Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition establishes Minnesota Hay Bank

Farm Forum

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition (MNHWC) recently announced the launch of the Minnesota Hay Bank (MHB). The goal of the MHB is to provide temporary assistance to responsible Minnesota horse owners who have fallen on hard times by offering assistance with purchasing hay. By offering feed assistance, the MHB hopes to keep horses with responsible owners, therefore decreasing pressure placed on humane agents and local horse rescues who are already at capacity.

Eligibility for MHB assistance is evaluated on a case-by-case analysis of need. Applicants must be 18 year of age or older, have owned horses for at least 6 months, be a private horse owner or certified equine rescue (boarding and training facilities are not eligible), the need must be short-term, and evidence of a workable plan to avoid future need is required. Applications must agree to no breeding for a minimum of two years along with a mandatory site visit conducted by a MHWC volunteer. Horse owners can complete an application for MHB assistance online at http://www.minnesotahaybank.org.

After an applicant is approved, the MHB will work with their hay supply to purchase 15 small square-bales of hay for up to 10 horses (maximum of 150 small-square bales). If the owner feeds round-bales or large square-bales, one large bale can be purchased per horse, for up to 10 horses. If the applicant does not have a regular hay supplier, the MHB will purchase hay from one of its reputable hay suppliers throughout the state. Delivery, or pick-up, of the hay is the responsibility of the applicant.

Since opening in December 2013, the MHB has raised over $10,000 and has distributed over $3,000 of hay to Minnesota horse owners. Unfortunately, the number of pending applicants exceeds the amount of money remaining. Financial donations for this program are needed and gratefully accepted. To make a donation to the MHB, visit http://


donate. The Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition is a collaborative effort of the Animal Humane Society, University of Minnesota, Minnesota Horse Council, individuals, and certified equine rescues.