Irwin will head the organization’s efforts to promote the sugarcane industry’s message to south Louisiana.
“When the League organized 90 years ago, our purpose was to promote agricultural research in sugarcane, governmental relations and educate the public,” Simon said. “We’ve done really well with our first two missions, but now it’s time to promote our industry to the public. That’s why we hired Sam.”
Simon said Irwin brings an impressive list of credentials to the ASCL.
“Sam has been the press secretary for the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) for the last five years and reported directly to Commissioner Mike Strain,” Simon said. “He’s extremely knowledgeable about Louisiana’s agricultural issues and it was this unique experience that made us think he’d be a good fit for our organization.”
A native of Breaux Bridge, Irwin graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelors and Masters of Arts in history. He served as a public information officer for the LDAF for five years before assuming the press secretary position for Strain in 2008.
In his capacity as LDAF press secretary, Irwin was the editor of the “Louisiana Market Bulletin” and also the primary writer and photographer for the publication. He received the Regnal Wallace Ag Communicator of the Year award in 2010 from the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and has written hundreds of features and press release about row crops, the cattle industry, aquaculture and the people who make up Louisiana’s agricultural scene.
Irwin is a member of the Baton Rouge chapter of the Public Relations Association of Louisiana, the Communication Officers of State Departments of Agriculture and active in his neighborhood’s civic association. He has also worked as a freelance journalist and covered the Donaldsonville City Council and the Assumption Parish Police Jury for “The Advocate” from 2003-2008. His journalism and photography is regularly featured in regional publications like “Country Roads,” “Offbeat” and “House and Home” magazines. Prior to entering the public relations field, Irwin owned Paradise Records, a music store at the north gates of LSU.
He is married to Betty Ruth Dupont of Plaquemine and they reside in Baton Rouge.
“The sugarcane harvest was always an exciting time for kids like me in Breaux Bridge,” Irwin said. “Now, as an adult, the sugarcane industry will once again play an important role in my life. I’m thrilled to be working for the American Sugar Cane League and very grateful for the opportunity.”
Irwin may be contacted at email@example.com, 985-448-3707 or 225-620-8698.