This week, the staff from Lessiter Publication’s Ag Division — including Rural Lifestyle Dealer, Farm Equipment, Precision Farming Dealer and No-Till Farmer — will be walking the aisles at farm equipment shows in Louisville, Ky. and Tulare, Calif.

You can follow our every move on Twitter and Facebook, while we cover the 47th annual National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS in Louisville) and World Ag Expo (WAE in Tulare) for our respective publications (we’ll be using the hashtags #NFMS12 and #WAE12).

I look forward to trade shows, and have since I was in grade school. Back then, my family would go to the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem, N.C every year. I’d go on a few rides and hit the corn dogs, but what I liked most was following my parents into the spaces rented to farm equipment and automobiles dealers, banks and aluminum siding companies. I’d go home with a bag of pencils and brochures — which honestly may have appealed to me the most. At 10 years old, I was in no position to order new windows from some of the fair’s exhibitors.

Today, I cover trade shows such as NFMS and WAE differently but I still enjoy them. The food’s still important (and both the Louisville and Tulare shows have attracted food vendors that make standing in the lunch line worth the time). But as an editor, I’m looking for new products, the latest trends and contacts for future articles. The entire staff is.

In fact, the Lessiter Publications’ staff covers a farm show in much the same way you do, as an equipment dealer. We’re meeting old friends and introducing ourselves to new faces. We’re watching unveilings of the latest iron and picking up brochures to add to our database. When we return from these shows we will compare notes about what we saw and what we’ll follow up on.

When you return from Louisville or Tulare, drop me a line. What did you see that your rural lifestyle customers will be most excited about in 2012?