A year in the life of an IA board member

The Irrigation Association Board of Directors is made up of 15 volunteers who pledge to serve the membership and the industry. These individuals commit to three years of service at minimum, and some even go on to take officer positions on the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee has no authority to make policies, but it does preview ideas and issues in advance of the board meeting to help provide a framework for subsequent board discussions. The Executive Committee meets monthly by phone, and the board meets quarterly, with two in-person meetings.

Over the past year, IA leadership has discussed a broad array of issues. Most notably, the board has discussed the association’s positions on policy, water rights, groundwater recharge, turf replacement programs and artificial turf, and water budgets. These discussions help guide IA’s advocacy staff when confronted with issues.

The board regularly revisits the organization’s priorities and discusses ways to further its efforts in these areas. For instance, workforce development and public affairs are two areas where IA has tremendous room for growth. With this in mind, IA leadership has allocated resources to provide more support to the Irrigation Foundation, whose mission is to promote careers in irrigation. In November, the board approved a new quarterly printed publication, to better deliver IA’s mission to its members and stakeholders. Finally, they have signed on as sponsors of the new documentary Thirsty Land to help spread its message beyond to an even broader audience. All of these ideas have been direct results of input from members and focus groups facilitated by IA’s professional staff.

In addition to these discussions, the board approves the annual operating and capital budgets. This year included the development of the new Tailgate Training program for landscape contractors, a comprehensive job analysis for irrigation designers and consultants, a train-the-trainer program for new IA instructors, and upgraded software for the website.

With respect to administration, the board discussed big items such as co-locating with the GIE+Expo and increasing membership dues. Board members review the association’s finances and reserve funds, appoint committees and task forces, vote on recommended winners from the Awards and Honors Committee, and develop policies as needed.

To nominate someone for a future board position, click here.