State Summary 2016 — Maryland
Much of 2016 was spent reviewing and updating the mobile science lab lessons to match the state standards in light of the state’s adoption of Common Core and Next Generation Science. There are over 25 lessons for each of three themed mobile science labs that travel to elementary schools across Maryland. The themes are Ag Products, Food, Fiber and You, and the Aquatics Lab. Additionally, lessons accompanying the Maryland Ag Literacy Book for 2016 were posted on the Foundation’s website at the following link: http://maefonline.com/programs_ag_literacy_2013_maryland_agricultural_education.html
Lessons for the Horse Discovery Centers were completed. The 20 middle school lessons were developed in collaboration with the Maryland Horse Industry Board and several of Maryland’s 35 approved Horse Discovery Centers. These lesson will be eventually be posted at www.maefonline.com.
Major Program Accomplishments or Outputs
One of the nation’s most affluent counties is Montgomery County Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC. In addition to being one of the most diverse communities on the planet Montgomery County legislators aggressively support legislation that challenges agriculture at every level. Encouraged by the County’s Farm Bureau members, the County Council approved a budget that included enough funding to engage one of MAEF’s mobile science classrooms in their county for the full school year. This collaboration has the benefit of informing students and teachers in the county about the importance of agriculture in everyone’s lives. There are 134 elementary schools in this county which will require four years to complete the cycle of visiting each school for one full week with the lab.
To continue to fully serve the rest of the state, MAEF purchased and launched a 4th mobile science lab to compensate for one lab’s dedicated service to one county. This new lab is a reprisal of the Ag Products lab theme.
It was a big year for the Foundation’s middle school and natural resources education director, Peggy Eppig who, in addition to earning her PhD in Agroecology, was awarded the National Farm Based Education Network’s Teacher of the Decade recognition. Her role in establishing and growing the Mid-Atlantic Farm Based Education Network and for spearheading the creation of lessons for farm based educators was celebrated at the award ceremonies.
Sustainability for ATIC - while sustaining agriculture is an important commitment, sustaining Ag in the Classroom programs and the host organizations is equally important. MAEF experienced a turnover of 9 Board members which could have been challenging for many organizations but proved to be very manageable. While Board training is part of the transition process, having an independent Foundation directed by a broad cross-section of leaders from agriculture and education ensures the organization’s survival.
Major Program Impacts or Outcomes
Mobile science labs - visited 21 of 23 counties visiting 89 schools with over 55,840 student visits with the help of 793 volunteers. General Outreach - MD Agriculture Showcase was visited by more than 35,000 people. The number of students and teachers reached through the AITC program exceeded 78,250 people. Maryland FFA - has grown to 48 chapters with over 2,400 members. (amazing for Maryland. MAEF provides the state staff for MD FFA).
Years with AITC: 1996-current; 1996-2004 - Volunteer; 2004-2016 - Staff
Education: BS Ornamental Horticulture 1977 Delaware Valley College, Doylestown, PA
Fellowship: LEAD Maryland Class V
Current Boards and Commissions:
Baltimore County Career and Technology Education Advisory Council (April, 2006 - present)
Baltimore County Workforce Development Council 2008 - 2015
Governor's Intergovernmental Commission for Agriculture (July, 2007 - present)
Maryland Agricultural Resource Council 2006 - present, currently president
Harford County Ag Advisory Board 2007 - present
Baltimore County Youth Development Council 2009 - 2015
Member - Maryland Nursery & Landscape Association
Member - Horticultural Society of Maryland
Member - Maryland Farm Bureau
Member - Gunpowder Junior Agricultural Club, Baltimore County
Advisor - North Harford High School Agricultural Program
Active - National Ag in the Classroom Organization 2005 - present
2004 - Present
Executive Director - Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, Inc. Havre de Grace, Maryland
2000 - 2004
Nursery and Landscape Consulting Glencoe, Maryland
1996 - 2000
Sales Manager - Bluemount Nurseries, Inc. Monkton Maryland.
1978 - 2000
Owner - Autumn Ridge, Inc., Glencoe, Maryland - Custom Landscape Contracting
1977 - 1982
City of Baltimore - Bureau of Const. Mgt. & Charles Center-Inner Harbor Management
1970 - 1985
Small farm management (family farm)