Beginning in 2017, the IA Certification Board began honoring a deserving individual with its Commitment to Certification Excellence Award. The award is presented at the Certification Luncheon held during the Irrigation Show and Education Conference. The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual’s outstanding commitment to the industry, with particular focus on maintaining and elevating the integrity of the IA’s certification program.
Ronald Sneed, PhD, PE, CAIS, CIC, CID, CLIA, was honored with the 2018 award. He has been involved in the irrigation industry for more than 58 years, serving the industry as a biological and agricultural engineering educator and consultant.
His involvement with the Irrigation Association has spanned many decades. He was one of the original members of the Certification Board and served on it for over 20 years. Throughout his career, he has also been a member of numerous IA committees and served as an IA instructor, teaching more courses than anyone can keep track of.
Sneed was unable to attend the luncheon to receive his honor but provided acceptance comments to be read during the presentation. When looking back on the early years of the IA’s certification efforts, Sneed recalled, “Starting with nothing we had to develop study materials, decide what certifications to offer, develop exams and also sell the certification program. From the very beginning, we had a goal of having better-educated irrigation professionals. It was always more about education than about certification.”
Sneed acknowledged that much of the success of the IA’s education and certification program has been the result of people being willing to donate their time. He recognized many individuals who have played important roles in the process throughout the years.
“Certainly, it was an honor to serve on the Certification Board. The people with whom I served represent the top people in the irrigation industry and in the Irrigation Association, including presidents of the IA and Board of Directors,” Sneed commented. “I am a better person for having served on the CB. Thank you again for honoring me with the Commitment to Certification Excellence Award.”