Irrigation Leader
  • Flipbook,  Washington State


    T he readers of Irrigation Leader know that our field is always advancing—whether because of decades-long conservation and infrastructure projects or because of technological leaps that improve the equipment in the field. In our cover story this month, we talk with Lori Brady, the manager of Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District, which has embarked on an ambitious, 40-year project to enhance its infrastructure and make it more efficient. A more efficient delivery system means that individual farmers can also use water more efficiently. Ms. Brady tells us about how her district’s new automated check structures and the enclosed laterals it is currently installing serve both environmental and economic ends. We also…

  • Photo of the Kaima Klikitat Fisheries Project Sign.
    Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Cooperating to Restore the Yakima Basin An interview with Phil Rigdon

    Phil Rigdon has over two decades of experience in the Yakama Nation's Department of Natural Resources. and today is the department’s superintendent. He has been involved in numerous regional and intertribal initiatives, including the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative, the Yakima River Basin Watershed Enhancement Project Workgroup and Conservation Advisory Group, the Washington State Columbia River Policy Advisory Group, the Intertribal Timber Council, and the Hanford Natural Resource Trustee Council. In recognition of his commitment to cooperation in managing the water resources of the Yakima basin, Mr. Rigdon was the 2018 recipient of the Washington State Water Resources Association’s (WSWRA) Water Resources Leadership Award for excellence in water resources management. In…

  • Screenshot of flipbook reader for Irrigation Leader Washington State February 2019
    Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 10 Issue 2 February Washington Edition 2019 Leading Cooperation in the Yakima Basin

    Phil Rigdon is the superintendent of the Yakama Nation’s Department of Natural Resources, which employs over 500 people and works on fisheries, water, forestry, and environmental protection. Under Mr. Rigdon’s direction, the department has been undertaking tributary supplement and aquifer recharge projects in the Yakima basin in order to serve the Nation’s out-of-stream needs, benefit agriculture, and restore native salmon to vast areas of Washington State. Mr. Rigdon has also been pivotal in cooperating with neighboring irrigation districts to pursue shared goals. We discuss all this and more in this month’s Irrigation Leader cover story. In this month’s issue, we also speak with a number of executives, professionals, inventors, and…

  • Featured,  Interview,  Washington State

    Cultivating Leaders for Washington State The AgForestry Leadership Program

    In 1976, a group of individuals lead by Stu Bledsoe, the director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture, identified the need for a program to develop leaders for the agricultural, forestry, and natural resources sectors of the state's economy. To meet the need, they created the AgForestry Leadership Program. Through immersion in a series of seminars throughout Washington State, in Washington, DC, and internationally, participants in the program become fully versed in communications, public policy, and issues management, and are trained to be leaders for their community. Joshua Dill, the managing editor of Irrigation Leader, spoke with Sheryl McGrath, president of AgForestry Leadership, about the cutting-edge program she leads.…

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 10 Issue 1 January Washington Edition 2019 Training The Next Generation of Water Leaders

    Everyone reading this magazine knows irrigation-district managers and irrigated-crop farmers with decades of experience and hard-won knowledge. It is precisely this kind of broad, deep expertise that we want to instill in the irrigation leaders of tomorrow. But in an era when technology is advancing at a rapid pace and the economy is ever more integrated on a national and global level, there is much to learn. Young irrigation professionals today need to understand policymaking on the local, state, and national level; international trade and markets; and the newest computer technologies. All this explains why irrigation leadership and training programs are becoming more and more important. In this issue of…

  • Interview,  Washington State

    Improving Water Supply in the Columbia River Basin

    Tom Tebb is the director of the Office of Columbia River at the Washington State Department of Ecology. His office is tasked with several major water management projects designed to increase water flows in central and eastern Washington, both for instream and out-of-stream uses. In this interview with Irrigation Leader Editor-in-Chief Kris Polly, Mr. Tebb discusses flow augmentation, aquifer restoration, and other infrastructure improvements his office is responsible for.

  • Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 9 Issue 10 November/December Washington Edition 2018 A Survey of the Irrigation Industry

    In this last issue of 2018, Irrigation Leader takes a look around the U.S. irrigation industry. Our articles cover river basin management, aquifer recharge, surface water management, agrichemical sales, branding and design, pipeline construction, solar power, pathogen detection, and security. If the U.S. irrigation industry has it, you will probably find it in this issue. In our cover story, we speak with Tom Tebb, the director of the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Office of Columbia River, which is charged with multiple major water-management projects in eastern and central Washington. Mr. Tebb brings long experience, dedication, and a philosophy of problem solving to this impressive and important task. We also…

  • Interview,  Manager Profile,  Washington State

    A Conversation With Sam Hull of Ahtanum Irrigation District

    Ahtanum Irrigation District encompasses approximately 10,300 acres in the Ahtanum Valley of Washington State and has a history dating back to 1852. Sam Hull is a member of Ahtanum Irrigation District’s board of directors. In this conversation with Joshua Dill, the managing editor of Irrigation Leader, Mr. Hull discusses his district’s history and unique features and its ambitions to create a new reservoir and a pressurized delivery system.

  • Screenshot of flipbook PDF reader for Irrigation Leader September 2018. Volume 9 Issue 8.
    Flipbook,  Washington State

    Volume 9 Issue 9 October Washington Edition 2018 Making Plans for Ahtanum’s Future

    Ahtanum Irrigation District has big plans. The Ahtanum Valley–based district is unique in owning part of its own watershed, but a lack of storage means that it can’t take advantage of all the water it should receive. In our cover story, Sam Hull, a member of Ahtanum’s board of directors, explains the preparations the district is making to build a reservoir and a pressurized pipe system. Much of the rest of this issue highlights Husker Harvest Days, the largest outdoor irrigation farm show in the United States. Every year, farmers and irrigation professionals from the United States and abroad come to Grand Island, Nebraska, to see the newest technological developments…

  • Photo of Benton Irrigation District's river pump station in 2010 showing construction
    Interview,  Manager Profile,  Washington State

    Ed Mitchell: Operations Manager of Benton Irrigation District

    Benton Irrigation District serves over 4,500 acres of urban and agricultural land around Benton County in southeastern Washington. Over the last decade, BID undertook a $35 million project to convert its open-ditch system into a fully pressurized, completely pipe-based system. This technological leap has resulted in significant advances in water conservation. Kris Polly, editor-in-chief of Irrigation Leader, spoke with BID Operations Manager Ed Mitchell about the district’s history, challenges, and recent accomplishments.