Auburn University's Department of Animal Sciences offers more than 150 youth and their parents a hands-on educational opportunity through its newly founded Horse Ownership Resources, Skills and Education for Youth (HORSE U) program.
HORSE U has been modeled after the departments successful productions of BEEF U and DAIRY U which gives Alabama youth the opportunity to have a behind the scenes look at the beef and dairy industries.
The program is held at the Stanley Wilson Beef Teaching Unit which includes sessions focusing on parasite control and resistance, trailer safety and trivia on general horse information. The hands-on clinics take place at the Auburn University Horse Center. Students have the opportunity to take part in warm-up/cool-down clinics, teeth aging exercises and emergency care with live horses as examples.
The sessions are organized and taught by faculty, undergraduate and graduate students of the Department of Animal Sciences.
"I have seen more than 100 students today," HORSE U Instructor Courteney Holland said. "They have been very interested in learning the material. I have been surprised at how engaged the younger children have been during some of the sessions."
The program also gives high school students the opportunity to explore the facilities of the department, and it serves as a recruitment tool for prospective students.
"The Department of Animal Sciences at Auburn University is a family environment," said Dr. Wayne Greene, head of animal sciences. "Any opportunity we can get prospective students on campus to begin building their home within this department is a good thing. We work hard to develop future leaders, and the more comfortable they become in this environment, the better they can prepare for their futures."
Through successful planning and execution by students and faculty, HORSE U will establish itself as a premier opportunity to develop the future leaders in Alabama's horse industry for years to come.