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Rain Bird exclusively sponsors IA’s workforce development scholarships

June 8, 2021 -  By
Tony LaFetra (Photo: Rain Bird)

In honor of its late president and CEO, Rain Bird Corp. will exclusively sponsor the Irrigation Association’s 2022-2026 workforce development scholarship program. To be renamed the Irrigation Association’s Anthony W. “Tony” LaFetra Scholarship Program sponsored by Rain Bird, the training awards will honor the business leader who died in January.

The two top scholarship winners will be designated Anthony W. “Tony” LaFetra scholars.

Privately held Rain Bird manufactures and provides irrigation products and services for farms, golf courses, sports arenas, commercial developments and homes in more than 130 countries. That company supports the IA and its initiatives, and many of its employees have served in leadership and volunteer roles.

LaFetra became Rain Bird’s president and CEO in 1978, and his tenure’s highlights included innovations that revolutionized the irrigation industry. In 2002, the IA awarded him its Industry Achievement Award.

“Tony LaFetra certainly left an indelible mark on the irrigation industry during his lifetime,” said Michael Roberts, Rain Bird’s vice president of technology and innovation. “Sponsoring this scholarship program gives us the opportunity to share his legacy with others in the years to come. Tony would be pleased that his innovative spirit and passion will help inspire a whole new generation of irrigation professionals as they pursue their careers in this industry he loved so much.”

 The IA’s annual scholarship program provides financial support for worthy candidates interested in pursuing irrigation-related careers. Started in 2016, the IA has awarded $130,000 to students for tuition assistance.

 “We are excited to welcome Rain Bird as the exclusive sponsor of the newly named Anthony W. ‘Tony’ LaFetra Scholarship Program,” said IA CEO Deborah Hamlin, CAE, FASAE. “The IA realizes that finding and keeping qualified employees is one of the industry’s greatest challenges, and we are committed to developing the future workforce. We look forward to partnering with Rain Bird for the next five years as we support students pursuing careers in this exciting field full of opportunity.”

LM Staff

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