CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF THE AGRICULTURAL HISTORY SOCIETY

Article I Name

The name of this organization shall be the Agricultural History Society.

Article II Objective

The objective of this organization is to promote research and study in the field of agricultural history and rural life.

Article III Membership

Section 1. Membership in the Society is open to anyone interested in agricultural and rural history. There shall be the following classes of membership in the Society: patron, life, contributing, regular, and student. All classes of membership are eligible to participate in all affairs of the Society.

Section 2. Institutions may subscribe to the journal but may not be members.

Article IV Officers

Section 1. The officers of this Society shall be a President, a Vice-President, an Executive Secretary, a Treasurer, and an Editor of the journal.

Section 2. The presidency shall be filled by the automatic succession of the Vice-President to that office. The Vice-President shall be elected by the individual members of the Society for a one-year term to serve until a successor qualifies and automatically succeeds to the presidency.

Section 3. The Executive Secretary shall be appointed and/or relieved of the office by the Executive Committee in special session in which the Executive Secretary shall not participate. The Executive Secretary shall distribute ballots to members each year for the election of Vice-President, two Executive Committee Members, and one member of the Nominating Committee.

Section 4. The Treasurer shall be appointed and/or relieved of the office by the Executive Committee in special session in which the Treasurer shall not participate.

Section 5. The Editor of Agricultural History shall be appointed and/or relieved of the office by the Executive Committee in special session in which the Editor shall not participate.

Section 6. The Executive Committee shall consist of the five officers, six committee members elected for three-year terms, and the three most recent past presidents. Beginning with the 2013 election, and every third year after, one of the two newly elected Executive Committee positions shall be reserved for a Society member not based in the United States. Beginning with the 2014 election, and every third year after, one of the two newly elected Executive Committee positions shall be reserved for a Society member currently enrolled in graduate school or a member having finished graduate school within the twenty-four months previous to the election. Beginning with the 2015 election, and every third year after, one of the two newly elected Executive Committee positions shall be reserved for a Society member who is not primarily employed as a professional historian at a four-year college or university. A majority of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Article V Meetings

Section 1. The Executive Committee shall meet at the Annual Meeting and shall approve special meetings.

Section 2. The Officers shall meet between the Annual Meetings at a time and place coordinated by the president.

Section 3. The Executive Committee shall have a mid-year meeting, virtual or in person, coordinated by the Secretary.

Article VI Committees

Section 1.The President shall appoint all necessary committees. Among these shall be four standing committees: the Membership Committee, the Meeting Sites Committee, the Peterson Committee, and the Presidents Committee.

Section 2. The term for each committee member shall begin immediately following the annual meeting in the year he/she is elected and shall continue through the annual meeting in the year her/his term ends.

Section 3.The Membership Committee shall have co-chairs and four members, each serving three-year staggered appointments and serving as co-chairs in their third year. The purpose of the Membership Committee is to encourage all persons interested in rural and agricultural history (broadly defined) to join and become active members of the Agricultural History Society. Under direction of the co-chairs, by September, the membership committee will develop a coordinated plan to promote membership by:

  1. Recruiting members among the colleagues and/or graduate students at the committee person’s home institution;
  2. Recruiting members at meetings of other academic professional associations at the state, regional, national, and international level;
  3. Sending recruiting letters or emails to prospective members in their regions and among individual professional circles;
  4. Emailing lapsed members (based on a list provided each January), encouraging them to re-join.
  5. Recommending policy and procedural changes to increase membership.
Ordinary renewal letters are handled by the executive secretary. The chair of the committee must submit his or her annual report to the President and Secretary by May 1.

Section 4. The Meeting Sites committees shall have three members serving staggered three-year terms, with members serving as chair in their third year. It shall assist the Executive Secretary to identify and develop future meeting sites so that the locations of the Society’s annual meetings can be secured and tentatively announced 2-3 years ahead of each meeting date.

Section 5.The Peterson Committee to Promote Rural Material Culture shall have three members with expertise in rural material culture who serve open-ended terms. The President shall appoint new members as needed. It shall organize sessions for the annual meeting, sponsor keynote speakers, and/or arrange receptions at appropriate venues in order to promote the study of rural material culture within the Society.

