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Horse owners to vote on feed fee

Staff report

Across the state, horse and other equine animal owners will vote this week 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.
According to Interim County Extension Director Melinda Houser, the vote in Lincoln County will take place at the Citizen Center on Tuesday from 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Any North Carolina resident who has reached his or her ninth birthday as of Jan. 1 and has complete or partial ownership or lease of a horse, pony, mule, donkey or hinny is eligible to vote. Individuals are required to sign a statement certifying eligibility at the time of voting.
If Tuesday’s vote is favorable, the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will continue to receive the assessment funds from manufacturers and/or distributors of horse feed and will remit the money to the NC Horse Council. According to the Lincoln County’s Cooperative Extension Services press release, the Horse Council has indicated the funds will be used for 4-H and other youth and educational programs, trails advocacy, equine research, representation of horse interests in government, marketing programs, enforcement of horse laws and improved public awareness of diseases and threats to horse health.
“The feed assessment has provided essential funding to the North Carolina Horse Council to meet a wide variety of needs throughout the horse industry,” North Carolina Horse Council President Sammy Jenkins said. “The economic impact of the horse industry is estimated to be over $1.2 billion annually. Employment of more than 10,000 people in North Carolina are directly or indirectly linked to the industry. This small self-assessment is just one way we can expand our services to horse owners and maximize the economic benefits of horse ownership.”
Those interested in more information should contact suegray@nchorsecouncil.com or (919) 854-1990(919) 854-1990.

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