Agriculture Presenters

The ag irrigation industry is full of professionals with unique expertise and knowledge. The IA is pleased that these experts will be presenting during the Industry Insights for Agriculture webinar series. Learn more about these individuals as you plan your schedule for participating in Industry Insights for Agriculture.

 
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Diganta Adhikari, PhD
Head of On-Farm IoT | Syngenta

Diganta Adhikari is a PhD-educated engineering management professional with extensive experience providing the leadership and direction needed to drive the achievement of key organizational engineering-related business goals and objectives. Adhikari is skilled at developing and implementing strategy based around engineering best practices, innovation and overall business intelligence to lead the delivery of solutions that exceed defined expectations. In addition, he brings demonstrated strength-building to maintain strong, professional relationships with strategic business partners and engineering stakeholders based on the effectiveness of the leadership and solutions provided. He is continually recognized for the ability to deliver impactful results while leading in fast-paced, dynamic business environments.

Webinar: Leveraging IoT for Ag Data

Ladi Asgill
Senior Agronomist | Sustainable Conservation

Ladi Asgill is senior agronomist and Certified Crop Advisor with Sustainable Conservation, an environmental organization based in San Francisco and Modesto, California. Asgill has over 20 years of experience addressing production and environmental challenges in California agriculture. Over the past 14 years, he has led partnerships with farmers, government agencies, regulators and private industry to pioneer innovative market-based technologies that address California’s air, water quality and water supply issues, with a particular focus in the dairy and tree nut sectors. He is currently working with farmers, scientists and irrigation districts to research and implement on-farm recharge methods that address overdrafted groundwater water basins. His is also partnering with Netafim USA to improve methods for effectively utilizing liquid manure nutrients with drip irrigation systems in order to reduce nitrate leaching while also providing dairy producers with a cost-effective alternative to synthetic fertilizers. Asgill has a master’s in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University and an agribusiness MBA from Santa Clara University. He is also an alumni of California’s Agricultural Leadership Foundation.

Webinar: SDI-E — Maximizing Profit & Nutrient Utilization Including Dairy Effluent for Corn, Wheat and Alfalfa Production With Drip Irrigation Systems as a Nutrient Delivery Method

Alan Bixler
Senior Technical Sales Manager | Grundfos Pumps

Alan Bixler is senior technical sales manager for the Southeast region at Grundfos Pumps. Bixler has been with Grundfos for 13 years in various technical roles. He started his career with Grundfos as a senior applications engineer working with the entire range of Grundfos products. He then moved into a regional product specialist role supporting the North American region for residential groundwater products and controls. In 2014 he took the role as senior technical sales manager for the Southeast U.S. market for groundwater and irrigation. In this role he supports Grundfos’ distribution partners and contractors with application and technical knowledge of Grundfos products in water systems and irrigation.

Webinar: Power Quality & Pumps ... Is Your Power Killing Your Pumps?

Yancey Brumfield
Regional Manager | CH2O Inc.

Yancey Brumfield is a regional manager for CH2O Inc. based out of Tumwater, Washington, where he oversees account managers in Oregon, southern Washington and southern Idaho. He holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Washington State University. With nine years of experience in the water treatment industry, Brumfield specializes in microirrigation water treatment: biological control, mitigation of mineral deposition, corrosion control and disease management in irrigation systems.”

Webinar: Microirrigation Issues & Common Treatment Programs

John Cardoza
Senior Product Manager | Sustainable Conservation

John Cardoza leads the organization’s effort regarding nutrient management and partnering with Central Valley dairies. The effort focuses on different technologies that improve nutrient/water use efficiency and water quality, while maintaining or increasing optimal crop yields. Cardoza’s deep understanding of farming is attributed to growing up on a family farm near Modesto, California, and his experience working with diverse agricultural sectors. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agribusiness from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Webinar: SDI-E — Maximizing Profit & Nutrient Utilization Including Dairy Effluent for Corn, Wheat and Alfalfa Production With Drip Irrigation Systems as a Nutrient Delivery Method

Tom Drew
Technical Sales Director | Grundfos

Tom Drew has been in the pump and controls industry for 28 years. He joined the Grundfos team in June of 2019 as the technical sales manager for Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico. His industry background includes project/product management, marketing and engineering, and he has also served on several national committees for the industry.

