I was asked to forward this message to Sanet. Please send all responses to
Scott Overholt at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A MESSAGE FROM RODALE INSTITUTE ABOUT THE NEW FARM MAGAZINE
We've heard from a lot of you, both directly and indirectly, about your
disappointment and concern over our decision to retire THE NEW FARM magazine.
So I wanted to give you a brief explanation, and tell you what it means and
what we're doing now. This will be more than just one screen worth of text.
I'm the person who was in charge of THE NEW FARM during the last six months.
My name is Scott Overholt. I'm new to Rodale Institute, but I spent the last
seven years on ORGANIC GARDENING magazine at Rodale Press. I've always been
an admirer and a follower of the work of the Institute.
THE NEW FARM was losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even though it had
a core loyal following, we lost money on every subscription we sold, and we
could not raise the price without losing more readers (we tested that).
Since we refused chemical advertising, ad sales could not make up the
difference. And even though it was cheaper than most magazines to produce
(thanks to services donated from Rodale Press and our film supplier) the cost
of paper and postage were more than we could bear (they went up 12% and 14%,
respectively, January 1.)
The important thing is we have abandoned a format called magazine, not the
idea or the people it helped.
We have been going in the same direction every day for 53 years. Anthony
Rodale, our third-generation leader, is working with John Haberern and the
staff to make the institute ready for a new era - one that our work helped
bring about under the leadership of J.I. and the Bob Rodale. It is a time
when sustainable agriculture is funded, not ridiculed, by the government. The
universities are our partners, not our critics. Most people now know at least
a little about the connection between their food and their health.
J.I. Rodale took 29 years to get the public to notice the effect of food on
their health, and of agriculture on their land and environment. Bob Rodale
took 19 years to prove there is a better way to grow food. The pace of change
is speeding up. It is time to go to the people and say, "Look what we are
building for you!"
So in a new era, there is new work - the next step toward our vision. Our
vision is still to live to see a world where everyone's basic needs for the
right diet is net, where the world's soil is as good or better at sustaining
life as the day it was "born," where food is clean and farms and farmers are
safe and secure, and where people have the knowledge and power to have food
grown in ways that improve rather than detract from their health, their
future, and their environment.
It is simple and logical - whatever is in our soil and environment is in our
food, and in us. So we are working to make sure the soil, where it all
starts, is the best it can be. Our work will create consumer demand, and we
will be there to help our farmers supply it.
That is why THE NEW FARM was created - to help farmers get ready. That was 17
years ago. Now, we have more ways (like my computer here, just to name one)
to communicate, and we're working hard on our next communications medium for
farmers. (*We are also working on communications projects for consumers,
kids, and food professionals. ALL of them are important to the success of
the idea. It will not work if we focus on just one group.)
People have asked why why we could not keep the magazine going while we
worked out our new ideas. Every issue was losing tens of thousands of
dollars. We just could not afford a "transition" or "evolution."
Some people and groups have mentioned that THE NEW FARM is too important to
sustainable agriculture to go away. We would welcome partners who can help
with funding. I'm sure our editors would be delighted to learn we have found
a way to continue their work.
There will always be things we will wish we could do, but can not afford to.
(We do not have an unlimited supply of cash from Rodale press or the Rodale
family. Both support us generously, but we have to raise the great majority
of our money on our own.) When we can not afford something we think is
critical, we try to find funding through partnerships, gifts and grants. Bob
Rodale used to test his ideas that way - if someone besides himself thought
an idea had value, then it probably did.
Years ago, Rodale was nearly alone. Now, there are a lot of us working for
the same thing. Please contact me at:
or better yet, call me directly at:
I want to hear from you, will be glad to answer questions from fans of our
magazine, and welcome inquiries of partnership.
Tomorrow, there will be more on our plans, where you found this.