Today, in Brookeville, MD, it's a gloomy Tuesday. Overcast, chilly and flash flooding expected later this afternoon. Awesome!
Remember that reporter I mentioned last week? Well, she came out and we got a lot accomplished. I wanted to follow up and give you some more details! The reporter is doing an article for The Bay Journal on horse farms and the bay restoration. She came for a little visit to the farm and so I showed her around.
I showed her where we had done best management practices (double fencing) because we know that it keeps the horses from wearing down along the fence lines and it gives a grass barrier to catch runoff between fields.
I also showed her where the new regulations were going to require us to build fences (at an estimated cost of $50,000) even though we know that horses don’t congregate in streams like other livestock. I talked about how everyone says there is “cost share” available, but that it only does that for wire fencing and not the cost of board fencing, so it actually covers less than 25% of our cost. Plus the fact that we will be responsible for the maintenance costs and upkeep. Board fences don’t last forever and there is no additional help for upkeep. And, additional costs should the fences be destroyed in a heavy storm, which has happened here many times, they are not covered.
I talked about how we are being put at an economic disadvantage to other facilities around us in neighboring states because they aren't having to bear this burden. We can’t raise our prices because people will just move to other states where the boarding fees aren't as high.
We (agriculture in Maryland) are being asked to bear the burden when our industry has significantly decreased in numbers in the state over the course of time. How the equine population in Maryland is 79,100 in 2010 and that number has decreased by 7% since 2002, yet there are 5,773,552 people in the state in 2010, an increase of 9% over 2000. Where do you think the pollution to the bay is coming from?
Just something to think about!
Have a great day!