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Country: United States
City: St. Johnsbury, Vt.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 214
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 858
Earliest Date: 20 September 1872
Latest Date: 18 May 1877
The first issue of the weekly Vermont Farmer appeared in December 1870, with a banner proclaiming that it was “an agricultural and family newspaper for the ruralists of the Green Mountain State.” The paper was published in Newport, Vermont, by Royal Cummings and edited by Thomas H. Hoskins. On September 20, 1872, Cummings and Hoskins announced that they had purchased the St. Johnsbury Times and would be relocating to St. Johnsbury, Vermont, to take advantage of better printing facilities and a larger community. In 1874, Hoskins sold his interest in the Vermont Farmer to Cummings, who continued to publish the paper until 1877 with editors William H. Wheeler, C. Horace Hubbard, and Lewis B. Hibbard. After seven years, Cummings acknowledged the challenges of publishing a Vermont-oriented agricultural journal, and on May 18, 1877, he announced that the Vermont Farmer had been sold to the Boston-based American Cultivator. In its first year, the Vermont Farmer achieved statewide circulation with about 1,500 subscribers, reached a high of 3,621 subscriptions in 1875, but dropped to 2,400 subscribers by 1877.
Cummings and Hoskins started the Vermont Farmer to provide a paper devoted specifically to the agricultural interests of Vermonters. Editors Hoskins and Hubbard had strong backgrounds in farming and agricultural writing. Before establishing the Vermont Farmer, Hoskins was the agricultural editor for the Newport Express, and after he left the Vermont Farmer, he served as the agricultural editor of the Vermont Watchman and State Journal and the Vermont Watchman for 20 years and was a frequent contributor to publications such as Garden and Forest and American Gardening. Hubbard, a farmer from Springfield, Vermont, conducted the agricultural department for the Vermont Record and Farmer in Brattleboro before joining the Vermont Farmer.
The four-page Vermont Farmer relied on correspondents and contributors from around the state to cover a wide range of topics of concern to farmers. The paper also reproduced articles and information retrieved on exchange from local and national papers and journals. It included departments on all aspects of agriculture, covered politics relevant to agricultural issues (at one point, at the expense of advertisements), reported on agricultural fairs around the state, provided Vermont market reports, and reproduced papers delivered before the State Board of Agriculture and other local agricultural organizations. The paper maintained political independence, asserting in 1876 that on political questions, it would continue to “give opinions for the greatest good.” As a family paper, issues of the Vermont Farmer regularly included poetry, stories, and content for women.
Provided by: University of Vermont