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Editor's Notebook: Meet Your New Farm Journal

07:58AM Sep 30, 2014

The magazine you hold is one that you likely helped create. I always say that my No. 1 job as the Editor of Farm Journal is to listen to farmers—to hear what is on your mind and what type of information you need. 

Listening to you became even more essential the past six months for two reasons: Agriculture is in a “sea change” period of time, and our team was committed to redesigning Farm Journal to be even more useful for you. As we enter this new era of low commodity prices and tight margins, it seemed like the perfect time for us to double down on our drive to deliver meaningful, relevant information you can use. 

Farm Journal—a household name on farms for 138 years—repeatedly ranks as farmers’ favorite magazine. While we’re proud of that fact, it sure made the redesign more daunting. Our first task was to not mess up what you like best about the magazine!

Accomplishing that goal meant listening to you—in responses to surveys, readership studies, usability testing and, of course, conversations.

Here’s what you said to keep and provide more of:

  • Farm Journal Test Plots reports from Ken Ferrie and Missy Bauer
  • How-to articles, especially as it pertains to technology and agronomy
  • Machinery auction information from Machinery Pete
  • What A Day and Stat Rack on the last page of the magazine
  • $100 Ideas
  • Big-picture outlook perspectives from Bob Utterback
  • Succession planning tools and information through the Farm Journal Legacy Project
  • Advice from John Dillard, Moe Russell, John Phipps, Dan Anderson and Darrell Dunteman

You asked. We answered.  Based on your input, the new design provides: 

  • The crisp, modern cover and look you preferred in our testing 
  • More data, more graphs, more maps and more infographics
  • More articles—and photos—that teach you something
  • More access to intelligence from Ken Ferrie and Missy Bauer 
  • A column format that makes our  key columnists “larger than life” and contact information so you can reach  out to them
  • The same commitment we have  held true to for decades: a distinct differentiation between ads and editorial, knowing that you read both

Hats off to our talented Art Director Lindsey Benne for putting your ideas into action! We’d love to hear what you think of the new look. Drop me an email, reach out on Twitter or send a note to Charlene Finck, Farm Journal, P.O. Box 958, Mexico, MO 65265.

I’m always happy to hear from you.