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Category: State Agencies

Western Maryland: What do you need?

The University of Maryland Extension (UME) is committed to providing quality services for members of our agricultural community. In order to help UME, an Agriculture Needs Assessment has been created to understand issues concerning Western and Northern Maryland agriculture, identify agricultural and educational needs, and to focus UME training and resources. The survey has four main sections: 1) industry  priorities, concerns and viability 2) research and education needs 3) education and training preferences and 4) demographic and farm information. T There is no personally-identifying information collected from the survey. Click here to access the survey, which will be open...

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Racing Rocked Annapolis

By Tom LaMarra (originally published on tharacing.com, the official website for the national Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association). The Maryland racing industry’s efforts to educate lawmakers and present a unified front paid off during the 2017 General Assembly session that ended April 10. The Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act contained several provisions that, had they passed, would have shifted money from the Purse Dedication Account, which is funded by a percentage of video lottery terminal revenue at the state’s six casinos. On the table was a recommendation for the industry, not the state, to pay about $2.5 million for Maryland Racing...

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Anne Arundel County Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpes Virus

THIS JUST IN FROM THE MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: A horse stabled in ANNE ARUNDEL County has tested positive for the non-neuropathogenic form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1). On the evening of April 2, the horse was transported to Marion DuPont Scott Equine Health Center in Leesburg, Va., where it exhibited severe neurological signs, and was euthanized shortly after arrival. Diagnosis of EHV-1 was confirmed today, April 4, by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Animal Health Lab in Warrenton, Va. The farm is presently under a 21-day investigational hold and strict biosecurity measures are in place while...

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Fair Hill $250,000 Bond Bill

On Sat. March 11, legislators in both houses heard bond bills which would help fund improvements to the equestrian facilities at Fair Hill, which is owned and managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Senate Bill 708 and House Bill 977 would authorize the creation of a State Debt not to exceed $250,000, the proceeds to be used as a grant to The National Steeplechase Foundation, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of the Fair Hill Race Course. If passed, NSF would be required to acquire matching funds. The...

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Mucking for Gold

A bill not likely to pop up on the average horse person’s radar, but one that could have a subtle yet profound impact on the horse industry, is Senate Bill 99 and it cross-filed cousin House Bill 171. With the cumbersome and decidedly non-sexy title of “Environment: Yard Waste, and Food Residuals, and Other Organic Materials Diversion and Infrastructure – Study,” why would any horse person pay attention to this bill? And what does this bill do? In essence, this bill requires the Department of the Environment to consult with certain entities (including the Maryland Horse Council) and to...

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$30,000 awarded to 23 Maryland horse groups

  $30,000 in grants is being distributed by the Maryland Horse Industry Board (an ag commodity board housed at the Maryland Department of Agriculture) for 23 projects ranging from training to help animal control workers in equine welfare cases, enhance facilities for inner city children to learn about horses and horsemanship, and restore historic Maryland horse racing films from the 1920s that have never been seen by the public.  Nearly half of this year’s grantees received funding for projects related to 4-H, Pony Club and therapeutic horsemanship programs. (Scroll down to see who is getting a grant.) 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. The funding is collected through the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Weights & Measures Section (these are the folks that make sure that when you purchase a gallon of milk or gas is a true gallon, or that 50 lb bag of horse feed is 50 pounds). 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, and overall quality of the written presentation. Grants are capped at $3,000 in order to award funds to as many groups as possible. Grant recipients are required to file a project report...

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