Industry Update


Ventrac Announces New Web Site

Venture Products, Inc., manufacturer of the Ventrac compact tractor, has launched a newly designed Web site at The site includes additional product information, Ventrac Advantage pages, customer testimonial pages, a Markets section highlighting various sales markets and Monthly Featured Product information. It also features easier navigation, a wider knowledge base, expanded photo and video gallery, and links to Ventrac’s blog, Facebook page, YouTube videos and Twitter.

From left, Jim Heinze of Toro, Mark Robel, and Pete Whitacre and Dale Getz of Toro.

Robel Receives Award

Mark Robel of Reinders, Inc., Milwaukee, Wis., was named 2009 Rookie of the Year by the Toro Co. The award is given to a distributor sales representative who has sold Toro equipment for 24 months or less and has less than 36 months of total selling experience.

PERC Hosts Propane Summit

The Propane Education & Research Council hosted the 2010 Propane Engine Fuel Summit in Chantilly, Va. It highlighted a comprehensive program in on and off-road propane vehicles and applications, as well as the latest developments in propane technology. Representatives from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Caterpillar, Kohler, Dixie Chopper, Ferris, Cub Cadet, Lehr Industries, EnviroGard and other firms participated in the summit.

News from John Deere

John Deere Golf and LebanonTurf announced an agreement to expand distribution of Lebanon’s line of methylene urea products under the Country Club brand. The full line of Country Club fertilizer products, available in both greens and fairway grades, will be available through John Deere Golf Stores on Wheels, John Deere Golf sales representatives and John Deere Landscapes stores.

John Deere’s 7200 PrecisionCut trim and surrounds mower and the 7500/8500 E-Cut hybrid fairway mowers received the AE50 Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. The engineering team for these mower models, including Ron Reichen, Jim Roach, Dick Their and Brian Pearman, accepted the awards on behalf of the company.

Local Michigan Businesses Help Improve Lighting

The city of Belding, Mich., was awarded an enhancement grant for sidewalks, pathways, decorative lights and trees to improve the M-44 highway. Three local businesses were awarded contracts for the lighting portion of the project. The engineering contract was awarded to Fleis & Vandenbrink of Grand Rapids; the electrical installation bid went to J.R. Howell Airport Lighting of Luther; and Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures of Belding provided six customized green enclosures to house the lighting controls.

Rowe Joins Cub Cadet for GreenCare Mission

Cub Cadet and Mike Rowe, host of Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” are issuing a new “Get Ready to Get Dirty” challenge, asking people to help support American troops. Cub Cadet has been the financial underwriter of Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops organization since its inception in 2006. This year the company partnered with Rowe on a special project to clean up a soldier’s property. Video of the project is available at, and fans of Rowe can get his perspective at

Marc Boissonnault Anthony Warren

News from Kioti

Kioti Tractor has launched a Facebook fan page to communicate corporate, product and general tractor news. The new page allows Kioti to post news releases, marketing polls and surveys, product and corporate videos, and photos, as well as generate discussion about its products.

Marc Boissonnault has joined Kioti as territory manager for Quebec and Atlantic Canada. He has served as director of sales for Ag Dealer Magazine, territory manager for a distributor in eastern Canada and Ontario territory manager for a farm equipment supply OEM.

Anthony Warren was named purchasing manager for Kioti’s line of compact tractors and UTVs. Most recently, he was a commodity manager/team leader for the North American Cranes Division of Terex, and he has also worked for John Deere.

Barnyard Supply Launches New Web Site

Barnyard Supply Ltd. launched a new e-commerce Web site at It features a variety of lawn and garden supplies from small, family-owned businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada.

From left, David J. Frank, Diana Aungst and Brian Swingle, WGIF executive director.

Scholarship Winners Announced

Diana D. Aungst received a $500 scholarship from the Wisconsin Green Industry Federation and West Bend Mutual Insurance Co.. Aungst works at David J. Frank Landscape Contracting, Inc., and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in horticulture with a minor in environmental science.

Daniel Gjertson was awarded the Wisconsin Nursery Association’s annual $1,000 scholarship. He is pursuing a degree in horticulture at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Samantha Loehr received the $500 Dow AgroSciences Scholarship for 2010. She is taking classes in the Farm & Industry Short Course as she works toward a Landscape Industry specialty.

PACE Named Distributor of the Year

Wright presented its 2009 Distributor of the Year Award to PACE, Inc., Plymouth, Mich. PACE also earned the award in 2006 and 2008, as well as the Market Expansion and Salesman of the Year awards in 2007.

TWCA Debuts at TPI Conference

The Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance made its debut at the midwinter conference of Turfgrass Producers International. TWCA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the environment through water conservation initiatives. It recognizes and promotes plants that can thrive using limited amounts of water.

Blue Water to Carry Ashland Products

Fertilizer produced by Ashland Hercules Water Technologies, a commercial unit of Ashland, Inc., is now available exclusively through Blue Water Agronomy The products include bluAgro Chip, bluAgro Granular and bluAgro Powder.

Ben Anderson

Maruyama Hires Anderson, Holds Training

Maruyama U.S., Inc. hired Ben Anderson as regional sales manager for the western region of North America. Previously, he worked for C&N Tractor and Berchtold Equipment Co. He has over 10 years of sales experience.

Maruyama held a training seminar for distributor technical service managers. Technical representatives from 10 distributorships in North America attended the four-day meeting, held at the company’s headquarters in Denton, Texas.

Aquascape Installs Rainwater Harvesting System

A team of Aquascape Foundation volunteers installed a 10,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system at La Rosa de Saron School in Barranquilla, Colombia. The water project paired the RainXchange rainwater harvesting system by Aquascape, Inc. with Genieye’s Eye-Nizer water purification system. The system provides clean drinking water for about 400 schoolchildren year-round and creates the ability to prepare one hot meal per day.

From left, Charles Gershowitz, Rose Mary Becker (national accounts manager), Lou Dalrymple, Diane Adams (vice president of sales and marketing support) and Roger Zimmerman.

Schiller Expands Sales Team

Schiller Grounds Care, Inc. has hired Lou Dalrymple as director of sales for retail, rental and national accounts. Previously, he worked for Airlessco and Parks Corp. Charles Gershowitz and Roger Zimmerman have joined the team as technical services managers. They will report directly to Dalrymple.

Redi-Rock Announces Rocky Award Winners

Redi-Rock International announced the winners of the annual Rocky Awards for 2009. The winners included Piedmont Precast, Atlanta, Ga., Commercial Wall of the Year; Redi-Rock Structures of OKI, Independence, Ky., Water Application Wall of the Year; Puget Sound Precast, Tacoma, Wash., Residential Wall of the Year; Redi-Rock Walls of New England, with offices throughout New England, Freestanding Wall of the Year; and Foster Supply, Inc., Scott Depot, W.Va., New Product of the Year.

Stihl Supports NASPD Leadership School

The Oglebay National Training Center in West Virginia hosted the third year of the National Association of State Park Directors Leadership School. The program is funded in part by gold-level sponsor Stihl, Inc., which provides travel funds to offset expenses of attending on-site leadership school events and also sponsors the NASPD annual conference.