The horse industry has a $102 billion impact on the U.S. economy with 4.6 million people are involved in the horse industry in some way, either as owners, employees, service providers or volunteers, according to an American Horse Council economic report. This includes 2 million horse owners, of which 238,000 are involved in breeding, 481,000 in competing, 1.1 million involved in other activities, 119,000 service providers and 702,000 employees, full- and part-time and 2 million family members and volunteers. That means that 1 out of every 63 Americans is involved with horses.

Horse are but one facet of the industry categorized as agriculture.

Ag Day at the Capital is Wednesday, March 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., North Lobby and Hall of Flags, Hartford. Exhibits representing various aspects of agriculture.
Although Connecticut is the third smallest state in the nation, agriculture is a vital sector in its economy, according to a recent study, Economic Impact of Connecticut Agriculture. Farmland accounts for 405,616 acres – slightly more than 13 percent – of the state’s 3.18 million acres; and Connecticut’s 4,916 farms (which average 82 acres in size) rank first in New England in terms of market value per farm and per acre.

“On a per capita basis, the agricultural industry generates approximately $1,000 in sales per Connecticut resident. Included in the estimated total is a figure of $1.7 billion in value-added impact, the difference between the value of agricultural output and the cost of raw materials, or the money left in the hands of residents of the state which they can then spend buying goods and services in Connecticut.

The study, conducted and authored by University of Connecticut Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in cooperation with the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis, used direct agricultural sales generated in 2007 to calculate the industry’s $3.5 billion contribution to Connecticut’s total gross product of $212 billion that year, which was roughly the size of the economy of Ireland or Israel.