Nearly 9,000 people from 57 countries attended the 2019 Irrigation Show and Groundwater Week in Las Vegas Dec. 2-6. The Irrigation Association co-located with the National Ground Water Association and the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, resulting in a show floor with more than 600 exhibitors.

The education week featured new Industry Insights sessions, offering presentations and panel discussions on the latest trends, best practices and research updates on various agricultural and landscape irrigation and business topics. IA University courses teaching core irrigation curriculum are respected in the industry and once again drew many participants. Many irrigation professionals became certified at the show by taking one of the IA’s seven different certification exams.

Wednesday morning kicked off with a powerful message by keynote speaker Jim Abbott, a Major League Baseball pitcher who achieved success despite being born with only one hand. Abbott shared how he was able to overcome perceived limitations and reach his dreams.

Following the keynote address, the trade show floor opened, giving irrigation professionals the opportunity to interact with exhibitors and learn about products and services that could help their businesses. In addition to exploring the trade show floor for ideas, attendees had access to the industry’s latest technologies and innovations at the new product contest showcasing 56 entries.

Several networking events and socials held throughout the week allowed attendees and exhibitors to connect. The opening night party celebrated the lights and colors of Las Vegas. Those attending enjoyed food and drinks, as well as the opportunity to get a picture taken seated on the brand-new Harley-Davidson motorcycle being raffled during the show to benefit workforce development.

The IA debuted a new Ag Dealer Day event on Thursday morning. This half-day educational opportunity for dealers to learn about running a successful agricultural dealership through different business strategies was a success, with those attending requesting similar events in the future.

The 2019 New Product Contest winners were announced at Thursday’s general session, hosted by IA CEO Deborah Hamlin, CAE, FASAE; 2019 IA President Ed Santalone Jr.; and incoming 2020 IA President Jon Topham, CAIS, CID. They recognized and honored the 2019 award winners and shared what the IA has accomplished over the past year. For information about the new product contest winners, go to www.irrigationshow.org/2019winners, and for information about IA awards and the 2019 recipients, go to www.irrigation.org/awards.

“The Irrigation Show is held each year to provide a venue where professionals can explore, connect and learn all about irrigation,” Hamlin said. “The 2019 show featured amazing new technologies on display, diverse educational opportunities and well-attended business connection events that helped us accomplish this mission in Las Vegas.”

The 2019 Irrigation Show was a unique opportunity drawing ag and landscape irrigation professionals together in one location offering unlimited opportunities. The IA now sets its sights on San Antonio, where the show will be held Nov. 30-Dec. 4, 2020.