Horse industry referendum March 8
Horse and other equine animal owners/lessors will vote across the state on March 8 to determine whether to continue to voluntarily assess themselves $4 per ton of commercial horse feed in order to provide funds to promote the interests of the horse industry.
Amy-Lynn Albertson, County Extension Director, says the vote in Rowan County will take place in the County Extension Center from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Any North Carolina resident who has reached his/her ninth birthday as of Jan. 1, and who has complete or partial ownership or lease of a 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. From now until March 8, horse owners may visit or phone the County Extension Center and request a ballot and absentee registration form.
These must be turned in to the Extension office by March 8, and will be counted along with others on March 9.
If the vote is favorable on March 9, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will continue to get the assessment funds from manufacturers and/or distributors of horse feed, and will give the money to the N.C. Horse Council.
The Horse Council has indicated that 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 other threats to horses’ well-being.
Many other agricultural commodities have similar voluntary assessment programs.
Horsemen may receive a refund of the assessment by writing to the N.C. Horse Council within a year of purchase and including proof of purchase.
The Rowan County Extension Center is located at 2727 Old Concord Road; phone 704-216-8970.