- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Horse and other equine animal owners/lessors will vote across the state on March 15 to determine whether to “continue” to voluntarily assess themselves $2 per ton of commercial horse feed to provide funds to promote the interests of the horse industry.
Melissa Hight, county extension coordinator, says the vote in Brunswick County will take place between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. in the county Extension Center. Any North Carolina resident who has reached his or her 9th birthday as of Jan. 1, 2011, 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. From Feb. 25-March 14 horse owners may visit or phone the county Extension Center and request a ballot and absentee registration form. These must be returned to the Extension office by March 14 and will be counted along with others on March 15.
If the vote is favorable on March 15, the N.C. 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 N.C. Horse Council. The council has indicated that the funds will be used for 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.
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.