Editor’s Note: This year (2019) marks 15 years since our company (Lessiter Media) acquired Farm Equipment magazine (along with two other titles we rebranded as Ag Equipment Intelligence and Farm Innovations For Today’s Top Farm Operator). The last 15 years have brought highs and lows, but never boredom! We’re forever grateful for an acquisition that introduced us to so many outstanding people — both personally and professionally — that comprise you, the North America’s farm equipment industry.

As families gather around the table in thanks this week, we want to share our gratefulness and appreciation with you as well. Here’s the first editorial for Farm Equipment upon our acquisition in 2004, which hangs on my office wall as a reminder of what we set out to do, and what we owe you as our loyal subscribers. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and thanks for sharing your time with us over the last 15 years. -- Mike Lessiter

Following is the editorial (page 4) as it appeared in the August/September 2004 edition of Farm Equipment.

As your new information partner, we’re here to deliver “Successful Strategies for Dealers.”

As the first issue produced under new ownership, these 48 pages in your hands mark a new beginning for both of us.

Hanging on the office wall is a framed and mounted cover and editorial page from the August/September 2004 Farm Equipment, the first produced by Lessiter Media after the acquisition in 2004. The cover shows Ohio dealer-principal Ted Mallard, whose dealership (American Equipment Service) was profiled in the first edition under Lessiter Media’s ownership.

For our small family-run trade publishing firm, this inaugural issue represents a significant new chapter in our 23-year history, and an exciting opportunity to put our agricultural and trade publishing background and resources behind the respected name of Farm Equipment.

And we hope you’ll discover a renewed energy about your business that comes from fresh and enthusiastic eyes focused on the changing horizon.

As we get started, allow us to introduce ourselves. My father, Frank, founded the company on an ag cornerstone 23 years ago. (A career ag editor, he actually cut his teeth 40 years ago on Farm Profit, a Massey Ferguson publication.) Today, our 16-person firm applies its ag knowledge with an understanding of how to put a first-class, reader-first trade publication together.

My initial dealer visits and phone calls have made me feel at home already. Like many of you, I answered the call of the family business, coming home after 12 years of running two foundry equipment and business magazines. While I have plenty to learn about your business, I have long kept a watch on farm equipment because of its market importance to foundries. In a roundabout way, I too can say I’ve made my living off of iron, even if it was several steps up the production flow chart.

We’re excited to take the wheel of Farm Equipment for several reasons. We have a great appreciation for your vital role in helping farmers better compete as they feed the world. We also like to think we relate well with honest, hardworking folks like you. Finally, anyone who chooses our line of work wants to make a difference. There are significant challenges, to be sure, but if by working together we can help you figure out how to navigate the changing terrain, I can think of no better place to be.

We’d like to offer you a contract of sorts for the new era of Farm Equipment. You can expect us to try to understand your concerns and what’s keeping you up at night. You can expect us to listen. You can expect us to collect and disseminate ideas gathered from those toiling in the trenches, not from some ivory-tower desk. You can expect us to present ideas and potential solutions to you — for your own evaluation. Whatever the problem, the answers likely exist out there somewhere, and we’ll do our best to help unearth them for you.

But like any contract (don’t worry, this is the most friendly one you’ve ever been asked to accept in this business), we expect a few things, too. Let us know how we can help — we’re on your side. We need your input, and will take it every chance we get. We’ll even invite you to chew us out once in a while, as engaged participation is what makes any trade magazine really work. That means a big part of how well we do with Farm Equipment depends on you.

You’ll begin to see many changes as we put our own stamp on his publication, so please let us know how we’re doing. And if we haven’t yet had the pleasure of talking with you, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or shoot us an email. Thanks in advance for making room on your desk for Farm Equipment. We’re looking forward to working alongside of you. Thanks to the folks at Cygnus Business Media for their “beyond the call of duty” help over the past months. In fact, Cygnus and Jim Rank are pitching in for a while to ensure that Farm Equipment flourishes within our firm.