AMES, Iowa – Women horse owners and caretakers will have an opportunity to learn more about Iowa’s equine industry from a business and production perspective, during a four-session course on equine management decisions.
In Iowa, horse ownership is big business, with 55,000 horses, mules or donkeys owned or sold, generating sales revenue of $19.7 million, according to the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture.
Recognizing the value of Iowa’s equine, and the gender that owns the most, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and private industry professionals will hold a four-class course called Women Managing Horses, beginning Sept. 30
The course will touch on all the major parameters of raising, handling and marketing healthy horses, and also provide opportunities for participants to interact with some of the state’s most qualified equine experts.
“Women Managing Horses is a unique program offering information on finances, insurance, marketing as well as horse care concepts,” said Peggy Auwerda, associate professor in animal science and extension equine specialist at Iowa State University. “Topics include nutrition, environmental management and veterinary care.”
The program is modeled after other women in ag programs such as Annie’s Project, and while it is open to men, the content is geared toward female participants.
“It’s important for us to reach out to this audience and tell them about the management and care of their horses and themselves,” said Madeline Schultz, program manager for Women in Ag at ISU Extension and Outreach.
The four-week program starts Sept. 30, with subsequent courses on Oct. 7, Oct. 14 and Oct. 21. Topics will include managing finances for equine farms and programs; insurance, liability and the horse business; designing health care programs; evaluating rations for horses; forages for horses; marketing a horse business; and environmental management.
Speakers include Auwerda, Kelvin Leibold, farm management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach; Kapil Arora, field agricultural engineer with ISU Extension and Outreach; Brian Lang, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach; Bobbi Finarty, extension director at ISU Extension and Outreach Hardin County; Wade Ellerbroek (Ellerbroek and Associates), and Loretta Berkland (Sibley Veterinary Clinic).
Participants can attend in-person at either the ISU Extension and Outreach Story County office, located 220 H Ave., Nevada, or ISU Extension and Outreach Grundy County office, at 703 F Ave., Grundy Center.
If you can't attend in-person, sign up for the online program. The event is sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Women in Agriculture, Iowa Horse Council, Farm Credit Services of America, USDA.
The cost of the course is $75. Register by Sept. 23 on the ISU Extension and Outreach website.
For more information, contact Shari Sell-Bakker, ISU Extension and Outreach Grundy County, at email@example.com. For the ISU Extension and Outreach Story County office, contact Michaela Van De Berg, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original photo: Woman with horse.