The AAEA Lifetime Achievement Award is designed to honor current and former members of the organization, including those who may be deceased, for outstanding professional and personal achievements and leadership, with specific emphasis on contributions toward improvement of the viability and value of AAEA. This award is reserved for those who have adhered to high standards of professionalism in all aspects of their endeavors.


The AAEA Lifetime Achievement Award is open to all members based on years of professional accomplishments and other criteria as noted below:
  • Years of membership in AAEA;
  • Professional accomplishments/achievement;
  • The member’s contributions and service to agricultural communications through writing, editing, design, photography, etc.;
  • Contribution to and involvement in AAEA;
  • Other criteria as approved.

The AAEA Legacy Committee will select the winner(s) and may, at their discretion, select to honor up to three nominees annually, including at least one deceased member. Contact Legacy Committee Chair Larry Dreiling with questions,, 785-628-1117.

Nominations for 2020 have closed and will open again in Spring 2021.

Congratulations to the 2020 AAEA Lifetime Achievement Winners!

Larry Dreiling

Slide Up Larry Dreiling Annette: Our second recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award is Larry Dreiling. One of the most well known AAEA leaders in the industry, former AAEA president and chair of the Legacy Committee, Larry’s work within ag journalism is second to none.
His biographies are listed in Who's Who In The Midwest and Outstanding Young Men of America. Larry formerly served on the national executive committee of the Fort Hays State University Alumni Association and as communications director of its Boot Hill Chapter. In October 2011, Larry was presented with FHSU’s Nita Landrum Award, given for service to his profession, community and the university.

Gene Johnston

For more than 30 years, Gene Johnston has been a champion of AAEA and PIF programs.  From founding ACT chapters in college, to supporting the creation of the AAEA Professional improvement foundation, Gene has always had a unique commitment to expand professional development to editors around him.  He served as AAEA President in 1989-1990 where he was crucial in establishing “Standards of Integrity” for AAEA members to complement our mission of professionalism.




Special thanks to CHS for supporting this award! 

Past Award Recipients 

2020 Larry Dreiling and Gene Johnston

2019 JoAnn Alumbaugh and Jim Patrico

2018 Tom Curl and Lynn Henderson

2017   Paul Queck

2016   Jack Odle and Harlen Persinger

2015   Len Richardson

2014   Del Deterling and Joe Dan Boyd

2013   Jack Pitzer and Wayne Swegle

2012   Earl Manning

2011   John Harvey and Fred Myers

2010   Paul Weller

2009   Bill Fleming, Jim Lilly and Betty Lou Denton

2008   Claude Gifford and Larry Harper (Heritage Award)

2007   Wilson Carnes,  Jim Thomson (Heritage Award), Cordell Tindall (Heritage Award), Charlie Scruggs (Heritage Award) and Bob Rupp

1990   Wheeler McMillen