The equine industry has a $670 million impact on a 10-county southeastern and central Pennsylvania region, according to a study by Delaware Valley University in Doylestown.
The study, led by John Urbanchuk, chairman of the agribusiness department, looked at Berks, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York counties.
Urbanchuk said the study looked at not just the direct impact of spending on food, supplies and employment in the industry, but the impact on tourism to the region from people who come to watch or participate in horse shows and races.
According to his findings, the equine industry spends $546 million on goods, services, wages and salaries in those counties.
The impact of this spending generates $670 million to the regional gross domestic product, supports more than 6,550 jobs and generates $58 million in tax revenue.
The sector also provides almost $160 million in annual payroll and plays a vital role in maintaining open spaces and agricultural production.
“Equine is a very big industry in this region,” Urbanchuk said. “And it’s not just from an economic perspective. The industry helps maintain open space and the character of the landscape.
The study was commissioned by the Chester-Delaware County Farm Bureau.
“They wanted to try and show how important the industry is to the economy with public officials,” Urbanchuk said.
The last study of the equine industry in Pennsylvania was conducted and published by Penn State in 2003 and examined the entire state.
The information from the new study will be provided to policy makers, local government officials, equine industry professionals and the public.