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Spotlight   | Summer 2012

Horsepower runs economic engine


Many equine operators regard their ventures as more hobby than business, and nearly 60 percent function without a business plan despite working in an industry that generates more than $2 billion annually in Indiana, according to a Purdue University study.

"This is the first time entrepreneurship in equine operations has been surveyed," said Susan Conners, director of Purdue Calumet's Equine Business Management program and lead author of the study of Indiana's horse shows, racetracks, and equine businesses and owners. "The data shows equine activity is a vital part of Indiana's economy."

Horse racing generates the most revenue, but people who enjoy riding and other equine-related activities for recreation comprise the largest segment of the industry.

Mark Russell, Purdue Extension specialist in equine management and co-author of the study, said the findings illustrate how local events, such as 4-H horse shows or exhibitions, can affect economic activity at the county level. "They have both economic and educational benefits," he said.

Read the full survey report.

By Olivia Maddox




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