Phase 2, March-October 2006

An ad hoc planning committee, in close consultation with faculty, departments and industry stakeholders, developed a proposal for how the Equine Initiative could operate to accomplish its mission. That mission, as recommended by the committee was “To integrate, enhance and communicate equine-related activities at UK so as to support and serve the equine community.”

Phase 2 ended with a recommendation for the formal recognition of the Equine Initiative with the appoint­ment of an Executive Director.

Some key Phase 2 activities included:

  • An interdisciplinary group of faculty proposed an organizational structure to facilitate the mainte­nance and expansion of research, instructional and outreach programs that would support the equine industry in Kentucky as well as enhance communi­cation between the college and equine interests in Kentucky and elsewhere.
  • Curriculum Development - A proposal for an un­dergraduate degree in Equine Science and Man­agement was designed by a group of faculty from several departments and knowledgeable industry leaders.
  • Equine Markets, a special topics course in agricul­tural economics, was the first new equine course offered as a direct result of the Equine Initiative.

During these first few years of the Equine Initiative, support for this important development effort came in many ways, all reinforcing the importance of the Equine Initiative to the equine industry in Kentucky. Examples included:

  • A $6 million gift from the estate of Janet H. Koller was given to the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Re­search Center
  • State and university support for the enhancement of services of the Livestock Disease and Diag­nostic Center (now VDL), including facilities expansion and additional faculty
  • Receipt of funding for a $1 million Stanley Smith Dick­son endowment to support the Equine Initiative’s programs and activities
  • Established the nation’s first USDA-ARS program with an approved mission including equine re­search, a breakthrough in former USDA policies excluding horses
  • Expansion of current and development of new out­reach programs such as Horse College and a Horse Pasture Evaluation Program
  • Expansion of current and development of new out­reach programs to address equine issues of interest to Kentucky’s youth and adults
  • The addition of new full-time and part-time equine-related faculty positions in Animal and Food Sciences, Agricultural Economics and Plant and Soil Sciences
  • Creation of the Equine Practitioner in Residence Program and the selection of Dan Rosenberg (at that time from Three Chimneys Farm) as the first to receive this honor
  • Continued development of an online presence for the Equine Initiative through its own website in addition to a website makeover for the Gluck Cen­ter, HorseQuest and the designation of UK as the national equine site for eXtension
  • Strengthened existing and established new partner­ships with equine organizations representing the diversity of the industry
  • Appointment of an active equine industry stake­holder advisory committee