Webinars: Solar Pumping Basics

Steve Evett, PhD
Research Soil Scientist | USDA-ARS

Steve Evett is a research soil scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in semi-arid West Texas, where he conducts research on irrigation methods and management and on development of soil and plant water status sensors, wireless sensing systems and automated decision support systems. He has worked with irrigation management in the western United States and in several countries in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. His recent work has quantified reduction in evaporative losses when using SDI, development of crop coefficients for SDI in the Southern High Plains, and development of a decision support system for variable rate irrigation.

Webinar: Irrigation Technology Management & Scheduling

John Farner
Industry Development Director | Irrigation Association

John Farner serves as the industry development director for the Irrigation Association. With more than 15 years of experience in working with water, agricultural and landscape technologies and more than 20 years working in international government and public policy, Farner’s expertise in government and public affairs is closely aligned with issues and technologies relating to water use in agricultural production and landscape management. After serving on staff for two members of Congress, the George W. Bush for President Campaign and as a special assistant to the United States Secretary of Commerce, Farner joined the IA in 2008 and currently oversees the advocacy and public affairs programs, focusing on water use technologies in agriculture, landscape, turfgrass and golf. He speaks regularly on issues such as drought, agricultural water use, water restrictions, agricultural productivity and groundwater/surface water use, as well as irrigation technologies, trends and best management practices for irrigation technology application and adoption.

Webinar: The Future of Agriculture in America: The Role Irrigation Plays in Sustainability

Ryan Flaherty
Director of Business Partnerships | Sustainable Conservation

At Sustainable Conservation, Ryan Flaherty fosters collaborative relationships between industry, regulators, agencies and other stakeholders to understand and explore solutions to transform dairy manure from waste to asset. He also leads Sustainable Conservation’s engagement with corporations to encourage investment in innovative solutions to water and climate issues in California. Flaherty has more than 15 years of experience working with companies on social and environmental issues, mostly in the United States and Latin America. His areas of expertise include business and supply chain strategy, sustainable agriculture and water stewardship. He has an international MBA from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University.

Webinar: SDI-E — Maximizing Profit & Nutrient Utilization Including Dairy Effluent for Corn, Wheat and Alfalfa Production With Drip Irrigation Systems as a Nutrient Delivery Method

Graham Hutchinson, CID
Regional Manager – Latin America | Nelson Irrigation Corporation

Graham Hutchinson is the regional manager – Latin America for Nelson Irrigation Corporation. He has 40 years of experience in irrigation, including 33 years of experience with irrigation design software. Hutchinson’s primary goal is to add value to dealers, designers and farmers in irrigated agriculture.

Webinar: Irrigation Design Webinar

Isaya Kisekka, PhD
Associate Professor | University of California, Davis

Isaya Kisekka is an associate professor of agricultural water management and irrigation engineering and associate irrigation engineer at the University of California, Davis. He specializes in water management and irrigation engineering, having completed a doctorate in agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Florida and faculty time at Kansas State University. His research focuses on developing water management strategies and irrigation technologies for tree, vegetable and field crops to help farmers optimize water productivity and profitability while exerting minimum impact on the environment. Kisekka was named as the recipient of the 2020 IA Excellence in Education Award.

