Ho­gan gets agri­cul­tural ed­u­ca­tion at Havre de Grace stop

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CH­ERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— Gov. Larry Ho­gan and his wife, Yumi, toured the Mary­land Agri­cul­tural Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion (MAEF) Thurs­day at the Se­na­tor Wil­liam H. Amoss Ag Cen­ter at Swan Har­bor Farm as part of a three-day visit through Har­ford, Cecil and Kent coun­ties.

It was one of many stops on Ho­gan’s busy sched­ule in the three coun­ties.

MAEF staff and vol­un­teers briefed the gover­nor and first lady about their pri­mary mis­sion, which is to pro­mote the un­der­stand­ing and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the im­por­tance of agri­cul­ture in the daily lives of Mary­land cit­i­zens.

“Our agri­cul­ture in the class­room pro­gram re­ceives fi­nan­cial sup­port from the sale of Mary­land ‘ Ag Tag’ ve­hi­cle li­cense tags,” MAEF Board Pres­i­dent Gail Yeiser said, as she pinned a small “Ag Tag” pin on Ho­gan’s col­lar.

“Sit­ting in on some teacher train­ing ses­sions for the mo­bile lab pro­gram and be­ing a part of the many en­er­getic com­mit­tees re­spon­si­ble for the fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, as well as pro­grams for all grade lev­els has been in­spir­ing,” she said.

MAEF Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Ge­orge Mayo said though the foun­da­tion’s pro­grams and out­reach have con­tin­ued to grow since it start 26 years ago, they con­tinue to look for ways

HAVRE DE GRACE

to ex­pand and to ed­u­cate Mary­land youth on how im­por­tant agri­cul­ture is to their daily lives.

“We’re in schools in ev­ery county in Mary­land now ex­cept Mont­gomery County,” Mayo said, not­ing that agri­cul­ture ed­u­ca­tion is of­fered at ev­ery grade level and the foun­da­tion pro­vides teacher train­ing work­shops. “We try to make the farm ex­pe­ri­ence rel­e­vant to ev­ery­one.”

The foun­da­tion op­er­ates three mo­bile labs that can travel to a school for a week at a time to al­low teach­ers to per­form ex­per­i­ments and study with stu­dents. The labs in­clude top­ics like agri­cul­ture prod­ucts, food, fiber pro­duc­tion and aquatic life. In ad­di­tion, a fourth trailer pro­vides an in­ter­ac­tive, over­all agri­cul­ture ex­pe­ri­ence out­side of the school en­vi­ron­ment. It is called the Mary­land Agri­cul­ture Show­case and is suited for lo­cal fairs and fes­ti­vals.

Other pro­grams or­ga­nized by MAEF in­clude ur­ban gar­dens and agri­cul­ture lit­er­acy through pub­li­ca­tion of a chil­dren’s book with lessons for class­room learn­ing each year. This year’s book is “Amaz­ing! Mary­land Agri­cul­ture.” It is also avail­able in DVD, along with Take Me Out to the Corn­field and Mary­land Farm & Har­vest DVDs.

Mary­land of­fi­cials at­tend­ing the event Thurs­day walked through each of the mo­bile units parked out­side the MAEF of­fice at Swan Har­bor.

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY CH­ERYL MATTIX

Gov. Larry Ho­gan chats with agri­cul­ture sup­port­ers Thurs­day out­side one of the mo­bile labs at the Mary­land Agri­cul­tural Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion of­fice in Havre de Grace.

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