Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Awards $5 Million to Launch Public-Private Effort to Address Water Scarcity with Irrigation Innovation

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Former Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Irrigation Innovation Consortium participants for the Consortium launch and grant announcement at today’s Water in the West Symposium hosted by Colorado State University.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit organization established through bipartisan congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, today awarded a $5 million grant to launch the Irrigation Innovation Consortium, a collaborative research effort to accelerate the development and adoption of water and energy efficient irrigation technologies and practices through public-private partnerships. The $5 million FFAR grant was matched by participants for a total initial investment of $10 million to support research and collaboration costs over five years. The Consortium is composed of the following initial founding members:

  • California State University, Fresno
  • Colorado State University
  • Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska (DWFI)
  • Irrigation Association (IA)
  • Jain Irrigation
  • Kansas State Research and Extension, Kansas State University
  • Lindsay Corporation
  • Northern Water
  • Rubicon Water
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Research

Public sector researchers and industry partners will co-develop, test, prototype and improve innovations, equipment, technology and decision and information systems designed to equip “farms of the future,” with cutting edge technologies and optimization strategies to enhance irrigation efficiency. Initial research priorities include water and energy efficiency, remote sensing and big data applications for improving water management, irrigation technology acceleration and technology transfer. University scientists will collaborate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service on some components of the research.

“The new Irrigation Innovation Consortium unites top university research talent with industry to promote practical advancements in irrigation technology and water management practices,” said Sally Rockey, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. “We are optimistic that outcomes from this collaborative effort will help producers grow more food with smart water management and strengthen the resilience of our food supply.”

Initial participants are working to create a platform for other universities, federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, and the private sector to work together on the critical water challenges facing agriculture, municipalities, and industry. The goal is to create an internationally recognized, self-sustaining center of excellence that promotes and enhances water and energy efficiency in irrigation, ultimately creating greater resiliency in food and irrigated landscape systems.

“The IA thanks FFAR and the university partners for their leadership in the creation of the new Irrigation Innovation Consortium,” said IA’s CEO Deborah M. Hamlin, CAE, FASAE. “We are confident that the research stemming from this collaborative effort will drive new advancements in efficient irrigation and keep the irrigation industry at the forefront of innovation.”

Specific research priorities will be determined by an executive committee, with representation from FFAR and academic and industry consortium participants. Irrigation industry involvement will help accelerate research and development for rapid application in the field.

Knowledge gained will be shared publicly through publications, workshops and seminars, and appropriate data-sharing mechanisms.

Plans for the consortium began at a FFAR-hosted convening event held at the Daugherty Water for Food Institute’s Global Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska in April 2017. Approximately 25 representatives of private companies participated in the discussion, which helped shape the initial research focus of the consortium.

Organizations interested in joining the Irrigation Innovation Consortium are invited to contact Stephen Smith, Ph.D., executive director of the Irrigation Innovation Consortium and FFAR advisory council member: swsmith@buenavidafarm.com.

The Irrigation Innovation Consortium is being formally launched today at the Water in the West Symposium hosted by Colorado State University.

Press Contacts

Madeleine O’Connor
Director of Communications and Federal Relations
Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research
moconnor@foundationfar.org
202.590.7613

Anne Blankenbiller
Senior Communications Manager
Irrigation Association
media@irrigation.org
402.417.4508

Melissa Harvey
Marketing and Communications Specialist
KCARE: Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment
785.477.4540

Emily Hardie
Director of Marketing- Irrigation and Corporate
Lindsay Corporation
emily.hardie@lindsay.com
402.829.6805

 

About the Partners

About the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges.  FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Ph.D., and includes ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation.

Learn more: www.foundationfar.org | http://bit.ly/FFARenews Connect: @FoundationFAR | @RockTalking.

About the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State

The Center for Irrigation Technology is part of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State and one of several water research organizations that include the California Water Institute and the International Center for Water Technology.

 

About the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska

The Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska (DWFI) was founded in 2010 to address the global challenge of achieving food security with less stress on water resources through improved water management in agricultural and food systems. We are committed to ensuring a water and food secure world while maintaining the use of water for other vital human and environmental needs.

The DWFI is one of four interdisciplinary, University-wide institutes at the University of Nebraska, leveraging talent and research-based expertise from across the four campus system to focus on complex state, national and global challenges.

Learn more at waterforfood.nebraska.edu/.

About Jain Irrigation

Our Company, Jain Irrigation Systems Limited (JISL) with it’s motto ‘Small Ideas, Big Revolutions’ with more than 10,500+ associates worldwide and revenue of ∼USD 1 Billion, is an Indian multinational company with manufacturing plants in 30 locations across the globe. JISL, its subsidiaries and associates are engaged in providing solutions in agriculture, piping, infrastructure through manufacturing of Micro Irrigation Systems, PVC Pipes, HDPE Pipes, Plastic Sheets, Agro Processed Products, Renewable Energy Solutions, Tissue Culture Plants, Financial Services and other agricultural inputs since more than 34 years. It has pioneered a silent Productivity Revolution with modern irrigation systems and innovative technologies in order to save precious water and has helped to get significant increase in crop yields, especially for more than 6 million small farmers. It has also ushered in new concept of large scale Integrated Irrigation Projects (IIP). ‘More Crop Per Drop™’ is the company’s approach to water security and food security.

JISL is early pioneer for IOT in the agri–sector and is leading efforts to create global solutions with precision agriculture. It’s food brand ‘Jain FarmFresh’ is well known all over the world for quality and consistency.

All the products and services of JISL help create a sustainable future while fulfilling its vision to ‘Leave this world better than you found it’.

Website – https://www.jainsusa.com/; https://www.jains.com/;

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JainsUSA

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jainsusa/

About Kansas State University Research and Extension

K‑State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well‑being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county extension offices, experiment fields, area extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K‑State campus in Manhattan.

About Lindsay Corporation

Lindsay Corporation (NYSE: LNN) is a leading global manufacturer and distributor of irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology. Established in 1955, the company has been at the forefront of research and development of innovative solutions to meet the food, fuel, fiber and transportation needs of the world’s rapidly growing population. Lindsay manufactures center pivot and lateral move agricultural irrigation systems and technologies irrigating approximately 12 million acres (4.8 million hectares) in over 90 countries, through its worldwide network of more than 350 dealers. The Lindsay family of irrigation brands includes Zimmatic® and FieldNET® as well as irrigation consulting, design, pump and filtration offerings, advanced machine-to-machine communication, remote control and monitoring technology, and wireless networking solutions. Also a global leader in the transportation industry, Lindsay Transportation Solutions manufactures equipment to improve road safety and keep traffic moving on the world’s roads, bridges and tunnels, through the Barrier Systems®, Road Zipper® and Snoline™ brands. For more information about Lindsay Corporation, visit www.Lindsay.com.

About Texas A&M AgriLife Research

Texas A&M AgriLife Research is the state’s premier research and technology development agency in agriculture, natural resources, and the life sciences. Headquartered in College Station, AgriLife Research has a statewide presence, with scientists and research staff on other Texas A&M University System campuses and at the 13 regional Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Centers. We conduct more than 500 projects each year, with more than $202.5 million in research funding in 2015. AgriLife Research helps to improve the productivity, efficiency and profitability of agriculture. At the same time, we focus on conserving natural resources and protecting the environment.

 

Comment(1)

  1. Asadu Zaman
    Asadu Zaman says

    FFAR will encourage the professionals engaged for using less water for more food. World needs it for sustainable development in water sector.

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