Just as the heat of summer is starting to increase, so are the numbers for responses during the 2023 American Horse Council (AHC) Equine Economic Impact Survey. The survey launched in April and runs through September 29, and so far, more than 5,000 responses have been received.
Leading the way in state responses should be no surprise, with Texas, New York and California having the most (in that order), followed by Maryland and Ohio. The states with the least responses, so far, include Hawaii, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nevada.
“We’re really hoping to get a good variety of answers from all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C.,” says Julie Broadway, president of the AHC. “This is going to be the biggest study the AHC has launched in more than 50 years, with different aspects of the industry covered, so we want to get the word out to everyone.”
The economic impact study is an anonymous survey that will examine the effect the horse industry has on the economy. The survey measures changes in business revenue, business profits, personal wages, and/or jobs. As a large, economically diverse industry, the United States horse industry contributes significantly to the American economy.
The purpose of the study is to demonstrate the value of the equine industry in the national and state economies by analyzing the direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts of horse ownership, recreation, and equine-related services. Broadway stressed to attendees of the 2023 AHC National Issues Forum that the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Census is not an accurate picture of the horse industry, thus handicapping the amount of support the industry is eligible to receive to the government. Having more accurate numbers, such as you can find in the AHC Equine Economic Impact Survey will help push for a unique sponsored Horse Census where “Every Horse Counts.”
The first two surveys are for owners of horses, ponies, donkeys, drafts, etc., as well as owners of businesses who supply the horse industry. The latest survey is the Competition Organizer Survey, which will be sent out to groups that host all types of equine-related competitions. Other surveys and data collection will include equine-assisted services facilities, racetracks, the Native American population, the Amish and Mennonite population, equine-related academia, veterinarian, mounted police, etc.
Members of the American Quarter Horse Association lead in terms of responses for the survey with 53% of the responses being Quarter Horses. The American Paint Horse Association makes up 22.5% of the responses and the United States Trotting Association rounds out the top three with 17.8% of the responses, so far.
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.
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); free 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,” says Julie Broadway, president of the AHC. “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.”
Quarter Horse News is also currently running their reader survey which can be found here.