AMES, Iowa – No doubt about it, women are the majority owners and caretakers of horses.
In Iowa, horse ownership is big business, with nearly 55,000 horses, ponies, mules and donkeys on more than 9,000 farms. The state’s total annual sales of equine was $19.7 million, ranking Iowa 11th in the nation as reported by the United States Department of Agriculture’s 2017 Census of Agriculture.
Recognizing the value of Iowa’s equine, a group of Iowa State University educators and private industry professionals will hold a four-session course called Women Managing Horses, beginning Nov. 14.
The course will touch on the major business risks of raising, handling and marketing healthy horses, as well as provide opportunities for participants to interact with some of the state’s most qualified equine experts. The women-centered course is designed for women of all ages and experience levels.
“The Women Managing Horses course is a unique program offering information on business finance as well as horse care concepts,” said Peggy Auwerda, associate professor in animal science and extension equine specialist at Iowa State University. “Some of the topics are cost of production, marketing strategies, insurance, nutrition, environmental management and veterinary care.”
Women Managing Horses provides research-based information and decision tools to help women manage their equine business.
"Peggy Auwerda has put together a course that is very relevant to horse owners. I'm proud her new course is inspired by Annie's Project and uses many of the same key principles such as a focus on risk management, local guest speakers and participant involvement,” said Madeline Schultz, program manager for Women in Ag at Iowa State University.
Participants will receive a workbook, and sessions will be held Nov. 14, Nov. 21, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12. Each session lasts for three hours and will be held at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Wright County office in Clarion. A meal will be shared at 5:30 p.m., and the sessions start at 6 p.m.
The cost of the course is $75 and includes all printed materials. Register online by Nov. 12 at http://www.aep.iastate.edu/womeninag/ or contact Sarah Zwiefel, outreach and marketing coordinator for ISU Extension and Outreach Wright County. She can be reached at 515-532-3453, or firstname.lastname@example.org.