The Kentucky Horse Council is joining the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and industry groups in conducting an all-breed equine survey. The $600,000 survey was approved Thursday by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board.
"In order to continue to promote and develop the industry, we have to know what it is, take a measure of it. And there just wasn't the opportunity or the funding to do something like that up until this point," says Ginny Grulke, executive director of the Horse Council.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service will send out paper surveys and do ground work to document as many horses as possible across the state, ranging from large thoroughbred operations to individuals with a recreational horse. Professors at UK will use that data to develop an economic impact report.
"There are opportunities for tourism, there are opportunities for simply just agricultural development because even if they're recreational riders, they buy hay, they buy straw, they build barns, they buy tractors," says Grulke.
The council will present its finding to the Agricultural Development Board by June 2013.