St. Tammany Parish, like the rest of Louisiana, was trying to shake off the devastation and division of the Civil War in the 1870s. Railroads were beginning to connect the rural parish with New Orleans, and south shore residents saw their chance to escape from disease.

Over a century and a half, a lot has changed in St. Tammany, but The Farmer, the parish’s weekly newspaper founded in 1874, is still an important part of the community’s civic life.

Today, The Farmer begins a new chapter under the ownership of Dathel and John Georges, who also own The New Orleans Advocate.

Georges Media Group purchased The Farmer last week from the family of Karen Goodwyn Courtney, which has owned the newspaper since 1928.

Under the new ownership, The Farmer will continue to be an independent newspaper at its home on North New Hampshire Street in downtown Covington. Many of the familiar bylines will remain.

But some things will change. The Farmer, which had been printed in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, will now be printed right here in Louisiana. And it will be distributed a day earlier, on Wednesday.

“We are happy to add The Farmer, which is one of the state’s oldest newspapers, to our collection of Louisiana newspapers,” John Georges said. “We already have lots of readers in St. Tammany and the north shore, and this will allow us to increase our local news coverage.

"It's a perfect fit for The Advocate, which is the state’s largest newspaper," he added. "Together with The New Orleans Advocate, we can provide more local coverage.”

We hope you enjoy The Farmer every week, and if you have any questions please reach out to the editor, John Walker,