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 Agriculture Group.
Forrest Laws was presented the Reuben Brigham Award June 15 at the national meeting of the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) in New Orleans.
Laws is director of content for the Penton Agriculture Group and oversees content creation for Delta Farm Press, Southeast Farm Press, Southwest Farm Press, and Western Farm Press.
The award is presented to someone 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 an editor 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 Louisiana State University Agriculture Center.
“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.”