Revised:  07/28/2010

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Contact: Tiffany J Cody
Public Relations Specialst
Rutgers Equine Science Center
732-932-9419
cody@aesop.rutgers.edu

 

NEW JERSEY HORSE INDUSTRY:

KEEPING THE ‘GARDEN’ IN THE GARDEN STATE

 

New Study Shows Significant Impact on Open Space,

Traditional Agriculture and the Economy of the State

 

 

“In the race to keep the green in the Garden State, the New Jersey equine community is more than doing its share – and at no cost to the taxpayers!”

 

            According to Karyn Malinowski, director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center, this is one conclusion, among many, that may be drawn from a newly released report on the impact of the equine industry on New Jersey’s economy, on traditional agriculture, and on the preservation of open space.

 

            The report – “The New Jersey Equine Industry, 2007” – is the result of eighteen months of work led by the Equine Science Center, involving government agencies on the federal and state level and several equine-related organizations and private individuals. It is based on the first comprehensive study of the state horse industry since 1996 and comes at a time when interest in the horse industry and open space preservation is intense, says Malinowski.

 

            According to the report, 142,000 acres of farmland directly support horses and equine activities. That’s nearly equivalent to the land areas of Cape May, Mercer, Camden and Bergen counties, and considerably larger than Essex, Union, Hudson and Passaic counties.

 

            Horse and horse-related operations, dubbed “working agricultural landscape,” compare favorably to other types of open space, such as federal recreation areas (109,700 acres), federal forest and wildlife acres (112,400), state and local land trust acres (213,000) and overall Green Acres land (600,000). Says Malinowski, “The best part is that these equine and equine-related acres not only cost taxpayers nothing to support, but their activities actually generate an estimated $160 million annually in federal, state and local taxes. This is a win-win for the people of New Jersey.”

 

            The study shows that the equine industry has a strong positive impact on the economy as well. It generates an impact of $1.1 billion annually and nearly 13,000 jobs. The top expenditures by equine operations and owners are equipment purchases and depreciation ($40 million), capital improvements ($34 million), horse health costs ($32 million), training fees ($31 million), boarding ($30 million), feed and supplements ($23 million), and hay and forage ($22 million).

 

There are 42,500 equine animals located on 7,200 operations in the state, and they are found in every county. Hunterdon County, with 1,100 operations, and Monmouth County, with 960, are the leading horse communities, followed by Burlington, Sussex, Salem and Warren counties.

 

            Horse farms are springing up where other forms of agriculture once operated. For example, 24 percent of current horse operations used to be cattle, dairy or poultry farms, and 11 percent once grew field crops. Two percent were in vegetables and fruit, and 18 percent once engaged in other traditional agriculture.

 

            “In terms of the ‘big picture,’” says Malinowski, “the horse industry is comparable to such other widely recognized sectors as golf courses, landscaping, biotechnology, marine fisheries and aquaculture and many others.”

 

            Even beyond dollars and cents, the horse industry is valued for its impact on the quality of life of New Jersey residents. “People throughout the state know and appreciate the role of horses in sport, recreation, youth development, therapy for the handicapped and rehabilitation of adults and children who are troubled or have gotten into trouble,” Malinowski concludes.

 

            “The New Jersey Equine Industry, 2007” is based on a study conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and economic analysis conducted by Rutgers faculty and staff.

 

            Sponsors of the study included the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and its Equine Advisory Board and Sire Stakes units, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey, and several private individuals.

 

            A downloadable copy of the study report appears on the Equine Science Center website at www.esc.rutgers.edu.

 

 

 Downloads


The New Jersey Equine Industry, 2007 - Report

 

Economic Impact Study - Press Release PDF

 

Economic Impact Study - Presentation

 

Economic Impact Study - Fast Facts

 

Economic Impact Study Video

 

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© 2009 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Items may be reprinted with permission from the
Director of the Equine Science Center:

esc@njaes.rutgers.edu


The Equine Science Center is a unit of
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.