The photo above: LEAD Class XII Fellows completed a 4-day seminar in Washington D.C. during April 2023. 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 two years, LEAD program curriculum delivers lessons through a series of 10 multi-day seminars and participation in a study tour.

You can find additional information about the LEAD Maryland Fellowship Program in the following brochures:

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

Infographic focused on the LEAD Maryland Program Curriculum

Class XIII is in session now (2024-25). It is anticipated that applications for the next cohort, Class XIV, will open June 1, 2025, closing October 1, 2025. Plans are to select Class XIV in late 2025, for participation in 2026-27.


Study Tour

LEAD Maryland's curriculum includes lessons learned through participation in a study tour. Fellows learn different perspectives on issues, trade, culture, government, agriculture, and the environment. Fellows see themselves and the world around them differently. Travel changes people and LEAD's 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), Poland (2018), Spain (2022), and Panama (2024).

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)