Field Notes

The North American Equipment Dealer Association (NAEDA) has announced Dixie Chopper, part of Jacobsen, a Textron Inc. company, as the winner of their 2015 Most Improved award. The company received the award for attaining the greatest percentage of improvement in overall ratings from 2014 based off the association’s annual dealer-manufacturer relations survey.

With exceptional ratings in product and parts quality, The Grasshopper Company was awarded the 2015 Dealer’s Choice Award by the NAEDA. As the only recipient of the top award among outdoor power equipment manufacturers, Grasshopper ratings exceeded industry averages in all 12 areas surveyed.

Ecore, a company that transforms reclaimed waste into performance surfacing, received a Platinum Well Workplace Award from the Lancaster Health Summit in Lancaster, Penn. The award recognizes successful wellness initiatives of local companies that strive to improve the health and well-being of their employees.

Great Northern Equipment Distributing Inc. completed its asset purchase of JRCO, Inc. on June 1, 2015. Since 1975, JRCO has been a respected name in the commercial mower attachment industry.

GameTime, a manufacturer of commercial playground equipment, outdoor fitness equipment and custom playscapes, announced it successfully completed its seventh annual independent surveillance audit of Environmental Aspects and Environmental Management Systems. The audit concluded that GameTime is in compliance with all cited standards, regulatory requirements and recycling practices.

Gold Medal Products Co. appointed Greg Miller to assume the role as company president. After serving 24 years as president, Dan Kroeger retired from the position, but will continue as CEO and chairman through 2016.

PlayCore has partnered with the Natural Learning Initiative, College of Design, NC State University (NLI), to develop the guidebook NatureGrounds: Creating and Retrofitting Play Environments, Best Practice Guidelines, and help professional and community activists promote naturalized playgrounds.

The Synthetic Turf Council announced Al Garver, CAE, as its next president of the national non-profit trade association for the synthetic turf industry.  Garver will become the third president of the 12-year-old organization. Garver succeeds current President Rick Doyle, who is retiring in October 2015, after nine years of leading the STC.

S.R.Smith has named Brett Fritts Vice President & General Manager of Lighting and Emerging Markets. Previously Fritts was Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for S.R.Smith from 2005 to 2012. 

Aqua Pool & Patio, a New England in-ground Gunite pool and spa company, was named to Pool & Spa News’ Top 50 Pool and Spa Builders list in the Unites States for the fourth year in a row.

Profile Products Acquired by Platte River Equity

Buffalo Grove, Ill.—Profile Products LLC, an environmental solutions company providing soil, water and vegetation management solutions used by customers ranging from international mining companies to golf and sports complexes to retail lawn and garden centers, announced its acquisition by Platte River Equity, a private equity firm focused on driving growth in niche middle market industrial companies. The new owners plan to continue building Profile Products’ business, in collaboration with the current company leadership, through both organic growth and strategic add-on acquisitions.

Profile Products will continue to operate with the same management team, 200+-employee workforce, and existing locations. Platte River’s investment resources, the deep operational expertise of its principals, and its strong track record in driving growth for its portfolio companies are expected to accelerate Profile Products’ success in increasing market share and penetrating new markets.


Give Your Lawn A Breath Of Fresh Aeration

While summer may be the time that your department shines, all of that extra activity can wreak havoc on your facilities’ lawns. Lucky for you, aeration season is upon us.

Why is aeration necessary?

Over time, the soil beneath lawns gets compacted, which prevents it from establishing a healthy root system. When air, water and fertilizer are prevented from getting to grass roots, the lawn quickly suffers. Aeration allows the lawn to “breathe” and helps to solve this problem.

Aeration also provides other long-term benefits:

  • Enhancing water absorption
  • Improving fertilizer effectiveness
  • Reducing water runoff and puddling
  • Improving turf cushioning and resilience
  • Improving overall air exchange
  • Enhancing heat and drought stress tolerance.

This aeration season — which generally runs August through October— is poised to be one of the most significant in recent history. With the recent drought conditions striking many states throughout the South and West, many municipalities and states have imposed severe water use restrictions.

Talk to your turf renovation rental equipment dealer or your lawn service provider to give your lawn a breath of fresh aeration.

Submitted by Ryan Turf Renovation Equipment. Visit  for more information.


Jim Reiser Gets Hall Of Fame Nod

Congratulations to Jim Reiser, Executive Director of Swim Lessons University, for being named the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award by the International Swimming Hall of Fame for his approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim. Jim is the first American to win the award in 20 years! That’s quite an accomplishment. Hats off to you, Jim!


