Marcia Zarley Taylor

Marcia Zarley Taylor

Sag Harbor, New York

Marcia Zarley Taylor, 61, of Sag Harbor, N.Y., formerly of Haddonfield, N.J., passed away Feb. 19, from breast cancer.

Taylor was born March 10, 1955 in Des Moines, Iowa. She was an internationally recognized agribusiness journalist. She was executive editor of DTN/Progressive Farmer and previously worked as an editor for Farm Journal and Successful Farming magazines. She was a former president of the American Agricultural Editor’s Association and was set to become North American Agricultural Journalists Association’s new president this spring.

She was a 1973 graduate of Des Moines Lincoln High School and graduated summa cum laude in 1977 from Iowa State University with degrees in journalism and agronomy. During her 40-year career, she won nearly every agribusiness award for news, feature, and editorial writing, including the AAEA Oscar in Agriculture, AAEA Writer of the Year, and two-time NAAJ Glen Cunningham Writer of the Year.

Taylor was a champion of family-owned farms and led the nation in covering the looming financial and personal pitfalls of farm families working to create workable estate plans for their farms. She was the first journalist to recognize the issues the current Affordable Care Act caused for many rural farm families.

In the 1990s, she was the first American journalist to venture into the wilds of Brazil to report on farmers, both Brazilian and American, who were challenging America’s position as the world leader in commodity grain production.

She is survived by her husband John; sisters Debbie Beres and Lori Lawson and their husbands James Beres and Dave Lawson; brother Craig Zarley and his wife Debra Durchslag; sister-in-law Mary Manley and her husband Patrick Manley; brothers-in-law James Taylor and Herb Taylor and his former spouse Jina Taylor; and three nieces and five nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father Guy Zarley and mother Marjorie Zarley Wallace.

Marcia was a loving wife, beloved aunt, avid gardener, reader, traveler, and active in her parish and women’s education. Services will be February 24, in Southampton, NY. A memorial service will be held in the spring in Philadelphia. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Marcia’s name can be made to the P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education (PCE), Old St. Joseph’s Historic Preservation Corporation (Philadelphia, PA), the Sag Harbor Partnership, or another charity of your choice .
Published in Des Moines Register on Feb. 23, 2017
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