The Fresno State Center for Irrigation Technology hosted 21 educators from around the nation at the Irrigation Foundation’s annual Agriculture Faculty Academy on June 28-29.
The event offered information and training directed at developing irrigation topics in high school and community college agricultural education curriculum.
Fresno State plant science professor Dr. Dave Goorahoo and staff members Bill Green, Tim Jacobsen and Kaomine Vang made presentations in campus water research facilities and on the 1,000-acre University Agricultural Laboratory. Sessions covered agricultural sprinklers, pump efficiency, soil mapping and center pivot irrigation troubleshooting.
The conference also included presentations by representatives from campus irrigation project partners Ag/H20, Jain Irrigation, LAKOS and Senninger.
“We have had a long association with the Irrigation Association, and with 8 to 9 million acres of drip-irrigated agricultural land in California, this area is a great place to learn about the most modern water management technology and practices,” said Dr. David Zoldoske, executive director of water initiatives at Fresno State. “Training educators about how research and industry work together in water management is important since they are the direct links to educating future managers and users of water resources.”
Based in Virginia, the Irrigation Foundation is a nonprofit organization, and joins with sponsors and the Irrigation Association to support instructors and students via initiatives like the Agriculture Faculty Academy. The Irrigation Association is the leading membership organization for more than 2,000 irrigation equipment and system manufacturers, dealers, distributors, designers, consultants, contractors and end-users.
“The Agriculture Faculty Academy is a key part of our mission to supply the irrigation industry with educated, highly-skilled professionals who use efficient irrigation solutions to protect water resources and the environment,” said Janine Sparrowgrove, Irrigation Foundation senior foundation manager. “Fresno State and the Center for Irrigation Technology have nationally-respected personnel and resources to host these hands-on sessions, and our educators can learn from and network with industry professionals to build relationships that will benefit their students long into the future.”
Fresno State hosted the same event in 2007.
The Irrigation Association’s ties to Fresno State include four campus water researchers who have been named its person of the year, including Zoldoske in 2013. He also served as the association’s president in 2005.
Fresno State’s Center for Irrigation Technology was created in 1980 and is internationally recognized as an independent testing laboratory and applied research facility and educational resource.