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Valley Irrigation was started in 1946 by Robert B. Daugherty. Now, the company carries a variety of irrigation products, control technology and irrigation management. Matt Ondrejko is the Vice President, Global Marketing of Valley Irrigation.

Growing:
How do you educate growers on the importance of irrigation?

Matt Ondrejko:
We educate growers through several different mediums. Firstly, ValleyIrrigation.com 
has a lot of useful content for the growers and those who are new to irrigation. Second, we provide content and information to irrigation.education, which is specifically designed for educating people on irrigation. Through online training and testing, a person can learn a lot about how and when to irrigate. Valley also hosts several field day events with our dealer network to provide hands-on training of our products and technologies.

Growing Magazine:
What direction do you see the irrigation industry going in the next five to ten years?

Ondrejko:
Water conservation and responsible usage will continue to be a big factor for farmers going forward. Technology such as remote control and management products and sensors will continue to drive to irrigation automation and the ability for the grower to make better informed decisions.

Growing Magazine:
What are some trends you’re witnessing in the industry right now?

Ondrejko:
Technology and the Internet of Things is a big trend within agriculture right now. Having multiple items on farm collecting and sharing data is a big push by all manufacturers. Better and more efficient use of inputs such as water, seed and fertilizers continue to be a need we are all working to address. Big data and the use of the data collected on the farm is critical to make more efficient decisions and reduce waste and costs.

Growing Magazine:
What are some of the biggest issues Valley Irrigation is facing in the irrigation industry?

Ondrejko:
One big issue we are facing across the globe is the ability to find good qualified people within the agriculture business. This is a major challenge as we move forward. Our dealer network and even the farms we service and support are facing these challenges with us. We need more initiatives to drive talented people into our industry.

Growing Magazine:
What are some tips you would suggest to first-time or seasoned farmers on how to invest in irrigation?

Ondrejko:
Think about what you want your operation to look like in the future and invest based on that. Too often growers look at the here, now and size their operation in a way in which it is more costly to grow in the future. Be forward thinking and embrace technology.

Five Questions is a GrowingMagazine.com monthly series that discusses industry-related topics with the people who influence the industry.


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