Firmly committed to the irrigation industry, Brian Vinchesi spends much of his time communicating the need for the irrigation industry to use water more efficiently. The owner of Irrigation Consulting Inc., in Pepperell, Massachusetts, with another office in Huntersville, North Carolina, Vinchesi is also the incoming president of the Irrigation Association (IA).You could say that Vinchesi got into the irrigation business on a dare. During high school in Massachusetts, someone dared him to apply to Montana State University. When he was accepted, he decided to go to school there and graduated with a bachelor?s degree in Agricultural Engineering. Subsequently, he has done graduate work at the master?s level at Oregon State University. Vinchesi?s company designs irrigation systems for golf, residential, and commercial properties throughout the world, and has consulted on the U.S. Embassy in Thailand; U.S. Armed Forces Memorial in France; a golf job in Guatemala; and other work in the Caribbean. Brian notes, ?We consider ourselves a little engineering firm, but we only do irrigation.? Much of Vinchesi?s time is spent in the field attending meetings, staking sprinklers for golf courses, and supervising construction. His firm not only designs the system, but also makes certain it is constructed according to the design and specifications. Being an active professional, Vinchesi not only runs his own company, he is one of five authors of a book entitled Golf Course Irrigation, (available through, and other online bookstores, also available through the Irrigation Association and Golf Course Superintendents Association). In addition, he teaches courses (through Continuing Education) in the Turf Program on a regular basis at Rutgers University, in New Jersey, and the University of Massachusetts. ?Teaching not only forces me to stay current, it also allows me to give back to the profession. Another benefit of teaching is that it gives me credibility and keeps me practical, especially when talking to people who come out of the field. You tell them something that?s not true and they jump all over you.? Vinchesi also teaches some courses for the Irrigation Association, and has been doing so for the past 13 years. ?The irrigation industry is very small and the people are friendly,? said Vinchesi. He has driven back and forth across the country twice, often stopping and visiting with various industry people. ?My family and I have always been warmly welcomed. We?ve stayed at people?s homes, we?ve had dinner with them, all as we go driving across this vast country. I don?t think you will find many industries where you can do that.? A family man whose wife works with him at times, the Vinchesi?s have four children, ages 16, 14, 11, and 7. When asked if he would like his children to follow him in the business, he responded: ?It wouldn?t bother me at all, but I don?t know if they will.? In fact, his eldest, a daughter, is interested in entomology, which is not quite the same as irrigation. As incoming president of the Irrigation Association, Vinchesi explained that there is a strategic plan in place and he expects to follow that plan. He noted there are four clearly defined sections ? communication, certification, legislation, and education ? in the IA. To underscore his emphasis on education, Vinchesi noted, ?I?ve been on the education committee for six or seven years, the entire time I?ve been on the Board.? Ask Vinchesi about certification and he is adamant. ?In this industry we have certification, and while one doesn?t have to go back to school to take courses, s/he must keep up to date by earning continuing education credits.? This can be demonstrated by attending a seminar, writing an article, teaching, or writing a book. ?I get all of mine by teaching.? Even though he is an engineer, Vinchesi practices what he preaches. ?I hold several certifications and I also require my employees to be certified. There are several engineers in our firm and I require them to be certified as well. Just because one is an engineer doesn?t mean s/he has any background in irrigation.? Brian Vinchesi?s background in the industry has been very diverse ? he sold irrigation products for a distributor, he worked for an irrigation contractor, he has the educational background, and now has been a consultant for the past 15 years. His tenure as president of the Irrigation Association should enable him to continue to give back to the industry he values and enjoys.

November 2003