From left: Michael Page, Jenny Rhodes, Jessica Clarke, Jenell Eck McHenry

Image Credit: Photos by Doug Bishop

April 18, 2023
By Jenny Rhodes

As our population continues to grow, agriculture is crucial for our survival; therefore, a coalition of agricultural educators and professionals joined together to host an educational experience for all 7th-grade students across our county.

This coalition hosted the 6th annual “Agriculture Awareness Day” on April 12, 2023, attended by Centreville and Sudlersville Middle schools. They were followed by Stevensville and Matapeake Middle schools on Thursday, April 13. The 7th-grade students of Queen Anne’s County Public Schools were invited to participate in a once in a lifetime educational experience to learn about Maryland’s number one industry: agriculture.

QAC Ag Awareness Day 2023

Educating the youth on agriculture and careers is a vital component of ensuring the long-term viability of the agriculture industry. With Agriculture Awareness Day, our goal is to expose the 7th graders in Queen Anne’s County to many facets of agriculture and the potential career options available to them,” said Jenny Rhodes, Principal Agent, Agriculture & Food Systems, University of Maryland Extension, Queen Anne’s County. “The University of Maryland Extension educators from throughout Maryland came together to support this program and initiative. It’s wonderful to see our community come together for a common goal.”

The program utilizes the Next Generation Science Standards and Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards to educate students about agriculture. With the use of educational stations throughout the day, students are fully involved in activities covering the variety of industries within agriculture while being introduced to the career opportunities within.

Ag Awareness Day 2023

“Our team works together as a family to continuously improve our stations to fit the 7th graders across the county,” said Jenell Eck McHenry, Programs and Public Relations Director for Thompson Ag Consulting (Maryland Grain Producers). “We are honored to have such great volunteers and educators to help make this annual event a huge success and keep the students involved and interactive.”

This educational experience was held at the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park during school hours. Local educators facilitated these stations and interacted with students to provide awareness on the diversity of agriculture on the Delmarva Peninsula. Stations covered agriculture’s ever-changing technology, food safety, pollinators, aquaculture, animal production, and grains grown in the county and their uses.

“Agricultural Awareness Day is a wonderful event that connects our students with the expansive world of agriculture and the industry that surrounds all of us here in Queen Anne’s County,” said Michael Page, QACPS Supervisor of Instruction. “The partnership between QACPS and our agricultural community is truly remarkable and is a model for collaboration around positive and relevant student learning experiences.”

The University of Maryland Extension team is here to serve the public and provide awareness, and encourages anyone to contact UME for more information. Find us at, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @umdextension.

Recognition for sponsors and volunteers:

Ag Awareness Day 2023
  • Horizon Farm Credit
  • Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board
  • Queen Anne’s County Board of Education
  • Queen Anne’s County Farm Bureau
  • University of Maryland Extension
  • University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension
  • University of Maryland Wye Research and Education Center
  • Arnold Farms
  • Black Dog Farms
  • CMF Show Cattle
  • Catoctin Mountain Orchard
  • Farm to Market 4-H Club
  • Growmark FS
  • James & Lynda Hall
  • King Show Lambs
  • Maryland Dairy Princess Association
  • Maryland Department of Agriculture
  • Maryland Farm Bureau
  • Maryland Soybean Board
  • Mike & Jill Cohey
  • Mountaire Farms
  • Nagel Farm Service
  • National Chicken Council
  • Pivot Bio
  • Pony Express 4-H Club
  • QACTV – Queen Anne’s County Television
  • Queen Anne’s County 4-Her’s
  • Queen Anne’s County 4-H-All Stars
  • Queen Anne’s County Commissioners
  • Queen Anne’s County Government
  • Queen Anne’s Soil Conservation
  • Queen Anne's County High School FFA members
  • Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners
  • Shear Joy Acres
  • Sheubrooks Family Farms
  • Tidewater Seed
  • Upper Shore Regional Council
  • Warrington Farms
  • Wheaton Show Pigs