Bill Tomson, Agri-Pulse’s senior trade editor, has died after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 55.

“Bill was extremely dedicated to bringing our readers the very best insights on trade and any topic he covered. He worked tirelessly to get information from his vast network of sources,” said Agri-Pulse Founder and Publisher Sara Wyant. “We will miss him terribly.”

Tomson joined Agri-Pulse in 2016 and quickly stood out for his ability to get scoops on trade topics. He traveled across Brazil in 2018 for Agri-Pulse, providing updates on the country's growth in agriculture and infrastructure improvements. During a trip to Cuba in 2022, he met with President Raúl Castro to discuss expansion of agricultural trade with the island nation.

He was a government-savvy reporter with more than two decades of experience reporting on federal agencies and Congress. He previously covered agriculture and food issues for Politico and worked as a reporter for Dow Jones and its flagship publication, the Wall Street Journal. 

Over his career, his assignments required extensive coverage of Congress, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, various federal agencies involved in trade policy, and the World Trade Organization.

He started his journalism career in the 1990s as a reporter with Knight-Ridder in São Paulo, Brazil, covering the country's dramatic expansion in soybean production. Tomson produced portions of the Brazilian Investment Guide for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Tomson loved to break news as well as dig into complex topics such as trade policy, biotechnology, farm subsidies, crop insurance, food safety, ethanol and more. He was a guest on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show, discussing the FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act, and was frequently interviewed for radio, television and online media.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and others involved in agriculture reacted to Tomson's passing on X.

"With profound sadness we offer our condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Bill Tomson of Agri-Pulse," Vilsack said Tuesday. "His contributions as a reporter gave voice to many important issues in agriculture, and he will be deeply missed both personally and as a professional across USDA."

The U.S. Grains Council said it was "saddened to hear the news of the passing of Agri-Pulse’s longtime reporter, Bill Tomson. The industry has lost an important voice in agriculture and trade. Thank you for your dedication, Bill."

Manuel Otero, director general of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture in Costa Rica, posted, "Agricultural journalism in the Americas, and especially in the U.S., has lost a great and renowned reporter, Bill Tomson, a profound connoisseur of Latin America." 

Otero continued, "I send condolences to his family and colleagues at this difficult time, and a tribute to his memory, on my own behalf and on behalf of IICA." 

A native of Washington, D.C., Tomson earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Central Michigan University. He is survived by his wife Marcia and daughter Chloe; two siblings, Jeff and Amy; and his parents, Bill and Anne.

The memorial service will be June 15th at 2pm at the Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Dunn Loring, VA -

Additional details will be posted as soon as they are available.