Industry Update


News from around the Green industry

Shindaiwa and Swisher Enter Agreement

Shindaiwa, Inc. and Swisher, Inc. have entered into a private label agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Shindaiwa, based in Tualatin, Ore., will manufacture outdoor power equipment for Swisher, a family-owned, privately held corporation with manufacturing facilities in Warrensburg, Mo., and Lawrenceburg, Tenn. Initially, the new line of Swisher-branded products will include 11 models of commercial-grade hand-held equipment, including brush cutters, grass trimmers, lawn edgers and leaf blowers. Each model will be equipped with a powerful, eco-friendly, four-stroke engine.

Inaugural GIE+EXPO Successful

More than 21,000 people participated in the first-ever Green Industry & Equipment Expo in Louisville, Ky., October 25-27. GIE+EXPO is the result of a merger between the International Lawn, Garden & Power Equipment Expo and the Green Industry Expo. It was sponsored by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, the Professional Landcare Network and the Professional Grounds Management Society.

The new show hosted 643 exhibiting companies from all over the world. There were about 7,000 dealers/retailers and approximately 7,000 lawn and landscape pros at the show. Participants represented all 50 states and 50 countries. About 2,400 people participated in the Green Industry Conference, which was sponsored by PLANET, and the School of Grounds Management, sponsored by PGMS.

Halsey Taylor Extends Sales Territory

Halsey Taylor announced that Reid Pacific Co. is now serving as its sales representative agency in Alaska. In addition to this new territory, Reid Pacific also continues to represent Halsey Taylor water coolers and drinking fountains in Washington, Oregon and northern Idaho.

Reid Pacific has locations in Portland, Ore., and Fife, Wash., and Halsey Taylor is headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill.

Feldman Joins E-Z-GO

Jeff Feldman has joined E-Z-GO, a Textron, Inc. company, as regional sales representative for California. Feldman will be responsible for maintaining current fleet golf car accounts, as well as pursuing new business at courses and resorts throughout a key territory north of Los Angeles

Feldman comes to E-Z-GO from ProLink Solutions, where he served as regional sales executive. Covering the southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii markets, Feldman was named ProLink’s Sales Executive of the Year in 2004 and 2005 and achieved personal-record system sales in 2006. He also has 12 years of experience in industrial sales. Feldman holds a bachelor’s degree in business from California State University, Northridge.

First Step Becomes Licensed Propagator of Celebrated Plants

First Step Greenhouses of Temecula, Calif., has partnered with Wagner Horticulture Solutions as a licensed propagator of Celebrated Plants, a line of drought-tolerant ground covers from Australia. The move will help satisfy growing demand for the plants on the West Coast.

First Step joins two other licensed propagators — Twyford in Apopka, Fla., and ForemostCo in Winter Garden, Fla.

From left, top row, Kirk Fleischly, John McCrimmon, Paul Wigington; middle row, Jill Pepper, Chris McCrimmon, Ron McCrimmon, Clifton McCrimmon, James Bunker; front row, Chad Chermak, Andy Luker, Scott Weaver and Justin Uhrig.

MSE-Hickman Receives Hustler Award

MSE-Hickman Trailers & Equipment received the Rising Star Award from Hustler Turf Equipment for reaching $1 million in sales in 2007. Bobbie and Karen Moore started Mountain Scapes Equipment Sales and Service, Inc. in 1998, selling and servicing outdoor power equipment in Colorado Springs, Colo. When Mountain Scapes merged with Hickman Trailer Garage in 2003, the dBA changed to MSE-Hickman. In 2007, the company added Hustler to the product line.

Mac Equipment Receives Hustler Award

Mac Equipment, Inc. has earned the third-place sales growth award for United States distribution of Hustler mowers manufactured by Excel Industries.

Mac Equipment grew out of a lawn care business run by brothers John, Ron, Chris and Clifton McCrimmon. In 2004, Mac began distributing Hustler mowers in Colorado and parts of Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas.

ACO Hosts Grand Opening

ACO Polymer Products officially opened its newest facility in October, a modern 40,000-square-foot manufacturing/warehouse/office center rising out of a 20-acre complex in Casa Grande, Ariz.

The new operation will focus on manufacturing ACO products and serving the growing base of the company’s distribution and construction companies in the western United States and Mexico. The facility will have the capacity to employ up to 50 people and will produce an average of 1 million pounds of polymer concrete material each month. The new facility is one of the company’s three plants in the United States, including ones in Chardon, Ohio, and Riverdale, Iowa.

Eagle Point Becomes ISV to Autodesk

Eagle Point Software Corp. has become an independent software vendor to Autodesk.

