The Irrigation Hall of Fame

December 23, 2019 -  By


The NFL has one. So does Major League Baseball and the NBA. One day, hopefully, there will be an Irrigation Hall of Fame, a place where the incredible innovations we’ve seen over the decades can be shared and celebrated.

Over my 25-year career, BrightView has been a strong supporter of continuous education and professional development. In my time with the company, I have had the good fortune of learning from some of irrigation’s top experts.

The irrigation industry is full of talented and smart individuals, but if I could create an Irrigation Hall of Fame, there are some people who would be immediately inducted for the significant contributions they have made to efficient irrigation practices.

Charles Burt, Ph.D., chairman of the board, Irrigation Training & Research Center

The research Dr. Burt has led at Cal Poly’s ITRC department has had a positive and lasting impact on water use efficiency. More importantly, Dr. Burt has educated a long list of talented people who have become industry leaders. If you ever have taken a class with Dr. Burt, you know that he has endless knowledge, which is presented to students with real-world, practical experience. The irrigation industry owes Dr. Burt a tremendous amount of gratitude for the research, teaching and consulting contributions he has made to our industry and for educating and influencing so many others who have gone on to make their own contributions.

Brent Mecham, industry development director, Irrigation Association

Very few people know the significant contributions and influence Brent has had in the development of irrigation standards and codes that are impacting our industry today. Brent is another person whose knowledge comes from practical, real-world experience and field research. Brent has an incredible way of understanding perspectives from a very high level and is a master at expressing the points of views of others and boiling complex concepts down to a level that helps everyone understand. As the development of standards and codes gains momentum, we should all be thankful that Brent has played a role representing the irrigation industry.

Lynda Wightman, industry relations manager, Hunter Industries

During my time in the industry, I have never met anyone more passionate about growing careers and attracting talent to our industry than Lynda. Whether it is educating educators or speaking to youth about irrigation career opportunities, Lynda has been a role model for creating inclusive pathways to careers in irrigation.

Brian Vinchesi, president, Irrigation Consulting

Another person who contributes an incredible amount of time giving back to our industry is Brian Vinchesi. As an innovative irrigation designer and consultant on some of today’s most interesting projects, there is little that Brian can’t reflect on at the highest level. Including teaching classes and technical sessions and serving on industry boards, Brian has generously given an incredible amount of his personal time and knowledge back to the irrigation industry.

The common thread among these four individuals is they unselfishly pass on their practical, real-world knowledge and experiences to others. The list of potential inductees to the Hall of Fame is long. Jim Borneman, Tom Shannon, Don Franklin, Craig Borland and Kurt Thompson are a few others who continuously pass their wisdom on.

This year’s Irrigation Association Show & Education Conference is being held in Las Vegas, Dec. 2-6 and will be a great opportunity to network with these “Hall of Famers” and many others. If you happen to bump into any of them at the conference, please take a moment to thank them for all of their hard work in advancing the irrigation industry.

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