Section 6.The Presidents Committee shall be made up of the current President and the two immediate past Presidents. Chaired by the incumbent President, it shall provide general oversight of the journal, as needed, and carry out the triennial review of the journal and operations of the editorial office. The Committee shall also conduct a triennial review of the Executive Secretary and the Treasurer and the operations of each office (beginning with the Editor in 2010, the Executive Secretary in 2011, and the Treasurer in 2012). The Presidents Committee also nominates Fellows of the Society.

Section 7. The Nominating Committee shall have three members serving staggered three-year terms, with members serving as chair in their third year. It shall nominate a member for the office of Vice-President, four members for the Executive Committee, and two members for the Nominating Committee.

Article VII Amendments and Bylaws

The Constitution and bylaws may be amended upon the approval of two-thirds of the members present at any meeting attended by fifteen or more members, or by mail ballot, except that dues may not be increased unless a proposal has been submitted to all individual members at least one month prior to such meeting and unless the increase in dues has been approved by a majority of the members voting, including votes by mail.

Article VIII Dues

Dues for annual membership shall be published in the journal.

Article IX Duties of the Officers

The Society recognizes that the division of officers’ duties not specifically outlined below are flexible. The officers shall issue a report of their work to the Executive Committee at each regular meeting.

Section 1. The Executive Secretary shall have general direction of the affairs of the Society, including maintaining membership rolls, and shall be subject in general to the instructions from a majority of the membership present at any meeting at which a quorum of at least fifteen members are present.

Section 2. The Treasurer shall serve as the financial watchdog for the Society by overseeing the deposits, investments, and disbursements of the Society’s funds, filing income tax forms, and issuing an annual budget and report on the budget at the end of every fiscal year.

Section 3. Duties of the Executive Committee shall include responsibility for holding meetings, appointment of an Executive Secretary, a Treasurer, appointment of an Editor, ratification of an editorial board from a list of names submitted by the Editor, and the filling of a vacancy in any unexpired term of office.

Section 4. The Editor of the journal is responsible for soliciting, approving, editing, and publishing articles and book reviews.

Section 5. The Officers may make emergency decisions between meetings of the Executive committee, including making interim appointments to elected committees when a vacancy occurs, subject to approval of the committee at its next meeting.

Article X Prizes and Awards

The Agricultural History Society sponsors eight annual awards for various agricultural history publications, manuscripts, student projects and selects Fellows of the Society. Each award is overseen by a committee of three members serving staggered three-year terms, with members serving as chair in their third year. Committee members are appointed by the President, except for the Presidents Committee, which is made up of the current President and the two immediate Past Presidents.

Section 1. The Gilbert C. Fite Award and an honorarium are presented to the author of the best dissertation on any aspect of agricultural history, broadly interpreted, completed during the current calendar year.

Section 2. The Everett E. Edwards prize is presented to the graduate student who submits the best manuscript on any aspect of agricultural and rural studies during the calendar year. A cash award is presented to encourage and reward scholarly works by graduate students.

Section 3. The Wayne D. Rasmussen Award is presented to the author of the best article on agricultural history published by a journal other than Agricultural History during the calendar year. The award includes an honorarium and certificates for the author and publisher.

Section 4. The Theodore Saloutos Memorial Award and an honorarium are presented to the author of a book on any aspect (broadly interpreted) of agricultural history in the United States. The book must be based on substantial primary research and should represent a major new scholarly interpretation or reinterpretation of agricultural history scholarship.

Section 5. The Vernon Carstensen Award and an honorarium are presented for the best article published in Agricultural History during the calendar year.

Section 6. The History of Agriculture and Rural Life Award is presented to raise awareness of agricultural and rural history among secondary school students interested in history. Projects in all National History Day categories are eligible, including papers, dramatic presentations, media presentations, and exhibits, by individuals or groups at either the Senior or Junior levels. In addition to a financial award, the student receives a certificate of his/her achievement and a complimentary copy of the issue of the Society’s journal, Agricultural History, announcing the winner of the award.

Section 7. The Henry A. Wallace Award and an honorarium are presented to the author of the best book on any aspect (broadly interpreted) of agricultural history outside the United States. The book must be based on substantial primary research and should represent a major new scholarly interpretation or reinterpretations of agricultural history scholarship.

Section 8. The Gladys L. Baker Award and an honorarium are presented for lifetime achievement in the field of agricultural history.

Section 9.The 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.

As revised from 1972 Constitution
April 2006
June 2009
June 2010
June 2012