Grain seller profiles dairy farmers in a new magazine

NEW HAVEN — Many businesses release quarterly newsletters to keep their customers up to date on what’s going on in their industry, but Phoenix Feeds and Nutrition Inc. is upping the ante. The New Haven company, which serves those on the front lines of agriculture, last week introduced a new dairy magazine called Perspectives: Dairy farming in the Northeast.
The magazine is a collaboration between Phoenix Feeds and Colchester-based Retro Motion Media, an advertising and media production firm.
Phoenix Feeds co-owner and Director of Sales David Santos said he was looking to retool the company’s newsletter when he first approached Retro Motion, who has helped Phoenix Feeds with advertising for several years.
“I used to do a quarterly newsletter, and it got to be where it was a lot of work,” Santos said. “I approached Retro Motion to maybe help me, and one thing led to anther, and we came up with the idea for a magazine.”
Santos joked that the burgeoning size of the newsletter made the format less practical.
“It’s not a newsletter once you get to so many pages,” he said.
Santos said he sees Perspectives as a publication that showcases the work of the farms that buy from Phoenix Feeds. The company has about 150 clients from every New England state, and stretching west into New York as far as Watertown.
“We want to feature our clients and the farms we work with, and talk about certain product,” Santos said. “That’s the idea behind it.”
Those who create the magazine hope that others interested in the dairy industry will get something out of it, said Justin Bunnell of Retro Motion.
“We want to give farmers something that makes them feel larger than life,” Bunnell said, describing it as a “luxury magazine for dairy farmers.”
The print run for the magazine’s debut issue is 1,000 copies, which will be distributed throughout Vermont. The free publication is also available online in the .pdf format. Bunnell said he expects the online reach to be 3,000 to 4,000.
Jon Rooney of Monument Farms Dairy in Weybridge graces the cover of the 28-page inaugural issue, which features stories on maximizing milk production, cow digestive tract health, bovine heat stress and dairy nutrition, among other topics.
Santos serves as the magazine’s executive editor, while Mark Freeman of Retro Motion is the senior editor. The issue features five contributing writers, including Freeman and two veterinarians. Santos said he hopes to expand the editorial side of the magazine in the future, and possibly include articles by Phoenix Feed clients.
“We do have some clients that are excellent writers, so I think that’s a strong possibility,” Santos said.
Santos said the target audience for Perspectives is not just dairy farmers and their families, but New Englanders of all walks of life.
“Dairy farmers work really hard, and we want non-farming people who read this to understand how hard they work to produce these products,” Santos said. “Hopefully we’ll have content that will appeal to everyone.”
Santos cautioned that the magazine isn’t a vehicle to promote his own company, but rather bring the New England farming community closer together.
“It’s not about featuring Phoenix Feeds; it’s promoting agriculture and the farms, our customers,” Santos said.
Santos said Retro Motion and Phoenix Feeds have enjoyed a fruitful relationship over the years.
“They’re definitely top-notch in the industry and on the forefront of social media and digital programming,” Santos said.
In place of ambitious goals for expansion, Santos said he’s taking a wait-and-see approach. The next issue is due out in August.
“We’re just trying to do something that’s a little fun,” Santos said. “Hopefully people will enjoy it.”

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