Equine Industry Contributes More Than $1 Billion to Michigan’s Economy

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The Michigan equine industry generates more than $1 billion for the state. (view larger image)

A recent study of the Michigan equine industry showed that the state is home to more than 155,000 horses, mules and donkeys and delineated where they are and how they are used. Now an analysis of that study has determined that the industry generates more than $1 billion a year for the state’s economy.

“The Economic Impact of the Michigan Equine Industry” was the result of a joint effort by investigators from the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and MSU Extension. It was developed using the results from the 2007 survey by the Michigan field office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

In addition to the overall economic impact, the analysis showed that the equine industry generates $150 million in income across the state, and that horse owners and facility managers spend nearly $60 million on grain and supplements, $44 million on hay and $44 million on capital improvements, and pay $40 million in property taxes each year.

“These are sizable numbers, and they really underline the value of the entire equine industry, from pleasure riding to breeding to racing,” said Karen Waite, MSU Extension equine specialist. “Michigan equine enthusiasts spend money on everything from veterinary and farrier services to trucks and trailers, they travel and build barns—all of which generate economic activity for our state.”

The equine industry analysis may have relevance for decision makers in urban and rural communities alike who are facing decisions about zoning and recreational facilities.

“This summary of the economic impact of the Michigan horse industry is a critical document for decision makers across the state to examine,” said Val Vail-Shirey, executive director of the Michigan Equine Partnership. “The numbers show the strength of the industry and exactly what the industry means to Michigan. The Michigan horse industry is strong and viable, especially when given the tools to thrive financially.”

Other uses for the survey results include justification for business development or expansion plans or information for farmers who are considering providing feed or hay to the equine market.

“For those already involved in the equine industry and those considering it in the future, the availability of sound, current economic information is of considerable benefit,” said Marilyn Graff, Michigan Horse Council board member. “This applies whether they are considering expanding a current operation, beginning a new project or even restructuring their existing operation.”

To see a summary of “The Economic Impact of the Michigan Equine Industry,” visit www.horsescountinmichigan.com. The Michigan equine survey was conducted with support from the MSU Animal Agriculture Initiative, the Michigan Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Equine Partnership, MSU Extension, the Michigan Horse Council, the Brighton Trail Riders Association, the Pontiac Lake Horseman’s Association, the Proud Lake Trail Riders’ Association, the Michigan Draft Horse Breeders Association, the Michigan Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, the Augusta Township Mounted Patrol and the Highland Equestrian Coalition.

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