ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Horse Industry Board, a program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture, has awarded $30,000 in grants to 33 organizations and equestrian operations that represent 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 Maryland Horse Industry Board is provided by the Maryland Feed Fund, which collects $6 on every ton of horse feed sold in the state. Since the fund was established in 2002, the board has awarded nearly $600,000 in grants to over 400 projects.
Several grants were awarded to pandemic-related projects, including funding for virtual learning kits and videos being produced by equine educational programs as well as financial aid given to replenish a hay and grain bank that helped licensed stables in spring 2020. Other recipients included projects related to industry requests from the 2019 Maryland Horse Forum, therapeutic riding programs, trail riding, ambulance rescue initiatives, and help for diverse equestrian disciplines like Western riding, pony breeding, and retired racehorses.
A full list of recipients, including a synopsis of each project, is available on the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s website.
“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,” said Board Chairman Jim Steele. “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, 2021. Grant recipients are required to file a project report with the board detailing how the money was used.
The board was established in 1998 to promote and develop the equine industry in Maryland. For more information about the grants program, visit the department’s website.