LITTLE ROCK, AR, May 11-It is beyond difficult to tell you that Stewart Doan, our senior editor and a dear friend, died yesterday in Little Rock. He was 52.

Our prayers and condolences are with his wife, Leslie, and their two daughters.

We do not yet 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.

Typical of Stewart’s incredible work ethic and dedication, he called me from the ambulance to let me know that he would not be able to complete his assignments for the day. He always thought of others first.

We will let you know more later today as details become available.

Stewart joined Agri-Pulse in 2008, building our audio service and contributing importantly to the newsletter and Web site.

When he joined us in 2008, I wrote, “I’ve long admired Stewart’s ability to provide succinct coverage and analysis of complex issues facing today's agricultural producers and partners. “We are very excited about tapping into his talent and experience, and providing our subscribers with his valuable insights into farm policy, market activity and rural trends.”

Since that time, he demonstrated an unparalleled passion for his beat and the audience he served. He loved covering farm policy and it showed in his excellent broadcasts and articles.

For more than 30 years, this Kentucky native covered agricultural news for a variety of media, beginning with radio. He was considered the premier cotton and rice journalist in the nation but expanded his horizons to master the difficult policy questions that USDA and Congress grapple with. He was in Washington regularly to interview policymakers and develop his wide range of contacts.

Stewart was president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting in 1998, and continued his involvement by serving on committees and as a stringer for the NAFB News Service. NAFB named him its 2006 national Farm Broadcaster of the Year when he was Delta Regional Farm Director of the Yancey Ag Network/Clear Channel Communications in, Little Rock. He has been recognized by the National Cotton Council, the USA Rice Federation and the Arkansas Farm Bureau for his reporting on a wide range of agricultural policy issues. 

He will be sorely missed.