2022 Irrigation Show & Education Week draws professionals

Industry insights | Winter 2023
BY LUKE REYNOLDS
A collage of the winners and speakers at the 2022 Irrigation Show and Education Week

The 2022 Irrigation Show and Education Week took place Dec. 5-9, in Las Vegas, Nevada, drawing a crowd of nearly 4,000 attendees from coast to coast.

The show included an exhibit floor displaying the latest in lighting and irrigation technologies and innovations, education opportunities, and networking events throughout the week.


“This event is an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of those in our industry.”
John Newlin, CIC, CIT, CLIA, outgoing IA president


Awards

The 2022 Irrigation Show’s General Session highlighted winners of the Irrigation Association’s annual awards. Awards were presented across several categories, including the 2022 New Product Contest, Pitch Competition and IA annual awards.

“This event is an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of those in our industry,” John Newlin, CIC, CIT, CLIA, and outgoing IA president said at the show’s General Session. “These award winners are taking action to improve the industry and create solutions to challenges such as drought, workforce shortages, supply chain struggles and rising costs.”

New product contest winners

Three agriculture products were selected in the new product contest earning a gold, silver or bronze ranking.

The gold winner of the agriculture irrigation category was the S5 Pressure Compensating Heavywall Dripline by Rain Bird Corporation. Through emitter spacing, it allows growers to specify repeating patterns of variable spacing between emitters and not in the areas in between. By not watering areas outside the root zone, growers can save water and energy while reducing chemical consumption.

The silver winner of the agriculture category is the Nelson R2000FX Rotator by Nelson Irrigation Corporation, a low-pressure sprinkler with off-axis plate motion for use in vegetable and field crop irrigation. The bronze winner is AlphaDisc by Netafim, which combines depth filtration, a smart controller and a modular design.

Pitch Competition award winner

Verdi was named the 2022 Pitch Competition winner at the show.

The Verdi platform provides variable rate irrigation for specialty crops, allowing growers to build, manage and scale precision agriculture systems by connecting software and hardware with the farm data layer.

Roman Kozak, co-founder and chief technology officer at Verdi says the project started as an academic project at the University of British Columbia.

“We reached out to GoogleX and asked them if they had a hard problem that we could help them work on for our capstone project,” says Kozak. “They replied and told us about an industry need ‘to do plant-level irrigation’ — this crazy idea of being able to give every plant a unique amount of water.”

After six months of work, Verdi pitched their project to GoogleX and one of the world’s largest wine brands, and the company has continued to grow from there, says Kozak.

The Pitch Competition featured startup irrigation technology companies in both agriculture and landscape presenting their products in the Innovation Hub on the Irrigation Show floor. Eight irrigation startups gave presentations and were judged by a panel of expert judges evaluating the quality of their presentation, the product, market need and economic feasibility.

Verdi, along with the other companies participating in the Pitch Competition, was featured in a special Innovation Row section of the Irrigation Show exhibit hall during the trade show.

IA award winners

The 2022 Vanguard Award recognized an innovative project executed by a group of individuals, companies and organizations.

The Vanguard Award winners created an innovative subsurface drip irrigation system that blends dairy effluent with freshwater to create a natural fertilizer blend for farmers. The Subsurface Drip Irrigation for Dairy Effluent Water Application makes it possible for dairies to boost water quality, conserve water supplies, comply with regulatory mandates and protect users’ bottom line.

The 2022 Vanguard Award project winners were Netafim USA, De Jager Farms, Sustainable Conservation, Western United Dairies and McRee Farms.

Charlie Abee, CAIS, an agriculture technology and irrigation professor at the College of the Sequoias, Tulare, California, received the 2022 Excellence in Education Award. Starting in 2017 with a basic management course, Abee worked with local industry and California State University partners to create a program that meets the need for an entry-level technician while also preparing students for higher levels of education. He also serves on the IA Certification Board.

A collage of images of things happening at the 2022 Irrigation Show and Education Week

Education opportunities

More than 600 attendees participated in IA University, which included classes such as Agicultural Drip/Micro Design, Center Pivot Design and more than 25 others.

According to Sandra Kim, CAE, CMP, professional development and strategic programs director for the Irrigation Association, the response from students and instructors alike was positive and constructive.

Attendees also had the ability to attend Industry Insights presentations by industry experts covering a wide range of important topics from tips on carbon capture, technology adoption, sustainability, drought, water management and valuable business practices.


More than 600 attendees participated in IA University, which included classes such as Agicultural Drip/Micro Design, Center Pivot Design and more than 25 others.


Networking events

There were many different networking events at the 2022 Irrigation Show including the Viva Las Vegas Reception, the Craft Brewfest, a young professionals networking event and a breakfast for women in irrigation.

Next year’s show

The 2023 Irrigation Show and Education Week will take place Nov. 27-Dec. 1 in San Antonio, Texas.

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