Horse and other equine animal owners will vote across the state on March 9 to determine whether to continue to voluntarily assess themselves $2 per ton of commercial horse feed in order to provide funds to promote the interests of the horse industry.
Jeff Carpenter, Area Extension Livestock Agent, says the vote in Lincoln County will take place in the County Extension Center from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Any North Carolina resident who reached his/her ninth birthday as of Jan, 1, 2005 and who has complete or partial ownership or lease of an equine (horse, pony, mule, donkey or hinny) is eligible to vote. Individuals must sign a statement certifying eligibility at time of voting.
Since many horse owners work away from home during business hours, a provision has been made for absentee voting.
If the vote is favorable the N.C Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will continue to receive the assessment funds from manufactures and/or distributors of horse feed, and will remit the money to the N.C Horse Council. The Horse council has indicated that the funds will be used for 4-H 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 horsesâ€™ well-being.
Many other agricultural commodities have similar voluntary assessment programs.
Horsemen may receive a refund of the assessment by writing the N.C Horse Council within a year of purchase and include a proof of purchase.
by Staff Reports