News from around the Green industry

From left, Rick, Eric, Dave and DavidOlson.

Power Equipment Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Power Equipment Co., a family-owned business based in Cortland, Ill., celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2008. The company was started in 1948 by Don Soderberg and Jerry Langford. Dave Olson was hired the same year and became president in 1974. The Olson family purchased the business three years later. In 1995, Power Equipment moved to its current location in Cortland, eventually expanding to a 30,000-square-foot warehouse and 5,000 square feet of office space. The business is now run by Dave Olson’s sons Rick and David.

Northeastern IPM Center Grant News

The Northeastern IPM Center awarded seven grants through the Northeast Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program, which focuses on addressing real-world IPM challenges through research, outreach and education. The program has awarded $571,000 to the following projects: Development of novel application technology for the control of the Asian tiger mosquito in urban environments, George Hamilton, Rutgers; Fungi, predatory mites and habitat plants for thrips, IPM in greenhouse ornamentals, Margaret Skinner, University of Vermont; Development of enhanced, Web-based New York and New England “Tree Fruit Pest Management Guidelines,” Harvey Reissig, Cornell; Winter grain and short-season corn double crop forage systems: An integrated weed management strategy, John Jemison, University of Maine; Development and implementation of diagnostic tools to assess bee colony health, John Burand, University of Massachusetts; Biological control of swallow-worts in the Northeast, Richard Casagrande, University of Rhode Island; and Combining a disease and weather monitoring network with measurements of inoculum potential for disease forecasting in vineyard IPM for southern New England, Francis Ferrandino, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

About $388,000 will be available in 2009 to support projects that will address or develop regional IPM priorities and further the mission of the Northeastern IPM Center. The IPM Partnership Grants Program is seeking applications for IPM Working Groups, IPM Issues, Regional IPM Publications, IPM Planning and Assessment Documents, State Network Projects and IPM Minigrants. Anyone in the Northeast may apply; applications must be submitted online at

Gary Morgan

Dixie Chopper Appoints New President/CEO

Art Evans, founder of Dixie Chopper and its only previous president, announced that Gary A. Morgan has been appointed to the position of president and chief executive officer of Magic Circle Corp., the manufacturer of Dixie Chopper lawn mowers. Evans will remain chairman of Magic Circle’s board of directors. Longtime Dixie Chopper executives Jeff Haltom and Wes Evans will be added to the board, joining John Zeiner and Gary Pershing.

Morgan most recently managed the business of New Holland Ag for North America. He had been employed by Case New Holland for 11 years in various senior management capacities. He graduated from the State University of New York-Cobleskill with a degree in accounting.

Lott Joins Tycrop

Robin Lott has joined Tycrop as a factory sales representative for turf products. Lott has worked in sales for 20 years, most recently spending 13 years building a dealer network in western Canada.

Bobcat Names Giveaway Winners

Bobcat Co. has awarded $50,000 contractor’s packages to Brian Beaumont, Beaumont Landscaping, Flanders, N.J., and Roger Coyle, Diamondback Pool Excavation, Chandler, Ariz., in the Great Road Tour Giveaway. The program was part of the Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed North American Road Tour, a traveling museum that visited 23 Bobcat dealers in the United States and Canada. During the tour, 10 attendees were randomly selected at each stop as finalists for the giveaway, and the winners were randomly selected from that group of 230.

LidoChem Expands Into Northeast/Midwest

LidoChem, Inc.’s Performance Nutrition Division has expanded into the Northeast and Midwest regional turf and ornamentals markets. The company hired Chris Manzella as Northeast/Midwest sales manager, who will be responsible for managing sales of the division’s products, expanding the local dealer network and developing LidoChem’s relationships with strategic partners. He has a background in landscape development, product positioning, business management, integrated pest management and agricultural chemicals.

Country Clipper Presents Awards

Country Clipper announced that Kaye Corp., Mankato, Minn., has earned the 2008 Country Clipper Distributor of the Year Award. Kaye currently has dealers in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. The award recognizes the company’s outstanding results in sales growth, dealer service and training and customer support.

Boettcher Supply, Inc. received the 2008 Country Clipper Sales & Marketing Achievement Award. Boettcher currently has dealers in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Colorado. The award was given for the company’s outstanding efforts in sales and marketing.

Venture Products President DallasSteiner, left, presents the Marvin SteinerVisionary Award to Dan Haupt.

Venture Presents Dealer Awards

Venture Products, Inc. hosted its annual national sales meeting in Sandusky, Ohio. Dealers from across the United States and abroad gathered for two days of idea-sharing, education and family fun.

President Dallas Steiner and National Sales Manager Kevin Holland presented the annual dealer awards. Top Sales Awards went to Brace Power Equipment, Carrollton, Ohio; and Baker Vehicle Systems, Macedonia, Ohio. The Ventrac Dealer Growth Award was given to TNT Landscaping, LLC, Williamsburg, Iowa, and the New Dealer Growth Award was given to Kaz Equipment, South Windsor, Conn. This year’s Marvin Steiner Visionary Award winner was Dan Haupt, O’Neil’s Farm Equipment, Binbrook, Ont., Canada.

Personnel Changes at Dow

Dow AgroSciences has named Andy Kaler to the position of sales representative on its turf and ornamental team. He will serve Ohio, eastern Michigan, western Pennsylvania and western West Virginia. He joined Dow in 2007 after earning a bachelor’s degree in business management from Cornerstone University. Kaler replaces Marney Dorsey, who will now be responsible for eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She replaces Brett Garrard, who has been promoted within Dow.

Mike Birtsas has been named product communications manager for the Urban Pest Management business, succeeding Nikki Hall, who is now the marketing specialist for the U.S. Integrated Vegetation Management business. Birtsas began his career in 2003 with the Dow Chemical Co. as a production engineer before joining Dow AgroSciences in 2006. He most recently served as a pest management sales representative in northern Florida. He is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

Wiedenmann Holds Dealer Appreciation Meeting

Wiedenmann North America held its annual dealer appreciation meeting in Orlando, Fla. Juergen and Horst Wiedenmann joined the North American sales team, which is headed by Will Wolverton, for award presentations. The winners are Al Hicks, Georgia Turf & Tractor, Salesman of the Year; Storr Tractor, East Coast Dealer of the Year; Commercial Turf & Tractor, Midwest Dealer of the Year; and Golf Ventures West, West Coast Dealer of the Year.