Industry Insights

Tuesday, Nov. 28 & Thursday, Nov. 30

Sponsored by    

Note: Selected 2023 Industry Insights sessions will offer TCEQ credits and IA CEUs.

Tuesday, Nov. 28

Collaborating for Thriving Communities: Building Partnerships Between Water Agencies & Irrigation Professionals
Nov. 28 | 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. | Room 302A | 0.25 CEU | 1 TCEQ
Sarah Gorton and Chad Cosper, San Antonio Water System
Neil Kolodziej, Prestonwood Landscape
Luke Reynolds, Irrigation Association (Moderator)
Description: Join us for an empowering session where we explore how public water advocates and private sector contractors unite to advocate for a flourishing landscape industry, fostering prosperous communities and sustainable business growth.

Wi-Fi Technology & the Core Fundamentals of Connected Devices
Nov. 28 | 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. | Room 302A | 1 CEU | 1 TCEQ
Kevin Battistoni, Hunter Industries
Description: The smart home market is growing rapidly in our fast-moving world of technology, which has created a massive market opportunity for green industry professionals. During this presentation, you will learn the fundamentals of smart home technology, from network testing to hardware installation, connection troubleshooting and speaking the language of IoT (Internet of Things). We will take a deep dive into all aspects of the process and focus on your stance and approach to your customers. Prepare to walk away from this session with what you need to be tactically prepared to succeed in Wi-Fi and connected devices and get your piece of the $90 billion-a-year smart home industry.

Thursday, Nov. 30

Continuation of General Session discussion
Nov. 30 | 10:20 a.m.-10:50 a.m. | Blue Innovation Hub
Julie Bushell, Paige Electric Company
Mike Haldane, Calsense
DJ Seeger, Seeger Water (Moderator)

Complain or Compete: Creating an Unfair Advantage in a Tough Labor Market
Nov. 30 | 11:00 a.m.-11:20 a.m. | Blue Innovation Hub | 0.08 CEU
Mike Voories, Business Resources One
Description: No organization can grow faster than its ability to recruit and retain enough of the right people. This is the greatest challenge facing business leaders today. Physically demanding industries like irrigation are especially challenged by staff shortages and retention struggles. What’s more, the learning curve and technical complexities of irrigation make attracting and retaining talent more challenging. There is a choice to be made … complain or compete! Those organizations choosing to compete can not only move toward overcoming the challenges found in today’s labor market, but they can actually turn this difficult climate into an unfair competitive advantage. It’s no secret that being short staffed raises operating costs, contributes to lost opportunities and amplifies employee turnover. The full magnitude of these costs is devastating and can compound rapidly. An organization is nothing more than the sum of its people. By being able to attract enough of the right people, maintaining an impressive retention rate, and maximizing the efficiency and efficacy of those team members, business leaders can truly give themselves an unfair competitive advantage.

Next Year Is Now: 7 Key Industry Trends for 2024
Nov. 30 | 11:30 a.m.-11:50 a.m. | Blue Innovation Hub | 0.08 CEU
Chuck Bowen, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and Equip Exposition
Kyle Brown, Irrigation & Lighting magazine
Description: Chuck Bowen, vice president of communications at the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and Equip Exposition, shares the top-line trends from the equipment industry and discusses their impact on the irrigation business with Kyle Brown, editor-in-chief of Irrigation & Lighting magazine.

Authenticity in Social Media & Internet Lead Generation
Nov. 30 | 1:00 p.m.-1:20 p.m. | Blue Innovation Hub | 0.08 CEU
Dale Bowman, Pumps, Motors and Controls
Jess Fields, Precision Outreach
Description: Dale Bowman of Pumps, Motors and Controls (formerly Carroll Childers Company) and his staff have no shortage of personality or stories, but they didn’t have the time or resources to use them to market their company, which has been in business since 1965. That’s why he partnered with Jess Fields and his firm, Precision Outreach, in 2021, to tell the true story of a small American manufacturer pumping the lifeblood of our economy — water. This marriage of marketing with industry expertise has led to hard-won lessons on how to market with authenticity and purpose in this soundbite world. This presentation will show irrigation professionals how to market themselves using their stories and experiences, with three practical and immediate applications: how to create and edit effective videos for social media, which platforms to use, and when to post them. This presentation will also discuss how to drive positive Google reviews by creating a QR code to link to your review page to share with customers and clients, how to grow a proper e-mail list, and how to send helpful content to galvanize existing relationships and get referral leads. These methods will be taught with detailed examples that anyone can implement as soon as the presentation ends.

