Photo above: LEAD Class XI Fellows completed a 4-day seminar in Annapolis in February 2020. Image Credit: Edwin Remsberg/Remsberg Photography.


LEAD is an asset no matter your background, and I was able to learn a lot from my classmates as well.

Cathy Cosgrove (Class X)

About the LEAD Fellowship Program

The LEAD Program seeks applicants, age 21 or older, with career, service, or interest in: production agriculture, natural resources, the environment and conservation, food (processing, sourcing, distribution, marketing, safety), rural communities and development, business, communications, education, government, science and technology, finance, and much more. Fellowships provide:

  • Public Issues Education (PIE);
  • Personal growth and leadership development opportunities;
  • Communications and problem-solving skills training;
  • Support, direction, and resources to help emerging leaders succeed in serving agricultural, natural resources, and rural community sectors;
  • Opportunities to learn more about Maryland and to meet leaders from throughout the state.

Over the course of two years, LEAD program curriculum delivers lessons through a series of 9 multi-day seminars, as well as participation in an international study tour.

You can find additional information about the LEAD Maryland Fellowship Program and joining the next class, Class XIII (2024-2025), in the following brochures:

"Growing Leaders" (Overview of the LEAD Fellowship Program) 


International Study Tour

LEAD Maryland's curriculum includes lessons learned through participation in an international study tour. Fellows learn different perspectives of issues, trade, culture, government, agriculture, the environment, and more. Fellows see themselves and the world around them differently. Travel changes people and LEAD's international study tours allow Fellows to grow as leaders.

Photos below are from various LEAD study tours to Chile (2013), South Africa (2015), UAE and India (2017), and Poland (2018)  Photo credit: Edwin Remsberg/Remsberg Photography.

Learning and experiencing other cultures, how things are done differently, good or bad, and bringing it to the farm to either apply it or learn from it made a big impact on me. Travel throughout the state and the world gave me fuel for thought about ways to diversify, be productive, and market to customers.

Alan Eck (Class X)

In Their Own Words

LEAD Maryland Class X (2017-2018)

LEAD Maryland Class IX (2015-2016)

LEAD Maryland Class VIII (2013-2014)

LEAD Maryland Class VII (2011-2012)

LEAD Alumni share their thoughts and experiences of how participation in the program has positively impacted their personal and professional lives. 

Videos courtesy of the team at Edwin Resmberg/Remsberg Photography.

I've made better friendships over the past year than I have in the past 20. They are the type of friends who reach out just to check on you, the type that text your wife because they know how busy you are, the type that will stop what they are doing because they know you need help.

Karl Shlagel (Class XI)