Irrigation Association seeks irrigation experts for Certification Board

Association news | Fall 2023

The Irrigation Association, Fairfax, Virginia, is looking for volunteers to share their expertise as a member of the Certification Board. This 12-member board establishes policies and processes that govern certification procedures and recertification requirements and maintains standards for the certification process. Certification Board members represent an agriculture or landscape focus, and each board member holds one or more of the following IA certifications: CID, CAIS, CLIA, CGIA, CIC, CIT.

Board members participate in conference calls, committee work and meetings throughout each year, including two board meetings: one at the annual Irrigation Show and Education Week and a virtual meeting in the summer. Newly selected members will serve a three-year term beginning in January 2024.

Applicants must be an IA member and certified irrigation professional in good standing. All members of the Certification Board must sign a confidentiality statement and must not concurrently volunteer on the Irrigation Association Board of Directors, Education Committee or Technical Advisory Committee, or be involved in developing or teaching classes that prepare candidates for IA certification exams.

For more information on the Certification Board, visit To apply, submit a completed nomination packet by Oct. 16.

Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition delivers congressional letter

The Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition, a group of companies joined together to build support for the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act, S. 722/H.R. 1477, delivered its congressional letter to leaders in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 27, and to the rest of Congress on Sept. 28.

The letter urges congressional leadership to support the act, which would allow 529 plan funds to be used to pay for maintaining professional credentials. The Irrigation Association signed on to the letter in early August.

“The Irrigation Association is excited to support Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition in its efforts to pass the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act,” said Nathan Bowen, Irrigation Association vice president of advocacy and public affairs, when the association signed on to the letter. “By expanding the use of 529 accounts beyond traditional college expenses, we are fostering a pathway for lifelong learning and skill development, equipping our workforce with the tools needed to thrive in today’s dynamic economy. This legislation embodies our commitment to creating accessible and inclusive education opportunities, ultimately strengthening our workforce and driving economic prosperity for all.”

Alan Ence joins IA Board of Directors

Alan Ence, general manager of landscape and agriculture at Hydro-Rain, has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Irrigation Association Board of Directors.

Ence has spent more than 30 years in the irrigation industry, working in multiple areas including product development, business development and management. He is named on multiple U.S. patents for products in the field of irrigation. Ence is a 1995 graduate of Weber State University in Odgen, Utah, and earned certification as a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper in California in 2022.

“I have seen where there is much opportunity for spreading the IA’s programs, education and influence to positively benefit all levels of the industry,” says Ence. “Being an effective advocate for the IA to these industry channels to help the whole community is motivating to me.”

Throughout his career, Ence has had the opportunity to work with a variety of irrigation and water professionals in the industry.

Ence joins 14 other members who serve on the IA Board. The IA Board of Directors establishes the association’s strategic direction, policies and programs. The board monitors current and evolving industry trends, determines strategic priorities, defines public policy positions and acts as a steward of the IA’s financial resources.




Gains made, ground to cover

As representatives of the irrigation industry, we are not just advocates for our sector; we are stewards of a resource that sustains life.

Gradually and then suddenly

Here, I’ll share a couple of anecdotes that serve as bookends to some of my current thinking and research on aquifer depletion.

With a glass half full

These definitions highlight the challenges associated with maximizing profitability when irrigating with limited water supplies.