Maryland Agriculture Council Educational Grant Program

The Maryland Agriculture Council, Inc. offers an opportunity to organizations, agencies and clubs to submit grant applications for the purpose of promoting Maryland agriculture. Applications are reviewed by the grants committee and honorees are approved by the Council. Grant monies are distributed at the Taste of Maryland Agriculture on the first Thursday of February each year. Below is a listing of the Grant Winners since the program began in 2002.

2021 Grant Winners

McDonough FFA Chapter ~ $1,000
The FFA Chapter at McDonough High School was established just this past year. The grant will be used to purchase materials to build a hoop house so the students can plant lettuce, spinach and microgreens. The goal is to provide fresh salad greens to the cafeteria for staff lunches, with the hope of growing enough in the future for student lunches. Ultimately, they would like to have enough production in the hoop house to donate to the local soup kitchen in Waldorf, MD.

Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation ~ $1,000
The Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation is updating its “Amazing! Maryland Agriculture” book to reflect new data from the 2017 Ag Census and increase diversity and career content. The grant will be used to publish and distribute 15 copies to every elementary school throughout the state.

Grow & Fortify ~ $800
Grow & Fortify will launch a video series in 2021, highlighting Maryland’s value-added agricultural industry. The grant will be used for producing videos featuring growers, processors, manufacturers and operators across the state. The goal is to explain value-added agriculture, its diversity, and what it contributes to our economy, character and quality of life. Supporting local agricultural businesses has become even more important in this time of COVID-19, and consumers have a renewed interest in purchasing from their neighbors. Bringing attention to the faces behind the industry will hopefully drive more folks to buy locally.

St. Mary’s County 4-H ~ $700
The grant will go to the St. Mary’s County 4-H, as they offer the agricultural literacy programs, AGsploration for middle school students and Acres of Adventure for elementary students. Train-the-trainer programs for teachers and youth development professionals will also be included. Over 600 youth will be part of these school and after-school programs and camps.

Oakland FFA Chapter ~ $650
The Oakland FFA Chapter at Southern Garrett High School will use its grant to update and replace parts of its hydroponics system. Students in the agriculture education program currently grow 320 vegetable plants and four tomato plants in a bucket system. Vegetables are sold to the school cafeteria for the school lunch program and to community members. Repairs and updates will allow students to produce more and make a larger impact on the school and community. 

Oakdale FFA Chapter ~ $450
Located in a fast-developing area of Frederick County, Oakdale High School’s FFA Chapter will use the grant to purchase materials to construct and install three educational signs. The chapter’s plant and animal sciences greenhouse and fenced-in outdoor classroom is located next to a heavily traveled sidewalk and street, and the signage will serve both an educational and marketing purpose for those passing by.

Clear Spring FFA Chapter ~ $400
Agriculture education students at Clear Spring High School will use the grant to purchase a pumpkin seed planter to expand its production beyond traditional crops they raise on a 28-acre farm. The project will include hands-on learning, planning and planting; marketing through a pick-your-own experience at its annual Fall Fest; and using the pumpkins in fall-themed floral arrangements for events and sales.

2020 Grant Winners

Friends of Great Kids Farm ~ $850
The grant will fund materials to create garden education kits to be distributed to 15 Baltimore City Public Schools. Windowsill aquaponics kits will go to schools with no outdoor growing space and raised bed garden kits will go to those that do.

Breakfast on the Farm ~ $850
This event welcomes the public to a free breakfast and educational morning on a dairy farm to meet a farm family and learn about modern food practices. Funds will be used for food and supplies for the 30-plus interactive and educational stations.

Maryland Soybean Board ~ $850
Funds will be used to support social media activity and website content for My Maryland Farmers, platforms created to connect consumers with Maryland agriculture. Specialized social media content will be created for Maryland Agriculture Week in March.

UMD Plant Sciences & Landscape Architecture ~ $850
The grant will be used to purchase video camera supplies to create augmented reality videos. This 360-degree view will enhance and expand student and public education for all agricultural sciences.

Wicomico County 4-H ~ $600
Funds will be used to expand the embryology education project in Wicomico County Public Schools and at the county fair. The purchase of three more tabletop incubators will increase their reach to other elementary schools and hundreds more students.

