NH’s HORSE’s, Make Sure You are Counted-USDA

The NH Horse Council would like you to participate in the in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. 
America’s equine communities will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture and our industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Those who participated in the last Census in 2012 will automatically be mailed a survey that can be filled in and mailed back. If you were not part of the 2012 Census or have not received a form in the mail, you can go to the USDA’s census website  and click on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button through June.
The USDA census is done every 5 years to gather information on agricultural land that is owned or land leased by the operator and how that land was used. Is your land considered agriculture land, is it a farm?  NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold (could have been sold), during the census year. 
Horses, Ponies, Mules Burros and Donkeys are livestock and keeping them is an agriculture activity. It is likely that the value of your equine, if you could have normally sold it, to be $1000. Or you are producing income as an equine operation. So a horse in your backyard or your operation as a breeding, boarding, training or riding facility could be considered a farm or ranch. The backyard operation would be the most simplistic farm when interpreting NASS definition of a farm.  It does not matter how small or big the operation is.
The results of the 2012 Census shows a New Hampshire inventory of 975 farms and 9,097 horses and ponies and a separate inventory of 381 Mules, Donkeys and Burros and 155 farms.
Lets make sure the equine industry is counted.  The USDA website has a sampling of the questions that you can become familiar with that cover the many aspects of the agricultural industry. The list below gives you an idea of questions asked that relate to equine keeping, breeding, selling and other related equine sources.
· Number of acres owned or acres leased from others or leased to others.
· How many acres are in permanent pasture? Or other pasture?
· Did you improve your pasture or hay field, how?
· How many Horses, Ponies Mules Burros and Donkeys are owned by this operation
· How many Horses, Ponies Mules Burros and Donkeys are NOT owned by this operation. 
· Total number of Horses, Ponies Mules Burros and Donkeys sold
· Gross value of Sales of Horses, Ponies Mules Burros and Donkeys owned by this operation
· Gross value of  Horse breeding or stud fees
· Other income from farm related sources such as farm tours, hay rides, animal boarding, renting/leasing equines, training, or riding facilities
· Did you harvest any Hay?
· What types of renewable energy producing systems were on this operation,
· Report tractors, hay balers, trucks, etc. used on this operation
· What do have for hired or unpaid farm labor.
· Land expenses including Fertilizer, insecticides, seeds, etc.
· Expenses for purchasing or leasing Horses, Ponies Mules Burros and Donkeys 
· Expenses for feed, medical, fuels, utilities, Repairs, Supplies, Labor, property taxes.
· Market Value of land and buildings
· Value of machinery and equipment
· Do you have a barn that was built prior to 1960?
Your information is important to get a look at the amount of equines, what we contribute to or need from the agricultural industry. The census results are relied upon heavily by those who serve our communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and the equine community itself. 
It’s vital all properties with equines participate in the census so the USDA, and the nation at large, has accurate information regarding the size and scope of the equine community.
Thank You for your interest and we hope that you participate. Please share with your friends and horse owners in your town. Feel free to announce and post at events or social media. Lets get counted!

Info on Ticks, EEE and West Nile

NH Division of Public Health 2016 Tick Borne Disease Bulletin
Cornell University Lyme Disease Multiplex Testing for Horses
Life Cycle of the Tick
Tickborne Disease Prevention Plan
West Nile and EEE

Design Considerations for Equestrian Parking Lots

As we get closer to our goal of expanding the equestrian parking opportunities at New Hampshire State Parks, the presentation of a clear definition of the requirements of an equestian parking lot is a necessity.  A well thought out plan that takes in the needs of both trailer parking and passenger vehicle parking is important.  Click here to download a copy of our Equestrian Parking Plan.  It contains valuable information.

 Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails, Trailheads, and Campgrounds

Document produced by the USDA Forest Service in Missoula Montana 


The following information is
Courtesy of the Equine Land Conservation Resource
Working to keep land open for horses and horse related
activities.  Check out their website

Thanks to AQHA and Tractor Supply

A growing body of research indicates promoting respectful behaviors can enhance access to public and private lands and waters. Conversely, research indicates poor behaviors negatively impact efforts to sustain participation in outdoor recreation and recruit new outdoor enthusiasts. Unfortunately, in far too many instances, poor behaviors also lead to restricted access or complete closures. As a result, there is a growing need for horsemen and women to be educated in the areas of respected access and shared use of both public and private land in order for the equine community to maintain access for various equine related activities.   Last year, Tread Lightly!, with the support of the American Quarter Horse Association and Tractor Supply developed an awareness campaign, entitled "Respected Access is Open Access." The campaign reminds riders not to ride on wet trails, a practice that accelerates erosion and complicates relationships with land owners and managers. Now, through further funding by the AQHA Step Grant, ELCR is working with Tread Lightly! To deliver an expanded educational component around the previously developed PSA's. This project will continue throughout 2015.

From the Horse's Mouth

The industry's contribution to the U.S. GDP is greater than the motion picture services, railroad transportation, furniture and fixtures manufacturing and tobacco product manufacturing industries. It is only slightly smaller than the apparel and other textile products manufacturing industry.   To learn more about the economic impact of horses, click