Larry Hansen

First, let me congratulate you, Lessiter Media and your team on this remarkable achievement. Few companies or people can or will be able to duplicate what you have accomplished. This is a rapidly changing environment and Lessiter Media along with Farm Equipment magazine have kept the pace. I can’t speak for 55 years, but I can go back around 40.

Over the years and my terms of employment with Sunco Marketing, Hiniker Company, Ingersoll Products Company, Southern Marketing Affiliates and now Forges de Niaux I have placed a significant number of ads in Farm Equipment magazine. The staff at Lessiter is always very helpful in making sure I got a good spot in the magazine, help in designing the ad and getting a good price. Some of the ads we ran were in a program where we could monitor the results, which was very helpful.

Besides just running ads, I have read thousands of the publications. It was something I look forward to each month. It was very educational and helped keep all of us out in the field up to date on what was going on in the industry and what new equipment was coming on the market. I can honestly say that during my years in the farm equipment industry there was not one other farm equipment related publication that I enjoyed and looked forward to more than Farm Equipment magazine.

Today, doing business is fast paced. Everyone expects an answer in 24 hours or in some cases a lot less. If you are not on top of your game, you will lose that possible sale in a heartbeat. First responders are remembered; late-comers are forgotten. Everyone seems very busy; they wear multiple hats and can be short on patience.

Thirty to forty years ago who would have dreamed that the technology a farmer has available and uses to plant and harvest his crop would even exist. Back in those days a salesman at a dealership could sell a tractor, a planter, a combine or whatever his customer needed. Today they have specialists trained to sell each type of equipment.

I am not sure I have an exact answer to what were the biggest defining moments that changed the way we did business. One of the more difficult situations I encountered was the constant merger of dealerships and less individual dealers. As a salesperson, you built a relationship with the buyer at each dealership. Now it gets sold and joins a group of 2-10 other dealerships under one ownership and you must start building the relationship with a new buyer. Sometimes you win; other times you are out. It resulted in less sales calls but more competition at each one. It became very stressful.

Also, the smaller number of farmers as the others just got bigger. This required us in manufacturing to constantly be working and engineering on larger sizes of current equipment we made or build a new design to accommodate the size.

Always have and always will admire Lessiter Media and Farm Equipment magazine…

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Read Farm Equipment's 55 Years of History Coverage