The founder and first editor was Einar Sundt from 1891 to 1917. Einar Hoffstad later took over, being editor from 1922 to 1926 and from 1933 to 1935. Trygve J. B. Hoff, one of the founding members of the Mont Pelerin Society, edited the magazine from 1935 to 1982. During the German occupation of Norway from 1940 until 1945, Hoff was put in jail for his political views. During that time, Farmand was banned by the Nazi occupation powers. Kåre Varvin edited Farmand from 1982 to 1983, then Ole Jacob Hoff from 1983 to the end in 1989.
Farmand was a classical liberalism and free market oriented weekly news magazine which was much inspired by The Economist. Farmand enjoyed such prominent columnists as Milton Friedman, F. A. Hayek, and Ludvig von Mises as well as many economists, intellectuals, and business leaders from the early Mont Pelerin Society. The contents also included current (and inside-track) reports from East Bloc countries, not the least being the crushing of the Prague Spring in 1968. There were also literary excerpts, among them those from Constantine Fitzgibbon's dystopian romance during a communist takeover of England, When the Kissing Had to Stop. One of the attractions was a page of quotations with its popular naughty jokes featured in the lower right-hand corner.
The name farmand (or farmann) was from an old Norse word for a tradesman. It is composed of the words far as in to "travel far and wide" combined with the word man. The old Norwegian king Bjørn Farmann or "Bjørn the Tradesman" bore this title.
A magazine claiming to be a relaunch began online publishing online in 2005 under the modern Norwegian spelling Farmann.