The Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) is now accepting grant applications for research, educational and promotional projects that support horses or the equestrian community, or develop new opportunities for the Maryland horse industry.

Organizations eligible for MHIB grants include (but are not limited to) non-profit organizations, clubs and associations, businesses, farms and licensed stables, government entities, schools and educational institutions. Projects of interest to the Board include (but are not limited to) those that develop new opportunities and coincide with the board’s mission to increase awareness and growth of the Maryland horse industry. Projects are 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. Individual requests should not exceed $3,000. The average grant amount is approximately $1,200. In 2014, 28 projects received $30,000 in grant allocations.

Funding for these grants and for the MHIB is provided by “The Maryland Feed Fund,” which was established by the General Assembly in 2002. The refundable $6 per ton assessment on equine feed costs about $3 per horse to the horse owner and supports this grant program as well as other promotional, research and outreach activities undertaken by the MHIB. Since the grants program started, the board has awarded more than 250 grants totaling nearly $325,000.

“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,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “As a completely self-funded commodity marketing entity, consisting of private citizens who are stakeholders in the industry, MHIB is a model for how industry groups can help themselves, without relying on taxpayer dollars.”

All grant applications are due by October 3, 2014. Grant recipients will be announced no later than January 1, 2015. Funding will be available after that date. Projects should be completed by June 30, 2015. Click here for a copy of the grant guidelines and an application.

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, please click here .