Horse Council Committee

The Maine Farm Bureau Horse Council (MFBHC) was formed in 1995. MFBHC is a state horse council affiliated with the American Horse Council. Locally, our council is a branch of the Maine Farm Bureau Association. Both organizations are statewide, private, non-profit, grassroots organizations funded through membership dues.

Our mission is to preserve, promote and protect horses, horse-related activities and the equine industry in the state of Maine. Membership in MFBHC offers many benefits to the horse owner and the horse-related business owner. By joining, you will be working to protect your rights as a horse owner and business owners will have valuable marketing and networking opportunities. Our motto is “Strength in Numbers.” Only if we pull together as a united front can we be effective in protecting and promoting our interests in Maine.

“The purpose of a state horse council is to promote the interests of the entire industry through political action, public information and the development of a close working relationship among individuals and organizations who recognize the importance of the horse industry to the economic, social and cultural well-being of the state.” – The American Horse Council

What has the Horse Council done for you?
• Drafted, sponsored and enacted an Equine Limit to Liability Law, which will help to protect all Maine horse owners from frivolous lawsuits.
• Abolished the “hay tax” on hay sold for equine consumption. Maine horse owners no longer have to pay state sales tax on products used in agricultural production.
• Stopped efforts to impose stable licensing laws.
• Sponsored repeal of “Damage by Animals” law, which held horse owners liable for damage and/or personal injury caused by their horses, regardless of fault.
• Sponsored amendment of “Landowner Liability” law to include horse-related activities, making private landowners more likely to allow you use of their land.
• Helped stop efforts to allow Sunday hunting.
• Worked to clarify existing horse trailer laws and regulations.

If you care about horses in Maine, do not wait. Join us today!

Current Council Board

Committee Chair: Robert Morin
The Maine Farm Bureau Horse Council welcomes Robert Morin, of Waldoboro as the new Committee Chair, effective 2013. Robert is the Owner and Trainer at Barrel Mill Farm Equine Training and has many great ideas and a wealth of knowledge to invigorate this committee!

Horse Council Board Members
Amy Beem, Palmyra
Meg Black, Deer Isle
Cynthia Hodak, Biddeford
Don Marean, Hollis

Horse Directory
Horse Directories are available in the office. This is a comprehensive listing of Farm Bureau members offering services applicable to those in the equine industry – whether recreational or professional – offering resources for hay, lessons, boarding and more.

Equine Photo Contest
We are now taking submissions for the Equine Photo Contest – deadline September 30th.  If you are a Maine Farm Bureau member and would like to participate, please send jpegs to

Horse Farm of Merit Program
The deadline for application to the Horse Farm of Merit Program is September 15th.  Call 1-207-622-4111 or email to request an application!

The Maine Farm Bureau’s “Horse Farm of Merit” program recognizes Maine horse farms that meet high standards for overall horse health, farm management and compliance with public safety.

The intent of the program is to recognize and promote those farms that meet or exceed the established standards. Qualified equine professionals will evaluate horse farms. The program will provide the public with a list of farms meeting the standards and provide beneficial information to the farms. The program has been developed and is overseen by the Maine Farm Bureau.

Program Overview
Certificates of Merit are based on criteria of horse health, farm management and public standards compliance. A Certificate of Merit may be used for promotion of the farm for the duration of the year. The suitability of the farm for the breed or type of activity conducted will be considered when scoring each farm. Farms are judged annually. Judging visits will be scheduled with the farms. Recipients will receive a distinctive sign that can be used at their discretion.

Program Rules

  1. A Certificate of Merit and sign will be presented at the Maine Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. The certificate will be valid for the succeeding calendar year.
  2. Applicants must have at least two years of involvement in the horse industry.
  3. Horse Farm of Merit signs are the property of the Maine Farm Bureau and may be reclaimed if the farm fails to maintain the standards of the program.
  4. There shall be a non-refundable annual application fee of $25 for Maine Farm Bureau members and $125 for non-members. Fees cover the cost of administering the program. No farm will be judged unless fees are paid.
  5. The sign shall not be displayed at or moved to other premises.

Judging Criteria
Each Farm will be judged upon the following criteria with the perfect score being 100%. Any farm scoring at 85% or higher will be considered a “Horse Farm of Merit” and recipient of the certificate. Two judges evaluate new applicants and one judge evaluates renewal applicants.

  1. Horse Health Management (possible 40 points)
    • General Appearance of Horses
    • Evidence of Equine Health
  2. Farm Management (possible 50 points)
    • Manure Management Program
    • Fire Protection/Prevention
    • Equine and Human First Aid
    • Emergency Removal/Evacuation Procedure
    • Condition of Tack and Equipment
    • Condition of Turnouts, Pastures, Riding Surfaces and Fencing
    • Condition of Stalls and aisle ways
    • Control of Pests and Vermin
    • Overall Condition of Farm and Facilities
  3. Business Practices (possible 10 points)
    • Documents
    • Liability Insurance
    • Waivers
    • Equine Limit to Liability signage