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.

House Committee Approves H-2B Exemption Amendment
The House Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment to extend the returning worker exemption to the H-2B legal immigrant guest worker program. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a similar amendment earlier this year.

WaterSense Program Has Saved 1.5 Trillion Gallons
Since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program was launched in June 2006, WaterSense labeled products have helped Americans reduce their water use by 1.5 trillion gallons of water.

Weed Man Reports Growth Through First Half of 2016
Weed Man USA
, a lawn care franchise throughout North America, reached the mid-point of 2016 on pace to exceed projections for growth this year. Since the beginning of 2016, Weed Man has acquired 16 new territories and seven license agreements, and projects adding a total of 49 new territories by year’s end.

AmericanHort names Ken Fisher as president and CEO
The AmericanHort Board of Directors named Ken Fisher as the company’s next president and CEO. Fisher has 20 years of experience leading public and privately-held companies, including iconic consumer brands with The Coleman Company and Elmer’s Products Inc.

Toro and Exmark Receives Gold Level Award from EDA
The Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) recently named Exmark and Toro as recipients of its Gold Level Award for 2016. This marks the second consecutive year that Exmark has received the award. Toro’s ratings showed an increase in nearly every key category over the previous year.

Seed Research Hires Business Development Manager
Seed Research of Oregon recently hired Michael Billman as its business development manager. Billman brings more than 20 years of seed industry experience to the position. Billman will work with both new and existing customers and assist with customer service, sales, production and forecasting.

TPI Elects Officers and New Board Members
Turfgrass Producers International (TPI) announced the 2016-2017 officers and board of directors, effective July 1. The officers and new board members were elected during TPI’s Annual Business Meeting Feb. 23 at the association’s 2016 International Education Conference & Field Day in Houston, Texas.

Cleary Bros. Adds Tom Newlin to its Staff
Cleary Bros., based in Danville, California, recently hired Tom Newlin as its director of business development. Newlin has more than 25 years of experience in sales. He’s been married for 30 years, has three kids and coaches youth sports.

Ohio High School Student Off to Fast Start in Lawn Care
Budding landscape professional Alec Schmitz was one of six students in Mansfield, Ohio that completed a 30-week intensive program and graduated from the Young Entrepreneur Academy, reports the Mansfield News Journal. Schmitz began running a small lawn-care and landscaping business when he was 12, riding mowers down to neighboring properties in the small Ohio community of Ontario. By 16, with a driver’s license and driving a full-size truck with a 16-foot trailer, he’s now offering lawn care and landscape services beyond his immediate community. Schmitz says his next goal is to get a university business degree, according to the News Journal.

Bronze Artwork Honors 100th Anniversary of Mr. JCB’s Birth
June 21 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of JCB’s founder. Joseph Cyril Bamford was born in 1916 at his family home in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. On June 21, Mr. JCB’s sons and grandson celebrated the anniversary of his birth and his many achievements by unveiling a one-and-a-quarter-scale bronze bust at JCB’s World Headquarters in Rocester, where it will stay. The sculptor, Andrew Edwards, 52, spent five months creating the image of Mr. Bamford in the 1960s.

Harrell’s Becomes National Distributor for Koch
Koch Turf & Ornamental, a brand supported by Koch Agronomic Services, LLC, has selected Harrell’s as the nationwide distributor for Polyon controlled-release fertilizer in professional markets in the United States. Harrell’s had previously acted as the sole distributor of Polyon fertilizer in professional markets in the eastern United States.

Arborjet Grows Team to Accelerate its Business in 2016
Arborjet announced several new hires and promotions at the company to help meet the needs of its growing business and customer base.

  • Mark Griffith has joined as new Product Marketing Manager for Tree and Ornamental. Griffith previously served as a marketing strategist for a Boston-based agency where he managed more than 25 clients, and also as a copywriter and social media specialist.
  • Sean Facey has been promoted to Technical Product Manager. Formerly the Strategic Accounts and Support Services Manager, Facey will continue to manage key accounts but will also be responsible for helping drive Arborjet’s new plant health focus in horticulture.
  • Kristin Nikodemski has been promoted from Product Marketing Manager to Marketing Manager, Horticultural Products for Arborjet, and will continue to work as a liaison between the industry and the sales team while also coordinating marketing support staff.
  • Doug McPherson has taken on a new position as Technical Specialist and will manage product development and Environmental Protection Association (EPA) programs at Arborjet. Doug will also be responsible for liaising with research, engineering and marketing.
  • Zachary Purinton joins the team as Inside Technical Sales Specialist, lending support to Arborjet’s sales and marketing teams and managing customer-facing technical questions day-to-day.
  • Lauren Doran joins the Arborjet team as Marketing Communications Specialist, helping to support Arborjet’s social media and advertising efforts.
  • Logan Behringer has come on board as a Customer Service Associate. Logan is managing order processing, coordinating events and providing other marketing and sales support activities for Arborjet.

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