IA Awards Program

Person of the Year

Established in 1952, this award is presented to a person outside the commercial irrigation industry who has made outstanding contributions toward the acceptance of sound irrigation practices. This might include the development or implementation of irrigation or water management policies or principles. Award recipients receive a lifetime technical membership to the Irrigation Association. Potential nominees include the following: 

  • Government officials (federal, regional, state or city)  
  • Policymakers  
  • Researchers  
  • Extension professionals  
  • Educators  
  • University officials  
  • End users 

2016

Richard Allen, PhD 

University of Idaho Kimberly Research and Extension Center (Kimberly, Idaho)
 

Richard Allen, PhD, professor at the University of Idaho, is the world’s leading expert regarding agricultural evapotranspiration. He wrote the major world book on the subject for the UN Food and Agricultural Organization. Lately, he has focused on remote sensing and works with almost all national and international organizations on the subject. He has provided documentation and training on the METRIC process (using remote sensing) to numerous organizations. Allen has helped the IA educational effort by developing the center pivot training materials and teaching some of the classes. 

 

2015

Guy Fipps, PhD, PE

Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas)

 

Fipps is a professor and extension agricultural engineer in the department of biological and agricultural engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He joined Texas A&M in 1988 following the completion of his doctorate at North Carolina State University, where he was a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Needs Fellow. While at Texas A&M, he advanced from a non-tenure extension agricultural engineer to a full professor in just 11 years.

 

Specializing in irrigation technology, water quality and water management, Fipps is a recognized leader in irrigation technology and water conservation not only in Texas but also around the world. Fipps has devoted more than 25 years to improving irrigation efficiency, developing new technologies and promoting water-use efficiency. His research and extension educational efforts have helped make major advancements in irrigation technologies.

 

Fipps has worked in Iraq, Rwanda, Libya, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, China, Jordan, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Russia, Chad, and Upper Volta. The work done in these countries spans all aspects of irrigation, including water management, salinity management, river basin development and water resources. Fipps also acted as the subject matter expert on a $24.5 million civil works center pivot project in Iraq.

 

2014

Lawrence Schwankl, PhD

University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (Visalia, Calif.)

 

Schwankl’s career in water management started immediately after receiving his master’s in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis. He worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in floodplain management and disaster relief. While earning his doctorate, Schwankl worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service as a water management engineer.

 

Schwankl then joined the University of California Cooperative Extension as an irrigation specialist, where he worked for 28 years until his retirement this summer. In that role, he worked on applied research problems and on improving irrigation water management. Schwankl has written over 200 publications, including a set of irrigation handbooks. He has given presentations on a wide variety of irrigation topics at over 700 meetings for agricultural and urban water users.

 

2013

David Zoldoske, EdD, CID

Center for Irrigation Technology, California State University (Fresno, Calif.)

 

Zoldoske has been a strong leader in the irrigation industry for many years, at both the national and international levels. Some of his most notable contributions include serving as project director for the establishment of the Zimbabwe Irrigation Technology Center and representing the United States in the development of international equipment standards.

 

As the director of the Center for Irrigation Technology, Zoldoske has established the center as an internationally renowned irrigation testing facility — a facility that is now the primary testing lab for WaterSense-labeled irrigation products. He also served on the IA Executive Committee for five years and was president of the association from 2004 to 2005.

 

2012

Dr. Freddie Lamm

Kansas State University, Northwest Extension Center (Colby, Kan.)

 

For more than 30 years, Dr. Lamm has dedicated his career to irrigation-related issues, such as irrigated crop production — corn in particular — which is the dominant crop in his region. He has also authored, or co-authored, numerous articles, technical papers and nearly 300 popular press articles.

 

2011

Howard Wuertz

Sundance Farms (Coolidge, Ariz.)

 

The extension agents that nominated Howard Wuertz call him the “father of subsurface drip irrigation” in America, particularly in the West. But he has also developed an entire cropping system to manage soils and nutrients as well as water and energy. He holds five patents on tillage equipment used to assure that buried drip tape stays in place and undamaged. He regularly hosts international visitors to his farm to share his best practices.

