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MTD Subsidiary Announces Pending Merger with Robomow Maker
A subsidiary of MTD Products Inc. is set to merge with F. Robotics Acquistions, makers of the Robomow, robotic residential lawn mowers sold mainly in Europe. The merger is expected to close around July 2, 2017, pending governmental and other approvals, says a release from MTD. Following the merger, Robomow’s operations will remain headquartered in Pardesiya, Israel, and its present management team will continue to lead the company with support from MTD’s European, North American and Asia-Pacific divisions.

Makita USA Opens New Distribution/Training Facility in Texas
Makita USA’s new distribution and training center is located in the City of Wilmer just outside Dallas, Texas. The new facility is located on nearly 25 acres of land with 227,230 square feet of warehouse space with operational capabilities. It is an expansion of Makita’s current warehouse chain, which includes operations in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, and Buford, Georgia, as well as the Makita USA home office in La Mirada, California. The Buford facility includes a manufacturing and assembly plant, one of ten Makita manufacturing plants active around the world.

Toro, Virginia Tech Partner for GPS Sprayer Technology Research
Toro is partnering with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, Virginia, to aid in GPS sprayer technology research efforts. Full access to a new Toro Multi Pro 5800 with GeoLink has been provided to the university to support the project. The unit was put in use at the recent Virginia Turfgrass Research Classic at The Country Club of Virginia. The event includes a golf tournament to raise funds for turfgrass research, as well as a field day where guests are encouraged to visit turfgrass plots setup by Virginia Tech researchers on which the new Toro Multi Pro 5800 with GeoLink will be on display.
Virginia Tech and Toro’s Center for Advanced Turf Technology (CATT) will share in the research findings at the end of the research period of approximately two years.

Akehurst Landscape, Vendors Equip K-9 Unit with Lawn Gear
Akehurst Landscape Service, Inc., based in Joppa, Maryland, presented the Harford County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit with lawn care equipment. Akehurst presented the H.C.S.O. K-9 Unit a Wright Stander mower along with some Echo hand held power tools to maintain their dog training campus and shooting range in Northern Harford County.

Kawaski Engines Names Dave Sugden R&D Director
The Engines Division of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. recently named Dave Sugden as the director of research and development.  An experienced industry executive, Sugden has had product development responsibilities for 27 years, most recently as director of product design and improvement at Scag Power Equipment. Sugden will manage the growing R&D function at Kawasaki that has recently seen its staffing increase significantly, with new additions in technology, calibration, electrical, and testing, as well as supporting administrative personnel. Also, Troy Smith, moves up from applications engineering supervisor to become manager of R&D testing, applications and EFI, and JJ Zeilstra who becomes manager of new development and government relations.

Altoz Mower Manufacturer Cited as 2017 Great Place to Work
For the second year in a row, the Greenbush, Minnesota-based manufacturer of Altoz zero-turn mowers and Central Boiler outdoor furnaces has been named one of “2017 100 Best Companies to Work For” by Minnesota Business Magazine. “This award belongs to all our employees, who are committed to making this company the best it can be on a daily basis,” commented Dennis Brazier CEO/Owner of Central Boiler and Altoz.

Florida Landscape Company Announces $1,000 Scholarship
Westcoast Landscape and Lawns, a leading Florida commercial landscaper, has created the Landscaping and Horticultural Science Scholarship, available to students across the country. The company is offering the $1,000 scholarship once a year, to one U.S. undergraduate student studying landscape architecture, landscape design, or horticultural sciences. Information and submissions guidelines can be found online.

TurfMutt Named an Official Education Partner of the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council has named TurfMutt, the environmental stewardship and education program for students in grades K-5, an official education partner. Educational activities for grades K-5 developed for TurfMutt by Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, will be featured on Learning Lab, USGBC’s online platform for K-12 curriculum.

Second Location Added to NALP Renewal & Remembrance
The National Association of Landscape Professionals will hold its annual Renewal & Remembrance and Legislative Days on the Hill events, July 16-18, in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. This year a second location has been added at the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery, more commonly known as the Soldiers’ Home, which is one of the country’s oldest national cemeteries. A small team of volunteers will do liming and aeration at the Soldiers’ Home in addition to the larger annual project at Arlington National Cemetery.

Rutgers Extension Offers Organic Land Care Manual
A new 27-page Organic Land Care Best Management Practices Manual from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension is available for a free download. While the manual, co-authored by Amy Rowe and Michele Bakacs, provides recommendations to landscape contractors and land managers on how to conduct organic land care in New Jersey, the information is pertinent to other regions of the United States, as well.

Read last week’s industry news: Grand Opening for Brillion Power Equipment Concept Store