By Peggy Auwerda and Madeline Schultz
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 Feb. 9.
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.
“The 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 value added agriculture at Iowa State University.
Four-week program starts Feb. 9, with topics on 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 Peggy Auwerda, equine specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach; Timothy Christensen, farm management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach; Meaghan Anderson, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach; and Bobbi Finarty, ISU Extension and Outreach Hardin County director.
Participants can attend in-person at the ISU Extension and Outreach Adair County office, at 154 Public Square, Green Room, Greenfield, Iowa.
The event is sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Agriculture, Farm Credit Services of America, and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The cost of the course is $75. Register by Feb. 6 at https://go.iastate.edu/5NI3C1Source : iastate.edu