Agricultural journalist receives national communications award

Tobie Blanchard  |  6/19/2017 7:42:05 PM

(06/19/17) NEW ORLEANS – An uncompromising attitude toward editorial integrity and a history of commitment to being on the cutting-edge of breaking agribusiness news prompted an association of land-grant university communicators to present an award of excellence to the director of content for the Penton Media Agriculture Group.

Forrest Laws was presented the Reuben Brigham Award on June 15 at the national meeting of the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) in New Orleans.

Laws is director of content for the Penton Media Agriculture Group and oversees content creation for Delta, Southeast, Southwest and Western Farm Press and for BEEF, Corn and Soybean Digest, Farm Industry News, Hay & Forage Grower and National Hog Farmer.

The award is presented to a communicator who has made a major contribution in the field of agriculture, natural resources, or life and human sciences at the regional, national or international level.

Laws joined the Delta Farm Press in 1980, meeting the requirement as an editor to write at least three features a week.

“Using that as a base, I would say a conservative estimate is that I’ve written more than 5,000 articles for Farm Press over my 36 years,” said Laws, a native of Arkansas.

The first story in the daily online DFP (Delta Farm Press) Daily is almost always by Laws, noted Frankie Gould, director of public relations and communications at the LSU AgCenter.

“It is always compelling, concise, educational and full of links to additional information,” said Gould, an ACE member.

Laws is always on the cutting-edge of technology while still maintaining hard-core journalism standards and ethics, she said.

“He was one of the first at field days to use a digital camera, then cell phones and selfie sticks, digital video via phone and a small video camera, Go Pro camera, tablets and transcending into social media,” Gould said.

The Penton Group embraces the digital-first philosophy.

“Most of what we write is posted on the website first and then placed in the print issue if space is available,” Laws said. “Generally, I write something every day. The daily e-newsletter we publish for Delta Farm Press is a tough taskmaster.”

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Steve Miller (left), president of the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE), presents Forrest Laws, director of content for the Penton Media Agriculture Group, with the Reuben Brigham Award on June 15 at ACE national conference in New Orleans.

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