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.

National Honey Bee Day Approaches, August 19
August 19 is National Honey Bee Day, and Bayer’s Feed a Bee program will be working across the country to plant thousands of wildflowers from New York to California – all in one day. Since 2015, the Feed a Bee initiative has distributed over 3 billion wildflower seeds for pollinator plantings, establishing additional nutrition and habitat sources across the nation. This National Honey Bee Day, Feed a Bee will be celebrating with special planting events to add even more to the pollinator gardens at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York, North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and the Placer Land Trust’s School Park Community Garden in Auburn, California.

Sponsored by the Bayer Bee Care Program, the $500,000 Feed a Bee initiative launched earlier this year with the goal to facilitate forage plantings or enhancements in every state by the end of 2018. More than 100 organizations have applied for funding to date, including wildlife agencies, nonprofit organizations, schools and universities, homeowners’ associations and more, illustrating the growing interest in pollinator health in the U.S. The three locations participating in National Honey Bee Day are part of the 58 projects that were awarded in the first round of funding alone.

Hunter Industries Announces Executive Promotions
Hunter Industries recently promoted Gene Smith to president of the landscape division. Twenty-one-year Hunter veteran Kevin Gordon moves back to the irrigation division and is promoted to director of marketing, for res-com and golf. He will be responsible for international as well as national markets. Ryan Williams was promoted to senior marketing manager for FX Luminaire. Sales for both irrigation and FX Luminaire will now report directly to Denise Hoover.

Penn State Picks Jon Johnson to Direct Pesticide Education
Penn State Extension recently appointed Jon Johnson, as its director of pesticide education. Johnson received his master’s degree in horticulture, as well as his bachelor’s degree in agronomy at Penn State. He has more than 25 years of experience in turf grass, vegetation management and weed control, most recently from working on the Penn State Roadside Vegetation Management Project.

Tal Coley to Head Government Affairs for AmericanHort
AmericanHort, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, recently hired Tal Coley as director of government affairs based in its Washington, D.C. office. Coley’s first initiative with AmericanHort is Impact Washington (AmericanHort.org/Impact), a two-day summit this September with industry leaders from around the country designed to strategize on mission-critical issues – labor and immigration, horticultural research and innovation, and tax reform – and highlight legislative reforms and concerns with congressional members and their staffs. Prior to AmericanHort, Coley led congressional outreach efforts at Concerned Veterans for America.

Former Senator Kelly Ayotte Joins Caterpillar Board
Caterpillar has elected Kelly Ayotte as a member of the board of directors. Ayotte, is a former U.S. senator representing New Hampshire. She served as New Hampshire’s first female attorney general and, prior to that, she was deputy attorney general and chief of the Homicide Prosecution Unit in New Hampshire. “Kelly brings significant government experience to our board, which will be helpful for Caterpillar as we address a wide range of public policy issues,” said CEO Jim Umpleby. Ayotte joins 13 other members on Caterpillar’s board of directors and will be a member of the Public Policy & Governance Committee of the board.

EAB Spreads on Colorado Front Range
The Colorado State Forest Service confirmed evidence of the invasive tree pest emerald ash borer (EAB) within Lafayette city limits. EAB has also been confirmed in Boulder, Gunbarrel, and Longmont. “Having a new detection in this area was not unexpected, but certainly highlights the need for Front Range communities to be planning now,” said Keith Wood, CSFS community forestry program manager. Lafayette is estimated to have approximately 22,000 total ash trees, with only about 3 percent of the overall ash population located on City-owned property. With 97 percent of the ash tree population residing on private property, Lafayette residents are strongly encouraged to assess their trees, be educated on the available options, and make a plan.

Wedgworth’s Inc. Named as the Exclusive Distributor in Florida for Amp Agronomy
GCO, in partnership with Sod Solutions, has announced Wedgworth’s Inc. as the exclusive distributor of Amp Agronomy in the state of Florida. Wedgworth’s, Florida’s largest custom fertilizer dealer, offers users even more solutions for success with the addition of Amp Agronomy’s nutritional line to their existing portfolio of products.

Arborjet Announces New National Sales Manager for Retail and Indoor Growing Markets
Arborjet Inc. has announced that Mark Andrews has been appointed national sales manager for the retail and indoor growing markets. In this newly created role, Andrews will be responsible for developing and growing retail sales channel business and encouraging profitable revenue for the company’s line of horticulture products. Andrews brings a dedicated career of business development and retail channel experience to the company. Prior to his role at Arborjet, he spent 22 years with ITT working in the Innovation Lab as Global Director of Sales, and was also Global Sales Manager at Xylem, Inc.

Durante Rentals Listed on the 2017 Inc. 5000
Westchester-based Durante Rentals, with eight locations in the New York Tri-State area, has been selected to Inc. Magazine’s exclusive list of 5000 of America’s fastest-growing private companies – The Inc. 5000. After five straight years on the list, Durante Rentals is now a member of the prestigious Inc. 5000 Honor Roll.

VOLT Products Win PIA 2017 Award
VOLT has been awarded the 2017 Architectural SSL (Solid-State Lighting) Product Innovation Award (PIA) for our ShadowMaster and Coachman. These products were evaluated by a distinguished panel of 14 designers and lighting specialists skilled in product evaluation. The SSL PIA prgram awards manufacturers based on attributes, qualities, functionality, and/or performance beyond industry standards.

General Equipment Appoints New Vice President of Sales
General Equipment Company, manufacturers of light duty construction equipment, has announced Randy Dahl has joined their company as vice president of sales where he will have responsibility for the development and coordination of sales and marketing for national and independent accounts. He will also oversee long term sales strategy development as well as General Equipment’s sales representative organizations for North America. Prior to joining General Equipment, he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Poly-Tex, Inc.

Read last week’s industry news roundup: RYAN Turf To Launch National Aerate Your Lawn Day