The History Behind "This Week in Louisiana Agriculture"
TWILA HAS BEEN THE VOICE OF LOUISIANA AGRICULTURE FOR MORE THAN 35 YEARS
On September 24, 1981 the state's first and only farm news program, “This Week in Louisiana Agriculture” signed on the air with CBS affiliate WAFB-TV 9 in Baton Rouge. It aired at 5:30am, immediately following the national anthem, which was preceded by the test pattern.
In a few months the 30-minute ag program, produced by the public relations department of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, would be on three more stations, KNOE-TV 8 in Monroe, KALB-TV 5 in Alexandria and KATC-TV 3 in Lafayette. By 1984 Shreveport station KTAL-TV 6 picked up the program, followed by KPLC-TV 7 in 1986.
Today TWILA, the creation of former Louisiana Farm Bureau PR Director and TWILA Host Regnal Wallace, is seen on 18 broadcast and cable stations across Louisiana and nationally on RFD-TV. The program is one of the longest-running television programs produced in Louisiana.
Each week host Avery Davidson and Kristen Oaks-White, along with TWILA's team of producers and reporters Neil Melancon, Karl Wiggers and A.J. Sabine, Neil Melancon travel the state telling farmers' stories.
In March of 2010 TWILA was honored with its first Telly Award® for its coverage of agricultural news. Its "This Week in Your Town" program from Dothan, AL, the self-proclaimed peanut capital of the world, was voted best in category by the Telly Awards® panel of judges.
In 2011, TWILA was honored with three bronze Telly Awards® for "Katrina, 5 Years Later," "BP Oil Disaster" and its "This Week in Your Town" program from Portales, NM. The "BP Oil Spill" and "This Week in Portales" also earned TWILA platinum and gold 2011 Hermes Awards®, respectively. In 2012, TWILA received two more bronze Telly Awards® for "TWILA in Turkey" and "TWILA Celebrates 30 Years."
Over the years the show’s content has moved beyond just row crop production to include environmental, legislative and consumer issues. The program was cited recently by a member of the state’s Senate Ag Committee as a “video lesson on the importance of agriculture.”
Since 2003 the program has become international in scope. TWILA has reported on agriculture from Chile, Argentina, Brazil, China, Japan, Israel and Turkey.