The Irrigation Association recently brought 27 member volunteers to Washington, D.C., for its third annual Legislative Conference. In support of IA’s mission, attendees visited more than 40 congressional offices to address lawmakers on the benefits of efficient irrigation technologies, products and services, and on the industry’s recommended solutions to national issues. Netafim USA, SJE-Rhombus Controls and The Toro Company were sponsors of the event.
“The Legislative Conference is a key component of our IA IMPACT grassroots program,” said IA Federal Affairs Director John Farner. “We’re telling our story to lawmakers and senior government officials, and they’re receiving our expert perspectives on issues that affect agriculture, golf and landscape irrigation. But this is just a jumping-off point for conversations that we continue to have year round between IA members and legislative officials.”
The conference also brought government officials and representatives in to directly address conference participants. Speakers included:
Ben Grumbles, president of the Clean Water America Alliance, who has 25 years of experience in water and environmental policy, serving the public and teaching law students and environmental professionals.
Congressman Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania’s 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, who is serving as chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry.
John Tubbs, deputy assistant secretary for water and science at the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees the Bureau of Reclamation and the United States Geological Survey and includes the WaterSMART program.
Dr. Michael O’Neill, national program leader for water resources with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, who oversees projects that address critical water resource issues in rural, agricultural and urbanizing watersheds.
Jay Cranford, assistant to the speaker of the House of Representatives for policy, where he advises Speaker Boehner on policies related to energy and the environment, telecommunications, agriculture, natural resources, and science and technology.