Since its inception in 2011, Modern Farmer has published thoughtful, stylish features and coverage of contemporary agriculture and the intersection of food and technology. As the face of the publication, Gardner was recently featured in a high fashion spread in Harper’s Bazaar, “The Fashionable Life: City to Farm.”
The reason for Gardner’s departure is widely thought to be her ongoing battle with the magazine’s chief financial backer, mining billionaire Frank Giustra, over how Modern Farmer should be run.
A profile of the publication in the New Yorker points to a fundamental disagreement between the two: Giustra thought the magazine was ready to turn a profit, and Gardner thought they needed more time.
According to The New Yorker, “a lawyer later told Gardner that she had signed one of the three worst deals he had ever seen.”
A statement released by Jesse Cohen, a spokesperson for Modern Farmer, read, “Mr. Giustra remains committed to the Modern Farmer brand and Ms. Gardner’s vision, and to the high standard of reporting she carried out within Modern Farmer and on ModernFarmer.com.”