Webinar: Sustainability of Irrigated Agriculture in the Central Valley of California

Jake LaRue

Jake LaRue’s career began in 1976. Over the next 40+ years, he worked on several continents in nearly every facet of irrigation, from corrosion prevention to wastewater management to smart panels and scheduling. Among his accomplishments are an exclusive method for growing rice under center pivots, a standalone device measuring spectral bands off the crop canopy, and infrared thermometry for VRI prescriptions. LaRue has been awarded numerous patents and was the recipient of the 2019 Irrigation Association Industry Achievement Award. Still, he considers himself a farmer at heart and is most at home offering irrigation and agronomic support to growers.

Webinar: Sustainable Irrigation: An Integrated Approach

Trevor Mecham
Vice President, Global Technology Strategy | Valley Irrigation

As vice president of global technology strategy, Trevor Mecham leads Valley Irrigation technology strategy, assuring growers continue receiving innovative solutions and a strong ROI. Mecham brings a wealth of vision and experience in the ag tech space, including leadership positions at Leica Geosystems, Hortau, Uptake and CNH Industrial. He helped to develop advancements at Leica Geosystems, John Deere/Gem Equipment Inc. and Novariant (Integrinautics). Mecham has also earned his bachelor’s in business marketing and worked on his family’s 4,000-acre farm.

Webinar: Irrigation Technology & the Future of Farming | The Future of Agriculture in America: The Role Irrigation Plays in Sustainability

Aadith Moorthy
Founder and CEO | ConserWater Technologies

Aadith Moorthy is the founder and CEO of ConserWater Technologies, a company that helps farmers grow more with less water using satellite data and artificial intelligence. ConserWater’s AI predicts soil moisture and nutrient levels using only satellite data and without any hardware or sensors. Moorthy has been directly involved in ConserWater’s technology development since its founding, and since then, ConserWater has helped farmers on every inhabited continent to easily use satellite data to their benefit. Aadith holds a master’s degree from Stanford and undergraduate degrees from the California Institute of Technology with a concentration in AI.

Webinar: Precise Irrigation With Actionable Insights From Satellites

Nate Ray
General Manager | DeJager Farms

Nate Ray is the general manager for DeJager Farms in Chowchilla, California. DeJager Farms grows 17,000 acres of alfalfa, wheat and corn forage for their 25,000 dairy cows across eight dairy operations in the California Central Valley. Ray has been involved in the SDI-E project from the first day and will be sharing the transition from flood to SDI, both the challenges experienced and the many benefits to their operation. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science focused in plant sciences from California State University, Fresno.

Webinar: SDI-E — Maximizing Profit & Nutrient Utilization Including Dairy Effluent for Corn, Wheat and Alfalfa Production With Drip Irrigation Systems as a Nutrient Delivery Method

Gene Ross, PE, CID
Vice President of Global Mechanized Irrigation | Nelson Irrigation Corporation

Gene Ross was raised on a family farm in central Nebraska where he was involved in both irrigated and dryland crop production and a cow-calf operation. He earned his degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Nebraska. Ross spent seven years with a major center pivot manufacturer working in various positions in engineering, sales and service. For the last 18 years, he has been with Nelson Irrigation Corporation — first as a district manager and currently as vice president for global mechanized irrigation. He currently lives in Fremont, Nebraska, and is a certified irrigation designer and licensed professional engineer.

Webinar: Valve Applications for Mechanized Irrigation

Domonic Rossini
Agronomic Relationship Manager | Netafim USA

Domonic Rossini is an agronomic relationship manager for Netafim USA and works with all levels of customers to maximize the benefits of drip/micro irrigation systems. His responsibilities include training and education, supporting growers, and special projects such as effluent water systems, variable rate irrigation systems and SDI on forage crops. Before joining Netafim in 2015, he led the research and deployment of mechanization and ranch management for Sunview Vineyards. Raised on a family farm, Rossini is still an active farmer. He resides in Modesto, California, with his wife and two children.

