Renewable Farming

What — a big new farm magazine in the pit of low ag commodity prices?

Yes, it’s a glossy, upscale quarterly magazine whose winter issue has 90 pages and lots of ads: Modern Farmer.

It’s not your usual ag trade paper with a half-time editor and a very vertical audience.  This somehow captures the escape quality of a coffee-table conversation piece and the delicious aroma of chef-level cooking. 

February 10, 2017  By Jerry Carlson   Somehow the well-staffed editorial stable pulls in an audience that’s half farmers, half just “country folks” and almost entirely intent on fresh, wholesome food. Most do some gardening. So it’s a “farm” magazine that reaches out to a young audience on the growing edge of production agriculture.

Modern Farmer’s media kit says the magazine “gives voice to the people and issues driving the modern food movement.”

In a way it’s a colorful revival of the venerable books Farm Quarterly or even the Country Gentleman. 

When I was Managing Editor at Farm Journal in 1971, I never expected to see this kind of entry into farm publications again. It’s laced with heresies such as: “The protein-centric dinner plate, which America created and now exports to the rest of the world, is a culinary anomaly. By 2050, it will be obsolete.” (Dan Barber, chef and co-owner, Blue Hill at Stone Barns)

Or this zinger: “The happiest farmers that I talk to are the ones who are farming real food. So they’re growing carrots or they’re managing their animals in really healthful ways…. I think the farmers are going to do very, very well in the real food future.”

Reader demographics:  Young (median age 49).  Affluent (median household income $88,700) Food discerning: (64% believe buying organic food is healthier and offers more nutritional value) Involved: (87% farm as their primary business or a substantial side business).