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Dr. Mitchell has been involved in national and international equine competitions as both a rider and veterinarian. This summer’s Olympic Games in London will mark his fifth visit to the Olympics as an attending veterinarian for the U.S. Equestrian Team.

Dr. Mitchell will replace David O’Connor, President of the USEF, on the AHC board. “David has been very important to the AHC board and we appreciate his service and counsel,” noted Russell Williams, AHC chair.

“The AHC is very pleased to have Dr. Mitchell on the board,” said AHC president Jay Hickey. “Dr. Mitchell has been chair of the AHC Health and Regulatory Committee for several years and provided great advice and experience. He is a real ‘two-for’ in that he has veterinary expertise in equine diseases and international experience at the highest level of competition. As the equine show world gets smaller, that is the type of experience the AHC is fortunate to have.”

Dr. Mitchell was born in Greensboro, NC and lived there throughout childhood, participating in fox-hunting, and hunter/jumper competitions into adulthood.

Dr. Mitchell attended Guilford College majoring in biology then received his B.S. from North Carolina State University, and his DVM from Oklahoma State University. He is currently in private veterinary practice limited to equine medicine and surgery with an emphasis on lameness. He has been in practice with Fairfield Equine Associates in Newtown, CT since 1989, where he is president.

Dr. Mitchell is internationally certified in veterinary acupuncture and equine locomotor pathology and has authored many nationally and internationally published articles and textbook chapters on equine health care.

Dr. Mitchell has served on various boards, including the United States Equestrian Federation, Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. He is a founding member of the International Society of Equine Locomotor Pathology.

“I am pleased to be on the AHC board and hope I can continue to make even more of a contribution to the AHC and the horse community,” said Dr. Mitchell.

Dr. Mitchell is married, has two children and three grandchildren. [post_title] => Dr. Rick Mitchell Appointed to AHC Board [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dr-rick-mitchell-appointed-to-ahc-board [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 05:57:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:57:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=278 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 277 [post_author] => 2953 [post_date] => 2015-10-11 05:55:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:55:52 [post_content] => On April 26, the Obama Administration announced its plans to withdraw a Department of Labor (DOL) proposed child labor rule applicable to agriculture. The proposed rule would have severely limited the ability of young people to work on farms and ranches.

“We are pleased the Administration responded to the concerns of the agricultural community and decided against changing the current rules for young people working on farms and ranches. This was a poorly conceived rule and they did the right thing by withdrawing it,” said AHC President Jay Hickey.

The proposed rule would have placed new limitations on the ability of young people to work for pay on farms or ranches not owned solely by their parents and would have effectively barred employees under 16 from working in most capacities in agriculture, especially around livestock, such as horses.

The AHC had been working with a broad coalition of agricultural organizations to convince the Administration and Congress that these rules were ill-considered, would prevent young people from becoming involved in agriculture, and would negatively impact family farms and ranches. In November 2011, the AHC submitted comments opposing the rule that can be found here.

“When the DOL proposed this rule we don’t think they completely understood the impact it would have on young people who work in agriculture. Thousands of Americans from the agricultural community, including the horse community submitted comments to the DOL explaining the problems with this rule and also contacted their Member of Congress to express their concerns,” said AHC Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass. “The Administration listened and withdrew the rule. This is a good example of the way the system should work.”

The Administration has stated it will not re-propose any new regulations on this issue. Instead it will “work with rural stakeholders to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.”

The AHC encourages members of the horse community to visit its website ahcbeta.flywheelsites.com to learn how federal legislation and regulations impact them and how they can get involved.

If you have any questions please contact the AHC. [post_title] => DOL Withdraws Proposed Child Labor Rules on Farms [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dol-withdraws-proposed-child-labor-rules-on-farms [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 05:55:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:55:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=277 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 275 [post_author] => 2953 [post_date] => 2015-10-11 05:44:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:44:50 [post_content] => On February 21, 2012 the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule concerning the H-2B temporary guest worker program. This new rule, which will go into effect on April 23, 2012, will make significant changes to the way the H-2B program operates for all employers including those in the horse industry.

“Anyone in the horse industry who uses the H-2B program needs to be aware of this new rule. It makes major changes to the responsibilities of employers using the program and if the new guidelines aren’t followed employers could be fined and barred from using the program,” said AHC President Jay Hickey.

The H-2B program is used by members of the horse industry, principally horse trainers and owners who cannot find American workers to fill semi-skilled jobs at racetracks, horse shows, fairs and in similar non-agricultural activities.

The AHC believes the new rule will make the H-2B program more costly and burdensome for employers who are forced to use the program and has opposed the new rule. “It is unfortunate the DOL decide to finalize this rule,” said AHC Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass. “This rule will make it difficult for trainers and others in the horse industry to use the program and could impact American jobs. The current rule was working well for the industry and included many protections for foreign and American workers.”

