Second Annual Equine Land Use Summit Will Focus on "The New Ruralism"
RELEASE: February 14, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Kipp McIntyre
The Polk County Economic Development Commission will present the Second Annual National Equine Economic Development Summit from April 17-19, 2008, at the famed Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, NC.
This year's conference, themed "The New Ruralism," promises to establish a new dialogue in land conservation and rural-based economies. It will bring together policy makers, community and equine industry leaders from across the country in an effort to strike a balance between equestrian and commercial land use interests.
Dan Rosenberg, President of Rosenberg Thoroughbred Consulting, will deliver the keynote address, "Why We Need Horses," in which he will discuss the importance of maintaining the rural landscape of an agricultural community by building sound, economic strategies around a horse-based economy. Rosenberg is an active participant in the Thoroughbred industry, having
served on the board of directors of many equine organizations. Additionally, he was instrumental in the development and operations of the fabled Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, KY.
Also providing a keynote address is Richard Thalheimer, an equine economist from Lexington, KY, whose involvement with economic research and consulting spans more than 30 years. His keynote lecture, "The Economic Impact of Equestrian Activities on Communities," will address ways in which local city planners and policymakers can develop and maintain an equine economy amid a rapidly changing landscape.
Michael Donovan of Equestrian Services, LLC, an equestrian development firm in Charlottesville, VA, will also speak at the summit, highlighting the ways in which equestrian communities can be made financially attractive to developers and ecologically sound to rural economies.
This year¹s Equine Summit aims to raise awareness about the benefits of horses to rural economies. Agriculture in the United States is strong, but it is also at a crossroads. Innovation is the key to finding the right way forward. By giving community leaders the tools necessary to develop land use strategies that are compatible with the open space required of equine communities, the land can be protected from being carved up by a patchwork of gated residences and high-density housing projects.
The National Horse Council estimates that there are 9.2 million horses in the U.S. and that 4.6 million Americans are involved in the industry as horse owners, service providers, employers and volunteers. Tens of millions more participate as spectators.
By bringing together developers, land use planners and policymakers within a single forum of discussion, the Polk County Economic Development Office hopes to raise awareness about the value of horse-related activities upon local economies. Attendees at the event will be given the wherewithal to stimulate their own equine economy, and, in so doing, provide state and national economies with a substantial revenue stream while preserving equine traditions and the open spaces that complement them.
For reservations or for further information, please visit www.ourpolk.polknc.org