IA award winners

The Irrigation Association (IA) announced the recipients of its annual awards. These awards honor those who have made significant contributions to the irrigation industry, and each recipient recognized this year is a true change-maker who has made unique and meaningful accomplishments toward furthering the industry and promoting efficient irrigation. The 2023 IA awards program is sponsored by Hunter Industries. These recipients will be honored during the 2023 Irrigation Show and Education Week in San Antonio, Nov. 27-Dec. 1.

Craig Borland, CIC, CID, CIT, CLIA, CLWM, is the recipient of the 2023 Industry Achievement Award. Borland has dedicated 28 years to the irrigation industry as an employee of The Toro Company. He provides irrigation technical support in the areas of product engineering, legal, marketing and landscape drip. His experience, knowledge and feedback has helped develop or improve products critical to the industry’s growth, and he spends countless hours in the field troubleshooting, improving and making recommendations that shape product enhancements and provide insight to real-world conditions. Borland has served as a volunteer instructor for the Irrigation Association for the past 22 years and is a member of the IA Education Committee. He is widely viewed as one the top experts on irrigation and leads efforts to promote excellence in experience and education.

Aavudai Anandhi, PhD, is a recipient of the 2023 Excellence in Education Award. Anandhi is an associate professor at Florida A&M University specializing in irrigation and water management and has made numerous contributions to the development of irrigation-related coursework and certificate programs. When she joined Florida A&M, a historically Black university, she began transforming the educational experience of undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups, developing an irrigation and water management training program from the ground up with limited resources. Among the 101 historically Black colleges and universities in the United States, this program is one of only two biological and agricultural engineering programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Robert Dobson, CIC, CID, CLIA, is a recipient of the 2023 Excellence in Education Award. Dobson has been teaching irrigation for the Rutgers Professional Golf Turf Management School and the Office of Continuing Professional Education for 20 years. During this time, he has taught approximately 1,600 students in the two-year program alone. Dobson has worked developing irrigation courses, teaching and guiding students, and co-authoring books, including the IA’s Irrigation, Sixth Edition. With over 50 years of personal experience in the industry as the president of Middletown Sprinkler Company, Dobson is able to share his unique wealth of knowledge in best water management practices and real-world challenges and solutions with his students. Dobson is a past member of the Irrigation Association Board of Directors and served as president in 2013. He also served as the chair of the IA Certification Board.