ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced the Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) has awarded $30,500 in grants to 31 organizations and equestrian operations. Representing a variety of equine groups and disciplines across the state, the committee selected projects from a pool of 41 applicants.
Funding for these grants and the MHIB is provided by the Maryland Feed Fund, which collects $6 on every ton of horse feed sold in the state. Established in 2002, the Fund has provided over $600,000 in grants to more than 400 projects.
“We are delighted that we are able to continue to make these grants year after year. We try to reach out to a cross section of as many groups as we can and that represent different disciplines and geographic areas of the state ,” said MHIB board chair Jim Steele. This year’s recipients included funds for equine education and welfare projects, urban and Western riding programs, youth activities, therapeutic riding centers and other equestrian disciplines either supported by statewide organizations or based in 15 of Maryland’s 23 counties.
A full list of recipients including a synopsis of each project is available on the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s website www.mda.maryland.gov/
“Horses are a critical component of Maryland’s agricultural industry. The Maryland Horse Industry Board and the Feed Fund help stimulate growth and opportunity in Maryland’s equestrian community without using any government funding,” Steele said. “This self-funded commodity marketing entity is a model of how industry groups can help themselves without relying on taxpayer dollars.”
Projects are evaluated based on their value to the industry, degree of industry promotion, size and scope of activity, financial need, potential for matching funds, benefits and overall quality of the written presentation. Grants are capped at $3,000 in order to award funds to as many groups as possible. Eligible projects should have a completion date no later than June 30, 2023 although exceptions can be granted. Grant recipients are required to file a project report with the Board detailing how the money was used.
The Maryland Horse Industry Board was established in 1998 to promote and develop the equine industry in Maryland. For more information about the grants program and the Board, please visit our website. You can also contact Executive Director Ross Peddicord at (240)344-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Jessica Hackett, Maryland Department of Agriculture