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.


Our 2022 Velma M. Clark Excellence in Teaching About Ag Award is Open for Nominations!

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 forms below and submit to Tonya Wible at by December 5, 2021.

Application Deadline: Sunday, December 5, 2021


2022 Excellence in Teaching About Ag Award Application (PDF)

2022 Excellence in Teaching About Ag Award Application (with typeable fields)

For questions about the application or online form, please contact Elementary Education Director, Tonya Wible, at

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!

The 2021 Urban Garden Grant


The goal of the Urban Garden Grant is to increase the understanding and appreciation of agriculture in the lives of students living in urban areas while decreasing the amount of impervious surface in their community! School and community gardens help meet this goal through hands-on gardening and classroom activities that meet Common Core, Environmental Literacy, and NGSS standards. Garden projects offer students direct experience with growing, harvesting, and preparing fresh foods while learning about concepts in botany, nutrition, environmental stewardship, and engineering practices. 


MAEF will be offering up to $500 for the creation or expansion of community gardens. The deadline for grant application submissions is November 15, 2021 and must be submitted through the online application unless other arrangements have been made for submission. Funding awards will be announced by December 15, 2021. If you have any questions about the grant process, please e-mail Amie McDaniels at


Before filling out your application, please see this document for some tips at tricks for selecting your garden: School-Garden-Tips


Questions you will need to prepare answer to in advance for the application. Please type these in a document first and then copy and paste into the application (Wufoo is temperamental sometimes, and we don’t want your answers to be deleted):

  1. What are the educational goals for this project?
  2. How will you involve students in the garden? Similarly, how will you involve other teachers and community members in the garden?
  3. Describe your garden in terms of size, location on school grounds, types of plants and accessibility to water and sunlight. How much impervious surface will you reduce with this project? Be Specific. Check with the school system’s Office of Planning for other possible uses for the site you selected. (You may attach a site map, garden design sketch or photo)
  4. How will the garden be integrated into the classroom curriculum? How will you align it with Common Core, NGSS, and Environmental Literacy Standards? (You may attach lesson plans)
  5. How will the garden make connections to Maryland farms, the environment, food systems, and nutrition?
  6. What will you do with the harvested produce? Be specific.
  7. How will the garden project be publicized? Be specific.
  8. What other types of funding will help pay and sustain your garden? Be specific.
  9. How will the garden be maintained during the summer? Can you set up a service-learning component?
  10. How will the garden be maintained during the summer? Can you set up a service-learning component?

2021 Urban 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: November 15, 2021

Please check back here for updates to this grant opportunity.

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