ACE History

ACE's History

ACE has had a rich history since the first gathering of four land-grant college agricultural editors on July 10, 1913, at the University of Illinois. Learn about ACE’s history.

Annual Conferences

ACE members have met every year except for three years during World War II. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ACE members met virtually for two years. See the list of dates, locations and hosts of past conferences.

Past ACE Presidents

ACE presidents have provided organizational leadership through a wide range of goals and issues. Read about each ACE past president.

Honor Award Winners

ACE Fellows

The ACE Fellow is the highest recognition given by ACE to one of its members. The award recognizes sustained excellence and professionalism in a communicator. Recipients are role models in ACE who have had an enduring impact on the organization, their institution, the national land-grant system, and/or the profession or discipline of agricultural communications. See the list of past recipients, and read comments shared by recent Fellows.

Rising Stars

The ACE Rising Star Award honors members who demonstrate exceptional leadership and technical skills early in their career and/or ACE membership. See the list of past recipients.

Awards of Excellence

The Award of Excellence recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence in the discipline or area of communications represented by a Learning Community as well as leadership and involvement in ACE. Read the list of past Award of Excellence winners.

Retiree Award of Excellence

The Retiree Award of Excellence recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in leadership, service, and involvement with ACE retirees and life members or within the larger organization. 

ACE Service Award

The ACE Service Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional service to ACE. The identity of the honoree is not revealed until presentation time at the annual meeting.

Reuben Brigham Award

The Reuben Brigham Award is ACE’s highest honor to a non-member and is reserved for a communicator who has made a major contribution in the field of agriculture, natural resources, or life and human sciences at the regional, national, or international level. The award is in memory of Brigham (1887-1946) who organized the American Association of Agricultural College Editors and served as its president, secretary, and treasurer. Review the list of past honorees since 1980.

Journal of Applied Communications

The Journal of Applied Communications (JAC) is a quarterly, refereed journal published by ACE. The journal focuses on issues and topics relevant to agricultural and applied communication professionals and is peer-reviewed to ensure accuracy and quality. Search topics in issues back to 1969.

ACE Collection in USDA National Agricultural Library

ACE’s physical history from 1913 to 1998 is archived in 50 boxes at the National Ag Library in Beltsville, MD. In 1996-97, the collection was processed and arranged into 22 series by William E. Carnahan, ACE archivist. Learn what is stored and can be accessed there.

image 1: Buck (Buck O’Neil shared stories with 2003 Kansas City conference attendees. O’Neil was a Negro Leagues baseball star, mostly with the Kansas City Monarchs, and then the first Black coach in Major League Baseball. He led establishment of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022.)

Image 2: Longhorn (Yes, that’s a live Texas Longhorn that posed for photos at the 2005 Kansas City conference.)

Image 3: Live Auction (A live auction brought in money for the Development Fund and added an entertaining element to the conference for many years.)

Image 4: Aunt Pearl Sue (Aunt Pearlie Sue got the audience involved as she told stories about Gullah culture during the 2015 Charleston conference.)

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