August 31, 2018
Join Us to Save Our Horse Farms!
Our mission is to inspire the conservation of horse farms by preserving the natural pasture land for horses and their habitats, and to protect the soil and water on which they depend, while minimizing land use conflicts in Marion County.
Marion County has some of the most productive horse farming in the country and this didn’t happen by chance. The equine industry was developed here more than 80 years ago because of the unique characteristics of the year-round moderate climate, as well as the mineral-rich soil and water specific to the region. Think of how important the coral reefs are to the make-up of the Florida Keys. The land in Marion County is just as irreplaceable and precious for horse farms in the North Central Florida region. That is why a group of locals has formed Horse Farms Forever, an initiative focused on the conservation of horse farms by preserving the natural pasture land for horses and their habitats, protecting the soil and water on which they depend, and minimizing land use conflicts in Marion County.
In April 2018, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) released plans for the Coastal Connector turnpike with projected routes that would go right through the heart of Marion County horse country. After massive public outcry over the potential destruction of the hundreds of horse farms that provide the cultural fabric of Marion County, the FDOT “postponed” this project. Now that the immediate threat of the Coastal Connector has been postponed, the ongoing goal for Horse Farms Forever is to protect horse farms from further government overreach through education and awareness in Marion County.
Ocala’s equine industry contributes nearly 50 percent of the tourism dollars in Marion County, brings in nearly $3 billion annually and employs 20,000 workers. Our equine industry is at stake should this project resume at a later date or future projects be approved. To protect what we have and promote responsible growth, Horse Farms Forever is dedicated to constantly monitoring the development of agriculture property in Marion County.
We must preserve and protect Marion County’s green space that is revered as the Horse Capital of the World.™
We invite you to join Horse Farms Forever by visiting our website, HorseFarmsForever.com, where you can find several ways to get involved, including:
- Providing your email address to stay informed
- Making a donation to help us reach others
- Sharing our effort on social media to help spread our message
It will take a united effort from all of our residents to come together to raise our voices to protect our horse farms and our way of life. Now is the time to make sure we are here for another 80 years.
Horse Farms Forever