Peggy Auwerda

peggy auwerda head shotPeggy Auwerda’s work with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has allowed her to bring information about horses to youth and adults across Iowa. Through 4-H programming, the Master Equine Manager course and much more, Auwerda has helped improve horse management and knowledge in Iowa for 30 years.

How long have you worked for ISU Extension and Outreach?

I started with ISU Extension and Outreach in August 1989.

What do you do for ISU Extension and Outreach?

I am the equine specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach. For youth I advise the 4-H horse program and work with Mike Anderson and the 4-H Horse Advisory Committee. We manage the Iowa State Fair 4-H Horse Show and the 4-H Horse Extravaganza. We also develop webinars and other educational material for the 4-Her’s. For adults I work with management of equine including responding to questions from clientele. I manage the Equine Science website as well as send out Grazing News, an equine science newsletter.

What is the best part of working for ISU Extension and Outreach?

Meeting a variety of people and seeing the progress when youth or adults succeed.

What drew you to Iowa State?

A combination of factors drew me to Iowa State. I am from Illinois so staying in the Midwest was a plus. But I also was intrigued with the teaching and extension dual appointment. When I first came here there was not an active 4-H program or an adult management program. In addition, working with the horse farm manager allowed the design of a variety of interactive activities. Many times, students help with equine events and students will also write reports for courses which are published on the Equine Science website or in Grazing News.

Do you have any big upcoming projects or events?

Currently I am designing a Women Managing Horses program to be provided through the Women in Agriculture program. The first program will be held in Wright County in November and December.

With your time with Extension, what is one thing you or are especially proud to have accomplished in this position?

I was proud to establish the Extravaganza program for youth. With this program, youth can compete in Hippology, Quiz Bowl, Horse Judging, Public Speaking and Demonstrations. In addition, other activities include Photography, Clothes/Crafts/Woodworking, Poster, Painting, Digital Storytelling, Woodworking and Scrapbooking. I am proud to establish a program with Dale Miller called the Master Equine Manager program. My goal would be now to develop the Women Managing Horses program that will be held this spring and fall in various counties across the state.

Name one fun thing about yourself that not many people know.

I have five dogs and eight cats that are my family.

What do you do in your free time?

Read, garden, work with horses, and do anything outside.

How do you create a #StrongIowa?

A #StrongIowa would be acknowledgement of the equine industry as a major agriculture commodity in Iowa. The industry is unique because working with equine involves all facets of lives, different ages of people, and rural communities along with towns and metropolitan areas. Horses are an economic driver, companion, teacher and motivator. The equine industry involves agriculture suppliers, farm related services, horse related businesses, tourism, professional services, equine health services, recreation, value added agriculture, professional associations, and most importantly youth development.