The American Horse Council (AHC) is pleased to announce the 2018 National Issues Forum will take place on Tuesday, June 12, at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. The theme will be “Let’s Capitalize On It!” and will focus on ways the equine industry can learn and grow from both equine and outside industry segments, as well as expanding technology beneficial to both humans and equines.
“This year we wanted to bring in a combination of equine industry and outside industry speakers,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “It’s always interesting to hear from outside segments about what they are doing to cultivate their own industries and how the equine industry itself can learn and grow from what they are doing. Additionally, we thought it would be fascinating to gain some insight into new technologies that are not only enhancing human lives, but equine ones as well.”
The Forum will kick off with speaker Luis Benitez, Director of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, who will give an overview of his roles and responsibilities, as well as explain how other states could adopt a similar model. Following Mr. Benitez will be a panel titled “Survey Says” that will examine various data trends within the equine industry over the past several years. The morning will also include a youth engagement panel, “Building the pipeline of future horse enthusiasts,” and will feature representatives from the PGA “First Tee” program, Outdoor Industry Association’s “Outdoor Nation,” and the Center for Creative Leadership.
The afternoon session will start with Dan Ashe, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The AZA is a nonprofit association dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science and recreation. Fran Jurga will follow Mr. Ashe and will examine emerging technologies in the equine industry in a segment called “CES 2017 – Equestrian Style.” The afternoon will also include panels of Congressional representatives and equine aftercare, followed by round table discussion on topics of interests.
New this year, vendors will be set up to provide live demonstrations of emerging technologies, including health monitoring sensors for horses and virtual reality demonstrations.
The AHC’s Annual Meeting, where the various committees of the AHC will meet, will take place June 10 – 11. The Annual Meeting and National Issues Forum are open to both AHC members and non-members. Anyone involved in the equine industry can attend to learn about new developments and how they can become involved.