Webinar: SDI-E — Maximizing Profit & Nutrient Utilization Including Dairy Effluent for Corn, Wheat and Alfalfa Production With Drip Irrigation Systems as a Nutrient Delivery Method

Jim Schneider

Jim Schneider has dedicated his career to the prospect of improving water management through innovation and technology. At the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, he served as deputy director and was recognized as an expert in the field of hydrogeology by the U.S. Supreme Court. While at Olsson, Schneider pioneered the development of the Groundwater Evaluation Toolbox (GET), a cloud-based software platform that automates the evaluation of groundwater management issues. GET allows water managers to easily ask questions and get answers to their groundwater management questions in real time. Jim continues to support sustainable irrigation through sound science and public policies

Webinar: Managing Nebraska’s Irrigation Water Use in the Cloud

Clinton C. Shock, PhD
Managing Partner | Medicinal Botanical Seed

Clinton Shock has enthusiasm for plants and seeks to use science and education to solve horticultural, environmental and social problems. His research develops economically viable options that are voluntarily implemented by growers. Shock has envisioned and generated win-win solutions to problems such as credit and market access for poor growers in the Brazil, revegetation in the Amazon, “sugar end” of potato in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, groundwater contamination in Oregon, irrigation-induced erosion, and production of specialty crops. As director of an Oregon State University experiment station from 1984 to 2018, he headed cooperative efforts to improve growers’ yields and profitability while simultaneously correcting environmental or social problems. This work has resulted in drip irrigation technology options for onion growers and improved water quality in the Treasure Valley of Oregon and Idaho.

Webinar: Efficient Irrigation to Produce Cannabinol From Hemp

Billy Tiller
Co-Founder and CEO | Grower Information Services Cooperative

Ag innovator Billy Tiller has held leadership roles in rural telecommunications, ag banking, ag technology and ag production. He is the co-founder and CEO of Grower Information Services Cooperative, which was founded in 2012 as the world’s first ag data cooperative. He has served as a speaker and panelist about big ag data and has been a witness before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture and its subcommittees. In July 2017, he was named one of the Top 10 Most Influential Precision Farming Advocates by PrecisionAg Professional and Meister Publishing.

Webinar: TPNRD Water Data Program

Guillermo Valenzuela
Co-Founder | Wiseconn Engineering

Guillermo Valenzuela is a co-founder of Wiseconn Engineering, a Chile-based company focused on deploying IT solutions for efficient water management. He received his business degree and a master’s in marketing from Universidad Adolfo Ibanez and the Copenhagen Business School. The culmination of experience in water distribution, working with irrigation districts and automated irrigation control on numerous leaching operations in copper mining is what sparked his involvement in agricultural irrigation 15 years ago. Today Valenzuela is the vice president of sales and marketing and the president of WiseConn Engineering Inc. in Fresno, California, where he has been working with local growers, researchers and institutions like Fresno State and the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Center-Kearney to improve irrigation efficiency through management and control.

Webinar: How Irrigation Automation & Telemetry Help Save Water

Jason Warren
Oklahoma State University – Plant & Soil Sciences

Jason Warren is the Oklahoma soil and water conservation/management extension specialist. His extension program focuses on evaluating and demonstrating conservation management practices with respect to their impact on agronomic productivity and economic viability, as well as Oklahoma’s soil and water resources.

Webinar: Testing Ag Performance Solutions in the Oklahoma Panhandle

Robert Welke
Independent Irrigation Consultant

Robert Welke is an independent irrigation consultant and has worked in the water and irrigation pumping industries for 52 years. He has spent almost his whole career with a pressure gauge in one hand and a flowmeter in the other, and he has never sold a pump or other equipment in his life. Most of Welke’s work is auditing irrigation pumping systems for pumping energy efficiency, and with the knowledge gained from this, he runs pumping system master class training courses. Welke has been a member of Irrigation Australia since 2006 and has written numerous technical articles on pumping system energy efficiency for association’s Journal for Irrigation Professionals.

Webinar: Pumping System Audit Identifies $19kPa Electricity Saving

 

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