Obviously the "group" has no consensus, but as usual I have opinions.
1) Who is the typical user of the plant database? I know AGM, AAS, MOBOT as would most dedicated plant nerds. Probably every gardener in Great Britain knows AGM, but maybe not AAS, ARS or MOBOT. Newer gardeners might not have a clue what any of these acronyms mean. Perhaps until there's a check list, I will write out the whole award: Missouri Botanical Garden Plant of Merit or All-America Selection. More work, but very clear to all users. Of course, earlier today I used AAS - should follow my own suggestions
2) Whoa, that's a hum-dinger checkbox list you're contemplating Dave. Besides the biggies, like AGM, AAS, Fleuroselect, most, if not all states, through universities or state hort societies have awards: e.g. Texas Superstars, Texas Earthkind, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Metal Plant Award. And how about arboretums: Dallas Arboretum FlameProof Award. Then there are the awards for the various societies: daylilies, iris, roses, etc. and quite often their geographical sub-groups, not to mention plant sub-groups within the society. Yikes. Would you just do the most common ones as a checkbox, with the ability to add more regional awards as needed, or the whole shebang?