UMD Western MD Research & Education Center ~ $550
Perennial forage demonstration plots, and smaller mobile pots, will be purchased with this grant. The goal is to educate livestock owners and the public about the importance of forages and those that are suitable for Maryland pastures.

Frederick County Extension Advisory Council ~ $500
Grant funds will be used to improve agricultural literacy for high-risk, underserved students through field trips focusing on agriculture, nutrition and the environment.

2019 Grant Winners

Clear Spring High School FFA ~ $1,000
The grant will be used to purchase a livestock scale that will assist students with their agricultural science research projects. The grant will be matched by funds from the Washington County Public Schools.

Mountainside Education and Enrichment, Inc. ~ $1,000
Urban youth will participate in hands-on learning activities about commodity crop and produce farming practices, soil health, plant life cycles and preparing fresh produce during this Custom Spring Harvest Day Field Trip.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland ~ $750
Funds will be used to design, develop and implement a heritage garden to produce crops for agriculture-based living history demonstrations, and to produce educational materials about the importance of agriculture for the general public.

Wicomico County Extension ~ $700
The grant will be used for school enrichment programs, teaching students about the poultry industry – everything from equipment used to the life cycle of a bird and the process of delivering from farm to table.

Parkside High School CTE FFA ~ $550
Funds will be used for an agricultural field trip, taking Eastern Shore students to the Sugarloaf Mountain area to visit a lavender farm, water gardens and alpaca operation.

Frederick County Extension ~ $500
The grant will be used for agricultural field trips for urban Title 1 students to expose them to farming, nutrition and the environment, in an effort to improve agricultural literacy.

Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding ~ $474
Children with special needs and disadvantaged youth will participate in “horse-powered learning programs and activities” at this Harford County facility.

2018 Grant Winners

Worcester Technical High School FFA ~ $1,000
Funds will be used to raise small livestock at the school and allow FFA students the hands-on learning and experience of raising and exhibiting them at the county fair.

UMD Extension 4-H STEM & Small Ruminants Program ~ $950
The grant will promote an understanding and appreciation of Maryland agriculture through the April Agricultural Days at UMES through three events, focusing on sheep, goats and tractors.

Feeding 5,000 ~ $800
The grant will be used to purchase soil and materials for low tunnel construction and raised beds in the food desert area of Capitol Heights, so that they can offer fresh, affordable food and teach community members how to grow, preserve and store food.

UMD Extension – Carroll ~ $800
Funds will help purchase supplies for the Maryland 4-H Veterinary Science Experience which will expose youth to animal health care and career exploration during a three-day event.

MD Association of Soil Conservation Districts ~ $744
Grant monies will be used to purchase tools and equipment for teaching students about soils and forestry at the Maryland State Envirothon.

UMD Extension – Dorchester ~ $500
The grant will support the Dorchester County 4-H School Enrichment Program with the curriculum, AGsploration: The Science of Maryland Agriculture and fund supplies needed for the hands-on activities and lessons.

2017 Grant Winners

Farming 4 Hunger – $1,000 will support school field trips to the farm so that students can experience agriculture’s role in developing healthy minds and bodies through better food choices

Snow Hill Elementary School – $1,000 used to create a school-based community garden that will provide educational opportunities for students of Snow Hill Elementary, as well as provide supplemental food for families in need

Hancock Middle/High School – $950 for a program to allow students to raise broiler chicks from egg to oven, providing anatomy lessons, animal husbandry experience and food for the community

Caroline Career Technology Center FFA – $800 to support the development of a garden plot that will provide produce for the Culinary Arts School and for the Caroline County Food Pantry

Allegany Mountain Fresh Farmers’ Market – $780 to develop and distribute educational outreach brochures supporting locally grown food and information for regional farmers’ markets

City of Cumberland Parks and Recreation – $405 to provide transportation for youth to the local farmers’ market, providing educational opportunities between gardening, physical activity and nutrition

2016 Grant Winners

The Brave HEART Program – $800 to purchase safety riding equipment and horseback riding learning aids for this program that offers an environment where veterans, military members and their families can heal and strengthen relationships through equine interaction

Cambridge Community Garden at Waugh Chapel – $800 to build 29 garden beds and purchase gardening tools for the participating low-income residents as they learn to grow their own food

Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County – $800 to purchase materials, tools and seeds to eventually offer 100 garden plots in this “food desert” area of the community