The final rule, among other things, will:

  • Require an employer to pay most inbound and outbound travel expenses for H-2B workers.
  • Extend H-2B program benefits, such as reimbursement of transportation cost, to American “corresponding workers” that work alongside H-2B workers and perform substantially the same work.
  • Require employers to provide documentation that they have taken appropriate steps to recruit U.S. workers, rather than permitting employers to attest to such compliance.
  • Increase the amount of time employers must try to recruit U.S. workers.
  • Prohibit job contractors from using the program.
  • Define temporary need as 9 months, previously it was 10 months.
  • Define full time employment as 35 hours a week, previously it was 30 hours.
“This final rule is complex and has many new provisions and changes. If you are an employer who uses the program you should review the new guidelines and contact the lawyer or agent you use to process H-2B applications to ensure you are in compliance with the new rule when it goes into effect on April 23,” said Pendergrass.

DOL guidance and the complete rule can be found here on the Department of Labor’s website.

“Many Members of Congress are also displeased with this new rule and believe it could hurt industries in their states. The AHC is going to continue to work with those Members to try and roll back this new rule. Unfortunately, gridlock in Washington will prevent any quick action by Congress and the horse industry will have to comply with the new rule for the foreseeable future,” said Hickey.

The AHC encourages members of the equestrian community to visit its website ahcbeta.flywheelsites.com to learn how federal legislation and regulations impact them and how they can get involved. [post_title] => Department of Labor Finalizes Changes to H-2B Visa Program [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => department-of-labor-finalizes-changes-to-h-2b-visa-program [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 05:44:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:44:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=275 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 274 [post_author] => 2953 [post_date] => 2015-10-11 05:38:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:38:52 [post_content] => You may be surprised to know that there are over 9 million horses in the United States, based on a study done by the American Horse Council entitled the Economic Impact of the Horse Industry on the United States.

The American Horse Council (AHC) is the only organization that represents every segment of that vast horse population. Every day, the AHC communicates with Congress and other federal agencies to ensure that each understands the economic, agricultural, sporting, and recreational importance of the horse industry.

This can be tedious work, but without open lines of communication with our leaders in Washington, D.C. we could lose the ability to enjoy our horses and our work in the industry that we love. We hope that our efforts ensure that these federal officials will support a legislative and regulatory structure for the horse industry that encourages individuals and other entities to support and participate in the horse industry, to invest in our horses, and to sponsor and support our events and activities.

The AHC believes that the more opportunities there are to use horses in various activities, the better the overall health of the industry and those who participate. Our goal is to keep opportunities open so that EVERYONE in the horse industry is able to thrive.

Because we are a not-for-profit organization, we depend on you – a person who is devoted to your horse and to your sport – to help us stand up for our rights as horse enthusiasts. Join the American Horse Council today and help us to help you, your horse, your sport, and your industry!

It is extremely important for everyone in the horse community to present a unified front and show Congress and other federal agencies that the horse industry is not only important to their constituents, but is also a large, economically diverse industry that provides hundreds of thousands of US jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenue. The AHC is the only Washington, D.C. based organization solely dedicated to representing all horses, equestrians, and every segment of the diverse horse community and industry.

The AHC provides many updates on important issues affecting the industry, and explains to its members how they can contact their elected officials to speak up about these issues. By joining the AHC, you give strength to the horse industry’s voice.

To learn more about supporting the AHC and becoming a member today visit ahcbeta.flywheelsites.com/ahc-memberships. [post_title] => The Future is in Your Hands – Take the Reins! What You Can Do to Give Strength to the Horse Industry [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-future-is-in-your-hands-take-the-reins-what-you-can-do-to-give-strength-to-the-horse-industry [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 05:38:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:38:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=274 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 273 [post_author] => 2953 [post_date] => 2015-10-11 05:32:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:32:54 [post_content] => Despite substantial efforts to recruit and train U.S. workers, horse farms, ranches, horse shows, trainers and others must rely on foreign workers and use both the H-2B and H-2A temporary foreign worker programs to meet their labor needs. For this reason immigration polices have a profound impact on the horse industry.

In 2011 numerous bills were introduced in the 112th Congress concerning immigration, most enforcement oriented. Most notably, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2885), which would require all employers to use the federal E-verify system to make sure their workers are authorized to work. The House Judiciary Committee held hearings on this bill and reported it out of committee on September 21.

“In the Summer and Fall we saw a lot of action in Congress on immigration. Committees in both the House and Senate held numerous hearings and the House Judiciary Committee approved a mandatory E-verify bill. Since then however, there has been little movement on the issue because even Members of Congress who are in favor of beefing up enforcement and passing mandatory E-verify can’t agree on the best way to proceed,” said AHC Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass.

In response to concerns that mandatory E-verify would cripple the U.S. agricultural industry several bills, like the American Specialty Agriculture Act (H.R.2847) and the Legal Agricultural Workforce Act (H.R.2895), were introduced. These bills would create new, less burdensome temporary foreign agricultural worker programs to replace the current H-2A program. However, no consensus emerged on which of the many proposals on the table would best accommodate the needs of agriculture.

“It is absolutely vital for the horse industry to have access to functioning, efficient, and cost effective foreign temporary worker programs to meet its labor needs and the horse industry can not support any bill unless it provides for those needs,” said AHC President Jay Hickey. “We would like Congress to reform our system in a comprehensive way. However, as we enter another election year it is unlikely Congress will have much of a desire to deal with a hot-button issue like immigration.”

