University of Maryland Extension

Close Encounters

Close Encounters with Agriculture (CEWA) has been in existence since 1992.  It has become a much sought after field trip for Montgomery County 4th graders, and every year we have a wait list within 2 hours of the signup.

The children arrive by 10am, and are divided into three large groups.  Each group begins at one of three activity centers: Nutrition & Plant, Production Agriculture & Barn, or Environment.  Each of these centers includes short lessons taught by MG & 4-H volunteers, local farmers, Extension or Soil Conservation employees. Once the group has completed all the stations in one center, they are guided to the next activity center until they have been to each area and depart the farm at about 1pm, with their Goody Bags!  There are various teaching methods utilized- demonstrations, models,  relay races and games.  An attempt is made to incorporate as much hands-on learning and fun as possible.

MG Volunteer sign-up is available for Nutrition & Plant, Production Agriculture and Barn (relay race), and Environment.  If  you are particularly interested in working with pigs or with beef or dairy cattle, please contact Doug Tregoning at 301-590-2809 and leave a message.  We also have sign-up available for Goody Bag stuffing.

For a detailed description of volunteer duties, read the article on Close Encounters here.

Please note: If you are new to CEWA it is most helpful to sign up for one activity for several consecutive days- so you can really get a feel for it, rather than signing up for a different section each time. Please also be flexible- at times the activity leaders may need to change assignments to fill holes (life happens!). We try to give all the volunteers, especially interns, a chance to visit other activities if we have enough volunteers.

Please arrive on time, dress for the weather (many stations are out of doors) and stay for lunch (sponsored by extension volunteers and by MG), once the buses depart.

Click here to sign up for Goody Bag stuffing (Wednesday, October 2). 

Click on the appropriate week to sign up for all other CEWA volunteer opportunities:

Canister Fill (various dates)

Week 1 (October 8 to October 11)

Week 2 (October 15 to October 18)

Week 3 (October 21 to October 24)

Week 4 (October 28 to October 30)

Click here to view the learning scripts for various stations at Close Encounters With Agriculture.

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