Touring the Greater Wenatchee Irrigation District with General Manager Mike Miller was a great experience for many reasons. The scenery is beautiful, the climate is perfect, and the people are some of the nicest you could ever meet. As someone who grew up on a farm in southwestern Nebraska, it is always surprising to me how crowded a Washington State apple tree can be with apples. The apples are so thick, one wonders how the trees can support the weight. However, the real surprise is just how much better the flavor of an apple fresh off the tree can be. If the general population were fully aware of the scenery and all the Apple Capital had to offer, the roads would be jammed with vacationers and tourists. As it turned out, most of the roads had light traffic, and we were often the only vehicle on the road in many of the places we went. Whenever we met an oncoming driver, Mike would wave. I commented to Mike that we always waved to other drivers in Nebraska, too. “I tell my guys to always wave to the farmers and everyone they meet on the road,” Mike said. “It is a simple courtesy that really helps 2017 New Zealand Water Leader Educational Tour Irrigation Leader magazine will sponsor an Irrigation Leader Educational Tour of irrigation and irrigation related infrastructure in New Zealand. The dates of the tour are February 18-25, 2017. Please note that we will award an additional door prize prize-credit (in the form of reimbursement) to be applied to the Irrigation Leader Educational Tour of New Zealand—at our annual Operations and Management Workshop at the Crown Plaza Phoenix Airport Hotel, Arizona, on February 1 and 2, 2017. The cost of the tour is $2,000.00 per person and provides hotel accommodations, meals, and ground transport, but not airfare. Individuals wishing to participate must register and pay their tour fee by December 1, 2016. Our tour space is limited to 20 participants. For more information and to register, please see our web site at Companies that have expressed interest in participating and sponsoring the tour include: • Alligare • Rubicon Water • WaterTronics Should you be interested in receiving information about the tour as a potential participant or your company is interested in being a sponsor, please e-mail Kris Polly at and we will add you to our information list. with our customer relationships and keeps things friendly.” Mike told the story about a state patrolman who was always parked at a certain point on Mike’s daily commute. One day, there was a bit of an emergency at one of the district’s pump plants. Mike was driving to pump plant faster than he should have been and was pulled over by the patrolman. Mike apologized for speeding and explained he was thinking about the problem at the pump plant and not paying attention to his speedometer. The patrolman said, “I figured something was wrong because you always wave to me, but you didn’t this morning.” The patrolman let Mike go with a warning and wished him luck with the pump plant. Mike laughed when he told the story and said, “So the moral of the story is to always wave.”

Kris Polly is editor-in-chief of Irrigation Leader magazine and president of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations firm he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He may be contacted at