“It is likely more immigration bills will be introduced in 2012 and there maybe action taken on specific issues like the H-2B wage rule, but right now it doesn’t look like Congress will take action on major legislation like mandatory E-verify,” said Pendergrass. [post_title] => American Horse Council’s 2012 Immigration Reform Outlook [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => american-horse-councils-2012-immigration-reform-outlook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 05:32:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:32:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=273 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 271 [post_author] => 2953 [post_date] => 2015-10-11 05:27:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:27:00 [post_content] => Despite the acrimony and brinksmanship, Congress eventually passed an extension of the payroll tax reductions in late December maintaining the 2% reduction in payroll taxes for workers and the self-employed. The relief is good for two months through February, 2012. Negotiations are already underway between the House and Senate to find a way to extend payroll tax relief through 2012.

But the bill ultimately passed by Congress did not extend the Section 179 expense deduction or 100% bonus depreciation at the 2011 levels. Both provisions have returned to prior lower levels.

Section 179 Expense Deduction

The expense deduction has returned to $125,000 for 2012 and phases out dollar-for-dollar once purchases of depreciable property reach $500,000. The 179 expense deduction applies to horses, farm equipment and other depreciable property used in a business and permits a horse owner or breeder to write-off up to $125,000 in assets purchased and placed in service in one’s horse business in 2012.

The expense allowance for 2010-2011 was $500,000 and phased out after purchases exceeded $2 million.

Bonus Depreciation

In addition, bonus depreciation has returned to 50% for 2012. Bonus depreciation allows horse owners and other horse businesses to write off 50% of the cost of “new” capital assets, including horses, when purchased and placed in service in 2012. To be eligible for bonus depreciation the original use of the property must commence with the taxpayer. Any prior use makes the property ineligible.

Bonus depreciation was 100% for eligible assets purchased and placed in service from September 8, 2010 through 2011.

Both provisions can be used together.

Retroactive Change is Possible

“It is possible that the higher levels could be reinstated retroactively to January 1, 2012. In fact, the House-passed payroll-tax bill extended 100% bonus depreciation through 2012, even though the Senate bill did not,” said AHC president Jay Hickey. “The negotiations between now and the end of February on the one-year extension of the payroll tax reduction could include other changes to the tax code, such as the expense deduction or bonus depreciation. But this is speculation at this point.” [post_title] => American Horse Council Explains Changes in Tax Benefits for Horse Owners [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => american-horse-council-explains-changes-in-tax-benefits-for-horse-owners [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 05:27:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:27:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=271 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 6 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 278 [post_author] => 2953 [post_date] => 2015-10-11 05:57:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:57:27 [post_content] => International veterinarian, Rick Mitchell, DVM, MRCVS, has been named to the American Horse Council Board of Trustees. Dr. Mitchell has been involved in national and international equine competitions as both a rider and veterinarian. This summer’s Olympic Games in London will mark his fifth visit to the Olympics as an attending veterinarian for the U.S. Equestrian Team.

Dr. Mitchell will replace David O’Connor, President of the USEF, on the AHC board. “David has been very important to the AHC board and we appreciate his service and counsel,” noted Russell Williams, AHC chair.

“The AHC is very pleased to have Dr. Mitchell on the board,” said AHC president Jay Hickey. “Dr. Mitchell has been chair of the AHC Health and Regulatory Committee for several years and provided great advice and experience. He is a real ‘two-for’ in that he has veterinary expertise in equine diseases and international experience at the highest level of competition. As the equine show world gets smaller, that is the type of experience the AHC is fortunate to have.”

Dr. Mitchell was born in Greensboro, NC and lived there throughout childhood, participating in fox-hunting, and hunter/jumper competitions into adulthood.

Dr. Mitchell attended Guilford College majoring in biology then received his B.S. from North Carolina State University, and his DVM from Oklahoma State University. He is currently in private veterinary practice limited to equine medicine and surgery with an emphasis on lameness. He has been in practice with Fairfield Equine Associates in Newtown, CT since 1989, where he is president.

Dr. Mitchell is internationally certified in veterinary acupuncture and equine locomotor pathology and has authored many nationally and internationally published articles and textbook chapters on equine health care.

Dr. Mitchell has served on various boards, including the United States Equestrian Federation, Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. He is a founding member of the International Society of Equine Locomotor Pathology.

“I am pleased to be on the AHC board and hope I can continue to make even more of a contribution to the AHC and the horse community,” said Dr. Mitchell.

Dr. Mitchell is married, has two children and three grandchildren. [post_title] => Dr. Rick Mitchell Appointed to AHC Board [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dr-rick-mitchell-appointed-to-ahc-board [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-11 05:57:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-10-11 10:57:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.horsecouncil.org/?post_type=press-release&p=278 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => press-release [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 236 [max_num_pages] => 40 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => 1 [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => 1 [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 4748930b1ad17a5eba9dec21de8c1e12 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) ) )
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