Do you have a special project which needs funding? Perhaps an incubator project? Perhaps it is launching a new, Maryland-based equine product manufacturing business, which will create new jobs and economic impact for Maryland’s equine industry? Perhaps it is the launch of a unique equine-related non-profit? Or a way to expand knowledge of and about horses within the public school system? A cutting-edge rapid composting mechanism or method? A miracle cure for rain rot? A new app that will help equine spectator events sell more tickets?

Whatever your new or unique idea, concept, business, education program of charity might be, if you need some start-up or seed funding, then check out the Maryland Horse Industry Board grant program, which began accepting applications this week for 2017 funding for research, educational and promotional projects that support horses or the equestrian community, or develop new opportunities for the Maryland horse industry. Projects of interest to the Board include (but are not limited to) those that develop new opportunities for the Maryland horse industry. Among the organizations eligible for MHIB grants are non-profit organizations, clubs and associations, businesses, farms and stables, government entities, schools and educational institutions.

Projects will be evaluated for their value to the industry, degree of industry promotion, size and scope of activity, financial need, potential for matching funds, benefits and quality of the written presentation. Grant requests should not exceed $3,000. The average grant amount is approximately $1,000. In 2016, 30 projects received $30,000 in grant allocations.

Funding for these grants and for the Maryland Horse Industry Board is provided by the Maryland Feed Fund, which collects $6 on every ton of horse feed sold in Maryland. Since the fund was established in 2002, MHIB has awarded nearly $400,000 in grant monies to over 300 projects throughout Maryland.

“Horses are a critical component to Maryland’s agricultural industry. The Maryland Horse Industry Board and The Feed Fund do a terrific job in helping to stimulate growth and opportunity in Maryland’s equestrian community—without using any government funding,” said Horse Industry Board Chairman Jim Steele. “As a completely self-funded commodity marketing entity, MHIB is a model for how industry groups can help themselves without relying on taxpayer dollars.”

Application deadline is October 3.

Grant recipients will be announced no later than January 1, 2017. Funding will be available after that date. Projects should be completed by June 30, 2017.

The Maryland Horse Industry Board was established in 1998 to promote and develop the equine industry in Maryland. For grant guidelines, grant applications or more information on MHIB or the Feed Fund, click here or contact Executive Director Ross Peddicord at 410-841-5798 or