What did IA members have to say?
Every three years the Irrigation Association sends an extensive membership survey to voting members to gather feedback on the value of current IA programs and services, the effectiveness of the programs and anticipated future needs. Thank you to those who took the time to complete the survey and provide this valuable feedback.
The survey achieved a 20% response rate, with 70% having been IA members for 11 years or more. Of the companies responding, 75% were landscape and 25% were agriculture.
In May, the IA Board of Directors and leaders of IA volunteer groups gathered in San Antonio for the triennial strategic planning session. The group received the survey results in advance to gain a comprehensive understanding of how the IA is doing. This information was used to make decisions about the IA’s strategic plan for the next three-year period.
Respondents reported that the top three reasons they belong to the IA, regardless of whether they were new or veteran members, were professional development/education program offerings, access to the most up-to-date information available in the irrigation industry, and opportunities to network with other irrigation professionals.
The survey also asked members to rate the IA’s effectiveness as an association. The following three areas received the top results: production of the Irrigation Show and Education Week, the offering of continuing education for current irrigation professionals, and certifying irrigation professionals who meet critical competency standards.
Regarding membership value, responding companies indicated that what they value most out of membership are that the IA promotes efficient irrigation, that their organization feels like they are doing their part to support the irrigation industry, and that membership positively impacts their business.
Feedback from the survey reinforced the importance of the IA continuing activities such as representing the irrigation industry to the public and the government, as well as creating and promoting standards and best practices.
Agriculture and turf respondents both stated that the IA should focus on water conservation through efficient irrigation over the next few years. Promoting irrigation careers and educating end users (consumers/growers) were seen as important, as well.
New technology, products and systems focused on water conservation were identified as areas offering the greatest opportunities for irrigation companies over the next few years; whereas, employee recruitment and development are the greatest challenges anticipated.
The IA is listening and takes the information gathered seriously to determine the association’s future direction. Stay tuned and you will begin to see new initiatives and improvements made over time. Some changes may be subtle, while others may have a large impact. But rest assured, the IA always strives to offer the best service possible and works hard to ensure that there is water for irrigation in future generations.
Interested in finding other ways to help shape the future? Contact the IA (703.536.7080) about volunteering.