The Irrigation Association announced that the 35th annual Irrigation Show & Education Conference in Phoenix, had more than 4,100 participants and 304 exhibiting companies.
IA offered 20 different agriculture, turf/landscape and business education classes, in addition to over 30 irrigation seminars and technical sessions. Attendees earned IA continuing education units for all education at the show.
IA offered certification exams for irrigation technicians, contractors, auditors, designers and water managers throughout the week. Over 140 industry professionals sat for exams on-site at the show.
The show opened with an Oasis in the Desert-themed party. IA served dinner and drinks but left the entertainment up to the attendees, who entertained their peers with enthusiastic karaoke performances. This year’s show marked the first year that IA hosted a Women in Irrigation Social, where approximately 75 women gathered to share information, develop networks and meet new industry friends. To close out the week, the association toasted to another successful event at the Blending Borders International Reception, open for the first time to all attendees with a full-registration.
Show floor doors opened on Wednesday, Nov. 19. Attendees crowded the exhibit hall to view the latest innovations on display at the new product contest showcase, meet with exhibitors and attend show floor education sessions. In addition to agricultural and landscape irrigation presentations, show floor sessions included an update on the Smart Water Application Technologies initiative and recognition of the winners of the 2014 Smart Marketing Contest.
Thursday’s general session honored both IA award winners and 2014 new product contest winners. IA’s president, Warren C. Thoma, updated the audience about association initiatives. Incoming President Aric J. Olson, CSSBB, CPIM, CSCP, CAIS, CID, discussed the organization’s plans for the year ahead.
Keynote speaker Lowell Catlett, PhD, discussed how technology innovation will drive future growth in the industry. Catlett kept the audience laughing as he shared his unique perspective on emerging technologies and how to anticipate future trends in the irrigation industry.
At the end of the week, guest speakers from New Zealand, Uruguay and the United States gathered for the second annual International Agricultural Irrigation Summit. Presenters discussed global regulations, agricultural best practices and international sustainability initiatives. Attendees participated in a panel discussion that focused on challenges facing global agricultural production, partnership opportunities and efficient irrigation’s role in sustainable, long-term solutions.
IA’s Expo Advisory Committee and professional staff have already begun planning next year’s show, Nov. 9 – 13, in Long Beach, Calif. Here’s a snapshot of what’s coming next year:
- 2015 Irrigation Symposium: IA has partnered with the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers to host the 2015 Irrigation Symposium in conjunction with the show.
- International Buyer Program Select: IA has been selected for the second year to participate in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program Select, which helps to connect pre-qualified foreign buyers with U.S. companies.