This toddler started in the sandbox pushing toy tractors around in my first “farming” enterprise.
The toy tractors would later turn into real ones and all through school days the library had a well-worn path to the magazine section. There the publications were read cover to cover in search of ads for the latest and greatest farm equipment and the plethora of brands promoted that we lusted after.
After being employed in the industry, we found the newest issues from Farm Equipment were the encyclopedia of what was trending and newsworthy in the peddling of iron. The farm implement industry’s company reps would burn up the landlines (rotary dial phones in many cases) and start each conversation with "Did you see…?" as the industry was covered in total by this Wisconsin group who had the farm equipment industry and supply chains at heart.
They had a goal to inform us of all of the trends, performance, good and bad news and new products that burst onto the market. From their beginning to the myriad of today's publications and events, no other group serves the industry so well as the Lessiters. Period.
As a side note, 55 years ago there were more than 15 brands of tractors and 40 sidelines with marketing staff – and probably more. The industry consolidated and shrunk in numbers tremendously through the years – but the Lessiters increased in scope.
Congrats and keep up the great work!
About Tim Brannon: Tim Brannon, owner of B&G Equipment, Paris, Tenn., is an Allis-Chalmers territory rep turned dealer-principal. He is the author of Rural Lifestyle Dealer’s Equipment Dealer Tips, Tales & Takeaways column that shares knowledge, experiences and tips/lessons with fellow rural equipment dealerships throughout North America. Covering all aspects required of an equipment dealership general manager, Brannon informs, entertains and provides a teachable moment for current — and future — leaders within equipment dealerships.
Check out other "A Look Back in Farm Equipment History" blogs
Industry commentary on “55 Years of Farm Equipment”
- The ‘5 Greatest Tech Advancements’ in My Career as a Dealer | Leo Johnson, Johnson Tractor
- The Impact of Consolidation & Technology on Agriculture Over Half a Century | Sam Christianson, Titan Machinery
- A Service Manager’s View on the Changing Times | Brent Bazin, Young's Equipment Inc.
- Reflections on Farm Equipment | George Russell, Machinery Advisors Consortium
- Farm Equipment Sales in the 1970s | Charlie Glass, FEMA Dealer Relations Commitee
- Digital Communications Changed the Course of OEMs Working With Dealers | Tom Taylor, retired farm equipment executive
- RDO Equipment’s Take on the Last 55 Years | Daryl Shelton, RDO Equipment
- Reflections from a North American, International & Company-Store Dealer Exec | Stacy Anthony, AgRevolution LLC
- A Lot of Change in Shortline Equipment | Hans Rasmussen, Summers Manufacturing
- Business Acumen, Technology Forever Changed Equipment Sales & Service | Brian R. Carpenter, Champlain Valley Equipment
- Not Your Grandfather’s Farm Equipment Dealership… | Josh Waggener, Hutson Inc
- Left Major OEM Career 55 Years Ago to Become Dealer-Principal | Paul Wallem, Retired International Harvester executive
- Titan Machinery Reflects on Significant Changes to Dealership Environment in 55 Years | David J. Meyer, Titan Machinery
- From 3 Stores Within 50 Miles to 25 Stores Across 8 States | Tom Rosztoczy, Stotz Equipment
- 45 Years of Observations on Ag Equipment Manufacturing & Distribution | Chuck Bellew, retired farm equipment executive
- Today’s Staff Has No Fear Approach to Risk, But It Still Exists | Jeff Morgan, H&R Agri-Power
- A Recent Retiree’s Perspective on Equipment Industry | Lars Paulsson, Laforge Systems
- 60 Years of Equipment Dealer Associations Consolidation Continues | Kim Rominger, NAEDA
- Vast Technology Changes Assisted Dealers’ Computerization | Ed Archambo, Basic Software Systems
- ‘I Didn’t Listen to My Uncle Roy’ | Jon Eis, Eis Implement Co.
- Farm Equipment Manufacturers and the Early 1980s Farm Crisis
- GMO, Autosteer Forever Changed Our Business | Tom Janson, Janson Equipment
- My 35 Years at RME, from Microfiche to Guidance | Jim Wood, Rocky Mountain Equipment
- Export Opportunities Changed Game for Canadian Shortline Manufacturer | Hal Carnago, Schulte Industries Ltd.
- 40 Years with Sunco, Hiniker, Ingersoll, Southern Marketing & Forges de Niaux | Larry Hansen, Forges de Niaux
- From Dreaming Farm Boy to Equipment Dealer | Tim Brannon, B&G Equipment