Alex McGregor’s family has been involved in agriculture in the inland Northwest for 140 years. That means that the McGregors have seen central Washington transformed from a dusty wasteland to one of the nation’s most productive farmlands. Meanwhile, they founded the McGregor Land and Livestock Company and the McGregor Company, which provides agronomic supplies and experience to 2,000 farm families in the Northwest. Mr. McGregor has also worked intensively with the Columbia Basin Development League (CBDL) and other stakeholders to support the full development of the Columbia Basin Project (CBP) through the Odessa Groundwater Replacement Project (OGWRP) and to promote Washington’s irrigated agriculture and the many livelihoods it supports.
For 40 years, Ray Mayne has sold irrigation systems in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. Since 2000, he has been a dealer for Reinke, one of the largest U.S. center-pivot manufacturers. In this interview, Mr. Mayne talks about the development and growth of irrigation in New Zealand, the shift from boom-type to center-pivot systems, and other changes in the region’s approach to irrigation.
Keri Johnston is the chair of Irrigation New Zealand (IrrigationNZ), a member-founded industry organization committed to representing the interests of New Zealand’s irrigation sector and promoting best practices across the industry. In this interview, Ms. Johnston tells us about New Zealand irrigators’ top issues and how IrrigationNZ advocates for them to the national government and in public fora.
During his more than 26 years in Congress and his time working as a lawyer in Arizona, Senator Jon Kyl was directly involved in groundwater management programs, surface water allocation settlements, and the development of a major water supply project, the Central Arizona Project (CAP). In this interview, Senator Kyl reflects on his accomplishments in Congress, Arizona’s response to the ongoing drought in the Colorado basin, and how Arizona can address the challenges of the future.
The Roosevelt Water Conservation District (RWCD) in Maricopa County, Arizona, is facing soaring demand for its services after rapid urban growth changed its model from agricultural to small-acreage and subdivision customers. General Manager Shane Leonard turned to technology company Assura’s solutions to bring much-needed efficiency to RWCD’s operations. In this interview, Mr. Leonard tells us about RWCD’s experience with Assura, from initial consultations to the full deployment of its field-report-management software.
The Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation (EPEDC) is currently studying the possibility of establishing a new irrigation district, the Fallon Flats Irrigation Project, in eastern Montana. In this interview, EPEDC Executive Director Beth Epley tells us more about the concept and the growth and value it could bring to the region.
In the arid lands of Prairie County in eastern Montana, an expansion of irrigation could increase the value of land from $600–$900 an acre to about $3,600–$5,000 an acre while also making local farming livelihoods more dependable. In this interview, Dennis Teske, the president of Teske Farms, talks to Irrigation Leader about the project’s potential, its challenges, and the rich local history of bootstrapping irrigation ventures.
Midwest Laboratories helps its customers make smart decisions based on analysis of soil, water, and plant tissue samples. In this interview, field representative and third-generation farmer Ashley Babl talks with Irrigation Leader about the company, its offerings, and the importance of customer services.
Since 1893, the Nebraska State Irrigation Association (NSIA) has represented the interests of the state’s farmers and water districts. In this interview, Executive Director Lee Orton talks with us about the association’s current agenda, which includes trying to channel federal dollars to rehabilitate the state’s aging water and irrigation infrastructure.
Protecting people and property, including ag lands, from flooding is a priority for the Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD), one of Nebraska’s 23 natural resources districts (NRDs). In the alluvium along the Platte River, the district has 40 dams as well as levees and detention cells. In this interview, Assistant Manager Jesse Mintken tells Irrigation Leader about the district’s completed and current projects, including flood prevention plans funded by grants from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) program.