As agriculture becomes more remote from the everyday lives of most County residents, the Office of Agriculture has been diligent in promoting agricultural education opportunities to allow residents the opportunity to learn about farming and food production.

Mobile Science Lab

Since September 2015, the OAG has worked to ensure that the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation’s Mobile Science Lab is scheduled for elementary school visits in Montgomery County. On average, the Mobile Science Lab visits 27 schools from September through June of each year, providing students with hands-on investigations relating to agriculture, the environment, and food.

Close Encounters with Ag

Close Encounters with Agriculture is an award-winning program offered each year to Montgomery County fourth grade students. Since 1993, over 80,000 students have participated in this hands-on educational program designed to teach students about modern agriculture, maintaining a healthy environment, and leading a healthy lifestyle.


Envirothon is a competitive national program for high school students that tests students on their knowledge of the natural world. The topics include aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and a 5th Issue that rotates each year through a current topic in environmental science, such as invasive species or the Chesapeake Bay. All topics are very hands-on, include practical skills, and are taught by experts in each field. Teams of 5 students work together over the course of the school year to study Maryland’s natural resources and then have the opportunity to compete against other teams at the County, State and National level.

High School Outreach

The OAG partners with Montgomery Countryside Alliance, University of Maryland Extension, and Kingsbury Orchard to bring information about career opportunities in agriculture to students studying agriculture, horticulture, and global ecology at Damascus, Sherwood, and Poolesville High Schools. These “real world” perspectives provide students with valuable information that complements their school programming. In the spring, the students and partners take a farm tour field trip to see agricultural science, food and fiber production, and marketing in action and to meet local farmers working in these important careers.

Protecting Chesapeake Bay

Every drop of water that falls in Montgomery County will make its way to the Bay or one of its tributaries. Along the way, it will pick up and carry with it the things that we put on the ground. From My Backyard to Our Bay offers ideas for how you can contribute to the health of your local watershed, maintain an environmentally friendly lawn, and manage stormwater runoff, wells, and septic systems – all in ways that will reduce the flow of nutrients and sediment to the Bay.

Ag Reserve Bus Image

Ag Reserve Bus Tours

The Office of Agriculture and the County’s Department of Transportation partner to provide day-long educational tours of the Ag Reserve from early Spring through late Fall. The tours are open to the public with advanced registration, and are narrated by representatives from the Office of Agriculture and county farmers. Tours make stops at working farms, farm markets, and agritourism establishments along the route where participants can meet local farmers and purchase local products. For more information, or to inquire about signing up for a tour, please contact : [email protected].