LEAD Maryland announces next class of fellows

QUEENSTOWN, Md. (Dec. 6, 2016) — The LEAD Maryland Foundation has awarded fellowships to 24 emerging leaders from across the state to participate in the program’s 10th class.
LEAD Maryland fellowships are for two years and provide participants with public issues education, skills building, leadership development, and personal growth.
By participating in the program, fellows become better equipped to solve problems, identify resources, engage and educate others and influence public policy important to Maryland’s farmers.
The foundation selects fellows in a competitive process who have demonstrated emerging leadership abilities and a genuine interest in agricultural, natural resources, and rural community issues.
“We are also fortunate and honored to have many, many program partners and funders. The LEAD Maryland program could not provide the quality and diverse educational and leadership experiences that have become its hallmark without the continued support of our dedicated funders,” said LEAD Maryland Foundation President Vanessa Finney. “On behalf of the board, alumni, and current fellows, I thank all those who make the financial commitment to the future success of LEAD Maryland. Our program could not thrive without your investment.”   
Participants will complete a series of multi-day seminars held throughout Maryland and Washington  in 2017 and 2018, along with a study tour and class project. The first seminar for the new Class X cohort is scheduled for February 2017.
The Class X fellows, by county, are:
• Anne Arundel: Amy Crone, executive director, Maryland Farmers Market Association
• Baltimore: Regina Welsh, steeplechase racehorse trainer; executive director, North American Pt to Pt Association; Founder, US Pony Racing LLC.
• Calvert: Catherine Cosgrove, owner/farmer, Horsmon Farm (agri-tourism, pumpkins, mums, beef cattle, market hogs, chickens and hay); Rachael O’Shea, rural planner, Community Planning and Building Dept., Calvert County Government; Karyn Owens, farm staff, Sassafras Creek Farm
• Caroline: Melissa Welsh, 4-H Educator, University of Maryland Extension
• Carroll: Katherine Dotterer-Pyle, operator, Cow Comfort Inn Dairy; Producer Relations Coordinator, American Dairy Association North East
• Charles: Gilbert Bowling III, captain, Prince George’s County Police Department; operator, Newport Valley Farm;
• Dorchester: Aleya Fraser, Delmarva program manager, Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture; Emily Zobel, agriculture Extension assistant, University of Maryland Extension
• Frederick: David Gordon, principal agent associate, University of Maryland Extension
• Kent: Danielle Bauer, programs and public relations director, Thompson Agriculture Consulting; Jenny Lee, conservation planner, Kent Soil and Water Conservation District, Maryland Department of Agriculture; Tom Speakman Jr., sales, Willard Agri Service
• Montgomery: Ben Butler, farm and finance manager, Butler’s Orchard
• Queen Anne’s: Alan C. Eck, farm manager, Eck Family Farm (chickens, hogs, bee, grain, straw, hay); Hannah Thompson-Weeman, director of communications, Animal Agriculture Alliance; Parker Welch, Eastern Shore Regional director and Young Farmer coordinator, Maryland Farm Bureau
• Somerset: Tara O’Neal, Conservation Planner, Somerset Soil Conservation District, Maryland Department of Agriculture
• St. Mary’s: Priscilla Wentworth, Tri-County Council, Southern Maryland Agricultural Commission; farm staff, Sassafras Creek Farm
Talbot: Amanda Clougherty, Executive director, Maryland 4-H Foundation, University of Maryland Extension; Lisa Cunningham, loan officer, MidAtlantic Farm Credit
• Wicomico: Karl Binns Jr., coordinator of recruitment, Retention and Experiential Learning, School of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore
• Worcester: Jessie Flores, senior agriculture agent associate, University of Maryland Extension.