At the close of the 2022 Irrigation Show and Education Week held in Las Vegas last Dec. 5-9, Randy Wood, president and CEO of Lindsay Corporation, Elkhorn, Nebraska, became the president of the Irrigation Association. Wood has served on the IA Board since 2018 and took over for John Newlin, CIC, CIT, CLIA, who served as the 2022 IA president.
Although Wood has spent his entire career in the agricultural industry, he grew up in southern Ontario, Canada, in an area where irrigation wasn’t prevalent.
As he begins his year as IA president, Wood considers the biggest opportunity for the IA and the industry to be continuing to drive dialogue on issues connected directly to water, whether it’s water use efficiency, water use policy or the value of green space.
“I know we can be a larger player on areas that are more intrinsically linked to water, like climate change, carbon sequestration and technology adoption. I don’t think we can separate water from these broader issues,” Wood says. “The farm bill is obviously a big one for ag on a national scale, but I think we know that the expanding drought is going to really impact legislation for all segments of the industry on many different levels.”
Throughout 2023, Wood will lead the 15-member board that establishes the association’s strategic direction, policies and programs.
The IA’s two publications – Irrigation Today and Irrigation & Lighting – shared an exhibit booth during the 2022 Irrigation Show. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to talk with us, grabbed a print copy and signed up for a subscription.
Be sure to save the date for the 2023 Irrigation Show and Education Week Nov. 27-Dec. 1 in San Antonio.
Students interested in pursuing irrigation-related careers are encouraged to apply for the 2023 Anthony W. “Tony LaFetra” Scholarship program, sponsored by Rain Bird. The scholarship program awards scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 to students studying at two- and four-year institutions.
To learn more about the program requirements and how to apply, visit irrigation.org/scholarships.
Planning is underway for the IA’s agriculture Faculty Academy to be held in June. This virtual two-day event is free for educators and provides valuable information to take back to their classrooms.
Watch irrigation.org/facultyacademy for registration information coming in March.
The 2023 Family Farm Alliance Annual Meeting and Conference, scheduled for Feb. 23-24 at the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno, Nevada, is an opportunity for producers, policymakers and water professionals from throughout the West to focus on topics of critical concern.
The conference theme is “A Wake-Up Call for America – Why Farms, Water and Food Matter.”
A wide variety of speakers will take on the issues that make a difference to irrigators. Members of Congress and their staff, administration officials and representatives from constructive NGOs are regulars on the program.
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton, U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Robert Bonnie and Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-OR), the likely new chairperson of the House Water, Oceans and Wildlife Committee, are invited speakers. Tom Birmingham, the recently retired longtime general manager of Westlands Water District, will deliver closing remarks.
Learn more about the 2023 Family Farm Alliance Annual Meeting and Conference on the Family Farm Alliance website at familyfarmalliance.org/events.
To significantly reduce plastic contamination in seed cotton and lint, the National Cotton Council sent its new round module wrap standard flyer to its member producers and ginners urging them to use only wrap products that meet the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers standard and that are NCC-approved.
On the NCC’s website, the flyer noted that the ASABE standard was developed using measurements from wrap products that perform at levels acceptable to the U.S. cotton industry. The NCC is maintaining a database of approved wrap products on its website at cotton.org/tech/quality/contamfree.cfm. Wrap products will
have to meet or exceed three main requirements to be approved:
Wrap manufacturers who have questions or want to begin testing for inclusion on the approved listing can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Ground Water Association will be holding the 2023 NGWA Smart Water Policies Fly-In March 22-23 in Washington, D.C. The fly-in will focus on two days of advocacy surrounding the industry’s most pressing policy issues. Attendees will meet with their representatives and be given the opportunity to discuss priorities such as expanding grants for private water well owners, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, managed aquifer recharge, workforce development, and new regulations for commercial driver’s license and commercial motor vehicle operators. The fly-in will also include a full day of policy presentations and networking opportunities. For more information, go to ngwa.org.
The board of directors of the California Agricultural Irrigation Association decided it was time to bring their website up to date, increase its security and make it easier for its members to find the information they need. The CAIA board unveiled their new website at their Feb. 14 dinner meeting held during the 2023 World Ag Expo. This year’s event took place at the Elks Lodge located at 3100 West Main Street in Visalia, California. CAIA members, irrigation industry representatives and other interested parties were all in attendance.
Additional information regarding the dinner meeting can be found on the website at calagirrigation.com/events/.
The Central Plains Irrigation Association would once again like to invite everyone to attend the Central Plains Irrigation Conference scheduled on Feb. 28 and March 1 in Kearney, Nebraska. The conference features several irrigation-related presentations and networking opportunities. The venue rotates between the three member states (Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado) to be accessible to the local members, industry and producers. More detailed information, including the agenda for this year, will posted online at centralplainsirrigationassociation.org.