The award is reserved for a communicator, including a public relations or advertising person, 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 can go to someone who is not a citizen of the United States.
The Reuben Brigham Award is offered in memory of Reuben Brigham (1887-1946), a native of Marlboro, Mass., and graduate of the University of Maryland. He served as an Extension editor and 4-H club agent in Maryland and was called to the Federal Extension Service office in 1917 to develop an editorial and visual aids service for Extension editors. Brigham traveled the nation, conferring with editors and directors, and helped states develop their own editorial offices as separate units.
Brigham organized the American Association of Agricultural College Editors and served as its president, secretary, and treasurer. He established the Extension Service Review in 1939 and participated in the Farm and Home Hour of the National Broadcasting Company. During the Depression, he helped develop action agencies of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. As head of a regional section of the AAA information office, he ensured that Extension staff were involved in that organization's information plans. He later was appointed assistant director of the Federal Extension Service and was associated with Extension directors, the land-grant college association, and policy-making committees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Brigham died in Chicago while attending a meeting at the National 4-H Club Congress.
The Reuben Brigham Award was established by ACE in 1947.
Active and retired members of ACE, of a land-grant college or university staff, or of USDA staffs; are not eligible for the award.
The award does not have to be granted each year if, in the opinion of the ACE board, none of the candidates meets the standards required.
Nominations of persons not receiving the award may be considered the following year. Persons making nominations are to be notified that their nominee was not selected but will be considered next year, if desired, and if an updated nomination is submitted next year.
The Reuben Brigham Award winner must agree to attend the annual ACE conference to receive the award. The recipient usually gives a 15-minute speech at the annual meeting.
After the board makes a selection, the ACE management office will arrange for a suitable plaque for the presentation at the annual meeting.
The identity of the honoree will not be revealed to the membership at large until presentation time at the annual meeting.
The ACE president will introduce the winner and present the award.