Call Before You Cut Program – $800 will pay for printing of resource materials and mailing for the Call Before You Cut program, offering objective and credible forest harvest information

4-H Embryology Program – $700 to purchase incubators and chick lifecycle kits to improve and expand the 4-H embryology program with students in the county

Maryland FFA Foundation – $700 to print a new marketing brochure to attract and inform donors and sponsors

Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts – $400 will develop a state-of-the-art educational display to promote the Maryland Envirothon, an environmental education competition that challenges students in aquatics, forestry, wildlife and soils/agriculture

2015 Grant Winners

Washington County Farm Bureau (UME 4-H Youth Development) – $850 to educate students on the connection between agriculture, STEM and health wellness

MD Agricultural Resource Council – $750 to develop and print a self-guided agricultural education tour for the Baltimore County Ag Center and Farm Park

UME 4-H Stem – $850 to develop a pilot educational curriculum for vermicomposting in local classrooms, which involves student hands-on participation activities and emphasizes the transforming of waste into a product of value

Washington County Ag Expo and Fair – $850 to develop and upgrade the Ag Ventures educational outreach program

Institute of Applied Agriculture – $850 to develop a program for the University of Maryland College Park Campus to communicate the story and value of agriculture through a participatory workshop

Arrow Center for Education – $850 to promote Maryland agriculture and horticulture to at-risk students using common core goals and hands-on projects

2014 Grant Winners

University of Maryland Extension Worcester County 4-H – $700 for a farm visit day for all kindergarteners in Worcester County

Sukup Agri–Theatre at The Great Frederick Fair – $700 for a new Agri-Theatre Educational Learning Center that will offer enhanced hands-on learning

Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission – $650 to develop and produce a “Let’s Go to a Farm” children’s educational activity book

University of Maryland Extension St Mary’s County – $650 to purchase agriculture books and materials in conjunction with their efforts to bring farm life into schools, while teaching the importance of healthy eating and local agriculture

Washington County Ag Literacy Mobile Classroom – $600 to complete the construction of a mobile classroom to be utilized to educate students in kindergarten through third grade on the importance of agriculture in their daily lives

Patuxent River 4-H Center Foundation – $600 for the 4-H Hatching Classrooms Project that teaches youth about the life cycle of chickens and promotes agriculture in the classroom

University of Maryland Extension Washington County 4-H – $600 for the Science on the Farm program designed to bring agricultural STEM health/wellness education to 8- to 12-year-olds

University of Maryland Extension Cecil County 4-H – $500 to produce and print AGsploration teaching materials that will be distributed in 80 Maryland 4-H after-school programs

2013 Grant Winners

Eagle Scout Courtyard Garden – $400 to develop raised garden beds coordinated by Eagle Scout candidate Riley Lieber at Kent County High School

Harford County Envirothon – $600 to promote the vital role agriculture plays in our lives, and educate students on the importance of biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and farmland practices that benefit conservation practices

King Barn Dairy Mooseum – $800 to develop an educational display for a robotic milker as well as to provide signage and brochures for the project

Maryland Dairy Princess Association – $450 to develop tote boxes for dairy princesses to use when visiting nursing, assisted living and senior facilities

Maryland FFA Foundation, Inc. – $500 to purchase a new display for events throughout Maryland to gain exposure and grow donor base for funding Maryland FFA students and programs

Prince George’s County Extension Advisory Council – $800 to promote a community garden event that includes information on common garden pests and how to plant more intensively

University of Maryland Extension Upper Shore Cluster – $650 for tractor safety training and Department of Labor Certification for youth

Washington County Ag Expo and Fair – $800 for educational signage for the Washington County Ag Expo and Fair

2012 Grant Winners

Catoctin FFA Chapter – $500 to support an Agriculture Day to teach second grade students about agriculture education, plant science, animal science and nature

Damascus FFA Chapter – $500 for a portable agriculture literacy tent focusing on Maryland agriculture commodities which will have a reading corner stocked with books for K-8

Frederick Career Technical Center FFA Chapter – $750 to create promotional materials for student ambassadors to use at elementary and middle school events

Frederick County Farm Bureau – $675 to place agricultural-related books into elementary school media centers in Frederick County

Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum – $600 for a youth agriculture leadership forum for 13-16-year-olds to teach them about basic farming and approved agriculture practices

