A new magazine is capitalizing on the growing interest in farming among rich people, reports Christine Haughney in The New York Times (9/18/13). Ann Marie Gardner came up with the idea for Modern Farmer magazine "after she noticed that sources she interviewed for Monocle magazine seemed preoccupied by agricultural issues." She secured funding for her idea from Frank Giustra, the Canadian mining billionaire." As Ann Marie explains: "It sat between his media interests and investments and his newfound food investments."
Modern Farmer "has also attracted surprising financial support from advertisers eager to sell trucks, tractors, organic wine and work clothes to … young farmers." Among her advertisers is the Original Muck Boot Company, whose footwear director, Sean O’Brien, says: "It’s really targeted almost a new consumer group for us. We sell a lot of boots to farmers and workers and outdoorsmen. You can look at a modern farmer as almost a hobby farmer. This is a perfect vehicle to target that key consumer group."
The magazine itself features "luminous photography of vegetables, while articles report on straight agricultural topics more often found in farming publications like the 111-year-old Successful Farming." It "offers advice on building a corn maze and articles on the effect of climate change on lettuce and oysters." Former President Bill Clinton, among other guest writers, recalls picking "beans, corn and tomatoes" in his youth, and losing "a head-butting contest to a ram." Since April, Modern Farmer’s website has attracted 99,000 unique visitors, sold 35,000 newsstand copies and another 13,000 by subscription.