Tribute Turns Heads

Hi Ron,

At our park district, we include your publication in our “Reading File,” a binder filled with various publications of interest which I assemble as the office clerk and distribute to the employees monthly.

I was especially moved by your tribute to your departing employee (“Gone But Not Forgotten, PRB May). Your deep appreciation of her work and her humanity were palpable. 

You have made me also take more seriously the invitation I have received from an old high school chum to visit him and his wife in Maryland. 

Ken Nanes

Medina County Park District

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A Word Of Thanks

On “He Said What?” Week-Ender blog posted on July 3:

Ron, you're a good man!

Good and positive outlook on life.

Steve Antman


Barenbrug’s RPR Receives Patent

Tangent, Ore.—A turf technology years in the making is now protected by a U.S. Patent. The Lolium perenne ssp. stoloniferum, perennial ryegrass with determinate stolons, developed by Barenbrug USA is now protected by US Patent # 8,927,804.

Barenbrug’s RPR—Regenerating Perennial Ryegrass—is durable, thrives under temperature extremes and regenerates turf horizontally with determinate stolons. This ability to expand laterally is what separates RPR from any other perennial ryegrass.

For more information, visit


Toro Company Honors David M. Lilly For Visionary Leadership And Innovative Spirit

Bloomington, Minn.—To honor the legacy of David M. Lilly, The Toro Company’s fourth president and former Dean of what now is the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and in recognition of the company’s long-standing partnership with the University of Minnesota, Toro announced the establishment of The Toro Company-David M. Lilly Faculty Chair. At an event held at the company’s headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., Toro also made the official dedication of the David M. Lilly Learning Center in further recognizing Lilly’s leadership and lifelong passion for learning.

The endowed chair is established through a grant of $2 million from The Toro Company and Melrose/Toro Community Fund. The grant will go to assisting the University of Minnesota in recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty members in the Carlson School, and help further support advancements in teaching, research and service.


John Deere Launches TractorPlus App

Cary, N.C.—John Deere has launched the TractorPlus application to provide customers with access to information to help them learn more about their 3E, 3R, 4M, and 4R compact utility tractors.

Intended to serve as a reference tool, the TractorPlus application offers a variety of features:

  • Tractor setup—provides a step-by-step guide for setting up features, including the hitch assist and Final Tier 4 engines
  • Icon glossary—allows users to familiarize themselves with the instrument panel
  • Error code lookup—a searchable database of diagnostic trouble codes
  • Notebook—a place for operators to save notes on the machine’s performance for future reference

The app is available for free download on iTunes, Google Play, and the John Deere App Center.


Rekortan Chosen For Running Track Renovation

Philadelphia, Penn.—The University of Pennsylvania has chosen Rekortan as the surface for its Franklin Field running track. The track was completely renovated prior to the 2015 - 2016 season. Rektoran has been the official track surface of Franklin Field since 1987. The track is best known for hosting the annual Penn Relay races. Rekortan is made by Advanced Polymer Technology (APT), a Harmony, Penn.-based manufacturer. APT will oversee the renovation and installation of the new track surface.


Cushman Introduces New Product Names

Augusta, Ga.--Cushman realigned its product offerings and launched new names for its 1600XD series. The vehicles will become part of the Hauler family, specifically under the Hauler 4X4 category. Both of the diesel units will be named Hauler 4X4. Following the name change, the Hauler 4X4 will contain three vehicle models: the new Hauler 4X4 gas, Hauler 4X4 diesel, and Hauler 4X4 diesel crew, which offers 4-passenger seating. The renaming will not change product specifications, and all other Cushman vehicles’ nomenclature will remain unchanged. 




6-9 Minnesota Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference, Mankato, Minn.;

7-9 World Aquatic Health Conference, Scottsdale, Ariz.—Scottsdale Plaza Resort;

13-16 Colorado Parks & Recreation Association, Breckenridge, Colo.—Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center;

21-23 Arkansas Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference and Trade Show, Hot Springs, Ark.—Hot Springs Convention Center;

22-23 The Green Industry and Equipment (GIE) Expo, Louisville, Ky.—Kentucky Exposition Center;

(800) 558-8767 or


2-5 Georgia Recreation and Parks Association Conference, Dalton, Ga.;

7-10 Virginia Recreation & Park Society Annual Conference, Virginia Beach, Va.—Hilton at 31st Street & Virginia Beach Convention Center;

15-19 Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association Conference, Kingsport, Tenn.;


4-8 American Sports Builders Association Annual Technical Meeting, Scottsdale, Ariz.—Fairmont Scottsdale Princess;