There has been impressive, but historically unguided, growth in the equine industry in New York State. The targeted cultivation of this sector is an economic priority because there is great potential for significant and sustainable job creation and job-saving agri-tourism, economic investment, community revitalization, and indirect or induced business development that cannot be exported because it is land-based. Since New York State currently represents only 2% of the nationwide equine industry (which is as big as the Hollywood film industry), the job creation opportunity is compelling. The New York State Center for Equine Business Development™ at Cazenovia College is taking steps to leverage this economic development opportunity.
In its most recent Equine Survey (in 2005) the United States Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, highlighted an increase in the number of horses and equine-related businesses since 2000. Other data using different methodology (published in October of 2013 by the New York Horse Racing and Agriculture Industry Alliance) indicates a great opportunity for the state to benefit from a tremendous economic growth opportunity, which will rival the wine industry and is already bigger than the apple industry by many measures.
We are confident that, with the attention of the right legislative decision-makers and the energy of regional entrepreneurs, this sector can create and sustain tens of thousands of jobs across the state, with a $185 million economic impact over the next five years.
New York State Agriculture and Markets data indicated:
- Equine-related businesses accounted for $2.4 Billion of the state’s annual economic activity (2005).
- The industry supports approximately 12,500 jobs in New York State (2005). The equine sector accounts for $169 million in wages (2005).
- The total statewide economic impact is $2.4 Billion (2005).
The growth in the equine sector creates an increased demand for supportive businesses like construction, equipment sales, hospitality, truck and trailer sales and service, energy suppliers, as well as veterinary and feed services, and commodity production, like hay. It’s important to note that this increase occurred with limited coordinated effort to cultivate an equine business climate that is specifically supportive of the industry, and the development occurred in a sector of the equine industry that is not dedicated to the racing disciplines. (Most of New York’s use of horses is for breeding, competition and pleasure.) This largely unguided, yet steadfast expansion of the industry represents a significant growth opportunity; representing new and sustained jobs for many of the state’s workers, with significant opportunities for replication throughout the entire state.
The New York State Center for Equine Business Development™ will serve as a focal point, a voice for the industry, a vehicle that will spearhead a coordinated statewide approach to the industry's needs, and include the following:
- Agenda building
- Securing grants and other support
- Organizing training programs and hosting clinics with nationally known professionals
- Organizing industry trade fairs
- Establishing databanks to assist members of the equine community in accessing the latest and most accurate information related to the management and growth of their businesses
- Exploring state-of-the-art methods that help the equine industry manage its most costly and unpredictable expenses
- Acting as a clearinghouse for equine business-related solutions, fostering job growth in existing enterprises and entrepreneurial growth throughout the state
- Identifying ways to improve business functionality and pinpointing ways New York State and local governments can improve the environment that promotes sustainable equine industry growth