Walla Walla sprinkled with irrigation educators for conference

A gathering at WWCC brought teachers from across North America to the city.

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WALLA WALLA -- People who teach how to make sure the other fellow's grass really is greener were in Walla Walla this week.

Irrigation educators from across North America gathered at Walla Walla Community College for an Irrigation Foundation Faculty Academy, a two-day event where participants soaked up information on new technologies, teaching materials and related topics.

This was the first time Walla Walla Community College has hosted the event, which is now in its ninth year, said Lynda Wightman, Irrigation Foundation chairwoman. About 37 educators from as far away as Delaware and Hawaii attended this year's academy, which ended Thursday.

The academy brings together college and university instructors so they can "learn about new equipment, techniques, meet industry professionals and tour working farms," Wightman said. "It's a great networking opportunity for the instructors."

Along with seminars at the community college, activities included tours of the Pepper Bridge Winery vineyards, Whitman College and Nelson Irrigation.

At the latter location, Steve McCoon, district manager, and other company officers took groups through the factory floor where computer-controlled machines milled brass, aluminum and other materials into irrigation devices sold all over the world.

McCoon said the chance to build relationships with teachers and professors is always welcome.

"The (Irrigation) Foundation helps us connect with educators who are training the students. We need talented people who want to work in this profession," he said.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.



On the web

Irrigation Foundation Faculty Academy: www.irrigation.org/About/Irrigation_Foundation.aspx

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