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Irrigation Association announces 2022 award recipients

August 5, 2022

The Irrigation Association (IA) announced two recipients of the Excellence in Education Award and a recipient of the Industry Achievement Award. The IA will honor winners at its 2022 Irrigation Show and Education Week, set for Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas.

Winners included: Jack Buzzard, former vice president and director of the Rain Bird International Strategic Business Unit, Bradley Jakubowski, instructor of plant and turfgrass at Penn State University and Charlie Abee, CAIS, agriculture technology and irrigation professor at the College of the Sequoias, in Visalia, Calif.

Buzzard received the 2022 Industry Achievement Award. This award is the IA’s highest honor and recognizes an individual whose career demonstrates outstanding contributions to the advancement of the irrigation industry.

“The IA is honored to recognize Jack Buzzard and the global impact he has made with his innovations and contributions to the irrigation industry,” Natasha Rankin, MBA, CAE, CEO of IA, said. “Because of his years of dedication and work, homes, golf courses, farms and organizations around the world gained access to efficient irrigation products, ensuring untold water savings over numerous decades.”

Jakubowski received the 2022 Excellence in Education Award. The award recognizes an outstanding educator who teaches irrigation, water management and/or water conservation in affiliation with a two- or four-year institution.

Abee was also awarded the Excellence in Education award, for developing an irrigation training program at the College of the Sequoias from the ground up. Starting in 2017 with a basic water management course, he worked with local industry and California State University partners to create a program that meets the need for an entry-level technician while also preparing and encouraging students to continue on to higher levels of education.

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