Future of Modern Farmer Magazine Uncertain

Photographed by Winnie Au.
The future of Modern Farmer, a beloved print magazine and website that documents the vastly popular farm-to-table culinary movement, has suddenly become very uncertain.

According to the New York Times, the mag said goodbye to the last of its paid staff members this week following months of internal turmoil between the brand's original founder and editor-in-chief, Ann Marie Gardner, and the company's majority stakeholder, Lions Gate Entertainment founder Frank Giustra.

The mass exodus did not come as a surprise to many. Despite the fact that the magazine celebrated its two-year anniversary in November, trouble was apparent when Gardner suddenly departed from the company in December.

Prior to her leaving, we spoke to Gardner as part of our Office Tours series, where we visited Modern Farmer 's stunning home office in Hudson Valley. At the time, Gardner had nothing but amazing things to say about the magazine and its vision to bring exciting content to food and farm fanatics everywhere.

"None of us look at it as just a magazine. We are already living in the future," she revaled. "The point of the print magazine is that we were creating a brand that no one knew existed before."

Things went south quickly. The magazine's Spring issue was cancelled following Gardner's departure. Just two months later, Modern Farmer is almost completely without a staff

Jesse Hirsch, a senior editor who helped found the magazine, and Cara Parks, an executive editor who joined the company in October, were the last two full-time employees as of Friday. The pair decided to say farewell, leaving the magazine's content in the hands of two interns whose contracts expire in early February.

Despite the seemingly dire circumstances, a representative for Giustra maintains that the magazine will not be shutting its doors. In an emailed statement to the Times, Giustra insists that they are in the process of hiring a new staff that "will continue to reflect the high standards of reporting that Modern Farmer has had in the past.” Gardner refused to comment on the situation, telling the Times that she is unsure of her next career move.
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