Apply for LEAD Maryland Today!

LEAD MarylandThe LEAD Maryland Foundation, Inc. (LEAD) is seeking applicants for its next class of LEAD Fellows.  Program information and the application are available at  or the University of Maryland Extension’s website at . Completed applications are due to LEAD by October 1, 2014 for participation in 2015-2016.

LEAD Maryland awards two-year fellowships to selected participants, creating classes of 20-25 emerging leaders. The LEAD fellowship curriculum focuses on providing public issues education, skills building, leadership development, and personal growth. Through program participation, Fellows become more equipped to solve problems, identify resources, engage and educate, and to provide leadership in shaping public policy and serving others.

To date 177 Fellows have completed the program. “Over the past 15 years, LEAD Maryland has proven to be a very successful leadership program and I encourage anyone who is interested to apply,” said Agriculture Secretary and LEAD Maryland Foundation Board Member Buddy Hance. “During the program, fellows gain a deep understanding of agricultural, natural resource and rural community issues. Many of the graduates have gone on to be effective advocates for the betterment of these communities through their careers and personal lives.”

LEAD seeks a diversity of applicants with interests in:

  • Rural, suburban, or urban production agriculture;
  • Natural resources, forestry and other natural resource-based industries, and the environment;
  • Food processing, food sourcing, distribution, service and retail;
  • Rural communities, services, and rural development; and
  • Business, communications, education, government, science, technology, nonprofits, land use, and others within or serving agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities.

During 2015 and 2016, LEAD Class IX will complete a series of nine multi-day seminars held at locations throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C.; and the Fellows will participate in a travel study tour.  The current class, Class VIII (2013-14), will travel to South Africa in early 2015 to complete their study tour.  The study tour destination for the new class will be chosen after the class has been selected and has met for its initial seminars.

“The LEAD program is valuable asset for anyone who is interested in knowledge.  It is a great way to learn about the diverse components of Maryland agriculture and, most importantly, it provides a network of professionals and experts that become a resource.  Through that LEAD connection I have met some great people that I rely on for advice and support,” said LEAD program graduate Cricket Goodall, executive director for the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and Maryland Million Ltd.

The LEAD Maryland Foundation is a partnership 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying and developing leadership to serve Maryland’s agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Key sponsoring organizations of the program include Maryland Department of Agriculture, University of Maryland Extension, Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board, Maryland Farm Bureau, Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, the Farm Credit System, the Maryland Agriculture Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund, and the Maryland Soybean Board. These and many other sponsors and individuals provide financial, in kind, and volunteer support to the nonprofit.

For more information, call the LEAD office at 410.827.8056 or email

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