ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Horse Industry Board, a program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture, has begun accepting grant applications as of Aug. 1 for research, educational and promotional projects that support horses, strengthen the equestrian community or develop new opportunities for the Maryland horse industry.

The deadline to apply is Oct. 15.

Among the organizations eligible for grants are nonprofits, clubs and associations, businesses, licensed farms and stables, government entities, schools, and educational institutions. Projects of interest to the board include (but are not limited to) those that develop new opportunities for the Maryland horse industry, a news release states.

“The Maryland horse industry adds an additional $1.3 billion dollars to the state economy and impacts more than 21,000 jobs,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder, in the news release. “As an important component of Maryland’s diverse agriculture sector and overall economy, the grants provided by the Maryland Horse Industry Board and the Maryland Feed Fund ensure that the state’s horse industry continues to grow and thrive for years to come. I encourage eligible organizations to fill out a grant application today.”

Projects will be evaluated for their value to the industry, degree of industry promotion, size and scope of activity, financial need, potential for matching funds, benefits, and quality of the written presentation.

Grant requests should not exceed $3,000. The average grant amount is approximately $1,000. In 2019, 31 projects received $30,000 in grant allocations.

Grant recipients will be announced no later than Jan. 1. Funding will be available after that date. Projects should be completed by June 30.

Funding for these grants and for the Maryland Horse Industry Board is provided by the Maryland Feed Fund, which collects $6 on every ton of horse feed sold in Maryland.

Since the fund was first established in 2002, the Maryland Horse Industry Board has awarded over $500,000 in grants to over 350 projects throughout Maryland.

The Maryland Horse Industry Board was established in 1998 to promote and develop the equine industry in Maryland, the release states.

For grant guidelines, grant applications, or more information on the Maryland Horse Industry Board or the Maryland Feed Fund, visit the board’s website or contact the board’s Executive Director Ross Peddicord at 410-841-5798 or ross.peddicord@maryland.gov.

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