Do you have news you’d like to share with SportsField Management readers? Email the details to

SUPERthrive Inventor Passes Away

Dr. John Ansel Armstrong Thomson, inventor of SUPERthrive, passed away on November 28, 2011, five days after his 100th birthday. Thomson developed the SUPERthrive formula in 1939. Seventy-two years later, he was still engaged in the daily operations of his company, Vitamin Institute. As the new president, his daughter Patrisha Thomson will continue his legacy of improving horticultural and agricultural crops with the firm’s sole product. Thomson held a doctorate degree in biochemistry and received numerous awards throughout his career.

News from Agrium

Agrium Advanced Technologies established a corporate sustainability team, designed to coordinate the variety of sustainable initiatives currently under way across the organization. Sarah Fox was added as the first sustainability initiatives specialist, bringing almost two decades of leadership experience in nonprofit and governmental environmental legislation and policy innovation to the organization.

Ron Dekok joined the Turf & Ornamental Wholesale division as North America marketing manager. Previously, he served as marketing manager for Direct Solutions, Agrium’s direct-to-market sales division. He also worked for Canadian ProHort prior to and following its acquisition by Agrium.

Agrium added Spread it & Forget it fertilizer blends specifically designed for the municipal market to its portfolio of slow and controlled-release fertilizers. Learn more at

Horizon Announced as Distributor for Rain Bird, Jacobsen

Horizon Distributors, Inc. announced it has become a distributor of Rain Bird turf irrigation products and Jacobsen turf maintenance equipment in both Florida and the Caribbean islands. Additionally, Horizon is now a distributor of Rain Bird Golf and Rain Bird International irrigation products throughout the Caribbean. The Jacobsen and Rain Bird distributor partnerships are the result of Horizon’s expansion into Florida and the Caribbean earlier this year, part of the company’s continued growth plans.

IA Announces Awards

The Irrigation Association’s Smart Irrigation Month Committee named the winners of its Smart Marketing Contest, designed to recognize the best efforts of 2011 to promote the initiative. Contest winners were named in six categories: Reinke Mfg., Deshler, Neb., agriculture; Rainscapes, Maryville, Tenn., small business; Toro Co., Riverside, Calif., manufacturer; Aqua-Flo Supply, Goleta, Calif., distributor; Atascadero Mutual Water Co., Atascadero, Calif., affiliate; and Del Conte’s Landscaping, Fremont, Calif., contractor.

IA presented its annual awards at the 2011 Irrigation Show in San Diego, Calif. Recipients included George Sesser, Nelson Irrigation Corp., Walla Walla, Wash., and Rene Evelyn-Veere, Rain Bird Corp., Tucson, Ariz., Industry Achievement Awards; USDA-ARS Water Management Research Unit, Fort Collins, Colo., National Water & Energy Conservation Award; Howard Wuertz, Sundance Farms, Inc., Coolidge, Ariz., Person of the Year Award; and Jack Keller, Keller-Bliesner Engineering, Logan, Utah, Crawford Reid Memorial Award.