Polk, N.C. horse owners vote to keep horse feed assessment

Published 4:36 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Seventy-nine percent of Polk County horse owners who voted in the March 15 referendum, regarding a $2 assessment fee placed on commercial horse feed, voted to keep the fee in place.
State voters approved the measure as well.
Polk County Extension Agent Kendra Bissette said 12 percent of local horse owners participated in the vote.
“Usually there’s not high participation with these referendums,” Bissette said.
She said of those who cast votes, 28 percent did so by absentee ballot.
Twenty-one percent of voters locally voted down the measure.
North Carolina Horse Council representative Nancy Wilson said the council looks forward to another three years of funding for its aims to advance the state’s equine industries.
“We are thrilled the referendum passed so our efforts can continue,” Wilson said. Horse owners as young as 9 were allowed to vote.
The assessment fee began 12 years ago in an effort to boost funding for horse council activities.
Funds collected from the fee trickles down from the state to the N.C. Horse Council.
Wilson said the council uses the funds to support 4-H and other youth programs, REINS volunteer programs, trails advocacy, equine research, representation of horse interests in government, marketing programs, enforcement of horse laws and improved public awareness of diseases and other threats to horses’ well-being.
Voters must approve the continuation of the assessment every three years.
For more information, contact agriculture extension agent Kendra Bissette at 828-894-8218.

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