Tributes Pouring out for Stewart Doan

Cindy Zimmerman

Tributes to the life of Stewart Doan have been pouring out from all over the agriculture industry today as news of his sudden passing yesterday has been spreading.

According to Sara Wyant, president of Agri-Pulse, where Stewart had been senior editor, they do not have all the details, “but we know that he had not been feeling well and saw his doctor Wednesday to undergo tests related to having shortness of breath and related health concerns. He fainted at his home yesterday morning and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he later died.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack praised Stewart in a statement to Agri-Talk this morning. “Stewart was a voice that people depended on and that people listened to,” said Vilsack. “And he used his voice to advocate on behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers and producers.” Listen to Visack’s comments here:
Secretary Vilsack on Stewart Doan

The most common word being used to describe Stewart is “professional.” He was a first-class reporter, the master of the :45 news story with :10 sound bites. I loved that. He was kind, down-to-earth, passionate about agriculture, and a good friend to all. We were at several events together just this year and he was always working very hard and always in a good mood. I remember being very impressed with his presentation on the presidential candidates at the Farm Bureau annual meeting where he played sound bites from them addressing various issues. It was probably the best presentation incorporating audio that I have ever seen.

Besides being a colleague and friend to so many of us, he was also a dedicated husband and father. I snapped this photo of Stewart with his wife Leslie, their two daughters Lauren and Sarah and a couple of their friends at Sara and Al’s house a couple of years back.

Stewart was only 52 years old and for more than 30 years of his life, this Kentucky native covered agricultural news for a variety of media, beginning with radio. He was president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting in 1998, and was named 2006 Farm Broadcaster of the Year. But, most of all, he was a great guy and we will miss him. Rest in peace.