Want to keep up with the latest news in lawn care and landscaping? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

Morbark Announces Acquisition of Rayco Manufacturing
Morbark, LLC has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Rayco Manufacturing, Inc. This transaction represents the first addition since affiliates of the private equity firm Stellex Capital Management LP acquired Morbark in 2016. Rayco brings a lineup of innovative equipment into the Morbark family across multiple product categories. In particular, Rayco stump cutters, aerial trimmers, forestry mulchers and crawler trucks will enhance and complement the existing Morbark family of products. Rayco founder, John Bowling, will continue his work with the team to develop new products and help improve the company’s existing product lines. He will continue to have an economic interest in the combined business and will be a member of Morbark’s Board of Directors.

Green & Growin’ 2018: Speakers, CEUs Announced & Registration Open
Online registration is now open for Green & Growin’ 2018, January 15-19 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The show includes more than 50 education sessions presented by green industry and business experts. Topping that list are keynote sessions with Eric Chester and Bryce Lane. On Tuesday, January 16, Chester presents “On Fire at Work — How Great Leaders Ignite Passion in their People” an inside look at how the world’s top corporations engage and inspire excellence. The author of five best-selling books on employee management, Chester is an award-winning speaker. On Wednesday attendees are invited to Breakfast with Bryce Lane, a green industry champion from North Carolina State University. A nationally-acclaimed garden speaker and NSCU Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus, Lane is the former host of UNC-TV’s Emmy award-winning television show, “In the Garden with Bryce Lane.” The show also has new mobile app and the North Carolina Contractors License Review Course will be offered for the first time.

Ditch Witch Hosts High School Students for National Manufacturing Day
In recognition of National Manufacturing Day, Ditch Witch hosted 220 high school freshmen on Thursday, Oct. 26 to help inspire the next-generation of manufacturers and celebrate modern manufacturing. Participating Oklahoma high schools included Perry, Covington-Douglas, Morrison, Mulhall-Orlando and Guthrie. Students from each school received a tour of the Ditch Witch and Subsite Electronics facilities. On the tour, students heard from factory employees and had the opportunity to ask questions about their work.

Harvey L. Massey Receives Lifetime Achievement Award From Association of Fundraising Professionals
Massey Services Chairman & CEO, Harvey L. Massey was recognized with the H. Clifford Lee Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals on November 1. This award is the organization’s highest honor and is presented to an individual who demonstrates a history of exceptional leadership and is personally active in philanthropy. Massey has been an unwavering philanthropist for 33 years. He and his wife, Carol, are longtime supporters of the Central Florida community, especially in the areas of the arts, healthcare and education. They formed the Harvey and Carol Massey Foundation in 2014 to further solidify their personal and professional commitment, and have made major contributions to the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, Nemours Children’s Hospital for early childhood autism research, the Veterans Memorial Park of Central Florida, the Burnham Institute, Rollins College and funded a public sculpture for the “See Art Orlando” community project.

Advanced Turf Solutions Welcomes Four New Sales Representatives
Advanced Turf Solutions has recently added four new sales representatives to its team: Jeff Kolbe and Joe Leimbach in the lawn and landscape markets in Chicago and Cincinnati, respectively, Brad Fry in the golf course market in Southwestern Michigan, and Brian Winka in the sports turf market in Missouri.

New Outdoor Classroom Debuts at Tampa-Area School, Thanks to TurfMutt Grant
Thanks to a $10,000 grant from TurfMutt, an environmental stewardship and education program managed by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s (OPEI) Research and Education Foundation, and Massey Services, headquartered in Orlando, a new outdoor classroom is debuting at Guardian Angels Catholic School in Clearwater, Florida and is ready to help kids learn valuable science, math and other lessons about the environment and living landscapes. The new outdoor space is the result of one fifth-grader’s creativity and hard work. Student Marissa Weber of Palm Harbor, Fla. won the TurfMutt “Be a Backyard Superhero” contest earlier this year. A dedication ceremony will take place November 9 at 8:15 a.m. at the school.

