News from around the Green industry

Grun Completes Nationwide Manufacturing Rep Coverage

The Grun Co. has signed A-1 Marketing and Kennett & Associates to represent its products in all remaining and previously open territories not yet covered. A-1 will represent Grun in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and North and South Dakota. Kennett & Associates will represent Grun in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

Mid-Am Elects Officers, Presents Awards

The Mid-America Horticultural Trade Show (Mid-Am) board of directors elected President Richard Harms, Vice President Barbara Rosborough, Secretary Bill Vogel and Treasurer Carsten Hoffmeyer, who was also reappointed as a director for a three-year term. Mid-Am appointed two new directors: Steve Fiore, for a three-year term, and Terry Kurth for a two-year term. Connor Shaw and  Dave Story both remain on the board.

Mid-Am hosted a record-setting 726 students from 48 schools at the 2008 Student Career Center. Students studying horticulture visited with representatives from 66 industry companies. Mid-Am distributed nearly $5,400 to the schools that sponsored the most students. Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences sponsored the most students, 76, earning a cash award of $760. Other schools receiving awards included Joliet Junior College, University of Wisconsin Extension, College of DuPage, Kishwaukee College, Purdue University, Parkland College, Andrews University, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Chicago Vocational Career, Michigan State University, University of Illinois, Illinois Central College and Milwaukee Area Tech College.    

Controlling Loosestrife with Beetles

In the early 1990s, researchers in Minnesota were among the first to try controlling purple loosestrife, an invasive weed, by releasing two types of loosestrife beetles, Galerucella calmariensis and G. pusilla.

In two years, University of Minnesota Weed Scientists Jeanie Katovich and Roger Becker, and Luke Skinner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, noted a significant reduction in purple loosestrife biomass and seed production. Five years after release, they found a dramatic reduction in loosestrife stands.  

The successful trial helped pave the way for beetles to be released across 13 Midwest and Northeast states. To date, more than 8 million beetles have been released in Minnesota alone. Similarly, Nebraska has released about 500,000 beetles per year since 1997.

The Minnesota research that helped to establish the successful beetle biocontrol program was a cooperative effort involving scientists and managers from the University of Minnesota, Minnesota departments of agriculture and natural resources, local park lands, Cornell University and CABI Bioscience of Delémont, Switzerland.

Smart Greenhouse Research Partnership Unveiled

Cleveland Botanical Garden and Kent State University’s Liquid Crystal Institute officially launched a research project to explore the potential of liquid crystal technology for creating more sustainable, energy-efficient greenhouses. The partners unveiled the two greenhouses that will be used in the first phase of the project. One contains liquid crystal panels and the other, a control, has plain glass. A demonstration revealed how the panes “switch” to manage the amount of sunlight that enters the greenhouse.

The results from the experiment will be collected throughout the next several years. Through this research, the Garden and the university aim to create a fully automated “smart” greenhouse.

Michigan CAT Secures Exclusive Rights to Sell LeeBoy

Michigan CAT and LeeBoy finalized an agreement that awards Michigan CAT exclusive distribution rights for the entire family of LeeBoy/Rosco paving and construction equipment within the state of Michigan. Michigan CAT has headquarters in Novi, Mich., and seven locations throughout the state, providing sales, rental, parts and service solutions.

Hannay Celebrates 75th Anniversary

In 2008, reel manufacturer Hannay Reels celebrates its 75th anniversary. Since 1933, the Hannay family has owned and operated its manufacturing facility, overseeing expansion and product developments.

From founder Clifford Hannay’s first manual-crank reel, the company has grown steadily. The Hannay production team generated about 3,600 reels a year from a new manufacturing facility in 1952. Today, over 70,000 reels are shipped worldwide from a headquarters that was recently expanded by 44,000 square feet to accommodate larger fabrication, assembly and shipping departments.

Dover Acquires Neptune

Dover Corp. has acquired Neptune Chemical Pump Co., which is now part of Dover’s newly formed Pump Solutions Group (PSG) within the fluid management segment. The PSG also includes Wilden, Blackmer, Almatec, Mouvex and Griswold.

Neptune, based in Lansdale, Pa., manufactures chemical metering pumps, chemical feed systems and peripheral products.

Kenworth Names 2008 Parts Council Members

Kenworth Truck Co. has named its 2008 Kenworth Parts Council members. The council consists of parts managers from Kenworth dealerships in the United States and Canada, and its goal is to enhance the quality and value of service to customers. Members are Chairman Mike McKay, Mike Carwile, Jo Frost, Keith King, Dale McCord, Mike Oswald, Vic Stiller, Dan Villeneuve and Kenworth Dealer Council Representative Ron Whiteford.

