Corner Office: Founder Ann Marie Gardner Discusses the Launch of Quarterly Magazine Modern Farmer
What unites good business and good editorial is often a keen awareness of emerging trends. And if early interest is any indication, Modern Farmer founder Ann Marie Gardner has locked in on a global trend that's proving to be a rich ground for growing a multifaceted content platform. In April of 2013, Gardner launched Modern Farmer, a content brand that aims to explore global agriculture trends and capitalize on the general uptick of interest in food issues.
Inspiration for Modern Farmer came to Gardner several years ago while still an editor at global affairs and lifestyle magazine Monocle. Food was a topic of conversation everywhere Gardner traveled. "I was traveling around the world and I would go to Brazil and Iceland in the same month and then to Uruguay. And everywhere I went, people were having the same conversations. Food production and food security issues were coming up constantly. And I just saw that all the pieces fit together and nobody was talking about it in a way that I wanted to read about it. I could see this thing from a mile away. And I was like, 'This is more than a story.'"
What's also noteworthy is that Modern Farmer launched as a high-quality print quarterly, a stunning website, and ecommerce platform all at once—a strategy that eschews the notion that long-form journalism in printed form is a product of a bygone era. "We really wanted the magazine to be very tactile and something you wanted to hold onto and keep," says Gardner. In design and content, Modern Farmer calls back to a time past—when agriculture was more closely tied to Americans' hearts and minds—while still being a forward-thinking, modern examination of where our food comes from and the global implications of its consumption.
Why did you decide to launch a print quarterly,a website, and ecommerce instead of just testing the waters with one?
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.