IA, Jain discuss how industry responds to COVID-19

August 17, 2020 -  By
Sprinkler system (Photo: Kyryl Gorlov / iStock / Getty Images)

Photo: Kyryl Gorlov / iStock / Getty Images

Jain Irrigation held a discussion with the Irrigation Association (IA) on what it’s doing to support its members during the coronavirus pandemic.

The webinar featured a discussion with John Farner, government and public affairs director for the Irrigation Association, and Richard Restuccia, vice president of water management solutions for Jain Irrigation, about what the IA is doing for its members during this abnormal time.

“Things hit our industry fast and furious,” Farner said. “Our No. 1 goal was to make sure we could still provide high-quality service to our members. That (week of the shutdown orders in March) had to have been the busiest week of our organization’s advocacy periods that I can ever remember, but it was awe-inspiring to see our members stepping up the plate. Years from now, we’re going to give speeches and write books on what we did and how we came out of it.”

Farner recalls hearing stories about irrigation trucks being pulled over by police and told they couldn’t work, so he said the IA worked with other industry associations and policymakers to make sure the disruption to the industry was as little as possible.

Overall, Farner said members are reporting that business has been up during the pandemic and that many companies have become innovative in the way they interact with customers, but he cautioned companies to follow social distancing measures.

He said that companies are using apps, adding, “The good news is the landscape side works outdoors, and it’s easy to be socially distant outdoors. We’re looking to be innovative with the technology we have and how we can do business while keeping everyone’s health and safety in mind.”

Looking ahead, IA plans to make its Faculty Academy remote and the 2020 IA Show has been canceled, but it will hold a virtual education week the first week of December. Other education sessions will be sprinkled throughout the remainder of the year.

Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's former managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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