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Texas A&M Offers Focus On Horse Economy





Texas A&M University, one of the foremost universities in the development of
research, science and information for the agriculture industry, has retained
Latigo Associates to assist in the development of a center designed to help
the horse industry make better decisions and build business.
"Latigo Associates is honored to have been selected by the University to
assist in this effort," said Julie Bryant, president. "Throughout my 20
years serving this industry, I have often been frustrated by the lack of
data available in the horse industry that is so abundant in other livestock
or commodity categories, such as cattle and sheep. With this Center, the
U.S. horse industry can gain solid ground in claiming true economic impact
both in the United States and globally."
Approved by The Texas A&M University System's Board of Regents in September,
the Center for Equine Business Studies at Texas A&M is slated to become a
valuable and consistently available resource for all aspects of the equine
industry as it works to provide economic and market information to the
industry said the Center's Executive Director, Dr. Ernie Davis.
"Texas A&M takes very seriously its reputation as one of the nation's
leading universities, particularly in the areas of agriculture and
veterinary medicine," Davis said. "The university recognizes that the horse
livestock industry has a need for information that will identify emerging
markets and provide a consistent source of economic and industry data to
affect sound decision making by companies and groups serving the industry."
Davis said the ability to consistently provide information to government,
media and the public regarding the impact of the horse industry,
environmental and tax issues is critical and points to the topic of equine
slaughter as an example.
"There are two clear sides to this issue but, unfortunately, there has been
little done to determine the true economic impact of caring for fifty to
sixty thousand horses annually for the remainder of their lifespan,  and
equally as important, the impact of closing the plants that process those
animals," he said. "This is just one example and our Center could help
answer those questions."
David noted that since the horse industry is dominated by small business,
among them being professional horse trainers, breeders, tack and equipment
suppliers, training in entrepreneurship would serve the industry well in
assuring the success of companies and future investors.
Furthermore, such a Center would also provide economic analysis of the
potential impacts of programs and proposed legislation on the U.S. and
international horse industries.
Slated to be operational by June 2006, the Center will receive valuable
input from a Strategic Development Council that will meet at Texas A&M in
February comprised of key industry thought leaders who will provide insight
into the programs and services to be offered. A second Blue Ribbon Advisory
Panel will be formed once the Center is operational to continue providing
feedback, as well as be involved in the development of industry summits and
programs.
Funding for the Center will come from the horse industry through membership
fees established at varying fee and service levels. Among the benefits of
membership are the development of annual reports, access to economic data
generated by the Center, a monthly EquiNomics newsletter and registration to
an annual EquiNomics Summit.
"Members of the Center will be able to call upon our internationally
recognized staff at any time to perform studies on their behalf," Davis
said. "Our staff knows and understands agriculture and the horse livestock
industry, so the ability to produce solid data is one assurance we can make
to our members."
To receive an information packet about the Center and membership, contact
Dr. Davis at eed@tamu.edu , by calling (979) 845-1705 or at 2124 TAMU,
College Station, TX 77843-2124. Bryant can be contacted at
julie@golatigo.com or (817) 443-0686.

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