- Posted by Emily
- On October 17, 2022
- 0 Comments
- Great Trail State Coalition
- Year of the Trail
- Coalition of State Horse Councils
- American Horse Council Town Hall
- Hunt Horse Complex Show Manager’s Task Group
- NC SART
- NC Farm Bureau Policy Review
- NC State Fair Hall of Fame
- NCHC Financial Review
- NCHC Budget
- NCHC External Audit for Feed Referendum
- NCHC 50th Year Celebration
- Re-appointment to the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Legislative Committee
This has been the summer of planning for the Great Trail State Coalition and the 2023 Year of the Trail Celebration. With ZOOM meetings occurring two and three times a week, we are moving forward in making North Carolina a place you want to visit to experience the trails. The North Carolina Horse Council sits on multiple committees of the Great Trail State Coalition including: the Executive Committee, the Year of the Trail Committee, the Marketing Committee, and the Legislative Committee. As we have “Zoomed” through most of the meetings, several have been held in person. The following is a brief description of the work we have accomplished this summer.
- The establishment of a Governance document: The Great Trails State Coalition is a broad-based group of diverse outdoor recreation organizations, agencies and supporters advocating for increased state investment in all types of non-motorized trails statewide – hiking, paddle, mountain bike, equestrian, and shared use pathways. The Coalition is led by nonprofit organizations and individuals, businesses and governments are welcome to participate and advise.
- The Vision: North Carolina is the Great Trails State, where each of our 100 counties enjoys the proven benefits of trails, including health, safety, economic development, tourism, transportation, and environment.
- Mission: To promote the benefits of all types of non-motorized trails for all communities, increase state investment in an interconnected network of trails and greenways across a growing North Carolina to meet citizen needs, work through public and private partnerships, and brand North Carolina as the Great Trails State. The Coalition works collaboratively to promote the benefits of trails among all communities and increase state investment in trails.
- The Executive Committee has been established to provide necessary oversight of the Great Trails State Coalition, especially related to its finances, process management, and overall direction. We have met several times during this summer to determine the budget and staffing issues necessary to move the Coalition forward. One individual has been hired to fulfill the oversight of the Coalition. In addition, the Executive Committee is reviewing our lobbying needs for the upcoming General Assembly long session. Currently the NCHC lobbying team is being considered to represent the Coalition along with past lobbyist who were previously retained.
- The Legislative Committee met during and after the GA short session to define our legislative ask as we move into the 2023 session, we anticipate asking for $50 million dollars to fund a grant program for all non-state trail organizations. We continue to meet to define this request and will meet with the Coalition lobbyist again in September.
- The Year of the Trail Committee has met both via ZOOM and in person to prepare for 2023 activities. A final logo and tool kit materials have been selected and the Committee members are currently attending trail/outdoor oriented Conferences to “roll out” the year of the trail concept and activities. Fundraising continues and marketing and merchandise items are being drafted for use next year.
The Coalition of State Horse Councils has spent time this summer working on changing the paradigm for the structure of the Coalition. It is apparent that many States are unable financially to become members of the American Horse Council but can and want to benefit from the knowledge of a collective peer run Coalition. The CSHC Executive Team changed hands this summer, electing Justine Staten from Kansas as Chairperson, Sarah Coleman from Kentucky as Secretary and, Tom Tweeten from Minnesota as treasurer. North Carolina and Colorado have been asked to remain on the Executive Team as an advisor. Towards that end, the group has met to redefine our structure and identify the path forward.
The American Horse Council arranged a “Town Hall” meeting in August to share information from successful state councils, provide information on how to structure a state horse council and provide information on why it is important to be part of the American Horse Council.
Several state meetings were held during the summer months.
- The Hunt Horse Complex Show Mangers Task Group met with the Director of the State Fair and the manager of the Hunt Horse Complex to discuss how we can work together to improve the Hunt Horse Complex Facility. The meeting was very productive with a commitment from the State Fair to move forward with several maintenance items of concern and provide a permanent solution to the no nails, screws or staple policy enforced by the State Fair. The group committed to work together on other identified needs.
- The NC State Agriculture Reponses Team also met this summer to continue the development of our new strategic plan. A draft vision statement, mission statement and goals have initially been identified. The basic goals include
- Maintaining strong partnerships with Agriculture and Animal entities across the state in an effort to provide support in preparation and response to natural disasters in an advisory, educational or coordination role.
- Assist with building relationships in communities across North Carolina, if needed, to increase the awareness of agriculture and animal disaster preparedness and response.
- Maintain a strong business culture with the 501(c) 3 to assist, when possible, with training in communities of highest risk of impacts from disasters with limited ability to better prepare and respond to disasters.
- The North Carolina Farm Bureau held their Policy Review Day in July. The Equine Committee met to discuss the existing policy statements. During our meeting we specifically addressed the need of financial support for the equine livestock shows during the State Fair. Additionally, a new policy resolution came forward to consider adding an equine representative to the NC Board of Agriculture, this question will be asked at each counties policy review day and if approved by the Farm Bureau State Board will be presented for a vote at the December Farm Bureau annual meeting. If this passes, it will be helpful to our lobbyist who will be promoting this addition during the next long session.
- The North Carolina State Fair Hall of Fame committee met this summer to consider nominees from several commodity groups which included equine this year. The North Carolina Horse Council nominated Joan Petty. Her nomination was forwarded to the State Fair Committee and was approved. Her induction will be the first Sunday of the 2022 State Fair.
Other internal issues that were addressed by the NCHC staff this summer include providing materials and answering questions from our external auditors to complete our fiscal review for the year 2021. We have re-engaged with an identified external auditor to begin the process of auditing several of the national feed mills to help improve the collection of the required fees. We also began the process of preparing the NCHC 2023 budget to adequately reflect our expected income.
To round out the summer, we have continued to work on our 50th year celebration. Plans are evolving for our annual night of celebration where we hope to recognize all the individuals who have helped make the NC Horse Council what it is today! And, I was renominated by Speaker Tim Moore to serve on the Agriculture and Forestry Awareness Legislative Committee.
Wow….what a summer.