Eagle Point’s initial ISV offering is the Pinnacle Task Navigator for Autodesk Civil 3D software.

Ingersoll-Rand Sells Business Units

Ingersoll-Rand Co. Ltd. has agreed to sell its Bobcat, Utility Equipment and Attachments business units to Doosan Infracore for cash proceeds of approximately $4.9 billion. The sale was targeted to close early in the fourth quarter of 2007. The sale includes manufacturing facilities in Gwinner and Bismarck, N.D.; Carrollton, Ga.; Litchfield, Minn.; Petersburg, Va.; Wujiang, China; Dobris, Czech Republic; Lyon and Pontchateau, France; Slane, Ireland; and Tredegar, Wales. The businesses employ approximately 5,700 people worldwide. Doosan’s strong position in Asia Pacific markets will provide growth opportunities for the acquired businesses.

Catherine Fuhrman

Fuhrman Joins Advan

Catherine Fuhrman has joined Advan LLC as product manager.

Prior to her position with Advan, Fuhrman worked for three Kansas City companies. She served as product manager for PBI/Gordon Corp., programs manager for AdFarm and held several positions with Bayer CropScience. She holds M.S. degrees in marketing and management from Rockhurst University and B.A. degrees in English and education from Avila University. An active member of the National Agri-Marketing Association, Fuhrman is a board member of the association’s MO-KAN chapter.

Tech-Terra Organics Goes National

Tech-Terra Organics, LLC, a New Jersey-based distributor of national plant care products, has expanded its distribution nationally.

President Barry Draycott is a 25-year veteran of the tree care industry and grew his business by distribution the products to green industry professionals within the New Jersey borders. The company’s customer base has now grown beyond the New Jersey borders.

Weed Man Joins EPA

Weed Man has worked with the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) to become its first corporate partner in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program. PLANET’s umbrella strategy is to qualify its members for participation in the PESP program.

By joining the stewardship program, Weed Man pledged that sound environmental practices will continue to be an integral part of its pest control program. The company has also committed to undertake specific, measurable activities toward achieving their risk reduction goals.

Lawn Doctor Participates in Renewal & Remembrance Event

Lawn Doctor participated in the 11th Annual Renewal & Remembrance event in Washington, D.C., in July.

Over the years, Lawn Doctor has helped eliminate and control the weeds at the Historic Congressional Cemetery and has seen Renewal & Remembrance activities expand to include liming of the turf, tree pruning and removal and historical tree protection from lightning strikes. Combined with the services contributed to Arlington National Cemetery, this year’s Renewal & Remembrance contributed more than $250,000 in products and services to both cemeteries.

The Toro Company Acquires Rain Master Irrigation Systems

The Toro Company has acquired Rain Master Irrigation Systems, a manufacturer of irrigation controllers based in Simi Valley, Calif. The purchase will help strengthen the company’s position in the central controller market, enhance its established distribution network and reinforce a long-term strategy to broaden its offering of precision irrigation technologies.

Kubota Celebrates Anniversary With Special Edition

In commemoration of its 35th anniversary, Kubota Tractor Corp., based in Torrance, Calif., is offering a special edition model of its popular RTV900 utility vehicle. The silver RTV900 Special Edition is a limited-production model that will be available in the United States at most Kubota dealers.

The RTV900 Special Edition comes standard with several factory-installed features, including aluminum alloy wheels, plastic canopy top, speedometer, head rests and custom-designed Kubota 35th anniversary branding decals. It also features a factory spray-on bed liner, which helps to dampen noise and protects the cargo bed from scratches, dents and corrosion.

Kubota and Land Pride Announce Marketing Agreement

Kubota Tractor Corp. and Land Pride have entered into a strategic alliance to market Land Pride implements that are performance-matched to Kubota tractors. Participating Kubota dealerships in the United States will offer the Land Pride implements to sell with the tractors.

Wright Mfg. Advertising Material Wins Creative Award

Wright Mfg.’s brochure and direct marketing material by The Design Channel has received a gold medal in the international MarCom Creative Awards competition.

MarCom Creative Awards are administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, an international organization comprised of several thousand marketing and communication professionals that oversees award and recognition programs, provides judges and sets standards for excellence.

T.D. Decker

Decker Joins Aquascape as President

Aquascape has named T.D. Decker as its new president.

Decker has a B.S. in engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Duke University, where he was president of his class. He was previously president of two manufacturing companies, then saw a portfolio of service companies and recently was president of a $3 billion hedge fund.

FarmLinks Adds Designer, Enhanced Marketing Services for Partners

FarmLinks LLC has added Joel Townley as the new marketing manager at FarmLinks.

