Norm Luba Named 2011 Friend of the UK Equine Initiative

Norm Luba, MS, was named 2011 Friend of UK's Equine Initiative during the Kentucky Quarter Horse Association's annual meeting and banquet, held Dec. 10 in Lexington, Ky.

Luba, executive director of the North American Equine Ranching Information Council (NAERIC), was recognized for his leadership, vision, and work on behalf of the Equine Initiative. Luba currently serves as the chair of the UK College of Agriculture Equine Advisory Committee and has been involved in the Equine Initiative since early in its formation and in college equine programming before that.

"Norm brings his interest and knowledge of the horse and the horse industry, plus a strong desire to make our equine programs the best they can be," said Bob Coleman, PhD, PAS, associate director for undergraduate education in equine science and management and extension horse specialist.

"This award was created to recognize our stakeholders for contributions that elevate what we offer and challenge us to provide the best possible programs," said Nancy Cox, PhD, associate dean for research in UK's College of Agriculture, Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station director, and administrative leader for UK's Equine Initiative. "Norm has provided valuable leadership to developing our undergraduate program, and he led the process to create the College's Equine Advisory Committee, and then agreed when we asked him to serve as its initial chair. In that post he has created lively, relevant, and provocative discussions. He represents stakeholder leadership and engagement at its very best."

Luba has been a long-time supporter of equine activities at UK, including presenting at seminars and lecturing in classes and performing policy and procedures work for the state 4-H Horse Program and Horse College. He played a vital role in helping shape the curriculum for the Equine Science and Management undergraduate degree program, bringing his academic experience and knowledge of equine industry needs to the table.

Prior to his role with NAERIC, Luba taught within the University of Louisville's equine business program, served as manager of the University of Maryland (UMD) Research Center, taught within its equine program, and worked in the Cooperative Extension Program at UMD.

He has been actively involved in the horse industry most of his professional life. He served as the executive director of the Kentucky Horse Council and developed the Racing Steward Accreditation Program. Luba currently serves on the Kentucky Quarter Horse Association's board of directors, the American Youth Horse Council, the Animal Welfare Council, and the Sales Integrity Task Force. He also actively shows Quarter Horses and is competitive on a national level. Luba earned his bachelor's from the University of Connecticut and master's from UMD.

"Although I knew Norm before coming to UK, he has been extremely helpful to the UK equine program," said Ed Squires, PhD, Dipl. ACT (hon.), director of the Equine Initiative and executive director of the UK Gluck Equine Research Foundation. "As chair of the College's Equine Advisory Committee, he has provided valuable leadership in shaping our program."

The Friend of the Equine Initiative was created in 2005 to recognize a member of the public who has provided advocacy, funding, or other extraordinary support for the UK College of Agriculture's Equine Initiative or a college or university employee who has generated an exceptional relationship with stakeholders that has been manifested in a new program, new advocacy success, or new resources for the initiative.

Past Friends of the Equine Initiative include Dan Rosenberg of Rosenberg Thoroughbred Consulting; northern Kentucky county extension agent trio Don Sorrell of Campbell County, Dan Allen of Kenton County, and Jerry Brown of Boone County; and David Switzer of Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Owners and Breeders Association.

For more information about UK's Equine Initiative, visit www.ca.uky.edu/equine.

Holly Wiemers, MA, is communications director for UK's Equine Initiative.


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