Chairman G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and members of the House Committee on Agriculture want to hear from you in regard to the Farm Bill. In particular, they ask for any new programs or ideas that you, or the organization that you represent, would like to see considered for the 2023 Farm Bill.
As with any piece of legislation—local, state or federal—the American Horse Council encourages our members to take a few minutes to fill out the survey, which can be found online. Let them know how important it is to conduct a complete census of the horse and pony population in the United States.
Below, we have provided a template for a letter you can also send to the members of the House Committee on Agriculture, as well as your representatives. We encourage you to write a personalized paragraph introducing yourself, and then choose any or all the bullets points we have:
Dear <Representative Name>:
<Personally written intro paragraph>
I recommend the Farm Bill authorize a comprehensive census of horses and ponies to provide an accurate measure of the equine industry and its impact on the larger agriculture sector. The current equine census process used by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) lacks scope and accuracy because it excludes an estimated five million animals and an unknown number of operations and owners. Although these uncounted horses and ponies may anonymously reside in backyards, nonproduction farms and rescue facilities, they all have an impact beyond their surroundings:
- Lack of census data compromises the tracking and treating of equine and zoonotic diseases which could affect livestock and public health.
- Underreporting the equine population increases the risk of gaps in veterinarian service areas, especially in rural areas.
- Information collected in a comprehensive equine census will provide government, business, and nonprofit organizations with key data to inform policy-making on land-use decisions, economic development policies and natural disaster planning.
- Comprehensive equine census data are essential for the general economy because such information is useful for private-sector financial and business development.
Thank you for your attention to the equine industry and the necessities we need to keep the industry alive.
Any further questions, you can reach out to the American Horse Council’s Government Affairs Liaison, Brigid Shea: firstname.lastname@example.org