Toro Adds Financial Service Partners, Kicks Off Smooth Operator Tour

The Toro Co. has reached agreements with three additional financial service firms to support equipment and irrigation system sales through the company’s distribution channel. The new partners are VGM Financial Services, a division of TCF Equipment Finance, Inc.; U.S. Bancorp Business Finance Group, Inc.; and National City Commercial Capital Co., LLC, part of PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. With the assistance of local Toro distributors, the financing partners will provide customers with competitive rates and multiple sources through which they can acquire funding and develop a customized financing structure.

Toro has launched its Smooth Operator Tour, a nationwide event offering landscape contractors an opportunity to see and try the new GrandStand stand-on mower and the Z Master G3 series. Every stop on the tour, which continues through May, will be held at a locally owned Toro commercial dealership. For more information, call 800-348-2424, e-mail LCEproducts@toro.com or visit www.toro.com/smooth.

H-2B Legislation Introduced

Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., along with 18 other senators, introduced “Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2009” (S. 388) to extend the H-2B returning worker exemption for three years. Co-sponsors of the bill are Sens. John Barrasso, Richard Burr, Tom Coburn, Mike Enzi, Patrick Leahy, Jack Reed, Bob Bennett, Benjamin Cardin, Susan Collins, Orrin Hatch, Carl Levin, Olympia Snowe, Christopher Bond, Tom Carper, Mike Crapo, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman and Sheldon Whitehouse. Legislators can be reached through the congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121, and through the Professional Landcare Network’s Web site, www.landcarenetwork.org.

C.S. Trading Presents Sales Award

C.S. Trading LLC, based in Liberty, S.C., announced that Eckert Golf Sales, Winter Park, Fla., is the recipient of the C.S. Trading/Sisis North America award for the best overall sales in 2008. C.S. Trading is the sole U.S. distributor for Sisis turf equipment.

From left, Ian Camp, Frank Eckert and Paul Stephens.

Natural Way Makes Inc. 5000 List

Natural Way Lawn & Tree Care, Lake Orion, Mich., has entered Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 list of the country’s fastest-growing businesses. The 46-employee company was founded in 1991 by Keith Fetzner and has been growing ever since, realizing nearly 85 percent growth within the past three years.

Kieffer Earns Certifications

Doug Kieffer, soil/water product manager for Spectrum Technologies, Inc., has earned his certification as a landscape irrigation auditor, golf irrigation auditor and EPA WaterSense partner. Kieffer holds a master’s degree in agronomy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has been part of Spectrum’s new product design team since 2000.

Aspen Equipment Adds Sales Strength

Aspen Equipment Co., Minneapolis, Minn., has added three new sales representatives. Dennis Ostrowski brings over 20 years of sales experience to Aspen. He will market custom railroad truck equipment applications in the northeastern and eastern United States. Dave Heck will sell crane installation services to National Crane dealers throughout the United States, as well as parts and service for the Manitowoc and Grove product lines. Previously, he worked for Elliott Equipment & Aerial Co. Todd Mohler comes to Aspen from Boyer Trucks. He will work with Class VII and VIII truck dealers and fleets in the Twin Cities metro area.

Dennis Ostrowski Dave Heck Todd Mohler

News from John Deere

John Deere launched “The Prove It Tour,” which will take it to visit job sites, trade show lots and dealerships throughout the country to test the skills of real skid steer operators in the second season of its Web site campaign, www.skidsteersmackdown.com. Deere will put contractors behind the wheels of its skid steers to demonstrate the machines’ features.

John Deere Power Systems exhibited its Tier III/Stage III A engines and Interim Tier IV/Stage III B technologies at the World of Concrete trade show in Las Vegas, Nev. It displayed the exhaust filter it will use to meet the Interim Tier IV/Stage III B mobile off-highway emissions regulations for engines 174 hp and above, as well as engines from its PowerTech Plus family. The emissions regulations, which begin in 2011, require a 90 percent reduction in diesel particulates and a 50 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide.

Rain Bird Partners with APGA

Rain Bird and the American Public Gardens Association announced a partnership to celebrate the role of America’s public gardens in educating the public on the importance of environmental preservation through the formation of the first National Public Gardens Day on May 8. It will be supported by a local, regional and national awareness and education campaign that includes broadcast public service announcements, media partnerships, local and national spokespersons and media tours, all focused on communicating the importance of building sustainable environments through improved plant management and water conservation.

Oleykowski Joins UPI as Account Manager

Michael Oleykowski has joined United Phosphorus, Inc. as northern account manager, responsible for UPI’s turf/ornamental/PCO markets in the Midwest, Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. Most recently, he was a sales and marketing manager for a green industry distributor, and he serves as the vice president of the New Jersey Green Industry Council.

