When It Rains, It Pours

Foundation awards $5 million to advance irrigation technology development

Published online: May 23, 2018 News
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The Irrigation Association (IA) announces the creation of the Irrigation Innovation Consortium (IIC), a collaborative research effort to accelerate the development and adoption of water-efficient irrigation technologies and practices through public-private partnerships. The $5 million grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) was matched by initial participants, including the Irrigation Association, for a total investment of $10 million to support research and collaboration costs over five years.

The IIC is made up of the following initial founding members:

  • California State University, Fresno
  • Colorado State University
  • Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska
  • Irrigation Association
  • Jain Irrigation
  • Kansas State Research & Extension, Kansas State University
  • Lindsay Corporation
  • Northern Water
  • Rubicon Water
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Research

The IIC will be governed by an executive committee made up of FFAR, the five initial research institutions and the IA. Stephen W. Smith will serve as the consortium’s interim executive director until a permanent one is named.

“The IA thanks FFAR and the university partners for their leadership in the creation of the new Irrigation Innovation Consortium,” says IA CEO Deborah M. Hamlin. “We are confident that the research stemming from this collaborative effort will drive new advancements in efficient irrigation and keep the irrigation industry at the forefront of innovation.”

Plans for the IIC began at an FFAR-hosted convening event held at the Daugherty Water for Food Institute’s Global Conference in Lincoln, Neb., in April 2017. About 25 representatives of private companies participated in the discussion, which helped shape the initial research focus of the consortium.

The IIC will be located in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Organizations interested in joining the consortium are invited to contact Smith at swsmith@buenavidafarm.com.