Cage Free Since 1919


 Theodore Saloutos Memorial Award for the best book on agricultural history in the United States

  • The award is named after Theodore Saloutos (1910–1980), a historian of American agricultural labor, politics, and immigration. Saloutos earned his bachelor’s degree from Milwaukee State Teachers College in 1933 and his PhD in history from the University of Wisconsin in 1940 and taught at the University of California at Los Angeles from 1945 until his retirement. He served on editorial board of Agricultural History and as the president of the Society from 1965–1966. Since 1982, the Agricultural History Society has awarded the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Award to the best books in agricultural history of the United States.

  • 2018: Connie Y. Chiang, Nature Behind Barbed Wire: An Environmental History of the Japanese American Incarceration (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Henry A. Wallace Award for the best book on any aspect (broadly interpreted) of agricultural history outside the United States

  • The award in named for Henry A. Wallace (1888–1965), a prolific statesman who held many high ranking positions during his career. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Henry Cantwell Wallace, serving as the United States Secretary of Agriculture from 1933 to 1940. He was also 33rd Vice President of the United States under Franklin Delano Roosevelt from 1941 to 1945. After he was vice president, Wallace was United States Secretary of Commerce, editor of the New Republic, and the Progressive Party candidate in the 1948 Presidential election. The agricultural history Society has offered this award annually since 2010. The Wallace Prize is awarded to the best book on agricultural history outside of the United States.

  • 2018: Mitch Aso, Rubber and the Making of Vietnam: An Ecological History, 1897–1975 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press).

Everett E. Edwards Award for the best article submitted to Agricultural History by a graduate student

  • The award is named for Everett E. Edwards (1900–1952), a prolific agricultural historian who trained at Carleton College and Harvard University and spent a long career with the United States Department of Agriculture. In addition to his work in the USDA, and authoring numerous works, Edwards edited the journal Agricultural History from 1931 until his death in 1952. The society has made this award in his honor since 1953.

  • 2018: Doug Genens, "Fighting Poverty in the Fields: Legal Services and the War on Poverty in Rural California," which will appear in Agricultural History in 2020.

    Doug Genens is a PhD candidate at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Vernon Carstensen Memorial Award for the best article in Agricultural History

  • The award is named for Vernon Carstensen, born in Iowa in 1907 and educated at the Iowa State Teachers College (BA and MA) and the University of Iowa (PhD, 1936). While a professor at Central Washington College, he also served as a historian for the War Department during World War II. After the war, Carstensen taught at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Washington. He wrote several books on agricultural history and served as president of the Agricultural History Society from 1958 to 1959 and president of the Western History Association in 1981. He passed away in 1992. Since 1980, the Agricultural History Society has given the Carstensen Memorial Award to the best article published in Agricultural History.

  • 2018: Todd Cleveland, “Feeding the Aversion: Agriculture and Mining Technology on Angola's Colonial-Era Diamond Mines, 1917–1975,” Agricultural History 92, no. 3 (Summer 2018): 328–350.

Wayne D. Rasmussen Award for the best article on agricultural history not published in Agricultural History

  • The award is named for Wayne Rasmussen (1915–2004). After relocating to Washington DC to work for the United State Department of Agriculture in 1937, Rasmussen pursued graduate work in history. He earned his master’s degree in 1939 and PhD in 1950, both in history from George Washington University. In 1952, Rasmussen became the head of the history office of the USDA and held many roles in the Agricultural History Society. In addition to a four-year stint as vice president, Rasmussen served as secretary-treasurer from 1953 to 1963, and 1965 to 1993. In addition to the longest serving officer in the Society’s history, Rasmussen’s work on the USDA and cooperative extension shaped a generation of historians. Since 2001, the Agricultural History Society has awarded the Wayne Rasmussen Award to the best article on agricultural history published in a journal other than Agricultural History.

  • 2018: Tyler Gray Greene, "Farm to Factory: Secondary Road Building and the Rural Industrial Geography of Post–World War II North Carolina," Journal of Southern History 84, no. 2 (May 2018): 277–310. 

Gilbert C. Fite Dissertation Award  for the best dissertation on agricultural history

  • The award is named for Gilbert C. Fite (1918–2010). Born in South Dakota, Fite attended the Free Methodist junior college, and Seattle Pacific College before earning his master’s degree in history from the University of South Dakota in 1941. Fite earned his doctoral degree in history from the University of Missouri. Fite earned many awards including the Fulbright and the Guggenheim Fellowship. He also served as the president the Agricultural History Society, Phi Alpha Theta Fraternity, and the Southern Historical Association. Fite served as president of Eastern Illinois University from 1971 to 1976, then moved to the University of Georgia History Department to hold the Richard B. Russell Professorship. He authored and edited numerous books including The Farmers’ Frontier, 1865–1900, and Cotton Fields No More, and authored more than sixty articles. Since 2000, the Agricultural History Society has awarded the annual Gilbert C. Fite Dissertation Prize to the best dissertation written on agricultural history.

  • 2018: Timothy Lorek, “Developing Paradise: Agricultural Science in the Conflicted Landscapes of Columbia’s Cuaca Valley, 1927–1965 (Yale University).  

Gladys L. Baker Award for lifetime achievement in the field of agricultural history

  • This award is named for Gladys Baker. Born in rural Iowa in 1910, Gladys Baker was educated at the University of Michigan where she received a BA degree and then at the University of Chicago where she earned a doctorate in Political Science in 1939. She went to work for the USDA and became head of the USDA’s War Records Department when it was created in 1942. She became an expert in agricultural policy and history and worked in the Agricultural and Rural History section and its successor agencies. Not only did she organize important collections in agriculture and rural history, she was senior author of A Century of Service: The First 100 Years of the United States Department of Agriculture. She served as president of the Agricultural History Society in 1970. She died in 1991. The Agricultural History Society established the Gladys Baker Award in 2009 and presented the first award in 2010.

  • 2018:   Peter A. Coclanis 

Fellows of the Society

The Agricultural History Society may select Fellows of the Society up to a number equal to twenty percent of the current membership. Members chosen to be Fellows of the Society shall meet high standards of scholarship and service to the Society and to the field of agricultural history.

  • 2018: Hal Barron, Grey Osterud, and James C. Giesen