Grants and Teacher Awards

Are you looking for a grant?

From installing a garden at a school to providing financial assistance to those pursuing careers in agriculture, each year MAEF offers grants and scholarships to support agricultural education opportunities for everyone. All grants can be found in the tabs located below.

Please contact Executive Director, Susanne Zilberfarb for more information about current grant and scholarship opportunities.


The 2021 Kids in the Garden – Now Closed


The Kids in the Garden Grant is providing grants of up to $500 for K-12 teachers and community groups to create and distribute gardening kits. Whether you’re virtual, at-home or hybrid, we  want to help you get your students’ hands dirty this spring while supporting their exploration of horticulture science, the natural world and careers in ag!

How does it work? Complete and online application and provide a supplies/budget list for your garden kit project. If your project is selected, you will be sent the amount approved for your grant project. Build your garden kits and send them to your students! Use MAEF resources to teach your students about the importance of agriculture in their every day lives! 


Before filling out your application, please see this document for some trips at tricks for selecting your garden kit seeds: School-Garden-and-Growing-Kit-Tips


Questions you will need to prepare answer to in advance for the application:

  1. What are the educational goals for this project?
  2. Please provide a description of your project and how students will be using their kits during virtual or in-class instruction.
  3. How will the garden kits be integrated into the classroom curriculum? How will you align it with Common Core, NGSS, and Environmental Literacy Standards? (You may upload example lessons below).
  4. How will the project make connections to Maryland farms, the environment, food systems, and nutrition?
  5. If you were to receive the grant, how would publicize your project? Be specific.
  6. Please attach a spreadsheet of your materials list that includes the item, cost of that item, quantity of that item, and total cost. See example here:


2021 Kids in the Garden Grant Example Budget Form

You may make a copy of this document and upload it with your application.

Please fill out a copy of the application at the link below. If you have any questions, please e-mail Amie McDaniels at

Grant Deadline: February 28th, 2021

Meet MAEF’s 2021 Velma Clark Excellence in Teaching About Ag Award Recipient!

The Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, Inc. (MAEF) has selected Bethany Thornton, a librarian at Billingsley Elementary School of Charles County Public Schools for the 2021 Velma Clark Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Award. This award is given to a Maryland educator who has demonstrated dedication in providing meaningful learning opportunities for their students to understand the importance of agriculture in our daily lives.

Since attending her first Ag in the Classroom Conference in 2015, Thornton has been a passionate advocate for teaching about agriculture in and out of the classroom. Throughout her years as an educator, she has consistently used MAEF and National Ag in the Classroom learning resources to teach children and adults about how agriculture plays a role in their daily lives using “easily adaptable and engaging” agriculture-based lessons.

“Helping kids understand where their food comes from is really what drives my passion for agricultural education. Charles County has such a rich agricultural history, and I really try to focus on using our local history and agricultural commodities as a framework for what I teach. Building on students’ prior knowledge of agriculture through hands-on activities and experiences allows them to identify why agriculture is important to them on a personal level.  As a librarian, I’m able to see my students’ knowledge and appreciation of agriculture grow as they move from one year to the next. It’s really amazing,” says Thornton.

Thornton attributes the interdisciplinarity and adaptability of agriculture to her success of using agriculture as a vehicle to teach students about the world around them. “One of my favorite activities is to read How to Make Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman. It’s a great way to introduce students to new cultures and commodities from around the globe. Agriculture is just so diverse. You can teach anything with it!”

MAEF is happy to be recognizing Mrs. Thornton for her outstanding contributions to ag education! Congratulations, Bethany!

Meet Our 2020 Excellence in Teaching About Ag Award Recipient!

Karl J. Kidd, 2019 Recipient of The Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Award

This year, the Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Award was given to a Maryland teacher. This award recognizes teachers who go above and beyond in teaching about agriculture in their classroom. This year’s recipient was Karl J. Kidd of Urbana @ Sugarloaf Elementary School. Mr. Kidd has proven to be a wonderful teacher and advocate for agriculture in the classroom and his efforts for such were awarded on November 7th, 2019 at the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation’s 31st Annual Banquet and Auction.

Karl Kidd has been an elementary educator for the past 14 years. He graduated from Frostburg State University with a Bachelors of Science in Biology in 2006 and from Hood College with a Masters of Science in Curriculum and Instruction: Elementary Education in 2010. He and his wife, Becky attended Ag in the Classroom 10 years ago and he has been incorporating agriculture in his lesson plans ever since! Karl has been back as a teacher for Ag in the Classroom for the past several summers.  

Since attending Ag in the Classroom, Karl has not only taught his students about agriculture, but his school as well. Karl developed a school-wide Ag Program for grades preK-5 using literature and lessons to bring ag to the students at his school. He developed a fall “Pumpkin Chunkin” Ag Day and a Spring Ag and the Bay Day, highlighting environmentally friendly farming and Ag commodities in Maryland. Karl has brought in livestock, farmers, bee keepers, wool spinners, and more to engage the students’ school wide. Karl was the co-author of Amazing! Maryland Agriculture and attended the National Ag in the Classroom in Hershey, PA. Recently, Mr. Kidd hosted the 1 Million and Counting Celebration at Urbana @ Sugarloaf Elementary School, highlighting the mobile science lab’s outreach and education.  

MAEF is happy to be recognizing Mr.Kidd for all of this accomplishments, creativity, and dedication to teaching about agriculture in the classroom!

Become our 2022 Excellence in Teaching About Ag Award Winner!

2022 Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Award

The purpose of this award is to recognize a Maryland teacher for his/her excellent job in incorporating agriculture into his/her core curriculum. Recognizing that agriculture forms the backbone for our daily lives, MAEF celebrates those teachers who effectively integrate agriculture into their classrooms.

Eligibility:  State licensed PK-12 teachers who are currently integrating agricultural concepts into non-vocational, core subject areas (such as language arts, social studies, science, or mathematics). Applicants must be employed at a local public or private school.


Selection Criteria: Teachers must use agricultural information and/or materials in their classroom in order to help students learn the importance of agriculture while also mastering required educational standards. Special consideration will be given to those teachers using Agriculture in the Classroom materials in their classrooms.


Award: The teacher selected for our 2022 award will receive a $500 classroom stipend as well as a scholarship to attend the 2022 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference to be held in Saratoga Springs, NY, June 28 – July 1, 2021. The scholarship will cover the teacher’s full registration, travel, as well as lodging and meals. The Maryland winner will also be encouraged to apply for the National Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Award.


Application Process: Complete the application form, narrative, and lesson plan and mail or email to MAEF.

MAEF/MD Ag in the Classroom

Attn: Excellence Award

PO Box 536

Havre de Grace, MD 21078

 Or via email at


Application Deadline: Sunday, December 5, 2021

2020 Urban Garden Grant


This grant will open up again in April 2021.


Funding awards were announced in March 2020.  If you have any questions about the grant or grant process, please contact Amie McDaniels at (410) 939-9030, ext. 110 or email at

Please check back here for updates to this grant opportunity.

If you have any questions, please contact Executive Director, Susanne Zilberfarb at