Know the Facts

How does horse power drive Marion County’s economy?
  • Marion County has more horses and ponies than any other county in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture census.
  • Marion County has more than 900 farms covering every breed.
  • Marion County has more than 200,000 acres of its 377,000 acres used for horse-related purposes.
    • Marion County’s equine industry has a $2.6 billion annual economic impact, generates $1.6 billion in value-added contribution to the gross domestic product, and creates 22,000 full and part-time jobs.
Transportation
  • Florida’s population is growing and the transportation systems must grow too. We did not oppose the Coastal Connector Tollway. What we opposed were the routes through the heart of the most prime and precious Marion County horse farms and the Farmland Preservation Area.
  • Our goal was to help the leadership of the Florida Department of Transportation understand the impact of their proposed routes. Once provided with the facts, they had the good judgement to abandon those proposed routes.
  • Any new road projects within the Farmland Preservation Area should use existing rights-of-way.
Growth
  • Growth is good for a community and we support it.
  • Our mission is to preserve the character and culture that horses, horse farms and the Farmland Preservation Area make unique to Marion County … as it grows.
  • Urban growth becomes urban sprawl when the Urban Growth Boundary is subject to change with every developer request.
  • The county’s Farmland Preservation Area must be respected and protected.