Somerset—“Members of the Somerset County Farm Bureau approached (editor) Brian Whipkey, asking if we could come up with a local farm related publication,” said advertising manager Tom Koppenhofer. “They wanted to address the concerns of the Western Pennsylvania farmers.”
“It was a great idea that they brought to us seeing as agriculture is the leading industry in Somerset County,” Whipkey said. “It’s a good way to help those in agriculture to become familiar with other news in agriculture. I wish we would have thought of it on our own.”
In on that meeting were Larry and Nila Cogan, Andrea Stoltzfus, Glenn Stoltzfus, Miguel Saviroff, Don Shinn, and Joe Diamond, a representative of the regional Farm Bureau. Doyle Paul has also been instrumental in planning the magazine.
A plan was taken to the newspaper’s publisher who gave it the green light, Koppenhofer said.
“It is meant to serve the farmers and farm related people in Somerset County and counties contiguous to Somerset County — Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Westmoreland, Fayette, and Garrett and Allegany counties in Maryland.”
“It’s written by people in agriculture for the agriculture community,” Whipkey explained. “For instance, we have a veterinarian, Bill Croushore, who writes for the Daily American for a broad reach of people. For Farm, Field & Garden he writes specifically for farmers — more in depth and involved stories to help farmers with their business.”
Koppenhofer said 3,000 copies of the FF&G are direct mailed every month and another 6,000 copies are bulk dropped at various high traffic areas.
“I hear more positive feedback about it every issue we publish,” Koppenhofer said. “People want to be added to the mailing list, they want to know about submitting articles. The readership is first class.”
The magazine is not just in paper form. It is also on the web at www.farmfieldandgarden.com. The website has the same stories as what is in the magazine, but it also has classified ads.
“We have up-to-date local classified ads dealing with the agriculture business,” said Genna Smith, digital media sales manager. “We update commodity reports on the site daily.”
Koppenhofer said the advertising revenue has been good, but his sales staff is always looking for more ways to serve the readership.
“It’s a great way for advertisers to target the agriculture community,” he said.
“We’re always looking for more ideas, more stories,” Whipkey added. “If you have something going on on your farm, let us know. We want it to be something you’re looking for. We want it to be something people look forward to reading.”