Editor’s Note: This blog that follows is the first installment of “Equipment Dealer Tips, Tales & Takeaways,” a new series from the desk of Tennessee equipment dealer Tim Brannon. You’ve seen Tim’s well thought out and always entertaining contributions to the LM Dealer Division for many years now. He’s been known to rattle the cage a little when he thinks it’s called for. The presence of MBAs employed by the farm equipment manufacturers has been a favorite topic of Tim’s for as long as I remember. And after all these years, I’ve still never let on to Tim that I’ve got one myself. – Mike Lessiter, Editor/Publisher.

First, I would like to thank Lessiter Media for the outstanding job its editors do in communicating within the agriculture and rural lifestyle community. They inform, educate, sponsor and report on our industry's events like no other. 

My relationship with the Lessiters goes back for some time in various forms of communications, and I was excited when asked to contribute to its future by sharing my personal and dealership experiences. Our goal will be to inform, comment and, hopefully, entertain an industry that still could use a smile every now and then.  

Anything I’ll be able to contribute will be the byproducts of an impressive volume of lessons learned. There are many daily mistakes in a long career from farming, corporate OEM experience and daily dealership dealings (they taught me alliteration at Murray State University) and of course, from my mother-in-law. You will get to know her well.


We’ve been blessed to have rubbed shoulders with some of the movers and shakers of the industry and will try to relay some of these experiences   as we travel along this series of 

columns. NOTE: I cannot come to use the word “Blog.” The term reminds me of my guttural reaction to the first time eating cold souse meat. But I digress.

I was raised on a West Tennessee farm that had the enterprises of hogs, cattle and dairy. And we raised corn, wheat, small seeds, soybeans and a tobacco cash crop.  Now before anyone gets on a high horse about the devil nicotine and the plant that produced it, one must remember that:

  1. Some doctors and movie stars in the 1950s and early 1960s advertised the health benefits of a good smoke
  2. Big "T" paid the mortgage and my education without a student loan; a different paradigm in those days. 

 Upon graduation, with a hesitantly bestowed degree, and with a license to teach unsuspecting high school ag students, I immediately went to work with the Farm Equipment Division of Allis-Chalmers. I traveled — oh did I travel —then finally settled down, married and got moved to a foreign country ... That is, South Louisiana. 

 An opportunity arose 3.5 years later to move back to Tennessee and buy into a dealership in our home county, and that is where I sit keyboarding to you today and where I’ve been since 1978. Some Cajun influences still erupt at times.

 I feel like that old story of the family new to the rural lifestyle, which decided to raise pigs to furnish bacon for the family diet. The husband procured a couple of “birthing pigs” (I am trying to “get woke”) and took the neighbor up on getting them “with pig” through a conjugal visit to see his non-birthing sexed, male pig.   

He loaded his sows up, hauled them to the neighbor, had them do the deed. He then asked his expert provider how to know if the act “took.” 

 “Look at them in the morning,” he was told. “If they are laying in the sun, you will have piggies, if they are in the shade, bring them back and we will try again." 


New Standing Blog Series in Rural Lifestyle Dealer

Told from the perspective of an in-the-trenches owner/operator — Tim Brannon of B&G Equipment, Paris, Tenn. —  Equipment Dealer Tips, Tales & Takeaways shares knowledge, experiences and tips/lessons with fellow rural equipment dealerships throughout North America. Covering all aspects required of an equipment dealership general manager, Brannon will inform, entertain and provide a teachable moment for current — and future — leaders within equipment dealerships.

The next morning both ladies were in the shade. So, he loaded them up, made the trip again only to have the same negative results. 

After the third trip, the alarm clock went off the next morning and the rural lifestyler nudged Momma and pleaded for HER to look out the window and tell him if they were in the sunshine or the shade. 

"Neither" was her reply. "They are both in the cab of your pickup and the bigger sow is honking the horn!"    

So, just like the illustration, we are “loaded up and ready to go.” Till next time, I wish you smiles and prosperous experiences. 

Thanks in advance for sharing your time — the dealer’s most precious resource — with both me and Rural Lifestyle Dealer.

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Equipment Dealer Tips, Tales & Takeaways is brought to you by the Dealer Success Academy.

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