Rain Bird Calls for Award Nominations

Rain Bird Corp. is seeking nominations for the 2008 Intelligent Use of Water Award, which recognizes people or organizations whose innovation, leadership, ingenuity and commitment to improved landscape water efficiency has raised the standard for outdoor water conservation. The deadline for nominations is June 30, 2008, and they can be submitted at www.rainbird.com/iuow/award.htm.

The award recipient will receive $10,000 and be featured in a short film highlighting their contributions. An independent panel of experts will select the finalists and winner. Returning as judges for the second annual award are Elizabeth Cutright, Dan Stark and Ron Stoltz. In addition, Marty Eberhardt, executive director of The Water Conservation Garden, the 2007 winner, will join this year’s panel.

Dow Announces Changes to T&O Team

Raymond Miller has been named specialist for the nursery and greenhouse markets for Dow AgroSciences. He will provide training and technical support to nursery and greenhouse customers. Miller most recently served as a turf and ornamental sales specialist for western Florida. He joined Dow in 2001 when it acquired Rohm & Haas. Miller graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy, and a master’s in agronomy, specializing in chemical weed control.

Kerry Avirett was named national account manager in both the turf and ornamental and pest management markets. Avirett most recently served as the turf and ornamental sales representative for Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. He joined Dow in 2001 as part of the Rohm & Haas acquisition, where he had worked for 21 years. Avirett earned a bachelor’s degree in entomology from Texas A&M.

Ryan Messner rejoins Dow as a sales representative serving lawn care, nursery and golf customers in western Florida. Messner began his career with Dow in 2004 after earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing from St. Joseph’s College. He most recently served as a senior sales representative for GlaxoSmithKline and was previously a sales representative for Dow in Memphis, Tenn.

Brian Dockery has been named the sales representative for Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Dockery’s experience has included sales for PhytoGen cottonseed and small grains herbicides and various marketing positions.

Agrium Selects New Manager

Agrium Advanced Technologies appointed Adrian Mezenberg as customer service manager at its Brantford, Ont., Canada, office. He will manage customer service, logistics and transportation. Mezenberg comes to Agrium after working for Axela, Inc. and Bayer Healthcare Diagnostics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from McMaster University.

Thomas Appoints New Regional Business Manager

Thomas Equipment, Inc. named Arun Bhatnagar as regional business manager for western Canada. Bhatnagar has extensive management experience in construction equipment and related industries in North America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Previously, Bhatnagar was business development manager of PHE Contractors Ltd., and before that was a consultant for Cummins Eastern Canada LP. Bhatnagar earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in India and received equivalency certification from the University of Toronto.

Green Industry Expo Workshops Schedule Announced

The Green Industry Expo Workshops will return for the second annual GIE+EXPO (Green Industry & Equipment Expo), to be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., October 23-25.

The GIE Workshops provide an introduction to PLANET’s four-day Green Industry Conference education program. The preview sessions are open to all GIE+EXPO attendees. Preregistration is required; visit www.gie-expo.com or call 800-558-8767 for a registration brochure. The workshops will include Pricing and Profitability with Kevin Kehoe; Building Leadership Through Personal Power with Chuck Zamora; and Make Friends, Make Sales, The Art of Relationship Selling with Marty Grunder.

Kubota Encourages Tractor Safety

Kubota Tractor Corp. is tapping into the National Safety Council’s annual celebration of National Safety Month in June to bring added attention to tractor and equipment safety. This year marks the 12th anniversary of National Safety Month, which has the theme of “Make A Difference.”

Kubota’s call to action is advising families and businesses to take time this month to review safety information for tractors, mowers and utility vehicles. This is also a good time to make sure older tractors and equipment have a Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS) and seat belt.

Additional safety information, including the “Ten Commandments of Tractor Safety” and a tractor safety coloring book, can be found at the Kubota Web site, www.kubota.com. Owners of older Kubota tractors can also use a ROPS and seat belt installation function on the site’s safety pages.

Lee Named CEO of Sipcam & Advan

Andy D. Lee was appointed as chief executive officer of agrochemical companies Sipcam Agro USA, Inc. and Advan, LLC. Lee has extensive experience within the agrochemical industry, having held senior leadership roles with BASF Corp. and other chemical companies in the United States and Europe. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in applied biology from Hertfordshire University in the United Kingdom.

