Sam Irwin, press secretary for the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), was named the “Regnal Wallace Ag Communicator of the Year” by the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, Inc., LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said.
Irwin received the award in New Orleans as part of the 88th annual Farm Bureau Federation’smeeting in June. This is the 13th year the award has been presented to a farm journalist or ag public relations professional for work in reporting on farm issues.
“I’m very proud of Sam and all the hard work he does,” Strain said. “He handles all of the department’s press work, maintains our Web page and is also the editor of the Market Bulletin. The recognition is well-deserved.”
“Sam’s one of the hardest working farm journalists in the state,” Michael Danna, director of public relations for the Farm Bureausaid. “Be it a field day, or traveling the state covering farm news for the Market Bulletin, Sam knows a good ag story when he sees one.”
The award is named after former Farm Bureau PR Director Regnal Wallace who retired in 1997. For 28 years, Wallace told the story of agriculture by creating the Louisiana Farm Bureau Radio Network and Farm Bureau’s weekly television program “This Week in Louisiana Agriculture.” TWILA is seen each week by 400,000 viewers across the country and across Louisiana. The LFB Radio Network has 24 affiliates airing 50 farm radio broadcasts a day.
Wallace is currently farm director for KMAR Radio in Winnsboro. A native of Crowville, Wallace’s program, “Round Franklin,” is heard each day beginning at 11 a.m.
“Sam and I talk quite frequently,” Wallace said. “I know farmers appreciate the work he does.”
Prior to being named press secretary, Irwin served as a public information officer for the LDAF. In addition to his press secretary duties, he is also editor and primary photojournalist for the department’s Market Bulletin. In the course of his work for the Market Bulletin, Irwin has traveled the state reporting on everything from cotton, corn and cloned goats, hurricanes and hailstorms, and shot thousands of photographs of Louisiana agriculture, its rural life, its people and its culture.
A native of Breaux Bridge, Irwin holds a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is a member of the Public Relations Association of Louisiana, Baton Rouge Area Mountain Bike Association and the Baton Rouge Symphony Chorus. Irwin’s work as a freelance journalist appears regularly in Country Roads and House and Home magazines.