IA names 2017 awards program recipients

September 6, 2017 -  By

The Irrigation Association (IA) named the winners of its 2017 awards. This year the awards program added two new additions: the Vanguard Award and the Innovator Award.

The IA’s Vanguard Award was created to honor a team of individuals, companies, organizations or other group entities that have executed an innovative installation project in the irrigation industry. The IA Awards and Honors Committee chose to present the award to two nominees—one from the landscape sector and one from the agriculture sector.

The first Vanguard Awards will be presented to the project teams for Revitalization of the National Mall (landscape category) and Employing Close-spaced LEPA Applicators (agriculture category). Leads on the project accepting the awards on behalf of their teams will be Irrigation Consulting’s Brian Vinchesi, CGIA, CIC, CID, CLIA, CLIM, CLWM, EIT, FASIC, LEED-AP, and Senninger Irrigation’s Mark Healy, respectively.

The new Innovator Award was created to honor individuals who have made significant, tangible contributions consistently to the industry and the IA within the past five years. The committee selected the Toro Co.’s Robert Starr and Mike Baron to receive the inaugural Innovator Award for their work on The Water Zone radio program.

The National Water & Energy Conservation Award honors significant achievement in the conservation of water and energy relating to irrigation procedures, equipment, methods and techniques. New Mexico State University’s Steve Loring has been selected by the committee to receive the 2017 National Water and Energy Conservation Award.

The Industry Achievement Award, IA’s highest honor, recognizes an individual employed by or retired from an irrigation-related organization whose career demonstrates outstanding contributions to the advancement of the irrigation industry and its products and programs. The committee selected Clarence Prestwich, PE, CAIS, CID, from the USDA-NRCS as the 2017 Industry Achievement Award winner.

All winners will be recognized at the 2017 Irrigation Show and Education Conference in Orlando, Fla., at the general session on Nov. 9.

With the transition to this new awards program, the committee will retire the Crawford Reid Memorial Award, the Partner of the Year Award, the Person of the Year Award and the National Water & Energy Conservation Award in 2018. The IA will continue to recognize past winners of these awards on its website. The Industry Achievement Award will continue to be a part of the program moving forward.

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