Limited Edition GreenCare for Troops T-Shirts For Sale
Project EverGreen and Nufarm are offering special edition “A Greener Call of Duty” t-shirts for sale with a portion of the proceeds going to support the GreenCare for Troops initiative. The shirts, which will be available through November 22, retail for $20 and can be ordered online. Orders received by November 15 have guaranteed delivery by December 20 in time for Christmas. The winning t-shirt design was selected by attendees at the GIE+EXPO in Louisville.

Brandt Hires National Sales Manager For Turf Products
Ken Mangum has accepted the position as National Sales Manager for BRANDT’s turf business, which includes the BRANDT, GRIGG and BRANDT iHammer product lines. In this role, Mangum will oversee the company’s turf and ornamental territory sales managers, engage key customers and work with the senior management team to set the strategic direction for the turf team. Mangum will report to John Guglielmi, BRANDT Specialty Formulations National Sales Director.

Exmark Awarded NJPA National Contract for Landscape Maintenance Equipment
Exmark has been awarded a national cooperative contract by the National Joint Powers Alliance to be a vendor of professional landscape maintenance equipment, attachments and accessories. The four-year contract, which includes an option for a fifth-year, was approved August 18, 2017. The contract gives more than 50,000 NJPA members in the United States and Canada access to Exmark commercial walk-behind, stand-on and zero-turn riding mowers, as well as turf management equipment including aerators, spreader-sprayers, seeders and more. The contract is valid in all areas where local laws and statutes permit cooperative purchasing.

EPA Approves Kabuto Fungicide SC for Spring Dead Spot
PBI-Gordon Corporation announces that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently granted Federal registration for Kabuto SC Fungicide for use in the treatment of spring dead spot (SDS) in warm-season turfgrass. Labeled for use on golf courses, sports fields, and residential and commercial turf, Kabuto is a proprietary formulation for the preventative control of SDS, and the preventative and curative control of dollar spot (including control of carboxamide resistant dollar spot). It inhibits all stages of development in the fungal lifecycle, and can be applied up to eight times per year as part of a resistance management program.

PERC Announces Second Annual ‘Propane Leadership Award’ Recipients
The Propane Education & Research Council announced a Pennsylvania dealer and a Louisiana landscape contractor as the recipients of the second annual Propane Leadership Award at the 2017 GIE+EXPO. PERC awarded Louisiana-based Rotolo Consulting, Inc. and R.S. Hollinger & Son, Inc. in Mountville, Pennsylvania, with the honor. Brandt Martin (RCI) and Lynn Hollinger (R.S. Hollinger & Son, Inc.) each received a personalized Louisville Slugger baseball bat to commemorate the award. RCI began using propane commercial mowers in 2011 and changed one-third of its fleet to propane within a year. Now, the company uses nearly 100 propane mowers, as well as close to 100 propane autogas-powered trucks to meet the needs of its growing customer base. For R.S. Hollinger, bringing propane equipment to the dealership’s sales floor helped the company get a leg up on its surrounding competition, one of the factors that convinced Ebling’s Service Plus in neighboring Myerstown to acquire the company as Hollinger and his brothers plan for retirement.

Rain Bird Announces New Irrigation Training Schedule
Rain Bird Training Services will host over 60 irrigation training events throughout the United States from October 2017 through May 2018. These classes are open to irrigation professionals at all experience levels, including contractors, distributors, golf course superintendents, designers and architects. All Rain Bird training classes count toward valuable continuing education units (CEUs) from the Irrigation Association, as well as some counties and organizations nationwide. Rain Bird Training Services offers three different ways for irrigation professionals to enhance their skill sets, become better water managers and improve their career prospects.

Read last week’s industry news roundup: Phipps Conservatory Displays Vertical Gardening