Partner of the Year Award

This award was established in 1995 and retired in 2017. The award honored a person or group making exceptional contributions or distinctive accomplishments to irrigation as part of an organization that allied with, related to or was an integral part of the irrigation industry. Winners of this award include the following:


The Irrigation Training and Research Center
San Luis Obispo, California

ITRC provides innovative irrigation teaching, research and technical assistance to projects that blend on-farm irrigation needs with improved water delivery service, protection of the environment and reduced energy consumption. ITRC has helped to modernize over 200 irrigation districts in the United States, has evaluated or provided training in over 40 projects outside the United States, and has trained thousands of technical specialists on the relationship between field irrigation and water delivery systems. ITRC supports the largest irrigation bachelor of science/master of science teaching program in the United States at Cal Poly, and the Cal Poly graduates and ITRC short course students form a core professional irrigation group in the western United States. They continue to offer short courses for the irrigation industry with a focus on those individuals being able to pass the IA certification exams afterwards.


Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln

The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln is recognized for its outstanding work on the Nebraska Center Pivot Water Conservation Project, a joint program sponsored by the University Extension, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund and the four Nebraska-based center pivot manufacturers (Lindsay Corporation, Reinke Manufacturing, T-L Irrigation and Valley Irrigation).

Launched in 2008, the three-year educational project was conducted statewide, with special emphasis on the Republican River Basin and Platte River Basin upstream of Kearney, Nebraska. The program’s objective was to help producers using center pivots achieve maximum efficiency from their irrigation systems.

In its first two years, the project put on 42 education programs at various instructional levels, reaching more than 2,500 pivot irrigators. In a post-event survey after the program’s first year, participants indicated they saved just over 2 inches per acre for a total reduced pumping of 131,000 acre-inches and a savings of $545,000 annually. Based on these findings, the project team estimated that farmers reduced pumping by 374,286 acre-inches, saving $1.55 million annually as a direct result of attending these education programs.


Denne Goldstein
Irrigation and Green Industry magazine

Goldstein began his career in the turfgrass industry in New Jersey more than 50 years ago. He moved his family to Southern California in 1966 to start a lawn care company. In 1977, Goldstein founded Landscape & Irrigation, a publication specifically for the turfgrass and irrigation industry. By the time he sold the company in 1990, Gold Trade Publications, Inc. was publishing five titles and producing a trade show for the green industry.

Goldstein retired in 1991 but returned to the industry three years later to work alongside his son to develop the first website for the irrigation and green industry. In 1998, they introduced a print version of their site: Irrigation & Green Industry. Today, Irrigation & Green Industry is the leading publication for the green industry and is an official partner publication of the Irrigation Association.


North Carolina Green Industry Council
Raleigh, North Carolina

Representing approximately 2,000 business interests, NCGIC has become a unifying force for allied green industry issues within the state of North Carolina. NCGIC produces and distributes educational landscape and irrigation brochures throughout the state and lobbies on behalf of water and landscape issues. Their efforts culminated in the designation of July as “Smart Irrigation Month” by the governor of North Carolina.


Alberta Chapter of the Irrigation Association

Founded in 2001, the Alberta Chapter of the Irrigation Association is dedicated to promoting efficient and effective water management in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. ACIA works to improve industry professionalism by offering education classes and promoting the benefits of IA certification. As part of Smart Irrigation Month, ACIA developed two newspaper inserts. Water Wise: Albertans Get Smart About Irrigation and Smart Irrigation: How to Conserve Water, Save Money, Have a Healthy Yard focused on the area’s unique water issues and local solutions.

Other Past Recipients

California Agricultural Irrigation Association

Center for Irrigation Technology

Eugene Water and Electric Board, Oregon

Disney’s Horticulture, Walt Disney World Resort

Associated Landscape Contractors of America

Golf Course Superintendents Association of America

Texas Turf Irrigation Association

Carolinas Irrigation Association

North Carolina Irrigation Society

Irrigation Association of New Jersey

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Irrigation Dealers Association of California

Irrigation Association of Australia