NC Horse Council to hold industry referendum

Published 11:52pm Monday, February 17, 2014

The North Carolina Horse Council has announced plans for holding an equine industry referendum to extend the Horse Industry Promotion Assessment, which was first authorized in 1999. The referendum will be conducted in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties on March 11.

Polling places will be set up in each county cooperative extension office. Horse owners will be able to vote on whether or not to extend, for three years, the $2 per ton assessment being paid by manufacturers of horse feed sold in North Carolina.

“The feed assessment has provided essential funding to the North Carolina Horse Council to meet a wide variety of needs throughout the horse industry,” said Sammy Jenkins, president of the North Carolina Horse Council. “The economic impact of the horse industry is estimated to be over $1.2 billion annually, so it plays a huge role in supporting the NC economy.”

“As never before, we have been able to financially support programs which assist horse owners across the state,” Sue Gray, executive director said. “We now have effective programs in place to assist with equine education, theft, disaster, animal welfare, environmental regulation, equine disease and liability issues. The NC Horse Council has made access and protection of trails a priority supported by the employment of a trails specialist. This assessment funding has truly advanced the North Carolina horse industry.”

Polling places will be open during regular business hours in each county cooperative extension service office. Any horse owner/leassor, over the age of 9, can vote. There is an absentee balloting system put in place for NC owners who are not able vote on March 11. To receive an absentee ballot call the Polk County Extension Center at 828-894-8218.

- article submitted
by Sarah Gottfried

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