Watch LIVE  beginning at 6 p.m. on October 10

 

WEST CHESTER (September 20, 2017) – Chester County has long been known as Pennsylvania horse country, but just how much does equine agriculture contribute to the region’s growing economy?

That question and many others will be answered on Tuesday, October 10th as Delaware Valley University releases a new study “Contributions of the Equine Industry to the Economy of Southeastern Pennsylvania.” The study, conducted by the university, initiated by state Senator Andy Dinniman and the Chester-Delaware Farm Bureau, and supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, represents the first time an effort has been made to quantify the economic impact of equine agriculture and the equine industry in Chester County.

“Horses are part of our Chester County heritage, but we cannot forget that they’re also a tremendous part of our regional economy,” Dinniman, who serves on the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, said. “To safeguard and support the horse industry and related businesses, we need to know and fully appreciate its total economic impact. The purpose of the study is to get a complete and thorough picture of the equine industry’s economic contributions.”

The study’s findings will be released to the public at a free event on Tuesday, October 10 at 6 p.m. at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. The event will include a panel discussion featuring equine experts, agricultural leaders, such as Chester County resident and Olympic Medalist Phillip Dutton and Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. It will also feature light refreshments and tours of New Bolton’s state-of-the-art facilities beginning at 5 p.m.

Space is limited, so please reserve your spot by registering now at paequineevent.eventbrite.com.

“I want to thank Senator Dinniman and all our partners for working together to bring this study to fruition,” Dan Miller, President of the Chester-Delaware County Farm Bureau, said. “The study is crucial in gauging the widespread economic impact of equine agriculture in our region and we hope that it will be used to drive policy initiatives that support agriculture, farming, and the horse industry.”

Dr. John Urbanchuk of Delaware Valley University, the study’s Program Director, said that while statewide studies of the equine industry’s economic impact have been conducted, this is the first time he is aware of a such study at the regional level.

“We’re looking at an industry that people don’t traditionally think that way about and what we’re finding is a substantial contribution to the regional economy,” he said.

Dinniman also noted that horse farms and the equine industry are integral to Chester County’s ongoing efforts to preserve open space.

“Chester County’s horse industry is truly unique in that it serves as both a driving force for open space preservation and an economic engine that quietly generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue in areas that represent the last bastions of rural open space in the region,” he said.