President Curt Ramsey called to order the December 11th meeting at the Red Mile, recognizing past Farm Managers of the Year in attendance – Bill Wofford, Callan Strouss, and Sandy Hatfield.
- The CBA(Consignors and Breeders Association) is hosting a symposium at Keeneland on February 4th, 2014. Topics will include everything from reproduction to conformation. Pre-registration is available at the CBA’s website: http://www.consignorsandbreeders.com
- KEEP – Past president of the KTFMC, Scott Mallory, reported on recent projects that KEEP is working on to help those in the horse industry across Kentucky. A tax fairness initiative would decrease the tax charged on equine necessities such as feed, seed, and supplies. They are also working on decreasing the pari mutuel tax rate in an attempt to be competitive with other states. Scott encouraged members to contact their local representatives with any ideas and concerns about our industry.
The December 11th 2013 meeting featured three main events: the presentation of the 2013 Fall KEMI(Kentucky Equine Management Internship) scholarships/recognition of graduates; the United Way discussed programs promoting financial security and independence; and Dr. Jill Stowe presented the results of the 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey.
Coordinator, Leslie Janecka, recognized the eighteen students that completed the Fall 2013 KEMI requirements. Two awards are offered at the end of each KEMI class. Club Treasurer, Randy Gilbert presented the KTFMC scholarship to Juddmonte Farm intern, Lauren Eisemann, a recent graduate in Animal Sciences at the Ohio State University. Sandy Hatfield announced the winner of the Michelle Fuerniss scholarship to Lucinda Gillespie, who completed her internship at Monticule Farm. Lucinda completed the Spring 2013 session of KEMI and decided to return for the Fall session to work with sales yearlings and to learn about the sales side of the industry. KEMI applicants vying for both awards completed essays and interviews, so thank you to all who applied and congratulations to the winners. KEMI graduates, Karen Bublitz and Luke Gilbert thanked all that were involved with the internship with a special thanks to coordinator, Leslie Janecka.
Curt introduced Bill Farmer, CEO of United Way of the Bluegrass, who thanked the club for the opportunity to present some programs that would be helpful for farm workers in central Kentucky. The main focus of United Way Programs is to help people with educational, personal finance, and health needs. He was excited to report new initiatives that will work with KTFMC, KTA/KTOB, and Bluegrass Farm Charities to help provide services to farm workers. Bill introduced Geoff Parker, Financial Stability Coordinator of United Way of the Bluegrass, who works directly with people of the community. Geoff highlighted several programs that he felt would help individuals from a low to moderate income. He encouraged interested parties to participate in the 2-1-1 program, which is a one stop call center for anyone seeking basic needs, i.e. food, utilities, volunteer opportunities, etc. The United Way of the Bluegrass provides tax preparation services to maximize returns, job training, money management programs, and much more in order to help people increase income. Please call 2-1-1 to get more information on these programs or if you are interested in getting involved with or learning more about the United Way of the Bluegrass.
Dr. Jill Stowe
Dr. Jill Stowe with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture presented the results of the latest Kentucky Equine Survey. Three and a half years ago, the University of Kentucky was approached by the KTFMC and equine industry members for assistance in assessing the status of the industry after the 2008-2009 recession. Through collaboration between the university, the government, and those in the industry, enough funds were secured to complete a comprehensive equine survey upon which future industry plans could be built. Dr. Stowe thanked all that were involved for their time and donations.
The survey consisted of three components: Equine Operation Inventory, Economic Impact Analysis, and a Non-market Evaluation Survey.
There are an estimated 35,000 equine operations across the state. An equine operation is an address that has at least one horse, mule, donkey, or pony. There are an estimated 242,000 equines across the state, with 1.1 million acres of land devoted to equine activities. The value of equine and equine related assets total $23.4 billion. These values dwarf other states in these categories, including Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York. Kentucky stands 2nd in equine inventory, topped only by North Carolina, which has 60,000 more horses than Kentucky. However, the value of the equines in Kentucky are $6.1 billion, with the closest state being North Carolina at $1.9 billion. The value of equine related assets in Kentucky far surpassed other states with similar surveys conducted. Dr. Stowe stressed that Kentucky has invested a lot in the infrastructure of the equine industry.
In a statewide inventory, thoroughbreds(54,000) were the most prevalent breed in the state, followed by quarter horses(42,000) and Tennessee walkers(36,000). The most popular use for equine in the state is trail riding/pleasure, followed by broodmares. When adding the various categories of thoroughbreds(stallions, broodmares, yearlings, foals, racehorses), this makes up 27% of the equine population in Kentucky.
In the economic-impact portion of the study, the statisticians were able to compare the economic value of the equine industry to other agricultural industries in Kentucky. Economic impact is measured by profit (revenue minus costs) and changes in employment. The economic impact of the equine industry measured by the output effect is $2.99 billion. Approximately 40,665 jobs in the state of Kentucky are generated by the equine industry.
When comparing the equine industry’s economic income by sector, the racing sector led, followed by breeding and then by competition horses. The breeding industry, however, leads by employment.
How do these numbers compare to other agricultural industries in the state? Using a study conducted by a colleague of Dr. Stowe at the University of Kentucky (she cautioned to be careful with the numbers, as the research was conducted in a separate survey), the equine industry contributes on the value added basis more than the corn industry and creates more jobs than the soybean industry.
Agricultural land is always under pressure for development, but there is value in preserving the land for equine purposes. The university sent 8,000 surveys to residents across the state, asking if people were willing to pay an amount to preserve land for equine use. Almost 70% were willing to pay some amount and 50% were willing to pay $50 per year in order to preserve land for equines. This enables us to place some price tag on our farm land.
Dr. Stowe thanked the club for their support of the Kentucky Equine Survey. A $100 honorarium will be donated to New Vocation by the club on behalf of Dr. Stowe.
The final order of business was the passing of the gavel from Curt Ramsey to Brent Wilson, the incoming president for 2014. Officers and Directors for 2014 were announced:
- Vice President, Randy Gilbert, Shawnee Farm
- Treasurer, Gus Koch, Shawhan Place
- Secretary, Kristen Goncharoff, Indian Creek
- Sergeant-At-Arms, Scooter Hughes, Hughes Management
- New directors: Andy Howard, Lane’s End; John Mulholland, Mulholland Springs; and Ferran Robinson, Winter Quarter Farm