HORSE COUNTRY PROTECTION PROGRAM
VISIONING THE FUTURE OF MARION COUNTY’S FARMLAND
County is home to one of the largest concentrations of horse farms in the world,
which is why it is known as the “Horse Capital of the World”. While the
horse industry has an annual economic impact of $2.62 billion in
revenues and employs nearly 20,000 people, it is becoming increasingly
important to protect our rural lands, which are vulnerable to development. Roughly
2,000 acres of Marion County’s Farmland Preservation Area has recently been
lost to urban uses.
purpose of the Horse Country Protection Program is to help protect Marion
County’s agricultural lands, equine heritage, and unique natural springs by
advocating for the development of a Rural Land Management Plan. Our goal is to
build consensus within the community through a series of educational forums;
which leads to the development of a long-range plan that balances economic
development with protecting our quality of life and natural resources.
The Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) is partnering with the Alachua Conservation Trust (ACT)
on the Horse Country Protection Program, an educational initiative regarding the impact
of urbanization on the economy, agricultural land, and natural resources of Marion County. The
American Farmland Trust (AFT) is also providing program support from a national perspective.