REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Agriculture has created an 11-member Equine Industry Advisory Task Force designed to discuss strategies for promoting and strengthening Ohio’s equine industry.
More than 307,000 horses make up the Ohio horse industry that produces a total economic impact valued at approximately $2.2 billion in goods and services and employs more than 16,000 people.
“This task force’s creation is an exciting event for the equine industry here in Ohio,” said agriculture director Robert Boggs.
“Our goal is to strengthen the industry and to renew Ohioans’ enthusiasm by bringing together representatives who can share diverse experiences and viewpoints.”
Chaired by the department, the task force includes seven representatives and four at-large members, each chosen on equine industry expertise and peer support following an initial stakeholder meeting in September 2008.
- Adam Ward, Ohio Department of Agriculture legislative liaison, chair;
- Willie Koester, Ohio Racing Commission, racing industry;
- Mike Gerard, private horse owner, pleasure horse industry;
- Gary King, Ohio Agri-business Association, feed and tack industry;
- Elizabeth Burick, private horse owner, show horse industry;
- Dr. Tony Forshey, Ohio Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian, veterinary field;
- Fred Arnold, Ohio Fair Managers Association, Ohio county fairs;
- Dr. John Mossbarger, Midland Acres, representing equine breeders.
- Keith Stimpert, Ohio Farm Bureau;
- Brock Schmaltz, Ohio Equine Industry Coalition;
- Tom Fries, Jr., Ohio Standardbred Commission;
- Denny Hales, Ohio Quarterhorse Association.