UMES' AgDiscovery summer program comes to a close | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

UMES' AgDiscovery summer program comes to a close

  • Group-AgDiscoveryPRINCESS ANNE, MD-(July 2, 2021)-A group of 19 middle and high school students from the Mid-Atlantic were fortunate that COVID-19 restrictions eased for them to experience an in-person AgDiscovery summer program (June 13-26) this year at UMES.  As with many activities, the 2020 edition was canceled.

    “We are so happy that conditions allowed for participants to reside in dorms and have the opportunity to see what it is like living on a college campus,” said Corrie Cotton, a research assistant professor in UMES’ Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences and one of the program directors.  “Everything was a little different this year due to COVID modifications, but we were still able to provide an educational and enjoyable program.”

    Participants, she said, liked the hands-on UMES Extension 4-H STEM activities such as understanding water quality and riparian buffers.  They interacted with scientists conducting state-of-the-art research at the UMES Agricultural Experiment Station. Some of their exit comments were that they felt like they learned a lot of new informtion and thought it was interesting visiting labs in the Food Science and Technology Building. 

    Interactions with animals were a big hit.  An Australian shepherd and basset hound were the stars during an agility demonstration and animal care workshop.  A full-day field trip included stops to a Century Farm, Pop’s Old Place, in Hurlock, Maryland, and Outstanding Dreams Alpaca Farm in Preston, Maryland.  At Pop’s Old Place, youth got a first-hand look at a small farm operation with free-range chickens, and grass-fed sheep, mule-foot pigs and Randall cows.  They enjoyed seeing and petting the alpacas in Preston and even purchased socks and other items from the family store to take home as souvenirs from their summer experience. 

    Students commented positively on the social aspects of the program.  One camper said, “Getting to know people from different areas and making possible life-long friendships was really cool.”  Weekend and evening activities such as a paint party, movie nights, a party at the university’s bowling alley, 4-H activities and downtime playing games were popular.

    Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, AgDiscovery is a free opportunity for young minds to explore agricultural sciences and gain knowledge about related careers, Cotton said.  UMES’ program is in its ninth year and has introduced over 150 students to the diverse careers and opportunities in the field.

     “Agriculture is so much more than farming,” Cotton said. “It touches every aspect of our lives.”

    Click here for AgDiscovery Photo Gallery!

    Pops Place 

    Pop's Old Place in Hurlock, Maryland
    Photo by Corrie Cotton 

    Outstanding Dreams Alpaca Farm in Preston, Maryland
    Photo by Corrie Cotton 

    Gail Stephens, agricultural communications and media associate, School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 410-621-3850, 

    Top photo and Photo Gallery photos by Todd Dudek, agricultural communications photographer/videographer, School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore,