Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hold the Date!

Monday, February 17
Presidents' Day

4:00 - 6:00 pm

 Maryland Horse Council 

Contributing to Healthy Horses 
and a Healthy Environment in Maryland
  • Steuart Pittman on Environmental Legislative and Regulatory Issues
  • Update on the Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program (FSCAP)
  • Composting Regulations
  • Rob Schnabel on Buffer Strips, Stream Fencing and Cost Sharing 

Hosted by the 
Chesapeake Bay Foundation 

Philip Merrill Environmental Center

6 Herndon Avenue
Annapolis, MD  21403

Maryland Horse Council

Farm Stewardship Committee
Autumn Meeting
November 14, 2013
Potomac Hunt Club
Dickerson, Maryland
Jane Thery, Chair

Summary Notes

            Brainstorming on how to promote the Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program among horse farm owners and managers

            First the good news.  We now have 12 horse farms certified, with the newest addition being Larry and Jo-Anne Shaudies’ Surmont Farm in Poolesville.  Horse farms with a  total of 1,154.5 acres now have FSCAP certification. 

            Goal:  Sign up at least 10 more horse farms for the Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program (FSCAP) in 2014.   

            Ten obstacles to signing up more horse farms in the FSCAP program.

Farm owners/managers:

  1. Don’t know about the program
  2. Don’t know if they meet the criteria for certification
  3. Don’t see the advantages in becoming certified
  4. Think the process will take too much of their time
  5. Do not want outsiders on their farms
  6. Don’t know where to get assistance in meeting the certification criteria
  7. Are suspicious of environmental initiatives
  8. Don’t want the big green sign at their farm entrance
  9. Don’t want to be bothered with the paper work
  10. Are not willing to meet the criteria for certification

Ten ideas for actions to overcome these obstacles:

  1. Promote the FSCAP program at the Maryland Horse Expo – Standing banner?  Encourage MHC leaders with farms to get their farms certified to demonstrate support for the program.  Distribute more FSCAP horse brochures at tack shops.  Advertise the program in the Equiery and other farm-oriented publications and web sites and Facebook (Pony Club, Fox Hunts, H/J, PVDA, lesson barns, etc).  Promote the program at the Farm Bureau.
  2. Prepare and post a FAQ to clarify the program characteristics
  3. Prepare a list of reasons to become certified, including testimonials from certified farm owners/managers
  4. Prepare a description of the process of certification with all the steps required
  5. Ask owners/managers of certified farms to encourage their neighbors and friends to apply for the program
  6. Provide a list of resources for interested farm owner/managers to contact if they would like to become certified, including Soil Conservation District Equine Specialists
  7. Emphasize the healthy horses/ quality land management aspects of the program
  8. Offer additional options for certified farms – invitations to special events?  Special recognition from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation?  FSCAP horse blankets?  Other creative ideas?
  9. Provide a clear description of the paperwork required with time estimates for the preparation and farm visit
  10. Provide assistance and information on present and future regulations which will require elements of this voluntary program