I love Wisconsin’s State Fair. It’s a perfect concoction of music, agricultural heritage, libations and food. Mostly it’s the food at our State Fair that gets much of the attention these days, but all of the event’s components thrive off each other to create a splendid family entertainment environment.

While I enjoy this annual event, an important change this year is that I have recently joined Lessiter Media’s family as managing editor of No-Till Farmer. It makes my visit to this year’s State Fair take on new meaning, as I work quickly toward reinvigorating my knowledge of agriculture in general and no-till practices specifically.

I’m not joining this agricultural community strictly as a “city kid.” I do have dairy farm roots. When we moved to my mother’s homestead in New Holstein, Wis., I was probably 7 or 8 years old as I did my chores. We didn’t have a barn cleaner and my uncle was still using milk cans, if that helps define the fundamental nature of our 40-cow farming operation back then.

But we did have registered Holsteins and we had won two back-to-back, 5-year Golden Cow awards from the local dairy, Lake to Lake. So for my money we must’ve been doing something right.

Not to over-stretch my farm credentials, however, I must disclose that by age 15 I was off the farm, living in Oshkosh with my folks and working part-time jobs through high school.

Most recently, however, I used a portion of our family farm to grow trees and plant a substantial vegetable garden each year. I wanted my kids, at the very least, to know what working with the land was all about before they embarked on their careers.

Needless to say, farming has evolved greatly since the early 1970s, as much as any other technologies that shape our daily lives.

While I am a newcomer to today’s no-till community, I do possess a background in publishing that, for the most part, centered around the diesel engine industry. Having a background in all things Caterpillar, Deere and Cummins at least affords me the opportunity to talk about your machinery at an in-depth level.

I am absolutely thrilled to be back within the farming industry. As I ramp up my knowledge on no-till best practices and the science behind your operations, I look forward to meeting you and learning about your innovations, lessons learned, stewardship and profit-oriented management techniques.

Most of all, I look forward to helping No-Till Farmer continue to produce the practical, meat-and-potatoes editorial information that readers have grown used to over the last four decades, both in print and online with our website.

With that, here’s an invitation to start a dialog. I can be reached at mmcneely@lessitermedia.com.  Thank you.