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Category: Perspectives & Points of View

Anne Arundel Equestrians: Underserved

By Janice Binkley (Edgewater, Maryland) The Problem Horse people in Anne Arundel County own over 10,200 acres. Despite the significance of the size of horse industry, Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks has only two dedicated equestrian facilities: Andover Equestrian Center near BWI and the Andy Smith Equestrian Facility in Broadneck. With limited amenities, these two facilities do not begin to address the need for equine-friendly open space in the county. There are six trail locations, but only thee have safe or accessible trailer parking, and two of these have locked gates (pass-codes are available via an online application...

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Is Anne Arundel increasingly Horse UN-Friendly?

Tonight, the Anne Arundel County Council will hear public comments on County Bill #75-16 for Zoning and Compost Facilities, a bill that many horse farm owners and managers would like to see pass, as it would that would permit a state-of-the-art composting facility designed to accept horse manure mixed with a small amount of food waste.  However, many county residents are opposing this bill, and are expected to come out en force against the bill tonight. Testifying for the bill tonight will be Steuart Pittman, who along with his family, owns and operates the 550 acre Dodon Farm in Davidsonville. Recently elected as vice-president of the Maryland Horse Council, Steuart Pittman also serves as a director on the Anne Arundel County Farm Bureau and is a District Supervisor of the Anne Arundel County Soil Conservation. Below is his testimony – and he is encouraging everyone in Anne Arundel County who supports this legislation to either attend tonight’s meeting or let the council know. Meanwhile, The Equiery wants to know: does your county have composting facilities that accept horse manure from off-site? Have there been complaints from neighbors? Please email us as Anne Arundel County, if it values its farmers and its environment, needs to support composting facilities and support Bill 75-16. A top priority of the Maryland Horse Council Farm Stewardship Committee, working closely with Chesapeake Bay Foundation...

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Attn Horse Biz Owners: What you need to know about your cash bank deposits.

  The article below is about what happened to a Maryland dairy farmer after the I.R.S. seized their operating capital, legally earned money, under a ostensible crime called “structuring” – but it could happen to you. If you buy or sell horses for cash, or regularly make bank deposits just under $10,000 each, read on to find out how the Maryland Farm Bureau is working hard to keep the IRS from seizing your lawfully earned income. Funds Returned to Local Farmers By Valerie Connelly, executive director of the Maryland Farm Bureau Another Maryland Farm Bureau policy was achieved this summer with the announcement that the IRS will finally return money seized from local farmers in a “structuring” nightmare that began in 2012. The seizure of bank accounts that year was so offensive to Maryland Farm Bureau members that our voting delegates wrote policy calling on the federal government to stop using its structuring law – that was intended to stop terrorists – as a means of stealing thousands of dollars from hard working farmers. MFB delegates successfully passed our policy at the AFBF national convention. Then we worked with Rep. Andy Harris of the 1st Congressional District to introduce legislation. Four years later, following numerous hearings by the House Ways & Means Oversight Subcommittee and work by groups inside and outside of Farm Bureau, the IRS agreed to return...

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Attention Howard County Planning & Zoning: Equestrian Easements Needed for Walker Meadows

  A letter to the editor from Equiery reader Wendy Emblin of Sykesville; readers may post comments below, or email them to or snail mail them to P.O. Box 610 Lisbon, MD 21765 I expect the readers are aware that–now that the recession and winter seem to be behind us–the developers are going mad and houses are springing up everywhere, particularly along Route 32 in Howard County, MD. I want to make people aware that there is a new subdivision still at the planning stage called Walker Meadows, which is adjacent to the McKeldin North area of the Patapsco Park. Walker...

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6 Men, 14 Horses, & 160 Baseless Counts of Criminal Animal Cruelty When The Equiery first reported on the case of the 14 cart ponies seized in Baltimore, we thought the seizure was tinged with racism and classism – and no small amount of elitism. That was January 2015. Fourteen months later, we are convinced of it. Unlike the animal control and State’s Attorney’s offices in various Maryland counties, most of which have been very cooperative, providing The Equiery with documentation regarding seizures in equine cases (special shout-outs to the State’s Attorneys in Queen Anne’s, Anne Arundel and Washington Counties), the Baltimore City...

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Reforming Maryland Manure Regs

-Jane Seigler, president, Maryland Horse Council The Maryland Horse Council applauds Governor Larry Hogan’s effort to reduce “overburdensome and out of control regulations” by establishing the Regulatory Reform Commission. To this end, we have recently asked the Commission to consider the requirements of COMAR, Nutrient Application Requirements, as set forth in the Maryland Nutrient Management Manual, Nutrient Application Requirements, Section III, (D) and (E). Specifically, we ask that the rule’s prohibition of winter spreading of manure be abolished as it applies to spreading of horse manure on horse farms. According to the most recent Maryland Equine Census, the state’s 79,100 horses reside on 16,040 separate properties that total 587,000 acres. The nutrient management regulations were conceived primarily to address nutrient runoff from large poultry and grain operations. We question whether their application to horse farm owners who rarely fertilize and whose manure piles consist primarily of hay, straw and wood shavings/sawdust is justified. We believe that the ban on spreading horse manure mixed with bedding on fields during the winter months is not only a burden on farms that have limited appropriate stacking sites, but also is a threat to our waterways. Horse farm owners have been educated for years to harrow their pastures and thus spread manure droppings so that the nutrients can benefit the soil. Likewise, they have been taught that the mix of manure with straw...

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