2014 Irrigation Show takes on Phoenix

November 26, 2014 -  By

“Spectacular.”

“The most spectacular time you’re in,” in fact, is the way Lowell Catlett put it in his keynote address at the 2014 Irrigation Show & Education Conference, held Nov. 19-20 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

“What is a luxury to one generation is a necessity to the next,” said Catlett, Ph.D., New Mexico State University, in reference to the rising demand for irrigation.

Optimism similar to the keynote speaker’s recurred throughout the week on the trade show floor and in the education conference, held Nov. 17-21.

The Irrigation Show attracted 4,100 attendees and 304 exhibiting companies in 2014, according to the Irrigation Association (IA).

“I must say, the group has never looked better or been more appreciated,” said Warren Thoma, outgoing president of the IA.

Thoma, of Warren Thoma & Associates, kicked off the general session with an update on the association and its recently revised strategic plan, which puts a heavier focus on advocacy. More than 200 irrigation professionals had taken the certified irrigation technician over the past two years, he disclosed.

J.R. Bergantino Jr., director of Rain Bird Golf and International and chair of the Irrigation Foundation, also took the stage, unveiling that the foundation brought in $60,000 in 2014.

The new product contest caught some spotlight, too, with around 50 entries in landscape/golf, agriculture, specialty and, for the first year, lighting categories.

New product contest winners included:

Honorable mentions went out to:

2014 award winners also were recognized at the session, including IA award winners, Smart Marketing Contest victors, Irrigation Foundation E3 Program attendees and the foundation’s Excellence in Education Award-winner Michael Dukes, Ph.D., University of Florida.

The 2015 Irrigation Show, which artist Robert Wyland will keynote, is slated for Nov. 9-13 in Long Beach, Calif.

Photos: LM

About the Author:

Former Associate Editor Sarah Pfledderer is a West Coast-based contributing editor for Landscape Management.

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