, PhD, holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from Stanford University and leads Nitricity’s technology development to make solar-based nitrogen fixation a reality.
Stephen W. Smith, PhD, FASIC, CLIA, CAIS, is an agricultural consultant in Colorado and the principal for Wade Water LLC, a closely-held firm providing consulting services in SCADA, efficient water delivery and irrigation design. For 25 years, he has operated a farming enterprise, Buena Vida Farm, in Larimer County, Colorado, which specializes in blue spruce tree and vegetable production. His irrigation engineering experience includes projects throughout the United States, Europe, the Far East and the Middle East.
Greg Stark, PE, is an assistant professor of practice in the Texas A&M University Biological and Agricultural Engineering department. He develops and teaches training courses to energy companies, technical associations and businesses on subjects including electric system fundamentals, electric business understanding, electric industry structure, power distribution systems, energy management, power quality, electrical motors and controls, protection of electrical and electronic equipment, electrical codes and standards and stray voltage.
Frank Toves, CAIS, CID, CIC, began working in the agriculture industry in 2006 managing a local irrigation dealership in the Salinas Valley in California. Later he began doing sales and design both locally in Salinas and expanding down into Santa Maria and Oxnard. His background in computer science has allowed for him to lead the way for integrating technology with agriculture while his reputation lets his growers know that they will be supported every step of the way throughout the transition and learning process. Today, Toves is a regional manager for Irrigation Design and Construction, covering the California Coast and Pacific Southwest.
Yang Wang is a PhD candidate under James Krogmeier, PhD, and Dennis Buckmaster, PhD, at Open Ag Technologies and Systems Center at Purdue University with a keen interest in architecting and implementing hardware and software tools for practical applications. He dedicates his research efforts on controller area network data forensics, tracking applications and sensor fusion for agricultural machinery.
Megan Weidner is vice president of corporate responsibility and sustainability at Bunge. She is a member of the Field to Market Board of Directors Subcommittee on Racial Justice, Equity, and Inclusion. Weidner is a sustainability and corporate responsibility professional and leader with expertise in build-out roles and rebranding existing programs. Her experience includes financial services, manufacturing, and food and agriculture industries, corporate philanthropy, supply chain transparency, social awareness and environmental compliance. She speaks internationally on supply chain transparency, sustainable agriculture and corporate responsibility.