Free Community Open House Event!

If you’re free August 17th between 12 and 4 pm – and based in the Frederick, MD, area – come out and join us for a day of fun events. There will be local crafts, an antiques community yard sale, talks from local politicians and passionate people like you, food, horses to meet and play with, and more!

 

Check out our Facebook event page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/492477817562647/.

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Hall’s Choice Open House – August 17th (12-4pm)

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How Could Development Impact YOU?

Farms are bought up by developers in the Frederick area, thus:

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Hall’s Choice Farm in New Market, Maryland

 A development only pays for roads within itself, not within the town around it…

  • A new one may add as many as 330,000 car trips a day via established roads (Friends Of Frederick County)
  • It costs 2.540 BILLION just for Frederick County to get the primary highways moving again, which doesn’t include secondary roads
  • The current plan for the Casey Development  – near Hall’s Choice Farm – does not plan for additional road use
  • Residential “growth creates more expenses than it pays for” (FOF) and thus does not have any benefit to surrounding farms
    • It increases the demand for services (emergency, schools, roads, public buildings, etc.), which require further development and funds
    • Reduced trails and available space to found a farm
    • Global climate changes further impact agriculture (http://www.greenfacts.org)
    • Farmers need to consider adequate stream buffers to keep livestock out of creeks and rivers
    • Road, noise, and light pollution reduce value in any given area, yet developers drive that up
    • Development brings prices of boarding, etc. up because agricultural space is then limited
    • Over-development raises risk of drinking water contamination
  • Lake Linganore and Lower Linganore Creek make up 42.4% of the total surface water sourced for Frederick Co.’s drinking water
  • Current erosion levels are 5x higher than state standard due to development in areas that should be protected
    • According to http://www.epa.gov, “Development almost inevitably leads to increased runoff, which collects pollutants before reaching surface streams.”
Hall's Choice Farm, Maryland

Hall’s Choice on a hot summer day

 Average cost per acre of farm land in MD:  $4,120

About 1 million acres of land per year are lost to development, according to the American Farmland Trust, and much of this land is prime agricultural land that can never be replaced(http://www.sprawlwatch.org/farmlandpreservation.html).

 Ray Garibay, head of the Maryland Agricultural Statistics Service, said farmland values vary greatly within the state, with the most expensive being land near the urban areas of Baltimore, Washington and Annapolis (http://www.extension.iastate.edu).

Bank barn

Delightfully cool bank barn at Hall’s Choice

 Impact: horse farms are pushed to areas that developers either don’t want, or haven’t reached yet. They are at greater and greater risk of having to sell out to developers.

Want to learn more? Hall’s Choice has an album on Facebook full of information on the impacts of development on our community.

Standing Against Irresponsible Development in Our Town

Planning & Zoning Commission “By-Law” Changes (which may also be for BoCC Public Hearings):

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The county government has made changes to gain more control over citizen input at public hearings.  Is Frederick County’s government trying to quiet our voices and concerns?

As New Market resident Stan M. surfed Frederick County Government Channel TV (FCGTV, Comcast 19) at midnight on Saturday, he found an interesting segment on new “By-Law”  changes & proposals  by Kathy Mitchell and P&Z Commission discussion that affects changes “to make it known early at the public  meeting your intentions and opportunity to cross-examine Frederick County staff and presenters for the development team.”

With this, failure to speak up early in the process will cause citizens to lose the opportunity to ask questions. It will not allow those last-minute speakers to have the floor at the microphone.  All concerned citizens will need to speak up early at the meeting of their intention to participate in the cross-examination proceedings.

“It may also change the 3-minute speaking limit per person  to being longer if there are few speakers, or be made shorter if there is a huge turn out like MTC.”

Jim Gugel stated something like this at the 7/9/14 P&Z meeting: “During MTC hearings  I thought there were only 5 more speakers – and all of a sudden 10 more speakers were lined up to speak.  Controlling the time for each speaker is better than allowing each 3 minutes.  The time can be made longer or shorter.”

Please watch this FCG TV programing  for your own clarification. This midnight ten-minute segment (there was more) seemed to explain that individuals may need to request and make known intentions to speak early in the meeting, or else forever be silent.

 

 

*No copyright infringement intended.*

Erin Sweeney Riding Clinic

The riding clinic held at Hall’s Choice Farm was a success – lots of riders came out and enjoyed great lessons with USDF-certified trainer Erin Sweeney. Here are some photos for you to enjoy (please excuse the blurriness of a few, as the dust was affecting the camera!):

 

Want to see more? You can check out the full event album on Flickr.

Day On the Farm

Sunday the 29th was Erin Sweeney’s riding clinic, which meant a day of cleanup and barn chores to follow. I spent Tuesday with fellow intern Melissa feeding horses, cleaning stalls and sacrifice lots, and generally cleaning up. We even both had a lunge lesson on Hanoverian gelding D’Olypmic (aka “Flirt”) once the hard work had been done. It was an unbelievably hot day – the temperature outside hit 97F! Not the worst it’s been, nor the worst it will ever be, but it was stifling enough that the horses and humans were both pretty much melting. Thankfully, the indoor arena stays nicely cool, as do the barns!

Highlight of the day? Not running over anyone while learning to drive and operate a tractor.

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Tacking D’Olympic up for our ride.

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Catching a horse.

 

 

Riding Clinic at Hall’s Choice Farm – June 29th!

 

 

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Riding clinic schedule

Erin Sweeney’s riding clinic is TOMORROW!

We are looking forward to another great opportunity to work with Ms. Erin Sweeney. She is newly USDF-certified and has started over 300 young horses, developing them into young horse champions. She excels in her unique approach towards the challenges that keep your horse from achieving its best! Come watch her do her magic both with her riding and yours. Erin is a diagnostic expert, bringing teaching techniques from German, Danish and American instructor giants (who she works with regularly herself).

Join us this Sunday!
Audit fee is $25

Sadly, no riding slots are available as we have been full for several weeks; however, we invite you to come audit, enjoy gourmet lunch with us, and plan to ride with her in the future!

See you there!

Some of the Horses at Hall’s Choice

 

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Some of the horses at Hall’s Choice, including a few of our very happy boarders!