Farms.com buys Better Farming

A U.S. online agriculture firm has taken another step into paper and ink with a deal for independent Ontario ag journal Better Farming.

Ames, Iowa-based Farms.com announced last week it has taken a majority stake in Better Farming publisher Ag Media Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Ag Media was formed in 1999 by ex-employees of Toronto-based ag journal Farm and Country, whose parent firm, Agricultural Publishing Co., entered bankruptcy that year and laid off its staff.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed in a company statement on BetterFarming.com, except that Ag Media will now operate out of the Farms.com office in Guelph, where Ag Media publisher and editorial director Paul Nolan will now be based.

“Many” of the Ag Media staff will also move to the Guelph office, the company said.

The deal includes Better Farming’s print and online properties, among them Ontario hog journal Better Pork and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s publications OFA Today and OFA In Sight.

“The addition of these two print magazines to our existing online offerings, and our print publications, means that Farms.com can now provide advertisers with robust integrated solutions in Ontario that include banner ads, sponsored content, video, newsletters, and print magazines,” Farms.com president Graham Dyer said in the company’s statement.

“As we have done with past acquisitions, our intention is to strengthen the existing team and make enhancements to the magazines as quickly as possible, without disrupting current publication deadlines.”

OFA, whose members receive Better Farming as part of their membership, is “pleased with this new partnership, because we appreciate the value that Farms.com brings to the farmers of Ontario and will provide to Better Farming,” OFA general manager Neil Currie said in the company’s statement.

Farms.com, founded in the U.S. in 1995, has offices in four states in Guelph and London, Ont. and operates online properties including AgriVille.com, AgSearch.com, AgCareers.com, FarmExchange.com, PigCHAMP and CareersInFood.com, among others.

The web company’s other print periodicals include Ag Buyer’s Guide, U.S. Farmer and Benchmark. — AGCanada.com Network

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