Soil Health Fellowship Program


The Million Acre Challenge (MAC) helps Maryland farmers build soil health, increase farm  profitability, and improve water quality – while making farms resilient and active in the face of  climate change. Our farmer-focused collaborative uses soil health science, economics, education,  and incentives to achieve our mission.  

The MAC Soil Health Fellowship will provide  opportunities for two students per year to gain invaluable experience working in the field and with  farmers, to better understand the challenges of agricultural production and how they relate to soil  health.  

Click here to learn more about the Million Acre Challenge.

How It Works 

The Million Acre Challenge Soil Health Fellow will work with the project’s Research Director,  and other MAC and University of Maryland Extension staff, to engage with Maryland farmers via the Pasa Soil Health Benchmark- a  large-scale community science soil health initiative in addition to  other Future Harvest, MAC and UME soil health focused programming. 

The MAC Fellow will receive a stipend of $7,500 and be expected to contribute 8 hours per  week to Million Acre Challenge activities during the 2023-2024 academic school year (October  2023-August 2024).  

Fellowship learning outcomes and activities will include: 

  • Assisting with soil sampling on collaborating farms on the Eastern Shore of MD (1-5  farms, depending on location) 
  • Reviewing farmer management records 
  • Data entry and management (Excel, Google Sheets) 
  • Attending virtual Soil Health Benchmark Study learning events 
  • Assisting on select MAC and Future Harvest soil health related workshop
  • Attending the 2022 Delmarva Soil Summit (Feb. 7-8, 2024) 
  • Joining MAC monthly calls to provide  feedback and share insights gained from workshop and event attendance


  • Applicants must be: 
  • Undergraduate student, in their 3rd or 4th year 
  • Majoring in Agriculture or Natural Resource Sciences. 
  • Interested in soil health as it relates to agriculture and environmental concerns 
  • Have completed Introduction to Soils, Introduction to Plant Science or  commensurate soil focused coursework 
  • In good academic standing with an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or  equivalent 
  • Available for a minimum of 8 hours per week October 2023-August 2024

How to Apply:  

Submit a Statement of Interest (500-word max.) to your academic advisor by September 15,  2023, that:  

1). Explains your interest in soil health, and how it relates to your current course of study.
2). How the MAC Soil Health Fellowship will add value to your academic pursuits and post academic employment goals.

This position is funded through a UMES NIFA grant.