Institute of Applied Agriculture – $750 to develop an “Ag You Know” series on agriculture topics that will inform the public of the importance of agriculture in Maryland

Maryland Dairy Industry Association, Inc. – $700 for the dairy portion of a new agriculture-based exhibit at Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore

University of Maryland Department of Animal & Avian Sciences – $525 to enhance the promotion of academic, extension and research programs to the public

2011 Grant Winners

Kent County Public School Agriculture Program – $1,000 to help students learn about sustainable agriculture through a project that incorporates aquaculture and hydroponics

Frederick County Farm Museum Association Inc. – $1,000 used to create interactive exhibits and interpretive panels as part of the new visitor experience of Frederick County’s Agricultural Heritage in a display at Rose Hill Manor Park

Maryland Dairy Industry Association – $1,000 will support the “Fuel Up to Play 60” movement focused on fighting childhood obesity by empowering kids to take control of their own health

4-H Nutrition After-School Program – $1,000 so that the Baltimore City 4-H Youth Nutrition Program can provide youth with the knowledge and experience to make healthier food choices through 630 hours of nutrition lessons

University of Maryland Equine Studies – $900 will be utilized for a banner, vertical displays and shelving units to promote extension, academia and other exciting opportunities at events, trade shows and other equine venues

Wicomico County 4-H – $800 for the “Plant It and Pollinate” project which promotes Maryland agriculture education topics to youth in grades K-8

South Carroll FFA Chapter – $650 will provide information to middle school students about FFA, ag literacy and agriculture classes through interactive lessons for students

King Barn Dairy Mooseum – $600 to purchase a milking machine and scaled-down version of a working pipeline, as well as signage explaining the process of milking a cow

Queen Anne’s County Department of Economic Development, Agriculture & Tourism – $500 to be used to create travel guides to educate the public where to buy locally grown and produced products in the county

Baltimore County Master Gardeners – $500 to assist the Master Gardeners in establishing a variety of demonstration gardens to showcase sustainable food gardening practices, including various methods for growing fruits and vegetables, extending growing seasons, handling pests and diseases with IPM and attracting insect pollinators

Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum – $500 will develop an oral history video featuring local people describing how farming was done historically

Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology – $500 will be used to support a one-day educational workshop for the mentors and students of the new farmer mentoring programs and will include sessions on research findings on niche crops and educating participants on various marketing and processing options

Broiler Production Management – $450 will provide valuable information for poultry growers so the industry can continue to remain economically viable in the region

Maryland Dairy Princess Association – $300 will be utilized for a spinning wheel game to be used at events

Maryland Dairy Shrine – $300 to assist in funding the Maryland Dairy Convention’s efforts to provide educational training to farmers in consumer-friendly management practices

2010 Grant Winners

Maryland 4-H Foundation – $750 to develop U-Learn Farm activities at the Maryland State Fair

Parks & People Foundation – $700 for the Great Kids Farm to provide a day-long professional development workshop on garden-based agricultural education to Baltimore City teachers

Maryland Dairy Princess Association – $750 to expand its school promotion notebook with books, maps and materials, such as flour bags to demonstrate bone density 

King Barn Dairy Mooseum – $800 to share the history of Montgomery County dairy farmers and the dairy industry while educating urban residents and visitors at the South Germantown Recreational Park 

Great Frederick Fair – $700 for a new educational component that provides agriculture education in an interactive video and text messaging format geared for sixth to eighth grade students

Calvert County Department of Economic Development – $700 to develop a brochure featuring farms in the county that provide educational tours
Catoctin High School FFA Chapter – $750 to help FFA members provide fifth grade students a forum at their high school to learn about agriculture in a fun, hands-on way 

Middletown High School FFA Chapter – $650 to support FFA members holding an annual Agriculture Field Day at their high school for 400 first grade students from surrounding feeder schools and local pre-schools 

Queen Anne’s County Department of Economic Development, Agriculture & Tourism – $750 to purchase rain gauges, seed packets and plants for all third graders in six elementary schools to teach the importance of rain to the agricultural community and environment

Allegany County Extension Advisory Council – $600 to transport elementary students to a local farm for a day of educational activities to increase agriculture awareness 