Stetz Joins American SportWorks

Mike Stetz has joined American SportWorks in the newly created position of director of commercial sales. Previously, he worked for E-Z-GO as corporate and government accounts manager.

Natural Forces Becomes Exclusive Marketing Agent for Rejex-it

Natural Forces, LLC announced that it will begin exclusive global marketing for all products in the company’s Rejex-it bird management line. The company is streamlining the marketing and ordering process so that all products from both Natural Forces and Rejex-it can be ordered by calling 866-53-BIRDS, at www.naturalforcesllc.com or through its office in Davidson, N.C.

Growth Products has launched a new Web site.

Growth Products Announces New Web Site

Growth Products, Ltd. launched its new Web site at www.growthproducts.com. It features a new look, easy navigation, information on the company’s products, Rate Application Calculator, searchable product catalog and more.

Wolf Mountain Reaches Agreement with TKI

Wolf Mountain Products has reached an agreement with Tessenderlo Kerley in which TKI takes an equity position in the company and Wolf Mountain acquires the fertilizer brand firsTurf from TKI. Wolf Mountain will be the supplier for TKI fertilizers for purchase sizes up to 275 gallons. TKI has manufacturing plants in 10 locations in North America.

Bass Fishing Icon Visits Exmark Employees

Bass fishing icon Hank Parker visited Exmark’s manufacturing plant in Beatrice, Neb., to take a tour and help introduce Exmark’s 2009 Outdoor Tour and marketing campaign. Exmark will participate in more than 35 outdoor sports trade shows, introducing its mowers to hunting, fishing and boating fans. The tour includes a gear giveaway sweepstakes with more than $24,000 in outdoor products and an Exmark Arcade. To learn more, visit http://www.exmarkoutdoors.com.

GIE+EXPO Announces New Products Arena

A New Products Arena will be introduced at the 2009 GIE+EXPO. An enhanced feature of the trade show floor, the arena will be a larger and more comprehensive take on 2008’s New Products Live! Exhibitors will be able to introduce new products to attendees and the press on the arena stage during scheduled times, and products will be displayed in the arena throughout the show. A new, enhanced Web site that includes an online directory of exhibitors will be available June 1. A standard listing will be free to all exhibitors, with three other listing options available.

Caroline René-Bazin

Forkster Celebrates René-Bazin’s Anniversary

Forkster, a division of Kaltec of Minnesota, celebrated Caroline René-Bazin’s first year with the company. She is responsible for sales and marketing of attachments and material handling for compact utility loaders in both national and international markets.

News from Terex

Terex Aerial Work Platforms, a business segment of Terex Corp., announced that customers can now access service and parts manuals free of charge via DVD or the Genie Web site at www.genieindustries.com/manuals.asp. A DVD will now be included with all Genie boom, scissor and telehandler products, as well as Terex generator and light tower purchases, instead of a printed set of manuals. Other products will come with a flyer directing the customer to the Web site.

Genie debuted two new products at the American Rental Association trade show in Atlanta, Ga. Making their North American debut were the S-85 telescopic boom and the GRC-12 Runabout Contractor.

Echo Announces Fleet Advantage

Echo Outdoor Power Equipment announced the Fleet Advantage program, which offers product discounts and Power Perks to members. It is open to any commercial landscaper, tree care service provider or municipality. For details, visit www.echo-usa.com/fleet.

Gary Neyman Tom Wentz

News from LebanonTurf

LebanonTurf has developed a new program designed to calculate the efficiency of fertilizer. Turf professionals who use the NutriLife Fertilizer Calculator at www.projectevergreen.com/lebanonturf and request more information will trigger a $5 donation from LebanonTurf to Project EverGreen.

LebanonTurf named Gary Neyman as international business manager and Tom Wentz as northern regional sales manager. Neyman, who had been sports turf marketing manager for the past 13 years, will be responsible for developing and implementing sales strategies and business plans. He has more than 40 years of experience in the turf industry. Wentz was most recently associated with Reinders and has worked for Scotts and The Andersons. He will be responsible for sales and distribution in the Northeast and Midwest.

Winfield Takes Over Red Rhino Brand

Winfield Engineering Ltd. has taken over the Red Rhino brand. Bryan Eccles had purchased the assets of Red Rhino and started a new company, Recycling Product Ltd., trading as Red Rhino Crushers, and sought a larger company to take over the brand. Winfield will continue manufacturing the Red Rhino range.