The Columbia Star: The threat facing S.C. horses and rural jobs
In Kershaw County, we take pride in our agricultural heritage and small-town way of life. The equine industry is an important part of that culture.
Many South Carolinians do not realize how large and important our state’s equine industry is. For example, the businesses that support our state’s 73,000-plus horses employ nearly 30,000 South Carolinians.
However, horse-related businesses are rapidly moving to neighboring states because of outdated S.C. laws and incentives offered elsewhere.
Rural South Carolinians will continue to lose jobs and investments to other states if horse folks, agricultural communities and small business owners do not get the new revenue-generating tools they desperately need.
As someone who depends on the equine industry for my livelihood, I am asking state legislators to support the South Carolina Equine Advancement Act.
This legislation would generate revenue by legalizing advance deposit wagering on equine events already being held across the nation.
The revenue would go directly to nonprofit organizations like local 4Hs, trainers, veterinarians, feed stores and a wide range of agricultural employees. This grant program would be managed by the S.C. Equine Commission. Without this revenue, it is impossible for South Carolina to revitalize what was once a vibrant horse economy.
Please encourage our State Senators and Representatives to support rural jobs and S.C. horses this legislative session.