Frank Lessiter, editor, No-Till FarmerFrank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter, editor of No-Till Farmer, has been named by the University of Kentucky as the 2011 recipient of the Shirley Phillips No-Till Pioneer Award.

Lessiter will be the sole lecturer at the university's award program on November 18, delivering an address entitled, "No-Tillage: From 7/10 of an Acre in 1962 to 232 Million Acres Worldwide."

The award is named for the late Shirley Phillips, a University of Kentucky agronomist, and was established to honor pioneers of the no-till movement.

"I'm extremely humbled to receive this award after being involved with no-till for 40 years," says Lessiter, who started the newsletter in 1972. "I worked closely with Shirley Phillips in the early days of no-till. He played a critical role in both the introduction and growth of no-till around the world."

Lessiter serves as chairman and editorial director of Lessiter Publications, a company he founded 30 years ago and the parent company of No-Till Farmer. He also is editor and publisher of American Farriers Journal and serves in advisory capacities with the company's other titles.

"The timing of this honor is certainly appropriate, since we're celebrating the 40th anniversary of No-Till Farmer and the 50th anniversary of no-till coming on the scene in the U.S.," says Darrell Bruggink, executive editor and publisher of No-Till Farmer.

Phillips was an extension agronomist at the University of Kentucky for a number of years, and later served as an administrator with the university's Cooperative Extension Service.

Phillips worked with Harry Young Jr. of Herndon, Ky., in getting the no-till movement started. Young planted the first no-till commercial plot in the U.S. in 1962 near Herndon, Ky. Today, approximately 90 million acres in the U.S. is under no-till production.

The Fall edition of No-Till Farmer's Conservation Tillage Guide will revisit the origins of no-till on Young's farm through the eyes of his son, John, and grandson, Alexander. This special anniversary issue will also look at the top innovations, techniques, products and practices in no-till, as well as the top individuals who influenced no-till's growth, over the last 50 years.

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About Lessiter Publications: Lessiter Publications, Inc., Brookfield, Wis., was founded in 1981 by Frank and Pam Lessiter. The firm provides niche content — in the way of magazines, newsletters, websites, international conferences, books, DVDs, management reports and e-newsletters — in the agricultural, equine and team sports industries. For more information, visit