The Maryland Horse Council's Farm Stewardship committee provides resources, articles, tips 'n tricks and connections to help make your horse farm truly sustainable.

 Original Committee Objectives and Proposed Short-Term Action Items
by Jane Thery, Chair

MHC Farm Stewardship Resources List | Maryland Composting Facilities | Manure Composting Information

 FarmStewardship1 {basicyoutube}-zPXHvL-1a8{/basicyoutube}
Highlights from our Blog
Farm Stewardship Tip #1 sponsored by Triple Crown

Farm Stewardship Tip #1 sponsored by Triple Crown

Equine Pasture Management Field Day

Equine Pasture Management Field Day

Equine Pasture Management Field Day 

Sagamore Farm

University of Maryland (UMD) Extension

September 18, 2019

Take-Away Points

By: Jane Thery, Chair Farm Stewarship Committee

Maryland Horse Council Farm Stewardship Committee 

(1)  Erika Crowl ( ; 410-887-8090) is spearheading renewed outreach to the horse community. She will answer your questions and/or direct you to the best sources of farm stewardship technical and financial resources.

(2)  About 60 people attended the field day to learn about pasture management and to visit beautiful Sagamore Farm.

(3)  Grazing pastures should be 3-6” tall.  Should let pastures get to about 6-8" to start grazing and stop grazing at 3-4".

(4)  Rotational grazing - moving horses off pasture to let it grow and rotating them in small pastures to eat the whole field down - is the best way to maintain healthy pastures. 

(5)  A mix of grasses is best for all-season growing and soil health. Use orchard grass, tall fescue (find endophyte-free varieties), Kentucky bluegrass, timothy, reed canary grass (for wet areas), alfalfa, and red and white clover. 

(6)  Base your liming/fertilizing program on soil samples. UMD staff will help you analyze your soil test results. We can provide a list of recommended soil testing labs. Use composted horse manure to recycle nutrients. 

(7)  Wait until we get at least some rain this autumn before fall seeding and fertilizing. 

(8)  UMD will analyze your weeds. Take a photo and discuss weed management. 

(9)  Take into account pasture slope and moisture conditions in pasture management. 

(10)  Maryland law requires you to have a Nutrient Management Plan if you have eight or more animal units (1,000 lbs. equals 1 animal unit) and/or gross income of $2,500 a year.  UMD nutrient management consultants can provide you with a plan for free, based on your soil samples. 

Meet & Greet with Soil Conservation District’s Equine Conservationist, Travis Gorleski

Meet & Greet with Soil Conservation District’s Equine Conservationist, Travis Gorleski

Save the Date!

Thursday, July 25, 2019


The Surrey Saddlery

14120 Darnestown Road

Darnestown, MD 20874


The Montgomery County Soil Conservation District, in cooperation with the Maryland Horse Council Farm Stewardship Committee and The Surrey Saddlery, would like to invite horse farmers and enthusiasts to join with us for a special event on Thursday, July 25, 2019. Take a break from the summer heat by stopping in to the store and becoming acquainted with Soil Conservation District’s new Equine Conservationist, Travis Gorleski.

Travis has 10 years’ experience working with equine operations across the State and is a horse owner and avid trail rider. If you have ideas, suggestions, or want to discuss concerns specific to your farm, this meet and greet provides an excellent opportunity for Travis to discuss how he can assist you or the equine community.  If you have ever thought about financial assistance to improve your farm’s infrastructure, Travis can also discuss various financial programs available through the District.

Light refreshments will be provided, courtesy of The Montgomery Soil Conservation District. We hope to see you there!

MD Con.pngMoCo SCD.pngMHC JOIN.png

Composting Workshop Reports: NOW AVAILABLE

Composting Workshop Reports: NOW AVAILABLE

To the Maryalnd Horse Community and Industry,
Full presentations are now available from Veteran Compost and O2 Composting on composting from the recent MDA-supported workshop. This is important information for our horse community.
Full text of the report my be found in the above links. Should you have any questions, please reach out to the Farm Stewarship Committee or our MHC Executive Director, Carrie Hull, at
Thank you,
Jane Thery
Farm Stewardship Chair
Composting Workshop Report

Composting Workshop Report

To receive a copy of the below referenced Composting Workshop Report, please email MHC Executive Director, Carrie Hull, at
In 2016, Justen Garrity of Veteran Compost and Peter Moon of O2 Compost prepared a grant proposal to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) for a series of workshops on composting in Maryland.  The Maryland Horse Council Farm Stewardship Committee provided a letter of support for the grant to promote composting horse manure.  
This year, 2019, with the grant funds provided by MDA, the workshops on composting are being offered to Maryland residents without charge.  I attended the workshop held on January 26 in Anne Arundel county in support of this effort and to promote on-farm and regional facility composting of horse manure to recycle local nutrients into our soils.

The workshop was attended by about 30 people.  It began with a presentation from Doug Myers, Senior Scientist at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, on the state of the Bay and the importance of minimizing nutrient runoff into the Bay watershed as surplus nutrients damage the natural ecosystem of the aquatic life.  Justen Garrity who founded Veteran Compost described his business development from growing up in Columbia, Maryland, serving the Army and, through trial and error and true grit, established a very successful composting business using primarily food scraps as feed stock.  He developed effective ways to collect waste food scraps from cafeterias, hospitals, sports venues and smaller establishments.   This material is then sorted, composted, bagged and sold, using mostly former members of the military.  Garrity sells all of the compost he produces so demand is good for the product.  

Peter Moon came to composting from an engineering background after a successful first career.  Based in Washington State, he worked to develop a simple composting method based on traditional principles while using scientific analysis and data to come up with 21st century composting methods that are scale-able, cost-effective and able to use a variety of compost-able materials.  Many of his systems are used for small, medium and large composting of horse manure, on-farm and at regional facilities.  The O2 system injects air into the composting material which speeds up the composting process and minimizes the need to turn the compost as it heats up to the required 131 degrees to kill weeds and pathogens.   O2 Composting systems are now used across the US and in a number of other countries.  A complete explanation of the system with extensive illustrations is in the attached presentation file.

Garrity and Moon will be offering more workshops on composting later this year.  Stay tuned!    


Veteran Compost 

 "Veteran Compost is a veteran-owned business focused on turning food scraps into high quality organic compost in Maryland, DC and Virginia.  We provide food scrap collection, finished compost, and a host of other great products.

We're proud to have a number of claims to fame:

- We are the only company in the region permitted to collect and compost food scraps

- We have a large scale worm composting operation

- Our compost is YARD WASTE FREE aka chemical free

- Our compost is 100% Organic and approved for Organic Farming

- 100% Wind Power used to make our compost"


To learn more about O2Compost, visit

View the Full Farm Stewardship Blog

Member Login

Join Now!

Donate & Support

Donate to Maryland Horse Council

Donate to Horse Council PAC

Join or Renew Today!