Emeritus Ron Sneed earns Irrigation Foundation 2016 award

Congratulations to professor emeritus Ron Sneed on his award.


Ronald E. Sneed, PhD, PE,

The Irrigation Foundation has announced that Ronald E. Sneed, PhD, PE, CAIS, CIC, CID, CLIA, is the winner of the Foundation’s 2016 Excellence in Education award.

The Irrigation Foundation Excellence in Education Award recognizes a person who is actively teaching or has retired from teaching irrigation, water management and/or water conservation in affiliation with a two- or four-year institution. This person helps supply the irrigation industry with educated professionals who provide efficient irrigation solutions that protect water and the environment. Sneed was recognized during the general session at the 2016 Irrigation Show and Education Conference, Dec. 5 – 9, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sneed, professor emeritus at North Carolina State University, has been involved in the irrigation industry for 56 years, 32 of which he spent in the department of biological and agricultural engineering, where he was first employed in October 1960 as an extension irrigation specialist.

In 1981, Sneed was honored by the Irrigation Association with the Man of the Year Award. About that same time, he was appointed to the initial IA Certification Board, where he served for over 20 years. He was one of the early instructors for the IA, and, along with several other individuals, developed the course Principles of Irrigation. The manual for this course is now in its third edition.

He has been an instructor for IA courses across the eastern United States and internationally. He is one of the authors of “Irrigation, Fifth Edition” and co-author of four chapters in “Irrigation, Sixth Edition.” He has written several modules for the IA education program. He serves on the IA Education Committee, has been a long-term member of the IA Technical Conference Program Committee and for many years served on the IA Standards Committee.

He is an active member of the Irrigation Association and served six years on the board of the Irrigation Foundation. Sneed also chaired the North Carolina Irrigation Contractors Licensing Board.

He helped start the North Carolina Irrigation Society Inc. and in 1992, the society established the Ronald E. Sneed North Carolina Irrigation Society Inc. Scholarship Endowment, which provides an annual scholarship to a BAE student. He also helped form what is now the Carolinas Irrigation Association. In January 2011, that group established the Dr. Ronald Sneed Excellence in Irrigation Award, which is awarded to someone in the Carolinas for their dedication to irrigation. The first award was given to Sneed.

In 2009, Sneed was honored with the ASABE Heermann Sprinkler Irrigation Award, which recognizes contributions to the improvement of efficient and effective sprinkler irrigation.

A number of Sneed’s former students have found employment in the irrigation, water management and water conservation fields. Others are employed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and by state and federal environmental agencies. Sneed said that teaching both college students and adults has been his life.

Through the annual Irrigation Association and Irrigation Foundation awards program, the industry recognizes individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the irrigation industry. These peer nominations are reviewed by the IA Awards and Honors Committee, then finalists are submitted to the full Board of Directors for approval.

This year’s award is sponsored by Ewing Irrigation Products, Inc. To learn more about the ward, nominate an educator or see a full list of previous winners, visit the Foundation’s website.

About the Irrigation Foundation

The Irrigation Foundation strives for a future where the irrigation industry is thriving with an ample supply of educated, highly skilled professionals who employ technology and best practices to provide efficient irrigation solutions that protect water resources and the environment. For more information, visit www.irrigationfoundation.org.