Building, Training & Retaining an Irrigation Team in a Digital Age
Nov. 30 | 1:30 p.m.-1:50 p.m. | Blue Innovation Hub | 0.08 CEU
Loren McIrvin, Allied Landscape
Description: Attendees will be guided through recruiting, onboarding, training and culture-building activities through leveraging digital platforms. The presenter will discuss how to keep remote/independent irrigation technicians engaged and continually evolving their careers through video training and daily digital company activities.

Advocating for Irrigation: The Farm Bill
Nov. 30 | 10:30 a.m.-10:50 a.m. | Green Innovation Hub | 0.08 CEU
Tyler Fields, Valmont
Nathan Bowen, Irrigation Association
Description: Learn how you can make an impact on policies that impact irrigation. As Congress crafts its twice-a-decade rewrite of federal agriculture policy, learn about the issues that affect irrigation and how you can make an impact.

Decision Support for Fertigation – Opportunities for Enhanced Efficiency in Irrigated Agriculture
Nov. 30 | 11:00 a.m.-11:20 a.m. | Green Innovation Hub | 0.33 CEU
Jackson Stansell, Sentinel Fertigation
Description: Decision support tools for nutrient management will be critical to achieving regulator- and consumer-imposed efficiency and environmental stewardship expectations in irrigated crop production systems. As fertigation becomes a more popular practice for applying nutrients to crops under irrigation, decision support tools must be adapted to support fertigation scheduling decisions. Software powered decision support tools designed for or adaptable to fertigation are becoming available for farmers and agronomists to use to consistently make optimal nutrient management decisions. These decision support systems share many similar characteristics but also have distinct characteristics. Some rely on crop and soil models while others rely on in-field sensors or crop reflectance data. Some leverage big data to build and input into their algorithms while others are designed to use small data. On the horizon are systems that fuse many of these techniques to provide more comprehensive decision support. This presentation will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of these decision support approaches, the future of decision support technology, and aspects to consider when deciding which system to use.

Carbon Credits: Greenwashing or the Real Deal?
Nov. 30 | 11:30 a.m.-11:50 a.m. | Green Innovation Hub | 0.08 CEU
Paul Zorner, EcoFluxNet Inc.
Description: Carbon markets, while diverse and complex, face skepticism over greenwashing. Yet, the demand for verified carbon credits grows due to corporate and government action. Advances in analytics and blockchain will improve data collection and market trust. This session aims to clarify these markets and guide participation.

The 2024 Green Industry Outlook – Contractors
Nov. 30 | 1:00 p.m.-1:20 p.m. | Green Innovation Hub | 0.08 CEU
Nathan Bowen, Irrigation Association
Kyle Brown, Irrigation & Lighting magazine
Description: The 2024 Green Industry Outlook survey follows industry professionals as they handle daily challenges and interact with market trends. This presentation provides a snapshot of the results of this year’s survey, a close-up, reliable picture of the concerns, obstacles and opportunities contractors run into every day. It includes insights on some of the biggest topics for irrigation professionals, including labor, projected revenues, expenses, growth expectations and new market opportunities. Nathan Bowen, Irrigation Association vice president of advocacy and publication affairs, and Kyle Brown, Irrigation & Lighting magazine editor-in-chief, will detail some of the major trends from this year’s survey and provide context for how they interact with previous years’ results. Attendees will get an in-depth look at the report available in Issue 4 published in November.

Telling Our Story: Communicating the Value of Irrigation
Nov. 30 | 1:30 p.m.-1:50 p.m. | Green Innovation Hub | 0.08 CEU
Amy Graham, Texas Nursery & Landscape Association
Nathan Bowen, Irrigation Association
Description: Learn how you can make an impact by sharing the value and positive impact of irrigated green spaces. As public perception and state and local policies present challenges, it is more important than ever to highlight the environmental, economic and socioeconomic benefits derived from responsible water use, as well as the professionalism within the industry and the important benefits of using qualified landscape and irrigation professionals. This session will share insights on how partners across the green industry are meeting the challenge – and what you can do to join in.


Industry Insights is a series of panel discussions and presentations that will be presented live during the Irrigation Show. Led by content experts, these presentations will provide attendees with information on the latest irrigation trends, business growth and practices, technology and innovation, government regulations and advocacy issues, sustainability and more.

All Industry Insights presentations are included with Irrigation Show registration.

The Call for Proposals for the Industry Insights portion of the 2023 Irrigation Show is now closed. If you would like to submit topics for consideration throughout the year, visit the IA website.