Townley attended both The University of Alabama and Auburn University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Before working for FarmLinks, he worked in art direction and layout design for a variety of publications while working for Hoffman Media, and, most recently, he used his skills at Details Communications where he was involved in art direction and design for a variety of churches and faith-based organizations in the Southeast.

Country Clipper Announces Distributor of the Year

Country Clipper has awarded the 2007 Country Clipper Distributor of the Year award to Pitt Power Products in Cranberry Township, Pa.

The award recognizes Pitt Power Products for their outstanding results in the areas of sales growth, dealer service and training and customer support.

From left, Dennis Ervin, director of marketing and sales for Country Clipper, Char Shivvers, president of Shivvers Mfg., Inc., Dick Eiseman, sales manager of Pitt Power Products, John Willard, national sales manager, and Blaine Fields, territorial sales manager.

Justin Wallace

Sod Solutions Adds Director of Communication

Sod Solutions, Inc. has hired Justin Wallace as director of communication. He will primarily work in Charleston, S.C., and will be responsible for providing strategy, planning and execution fro the company’s public relations and media visibility activities.

Wallace is a graduate of Florida State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. Prior to joining Sod Solutions, he spent 12 years in television broadcasting.

ZIPPER Mowers Names Evans National Sales Manager

ZIPPER Mowers has named Warren Evans national sales manager.

Evans brings more than 20 years of experience in the lawn mowing industry. Most recently, he held the position of national sales manager at Dixie Chopper for 15 years.

Colleen Heitzler

Heitzler Promoted COO for Aquascape

Colleen Heitzler has been promoted from CFO to COO for Aquascape, Inc.

Heitzler began her career at Aquascape in August 2001. With a degree in accounting and a CPA certificate, she brings 17 years of experience working in privately-held, fast-growing entrepreneurial companies to her new job title. Prior to joining Aquascape, she was CFO for a distribution company, president of a chain of retail stores and controller for a publishing company.

Excel, ISM Establish Partnership

Excel Industries, Inc. and IHI Shibaura Machinery, Corp. have established a long-term strategic partnership, which will enable Excel to collaborate on marketing and development of multiple products and technologies.

From left, Paul Mullet, CEO, Excel Industries, and Takashi Nishimura, CEO, ISM.

Excel and ISM have started implementation of a marketing and development strategy and will be introducing several new products in the United States and global markets. The strategy includes joint development of future products across a wide range of markets and product categories.

From left, Paul Mullet, CEO, Excel Industries, and Takashi Nishimura, CEO, ISM.

Aquarius Announces Name Change

Aquarius Brands, Inc. has officially changed the company name to Jain Irrigation, Inc.

Aquarius is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. of India.

Saf-T-Gard Releases 2007-2008 Catalog

Saf-T-Gard International, Inc. has released its 2007-2008 product catalog.

The new catalog is nearly double the size of its previous edition and represents the next step in Saf-T-Gard’s continuing effort to supply industrial safety products and personal protective equipment.

For a copy of the catalog, call 800-548-GARD or visit

BASF Appoints Director of Specialty Products Division

BASF Agricultural Products has appointed Paul Rea director of its Specialty Products Division.

Rea has been with BASF for more than six years and his most recent assignment was director of regional marketing for North America. Prior to that, he was involved in the company’s divestiture of the Microflo business and global marketing efforts for BASF’s line of herbicides. Before supporting BASF in North America, Rea was national sales manager for BASF Australia, Ltd. Prior to BASF, he worked within the retail distribution network and spent more than 10 years with a major seed company in both Australia and New Zealand.

Ventrac by Venture Names Award Winners

Venture Products, Inc. has announced the recipients of the company’s 2007 Dealer Awards.

This year’s winner of the Marvin Steiner Award is Bob Lawrence of Bob Lawrence Power Equipment in Asheville, N.C. Other 2007 Dealer Award winners: Growth Award, Charlottesville Power Equipment, Charlottesville, Va., and Brace Power Equipment, Carrollton, Ohio; Total Sales Award, North Carolina Turf Equipment, Wilmington, N.C., and O’Neils Farm Equipment, Binbrook, Ont., Canada; New Dealer Growth Award, Brace Power Equipment, Carrollton, Ohio; and International Growth Award, HC Peterson & CO, Denmark.

John Deere Awarded Contract with U.S. Marines

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded John Deere Construction & Forestry Co. an estimated $125 million contract to build up to 540 Medium Crawler Tractors (MCTs).

The units will be manufactured at John Deere’s Dubuque Works facility in Dubuque, Iowa, with an initial delivery of seven MCTs targeted for completion in mid-2008 and full production starting in late 2008.