Products Recognized, Officers Elected at Annual Gathering

IA new brand, logo launched

Published in the February 2009 Issue Published online: Feb 28, 2009
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Recognition of product contest winners, election of officers and the launch of the new brand and logo for the Irrigation Association (IA) were part of the organization's 2008 Irrigation Show held Nov. 2-4 in Anaheim, Calif.

Over 500 irrigation professionals took classes and certification exams at the show and more than 340 companies were on hand as part of the exhibition. The technical conference featured over 50 presentations.


Award goes to Valley

The AutoPilot linear control panel from Valley Irrigation won the Irrigation Association's agricultural New Product Contest.

The panel is the first computerized control panel with GPS Ready technology providing positioning for linear irrigation. The panel itself was introduced in the international marketplace in the summer of 2007 and became available in North America in early 2008.

GPS Ready technology recently became a standard component of all-new AutoPilot linear control panels.

"We're honored that the AutoPilot linear control panel was recognized by the Irrigation Association," said Jake LaRue, manager of international projects and products with Valmont. "This award helps illustrate that Valley is dedicated to helping producers increase efficiency through advanced technologies."

The panel with GPS Ready positioning is unique because it allows linear irrigators to correlate production techniques with land variability, ultimately minimizing costs and maximizing yields, LaRue said.

"With GPS technology, a producer can set more automated functions to change the percent timer speed, control primary and secondary end guns, change direction, stop the linear and start and stop chemigation," LaRue said. "All of these operations can be programmed to occur automatically, which gives the producer more time to perform other tasks."

The Irrigation Association New Product Contest was introduced in 2002 and has since become a mainstay of the annual Irrigation Association show.

"Products have to go through a qualifying screening process before they can even be considered for the top award, so it's not an easy award to win," said Kathy Bradley, Irrigation Association meetings coordinator.

"The onsite judging occurs Sunday before the show opens and winners are announced at the Monday morning general session. Attendees often tell us that stopping by the New Product Contest booth is one part of the show they can't miss."

The winner of the New Product Contest is determined by judging criteria that include the product's ease of use, quality of design and product life expectancy. Other considerations include how the product contributes to water conservation, cost savings and time savings.

AutoPilot linear control panels with GPS Ready positioning technology are available through Valley dealers. To locate a dealer, visit


Association leadership

By way of personnel changes that took place at the show, four individuals joined the group's board of directors. The new board members are Steve Christie of Automatic Irrigation Supply Co., of Fisher, Ind.; Tim Malooly or Irrigation By Design Inc., of Plymouth, Minn.; Larry Rompal of Agri-Valley Irrigation, Inc., of Fresno, Calif.; and Dirk Lenie of the Lindsay Corporation of Omaha, Neb.

Don Blackwell of Advanced Irrigation in Pacific, Wash., was named chair of the IA Certification Board and Tom Shannon joined the board. Shannon is with Ewing Irrigation Products in Canton, Ga.

Information on other IA leaders is provided in the attendant chart.


`Smart practices. Sustainable solutions.'

The Irrigation Association has unveiled a new logo and tagline. The redesigned brand, revealed during the 2008 Irrigation Show, is part of IA's strategic plan to become the recognized authority on irrigation.

The new logo is to communicate the link between irrigation and making things grow, while the tagline "Smart practices. Sustainable solutions." is a message of IA's mission and its members' commitment to better water management.

"IA's logo has served us well for more than 30 years," said IA president Stephen W. Smith during the general session of the Irrigation Show 2008. "But as we expand our efforts to promote efficient irrigation and the importance of working with irrigation experts, we need a brand that helps policymakers, consumers and those outside the irrigation industry understand who we are and what we're about."

Increasing IA's role and visibility in the water management debate is a strategic goal of the organization. The new logo and brand is to:

  • Communicate IA's role in bringing industry stakeholders together to define and implement water management best practices.
  • Support expanded efforts to promote efficient irrigation and the importance of working with irrigation experts.
  • Enhance IA's credibility with policy makers at the local, state, regional and national levels.
  • Unify the association's major programs, including certification and the annual Irrigation Show.

The process for the new brand launch began in early 2008, with a market assessment by the association's Board of Directors and staff. Over 900 members provided input on the association's logo, with most reporting that the old logo was dated, and did not properly communicate irrigation's role in the green industry.

The Irrigation Association is a membership organization for irrigation equipment and system manufacturers, dealers, distributors, designers, consultants, contractors and end users.

Founded in 1949, IA includes over 2,000 corporate and individual members and is dedicated to promoting efficient irrigation. For more information, visit

Source: Irrigation Association


The Irrigation Association 2009 Legislative Fly-In is May 5-7, 2009. IA members and government affairs staff will meet with elected officials and decision makers to discuss:

  • implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill.
  • water management policy that takes into account the values of turfgrass and landscapes.
  • research on water management related to climate change, U.S. agriculture and urban/suburban irrigation.
  • political and grassroots action in the irrigation industry.

For more information, contact IA federal affairs director John Farner at 703-536-7080 or