MSU Web Series Puts Focus on Equine Environment

Horse owners who are looking for help in managing their farms in an environmentally friendly way can get free information during a Web cast series from My Horse University, and eXtension HorseQuest.

The webcasts, set for Jan.13, Feb.10 and March 10, will all begin at 7 p.m. EST. Participants can choose to take part in one or all three. The first one will feature Jenifer Nadeau, MS, PhD, associate professor of animal science at the University of Connecticut. She will offer an introduction to getting the most from horse pastures and how to manage manure in an environmentally friendly way.

"The majority of horse owners enjoy spending time outside and are concerned about the environment. This Web cast will provide a variety of ideas about ways in which horse owners can help protect the environment through pasture management, manure management, runoff management, stream and riverbank management, and facility management," Nadeau said.

The Feb. 10 webinar will feature Dave Freeman, PhD, professor of animal science at Oklahoma State University, who will discuss pasture management for horse acreages.

"Small acreages with large numbers of horses, along with little knowledge about agronomic practices for farms, are typical scenarios of horse ownership across the United States. Horse owners have to reposition themselves to become 'grass managers' if pastures are going to work out," he said.

Ann Swinker, PhD, associate professor of equine science at Pennsylvania State University, will lead the March 10 session, which will look at horse manure as a renewable resource.

"Manure, if used properly, can be a valuable addition to any operation's resource system," she said. "Many small-scale horse operators feel overwhelmed by the huge mound of manure and soiled bedding. Good manure management benefits you, your livestock, your land, the neighborhood, and the surrounding environment."

This free Web cast series is an ongoing effort of partners My Horse University and eXtension HorseQuest to bring unbiased, science based-information to the equine community.

My Horse University also offers self-paced, online courses on breeding and selection, behavior and welfare, and nutrition that are developed by equine experts. It has served nearly 1,000 learners from high school and students to adult horse enthusiasts.

My Horse University was created through a partnership between Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, the MSU Department of Animal Science and MSU Global. The internal roots have branched to include the best of MSU's Equine researchers and practitioners to national experts through a partnership with national eXtension.

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