Brookfield, Wis. — Lessiter Media’s No-Till Farmer and Farm Equipment editors were recognized by the American Society of Business Press Editors with regional awards in the association’s 2024 Azbee Awards of Excellence and have been announced as national finalists for the program as well.

Honoring the best in B2B media, the Azbee Awards recognize outstanding work by business, trade, association and professional publications across 61 categories in 5 divisions representing the U.S.

No-Till Farmer and Managing Editor Michaela Paukner received a silver award in the feature series category for the 2023 No-Till Farmer Conservation Ag Operator Fellowship series. The series is also a finalist in the national competition.

The 4-part series followed Iowa no-tiller Loran Steinlage, who served as the publication’s Ag Operator Fellow in 2023, for an entire growing season. The four articles in this series are the product of seven in-person interviews with Steinlage; 10 public webinar discussions (each 1-1.5 hours long) about his farming practices; and hours of phone calls about his ongoing efforts to spread the message of no-till to a broader audience. The first article of the print series, published in the April 2023 issue of No-Till Farmer, introduced the audience to Steinlage's farming methods and flexible mindset toward farming, which is a unique attribute in a very traditional profession. The second article, published in the August 2024 issue, focused on technical details of setting up a no-till planter, which is considered the single most important piece of equipment when no-tilling. The third article, published in the November 2023 issue, discussed Steinlage's role as a champion of farmer-to-farmer education and his mission to carry out the vision of his mentor, who died unexpectedly in May 2023. The final article in the series, published in the February 2024 issue, addressed harvest and Steinlage's changing roles on the farm as he ages. The February issue also used a custom illustration of Steinlage's farm as a two-page cover to highlight the culmination of the series.

The Conservation Ag Operator Fellowship feature series exemplifies No-Till Farmer's mission to deliver real-world solutions to readers. It also created a mutually beneficial and ongoing relationship between editorial staff and Steinlage, who continues to serve as an adviser to the publication.

Farm Equipment editors received a gold award for its special section submission of the Shortline Legends hall of fame coverage from the September 2023 issue. The coverage was also named a finalist in the national competition.

This special section represents the inaugural class of Farm Equipment's Shortline Legends Hall of Fame. Before any writing could be done, the hall of farmers had to be selected, based on feedback and insights from the industry. This is the first honor of its sort that recognizes the manufacturers of specialty ag equipment. Coverage of each hall of famer was based on Farm Equipment staff research and interviews both in the past and currently.

The inaugural class included Roy Applequist, Jon Kinzenbaw, Don Landoll, Joe MacDonald and Gary Vermeer.

This program, along with other Farm Equipment award programs, accomplishes three important goals. First is to point out the benchmark-worthy operations from which all can learn. Second is to remind the industry, and especially the newcomers, of what is possible, despite the sometimes daunting challenges. And third, to remember the shoulders on which we all stand today.

Unfortunately, two of the inaugural class (Joseph MacDonald and Gary Vermeer) have already left us, but this program helps to ensure that all subscribing to Farm Equipment are aware of what they accomplished and how they blazed the trail for today’s farm equipment business.

Farm Equipment also received a regional bronze award for single topic coverage for the 2023 Dealership of the Year articles.

The Dealership of the Year is selected by a third-party panel of judges based on key dealership metrics. For the 2023 Farm Equipment Dealerships of the Year, the judges chose Kentucky-based Hutson Inc. in the over-$100 million revenue category and Noble Equipment of Alberta, Canada, in the under-$100 million revenue category.

Following the selection, editors traveled to Indiana to interview the leadership team of Hutson Inc., focusing on how the dealership has grown through several challenges, including complete turnover in leadership and nearly doubling in size after acquiring a number of stores in Michigan. Editors also visited Noble Equipment in south-central Alberta, a dealership that has found success selling only shortlines, a rarity in the farm equipment industry.

In addition to the print article, the feature includes a video series, which is available to watch here.

Farm Equipment is a business magazine for professional managers working within farm equipment dealerships in the U.S. and Canada. As stated publicly, Farm Equipment editors "say what needs to be said, when it needs to be said and actively seek to address the issues keeping dealers up at night. The focus on "Business Strategies for the Ag Machinery Industry" (tagline) is a singular commitment to help the market operate more efficiently, effectively and profitably.

No-Till Farmer publishes 8 newsletters and 4 magazine issues of Conservation Tillage Guide per year with a circulation of 8,500. Farm Equipment is published 8 times per year and has a circulation of 12,450.