Vanguard Award

2018 Call for Nominations

The Irrigation Association is now accepting 2018 awards nominations. Nominations are due on or before March 1, 2018.

To nominate a deserving project for the Vanguard Award, fill out the online nomination form or download and complete the PDF nomination form.

Launched in 2017, the IA’s new Vanguard Award was created to honor a project executed by a team of individuals, companies, organizations or other group entities that have executed an innovative installation project in the irrigation industry.

No more than three awards will be given each year. Ideally, a balance of agriculture and landscape projects would be recognized.

Award Winners


Landscape category — Revitalization of the National Mall

The revitalization included the installation of a new irrigation system that uses 1 million gallons of underground stormwater storage for the eight center tree panels and edge irrigation for the bordering tree panels on both sides of the National Mall. In addition, the project included installation of new curbing, structural soils and a new drainage system.

This project creatively utilized intuitive design, efficient products and industry leading technology. It was created to generate a healthy and water-efficient landscape to be enjoyed by the millions of people who visit this site every year.

IA participant companies that contributed to the success of this project included Irrigation Consulting Inc., Rain Bird Corp., Hunter Industries, The Toro Co., Harrington Corp., Flowtronex, Brightview, Paige Electric, Oldcastle Enclosure Solutions, VAF Filtration Systems, T. Christy Enterprises Inc., Campbell Scientific Inc., Buckner Superior, Sure-Flo Fittings, 3M, Lasco Fittings Inc., and ISCO Industries LLC.

Agriculture category — Close-Spaced LEPA Installations: Saving Water and Energy and Increasing Yields

Senninger Irrigation Inc. Vice President Mark Healy worked with Leon New from Texas A&M in the 1980s to develop the first low energy precision applicator. Healy has now been working with manufacturers, dealers and growers over the past several years to develop bubbler inserts and bubbler pads to meet specific needs for those LEPA applicators to be used with close drop spacing.

Employing close-spaced LEPA applicators low to the ground saves water and energy by applying the water needed in fewer pivot passes. These systems achieve a more uniform root zone coverage, increase yield using less water, help leach salts and avoid wetting crop canopy.

The collaboration of manufacturers, irrigation dealers and growers included Rick Grimes, owner of Southwest Irrigation in Casa Grande, Arizona; Rod Stillwell, with American Irrigation in Garden City, Kansas; John Maurer, manager of Triple D Ranch in Dyer, Nevada; and Bob Holloway, grower in northwest Kansas.