Samantha Brown Diamond Clover Project–Lucky Clover’s 4-H Club – $700 to provide 200 informational children picture books created by Samantha Brown geared to teach elementary school children about Montgomery County agriculture 

Western MD Research and Education – $750 to promote the nutritional value, availability and environmental benefits of using Maryland’s farm-raised meats and poultry to consumers and retailers, including restaurants 

St. Mary’s County Extension – $700 to have 800 students in three schools participate in Home Grown School Lunch Week, which provides classes for interactive opportunities with live animals, crop and farm equipment exhibits  

Damascus Community Fair – $700 to educate their community as to their agriculture heritage through school tours where they provide activity books and gift bags to each child 

2009 Grant Winners

2008 Grant Winners

Frederick County Farm Museum – $600 to help with the cost of the mobile Ag classroom trailer to come to the Farm Museum Spring Festival

Washington County Farm Bureau Women’s/Education Committee – $466 to build “A worm’s eye view of a garden”
 
Future Harvest- A Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture – $1,900 to revise and reprint a popular resource card for consumers to find locally grown food
 
Garrett-Preston Rural Development Coalition – $690 to design and print signs to be placed alongside ag exhibits at Garrett County Fair featuring information and interesting facts about each product
 
Howard Co Economic Development Authority – $400 implement an agriculture education program in Howard County high schools
 
Queen Anne’s County High School Agriculture Department – $1,000 to increase real world, hands-on, experimental learning for the students of the agriculture classes and FFA
 
Chesapeake Country National Scenic Byway – $2,500 Bell Nursery Grant to develop, design, print and statewide distribution of “Living on the Land” agricultural heritage and education brochure
 
Maryland Dairy Industry Association – $1,000 to be used to purchase a retractable display promoting the Maryland dairy industry
 
Kent County Economic Development Office – $ 500 to support two educational seminars to increase and diversify the use of agricultural land by providing lessons on grape production

2007 Grant Winners

LEAD Maryland – $2,500 Bell Nursery grant

Great Frederick Fair – $1,000

Montgomery County Ag Fair – $750

Frederick County Farm Museum – $750

Kent County MCE – $500

Wicomico County MCE – $500

Garrett-Preston Rural Development Coalition – $500

UM-AGNR – Edwin Remsberg – $500

2006 Grant Winners

Bell Nursery Grants to South Carroll FFA – $2,200 to be used for the purpose of conducting a “Food for American Agriculture” literacy project with elementary students and Allegany County Cooperative Extension Service – $300 for the continuation of “Kids Growing with Grains and Animals Too” program for kindergarten students

Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Agricultural Task Force – $1,000 to assist with development and production of a county directory of farms and farm products and services

LEAD Maryland – $1,000 to offset expenses associated with seminars for the agricultural leadership development program

Great Frederick Fair – $1,000 for the continuation of the “Let’s Grow a Pizza” agricultural education program designed to enhance the public’s awareness of how the food they eat is produced

Washington County AG Expo – $750 to educate children where their food comes from including a petting zoo where 4-H members explain about the animal care and the products produced by each species

Harford County Farm Bureau Farm Visitation Day Committee – $750 to educate county residents about the agricultural industry through visits on three farms

2005 Grant Winners

2004 Grant Winners

2003 Grant Winners

LEAD Maryland – $1200 to support cost of speakers and tours of local agricultural industry for participants in the leadership development program

Bay Hundred Education Foundation – $500 to be used to help fund the Maryland Mobile Ag Science Lab at Tilghman Elementary School

Garrett-Preston Rural Development Coalition – $600 for use in the production of brochures, flyers, advertisements and follow-up packets for a regional one-day sustainable ag conference.

Washington County Cooperative Extension – $400 to support a series of educational programs for youth at the Washington County Ag Expo.

Maryland FFA Foundation – $800 to help purchase a portable display for use in promoting Maryland FFA and the FFA Foundation

2002 Grant Winners

LEAD Maryland – to support cost of speakers and tours of local agricultural industry for participants in the leadership-developing program

Frederick County Office of Economic Development – to assist in developing educational exhibits for a self-guided farm tour in October 2002

Howard County Economic Development – to develop agricultural industry information packets for libraries

Washington County Extension – to support a series of educational programs for youth at the Washington County Ag Expo

Montgomery County Agricultural Center – to buy materials for farm animal cut-out display and grain play box for use at the fair