Maryland Horse Industry Grants Available

The Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) will be accepting grant applications for non-profit research, educational, and promotional equine activities beginning Aug. 1. The board intends to award more than $20,000 in grants that support or develop new opportunities for Maryland’s horse industry. Applications must be received by Sept. 30.

"The horse industry is a critical component of Maryland’s economy," said agriculture secretary Buddy Hance in a statement. "There are more than 79,000 horses in Maryland, and more than 28,000 citizens are employed in the equine industry. The Maryland Horse Industry Board works very hard to stimulate growth and opportunity in Maryland’s equestrian community. This grant program is one way it helps spur needed innovation and encourage those most committed to the industry."

Funding for the MHIB and its grants come from The Maryland Feed Fund, which collects $6 on every ton of horse feed sold in Maryland. It is an effective model for how industry groups can help themselves, without relying on taxpayer dollars. Since the fund was established in 2002, MHIB has awarded nearly $200,000 in grants to more than 175 projects throughout Maryland.

Organizations eligible for MHIB grants include 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, and benefits and quality of the written presentation. The board recommends grant requests not exceed $10,000. The largest grant awarded to date was $8,000; the average grant amount is about $1,200.

Grant recipients will be announced on or before Dec 1. Funding will be available after Jan. 1, 2012. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2012. For an application and more complete grant guidelines, visit www.mda.state.md.us/horseboard/grants.html.

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