The American Society of Irrigation Consultants, Huntington Woods, Michigan, awarded Lynda Wightman the Ivy Munion Langendorff Women in Irrigation award.
Wightman says the award was a very special acknowledgment of her industry contributions and that Munion Langendorff was a truly inspirational figure in the industry.
“To me, it was just a very humble recognition. For 35 years, I dealt with all of these consultants while working for Hunter,” she says. “I really appreciated the profession itself – whether it’s landscape and turf, agriculture – it’s all about water and irrigation and being a professional within that industry.”
Wightman says that Munion Langendorff embodied the true spirit of professionalism and was the paragon example of women in irrigation. “With Ivy, she was recognized because she was an artist and also a scientist,” Wightman says. “She was a very passionate woman and one of her passions was being a professional and an independent irrigation consultant. She worked with a lot of engineers who were also members of ASIC because they all have one goal, and that’s to be a professional within the industry.”
Wightman highlighted four of Munion Langendorff’s professional passions and their importance to the industry in her acceptance speech. Among them was emphasizing the importance of investing time and energy in inspiring and educating the next generation of professionals in irrigation to sustain the industry long term.
“We’re all going to die, and we’re going to retire and we aren’t going be involved in the industry,” she says. “For years, I was involved with the Irrigation Association and was very instrumental in helping the foundation get started and grow because I really felt the need to invest in the next generation.”
When it comes to the future, Wightman says that the industry needs to keep making resources available to educate the upcoming generation of professionals, an area where the industry can still improve. She thinks that as technology continues to develop, the need is paramount to educate contractors and those in the field, including showing them how to turn around and educate end users on more advanced and efficient products.
“I hope that we see our industry changing to a more educational perspective,” Wightman says. “The contractor is educating the homeowner on the benefits of healthy plant material that will ultimately save water because a homeowner who cares about healthy plant material, doesn’t care about saving water.”
All in all, Wightman says she is grateful to have received the award but there is still work to be done.
“I’m very humbled to receive that award,” she says. “It was amazing because I’m not an irrigation consultant, and I was in the manufacturing perspective if you will. So to receive it, it means a lot because I was a woman involved, and I do think we need to get more women involved.”