As a large, economically diverse industry, it is well known that the United States horse industry contributes significantly to the American economy.
In a recent news release, however, the American Horse Council acknowledges the great changes that have occurred around the country over the past few years–including in the horse industry. Not only have pandemic-related business closures and federal stimulus programs made a major impact, but the horse industry has had to adapt to historic revisions made to the tax code since 2017.
Because not all of the changes are easy to identify, the AHC, which is based just outside Washington, D.C., is kicking off what could be one of the biggest National Economic Impact Studies in its more than 50-year history. The survey began April 3 and goes through September 29. Its purpose is to demonstrate the value of the horse industry in the national and state economies by analyzing the direct, indirect and induced economic impacts of horse ownership, recreation and equine-related services.
Updated study ‘important and necessary’
The AHC has conducted numerous national economic impact studies for the U.S. horse industry, including in the pivotal years 1987, 1997, 2007 and the most recent study, which was done in 2017.
An economic impact study examines the effect of an event or industry has on the economy and usually measures changes in business revenue, business profits, personal wages and/or jobs. Data collected will inform public and private investments in equine-related businesses, equine health care, education, land use decisions, tax policy, tourism, employment incentives, etc.
“The challenges of the last few years with the pandemic and its economic impacts on all aspects of our industry make the 2023 study all that more important and necessary,” Dr. Rick Mitchell, chairman of the AHC Board, states on the AHC website.
Effective tool for advocacy
New this year are sponsored incentives for individuals and groups who participate in the survey, including a John Deere Z545R ZTrak Mower valued at $7,500, one year of Nutrena feed for one horse (a $2,000 value); one year of Purina feed for one horse (a $500 value/horse); gift certificates from Trafalgar Square Books (total value $180); enrollment in Texas A&M AgriLife Equine Reproductive Management Online Course valued at $300/enrollment; plus more.
“The Economic Impact Study is the most effective tool in our advocacy quiver,” AHC President Julie Broadway notes on the organization’s website. “When the industry needs to take aim at an issue, this data is invaluable in helping us paint the picture of the contributions the industry makes and the breath & depth of its composition.”
Links to the EIS surveys for both horse owners and horse industry suppliers can be found on the AHC website.
If you have questions, contact American Horse Council President Julie Broadway at [email protected]