The Ben Johnson Award was first presented at the annual Rodeo Historical Society banquet in October, 1998 during the unveiling of a bronze image of Ben Johnson mounted on his favorite horse. The bronze, sculpted by California artist Mehl Lawson, is permanently located in the Museum's American Rodeo Gallery. The annual award is presented to a living person who has been involved in the rodeo industry for a number of years and has contributed to the growth and betterment of pro-rodeo. Involvement with youth and/or community activities also is a pre-requisite for the honor. And the recipient must be someone who, like Ben Johnson, creates a positive image for rodeo and the Western lifestyle.