Headquartered in upstate New York and surrounded by rich farmland, Modern Farmer offers a broad look at the agriculture industry, from a rare vegetable supplier in Paris who sources ingredients for Michelin-starred chefs, to a glass blower who makes test tubes in California. Still, the quarterly keeps both rubber boots firmly planted in its own barnyard, including a profile of a local Hudson Valley restaurant that is the first in the world to be Animal Welfare Approved.
A flip through Issue 04 reveals a how-to on building a fence, an etiquette guide to planting, a recipe for leek and potato soup, a feature on Russia’s award-winning wineries – and more.
Editor Ann Marie Gardner gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the magazine.
Why did you start Modern Farmer?
People around the world were having a conversation about where their food came from. They wanted to know that what they ate, drank and consumed had a good story behind it. We wanted to make that connection between the modern farmer and the new modern way people were eating and caring about who grew their food and why/how…
What was the first article you assigned?
A story about humane slaughter. This topic is very important to meat eaters and vegetarians alike, and we knew it was a hard subject to tackle. I eat meat, but less and less now that I know the story behind it. I’m a big animal lover and don’t want a sentient being to suffer so I can have a hamburger. I can just eat something else. We also wanted to cover this in an objective way and not villify anyone or anyone’s position. It was about knowing the facts, so we can all make informed decisions. It was a great piece and we won a photography award for the powerful photographs.
Who are your readers?
We always say anyone who has chickens or just dreams of having chickens! Our readers are conscientious consumers who will pay more for organic food and identify themselves by their food choices.
Hardest story to get off the ground?
We had a few glitches trying to shoot a mango farm in Malawi. Our photographer got caught on the tarmac during the conflict in Mali and we had to fly another photographer from Dubai. Then we got there and the harvest had already happened. It was challenging, but in the end we got the story!
What is a story you have yet to tell but would like to?
I’m personally obsessed with how the weather is going to affect how we eat – from our food supply to food security issues on the rise. We have yet to write this. But stay tuned…