 

2010

John Busch

UDSA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, retired

 

Busch was honored for his 30 years as a professor and researcher at the University of Idaho and recent work at NRCS. At the university, he researched improving irrigation management and water and energy efficiency. At NRCS, Busch worked with growers to design irrigation systems, develop water management plans, provide training on best practices, and create irrigation planning and design tools. As a licensed, professional engineer, he helped develop sprinkler and surface irrigation standards.

 

2009

Kerry Harrison
University of Georgia

 

2008

Bradford Monroe
Cuyamaca College

 

2006

Gene Rochester
The Rochester Group

 

2005

Claude Phene

SDI+

and 

John Replogle

USDA-US Water Conservation Laboratory, Retired

 

2004

Stuart W. Styles

Irrigation Training & Research Center, California Polytechnic State University

and 

Edward M. Norum
Center for Irrigation Technology, California State University

 

2003

Ronald Marlow
USDA-NRCS

 

2002

Dennis Kincaid

USDA-ARS

 

2001

Tom Spofford
USDA-NRCS, National Water & Climate Center

 

2000

Larry Curtis
Biosystems Engineering, Auburn University

 

1999

Dean Eisenhauer

Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering, University of Nebraska

 

1998

Joe Hung

Institute of Irrigation Research & Evaluation, California State Polytechnic University

 

1997

Charles Burt

Irrigation Training & Research Center, California Polytechnic State University

 

1996

Jan van Schilfgaarde

Natural Resources and Systems, USDA-ARS

 

1995

Terry Howell
USDA-ARS

 

1994

Robert von Bernuth

Michigan State University

 

1993

Leland Hardy
USDA Soil Conservation Service

 

1992

Leon New
Texas Agriculture Extension Service, Texas A&M University

 

1991

E. Dale Threadgill

Biological Agricultural Engineering, University of Georgia

 

1990

Kenneth Solomon

Center for Irrigation Technology, California State University

 

1989

Allen Dedrick
USDA-ARS

 

1988

Leslie Sheffield
Extension Farm Management, University of Nebraska

 

1987

Mel Hagood
Dept. of Agricultural Engineering, Washington State University

 

1986

William Lyle
Agricultural Research, Texas A&M University.

 

1985

Dale Heermann
USDA-ARS, AERC, Colorado State University

 

1984

Sterling Davis
Drip Irrigation

 

1983

Marvin Jensen
USDA-ARS

 

1981

Ronald Sneed
Extension Biological & Agricultural Engineering, NC State University

 

1980

LaVerne Stetson
USDA-ARS, University of Nebraska

 

1978

Henry Indyk
Extension Turfgrass Management, Cook College, Rutgers University

 

1977

Falih Aljibury
San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Research & Extension Center

 

1976

Walter Hinz
Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arizona

 

1974

Winston Strong
Soils & Irrigation, California State University

 

1973

Americo Guerra
Rural Development Irrigation Projects, Mexico Department of Water Resources

 

1973

Frank Robinson
Dept. of Water Science & Engineering, Imperial Valley Field Station, University of California

 

1972

Jack Keller
Dept. of Agricultural & Irrigation Engineering, Utah State University

 

1971

Albert Marsh
Extension Irrigation & Soils, Science & Agricultural Engineering, University of California

 

1969

T.W. Edminster
USDA-ARS

 

1968

J.E. Christiansen
Agriculture & Irrigation Engineering, Utah State University

 

1967

Robert Carolus
Dept. of Horticulture, Michigan State University

 

1966

Marvin Shearer
Cooperative Extension Service, Oregon State University

 

1965

Dalton Harrison
Ag Extension Service, University of Florida

 

1964

J.C. Wilcox
Soils & Irrigation, Department of Agriculture

 

1963

Kenneth Frost
Dept. of Agricultural Engineering, University of Arizona

 

1962

Claude Pair
Irrigation Research, USDA-ARS

 

1961

Paul Fischbach
Extension, Irrigation, University of Nebraska

 

1956

Howard Ellis
Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University

 

1955

E.H. Kidder
Dept. of Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University

 

1953

Frank Peikert
Dept. of Agricultural Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

 

1952

F. Earl Price
School of Agriculture, Oregon State University