Lee’s appointment allows Giovanni Affaba to return to his position as a member of Sipcam’s board. Affaba was acting CEO of the company. Tim Damico served as acting CEO of Advan and will return to his position as chief operating officer.

Parent Companies of Echo and Shindaiwa Announce Joint Holding Company

Kioritz Corp., parent company of Echo, Inc., and Shindaiwa Corp., parent company of Shindaiwa, Inc., have announced plans to form a joint holding company that will own and operate the two companies.

The two companies entered into a business and shareholder alliance in 2007 to investigate mutual means of addressing an increasingly competitive global environment through product and operational synergies. The companies have begun selective trading of existing products and cooperation on operational matters including purchasing, production, computer systems and logistics.  

Jacobsen Genuine Parts Information Available Online

Jacobsen has dedicated a new section of its Web site (www.Jacobsen.com/parts) to providing customers with information on selecting and ordering Jacobsen Genuine Parts for its mowers and turf equipment.

The new online resource features a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Buy Jacobsen Genuine Parts. This list alerts customers to the benefits of purchasing parts exclusively from Jacobsen and qualified dealers. Jacobsen Genuine Parts also has the Never-Out Parts program, an initiative guaranteeing that the 1,000 most commonly requested maintenance items are constantly in stock.

P-Txt:Schiller-Pfeiffer, Inc. will sponsor Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Marc Davis in 15 NASCAR Camping World Series races in 2008. The Southampton, Pa.-based company will rotate its Little Wonder, Mantis and affiliated BOB-CAT brands on Davis’ No. 18 Toyota Camry.

Koonts Joins Scotts

The Scotts Co. North America Professional Business Group has added Lisa Koonts as its marketing services specialist. She will supervise budgets, manage agency relationships and oversee all creative development and packaging requests.

Koonts has been with Scotts for 14 years, the first seven of which were spent with the North America Professional Business Group. In the seven years since then, she has worked with the Consumer Marketing Services Group. Koonts holds an associate degree in graphic communications from Terra Technical College.

John Deere Launches Web Site for Skid Steer Users

John Deere Construction & Forestry has launched www.skidsteersmackdown.com, the first part of an integrated campaign for skid steer users that involves head-to-head contests between Deere and competitor machines. The interactive site features the competitions captured on video, a discussion forum, buying information and more.

Horizon Partners with LIS

Horizon has partnered with Landscape Injection Systems to be the exclusive distributor of LIS Fertiboost fertilizer injectors in the 10 states Horizon serves. Horizon acts as the single point of contact for contractors in the installation and servicing of the injectors. LIS supplies fertilizer injection systems to a variety of users in a wide spectrum of applications.

Solo Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Solo Kleinmotoren GmbH is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year as an engine and outdoor power equipment manufacturer. Founded by brothers Hans and Heinz Emmerich, Solo continues as a family business based in Sindelfingen, Germany. The company markets its products in more than 85 countries and has major production facilities in Sindelfingen and in Newport News, Va., which is also the headquarters of Solo, Inc.

Environmentally Friendly Stadium Features Permaloc GeoEdge

Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., which opened this spring, may be the country’s first stadium to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification for environmentally friendly design. Permaloc Corp., manufacturer of GeoEdge, was responsible for providing the edge restraint for the 6,300-square-foot green roof above the stadium’s concessions areas. The GeoEdge restraint will retain the special soil used on the green roof, as well as allow drainage for stormwater runoff.

Saf-T-Side Achieves OMRI Listing

Brandt Specialty Formulations announced that its Saf-T-Side has achieved OMRI listing. Saf-T-Side is a pre-emulsified smothering oil labeled for a broad range of crops and ornamentals. The manufacturing process breaks down the oil, reducing droplet size to about 50 microns to ensure thin, even coverage. This enables the product to be more effective in insect and disease control and is safer for the plant.

New Name for Junior Academy

The International Junior Golf Academy has adopted a new name, Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy, to reflect the increased involvement of its director of instruction. Additionally, the academy will open a second campus at Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Arroyo Grande, Calif., to facilitate regional and international growth and to complement the existing campus on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Golf teacher Hank Haney will provide hands-on instruction for students at both campuses.

Navman Hires Sales & Marketing Director

Navman Wireless North America hired Gregg Steliga as director of sales and marketing. Operating from the company’s Chicago, Ill.-based headquarters, Steliga will lead the sales management team, administer reseller and dealer initiatives, direct marketing objectives and drive channel development. Prior to joining Navman, Steliga held a variety of senior sales and marketing positions with TransWorld Exhibits, InVision Enterprises and WallTalkers.