Lorri Gray has been working for the Bureau of Reclamation since high school. Today the director of the Columbia–Pacific Northwest region, she knows the agency inside and out, and it is always a pleasure—and an educational experience—to speak with her. In our cover story, she talks about the Odessa Groundwater Replacement Plan, the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, title transfer, and the Columbia River Treaty. 

Another person of great experience we have the privilege of interviewing in this issue is Daren Coon. He has been at Idaho’s Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District for 44 years and has been its secretary-treasurer and secretary of the board for more than three decades. During his time at the district, Mr. Coon has overseen the installation of a pressure urban pipeline system, a rapid changeover in district technology, and title transfer, among many other accomplishments. Mr. Coon is now retiring, surely with a sense of satisfaction. Bravo, Daren, and thank you for your work in the irrigation field! 

In this issue, we also speak with Kyle Smith of RH2 Engineering, Inc., which provides water, sewer, and irrigation services to agencies across the Northwest; to Diane Campanile, director of human capital management and employer compliance at Lyons Insurance, about several important human resources issues; and to Tim Hicks of In-Situ about his company’s flow-monitoring instruments. In addition, Tom Myrum updates us on recent awards given by the Washington State Water Resources Association. 

We also take a look at an unusual piece of technology— the humble goat herd. Goatscaping is an effective way to rid ditches, drains, and dams of dense and woody overgrowth. 

In our Innovators section, we highlight Dawson Tire and Wheel’s RhinoGator tire—a bright green polyethylene pivot tire that doesn’t slip, go flat, or break—and talk to Herb Besler, Roland Besler, and Cliff Kester of Besler Industries about their useful—and insurance rate reducing—pickup flatbeds. 

Across the irrigation industry, there are smart, committed, and hardworking people making incremental improvements in technology, business practices, and organizational structures. Over the course of the years, these changes add up to something big. Each person’s career contributes to the success of irrigated agriculture in the United States. 

Kris Polly is editor-in-chief of Irrigation Leader magazine and president and CEO 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 kris.polly@waterstrategies.com.