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Equine Center

Animal Science Farm Field and Barns


Projects  


Researchers  

Research Projects

Developing an Oxytocin Treatment Protocol for Supressing Estrus in Mares

Project Lead: Dirk Vanderwall

The sustainability of U.S. agriculture is threatened by the degradation and/or loss of ecosystem services through natural processes or human interventions such as reduced biological diversity, water and air pollution, and loss of soil quality. As an example, US wetlands and grasslands have been converted to cropland for the production of annual feed grains, reducing the ecosystem services provided by these lands. In order to reverse this trend, we propose the development of a transformative tannin-containing legume-based beef production system. We will determine the ecosystem services (production, environmental impacts and profitability) provided by our proposed system relative to current beef production systems in which beef cattle are fed and finished on either irrigated “conventional” pasture or in a feedlot. We expect that ecosystem services will be enhanced for both the cow-calf and the finishing phases of beef production in this alternative system. This project addresses the supporting ecosystem services of nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration by eliminating the need to feed cereal grains, and consequently annual grain cultivation and fertilization, from all phases of beef production. It addresses provisioning services by supporting the tradition of regional livestock production in rural America, it addresses the regulating ecosystem service of mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with the current US beef system, and it addresses cultural ecosystem services by providing local food products with a more healthful nutrient content.

Microbial Carbon-use Efficiency in Agroecosystems: The Effect of Drought and N Availability on Soil Microbial Production and Respiration

Project Lead: Jennifer MacAdam

The current project is partially funded by USDA AFRI Agriculture and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change Challenge Area,Climate and Microbial Processes in Agroecosystems program grant 2016-67004-24920 to John Stark to examine the effect of grazing management andclimate change in Utah on the ability of soil microorganisms to sequester carbon. It is fundamental research to model soil nutrient cycling with the objective ofreducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting carbon storage.

Effects of a novel alfalfa leaf product on performance of feedlot cattle

Project Lead: Kara Thornton-Kurth

In this project, we will test how inclusion of a novel alfalfa leaf product impacts feedlot performance and carcass quality.

Crossbreedig utilizing Santa Gertrudis

Project Lead: Matthew Garcia

Utilize the beef herd for a crossbreeding project that will follow calves from birth till harvest. The project will provide research for multiple collaborating facultyand will demonstrate the benefits of hybrid vigor in beef cattle

Establishing a protocol for receiving cattle that are at-risk of having a mineral deficiency

Project Lead: Kara Thornton-Kurth

The goal of this project is to study different intervention strategies for cattle that are received at a feedlot and found to be mineral deficient.

Timing of Glyphosate Application to Increase Cattle Consumption of Medusahead

Project Lead: Juan Villalba

Determine whether the application of glyphosate at varying phenological stages of medusahead development will maximize intake and preferences by cattle.

Inclusion of a novel alfalfa product in the ration of dairy heifers

Project Lead: Kara Thornton-Kurth

We are going to see how a novel alfalfa product impacts growth and reproductive capacity of holstein dairy heifers when included in the ration as compared to a control ration that does not have any of the novel alfalfa feed.

ADVS 2300 (Horse Health Care)

Project Lead: Holly Mason

Horses are to be used as key educational elements for hands on experience during laboratory instruction for Horse Health Care. Topics include, but are not limited to, immunization administration, anthelmintic administration, venipuncture, physical examinations, lameness examinations and bandaging.

Developing an Oxytocin Treatment Protocol for Suppressing Estrus in Mares

Project Lead: Dirk Vanderwall

Development a more practical and efficacious method of using oxytocin treatment to prolong corpus luteum function in mares as a means of keeping performance mares out of heat.

Foal Team - Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners; Course VM 7560 (Pending Approval)

Project Lead: Holly Mason

Equine Parturition and Post-Natal Care is a course designed for the veterinary student in preparation for equine practice. It is critical to know what normal is in order to properly assess and intervene when called for a dystocia or a post-natal foal that is failing. The goal for each student in this course is to gain knowledge and experience that can be applied directly to equine practice. The course will commence with equine safety training and lecture material designed to introduce the student to pre-, peri- and post-parturient mare care and management, parturition and routine post-natal care of the foal. Once the concepts of broodmare and post-natal foal care are presented, the students will break up into groups and each group will be assigned to a pregnant broodmare. Each group will be expected to monitor their broodmare for pre-partum signs indicative of imminent foaling via repeat physical examinations and milk calcium testing. Once parturition is deemed imminent, a Foalert transmitter will be installed in the mare's vulva and her group of students will be responsible for night watch, foaling her out, and administering any required peri- and/or post-partum mare care. Additionally, each group will evaluate the post-natal foal and administer routine treatments. As the semester progresses, we will round periodically as a group to discuss each parturition event and have open dialogue about the process. A camera system in the mare barn will be used to facilitate remote monitoring by the veterinary faculty and barn manager. One to two veterinarians will be available at all times throughout the duration of this course. Each group can expect to get personal communication from Dr. Mason either via cell phone, text or in person during each foaling event. Additionally, the breeding management intern and a few ADVS undergraduate students will attend each foaling.

ADVS 3150- Principles of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies

Project Lead: Judy Smith

Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) is an exciting and growing industry in which horses and humans work together to overcome physical, cognitive and emotional challenges and find strength and independence through the power of the horse. (http://pathintl.org). Within this lecture and lab experience you will gain a broad understanding of: •Equine assisted activities and therapy services •Professionals working in this industry •Populations served •Introduction to the national and international professional associations that develop industry standards, provide trainings and administer professional certifications •The horse and human partnership

Equine Nutrition and Exercise Physiology (ADVS 3520) Experiential Experiences

Project Lead: Karl Hoopes

Experience 1: Students will learn about the upper digestive system, watch and perform teeth floating and observe passing of a nasogastric tube. Experience 2: Students will perform a nutritional assessment of the horses, feed and facilities.

ADVS 1500- EAAT Riding Fundamentals I

Project Lead: Judy Smith

This course is designed for students to develop an understanding of riding principles and practices in the equine industry. Through lecture and riding labs, the student will be able to explain the function of riding theories and perform basic riding fundamentals. Students will be expected to demonstrate an emphasis on safety while developing to an intermediate level of riding. This course will also introduce the student to the progression of appropriate riding skills for Adaptive Riding in the field of Equine Assited Activies and Therapies. •Students will be able to demonstration how to lunge a horse with a bridle or cavason and explain the benifets for both or hand rider. •Student will be able to demonstrate correct riding aids for the walk, trot and canter. •Students will be able to explain the biomechanics for equine movement as it relates to the ridden horse. •Students will be to explain the value of a balance seat and proper alignment. •Students will be able to preform all riding skills using safety standards and correct riding positions. •Students will be able to explain the progression of riding skills and appropriate adaptions in the therapeutic community. •Students will be able to perform basic riding pattern using all 3 gaits and arena figures learned in this course. •Students will be able to explain the progression of riding skills for Adaptive Riding.

ADVS 3400- Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning

Project Lead: Judy Smith

"The Equine Specialist has a broad role in equine assisted mental health and experiential education programs. Equine specialist are responsible for training and assessment of the therapy horse, therapeutic environments, safety procedures, understanding theories commonly used, and designing arena activities. COURSE OBJECTIVES: •Students will demonstrate ability to recognize and maintain a therapeutic environment •Students will understand equine training, management and the ethical use of in EAAT •Students will design appropriate arena activities based on IEP or mental health treatment goals •Students will communicate effectively in a team therapeutic environment •Students will understand roles and responsibilities in EAL and EAP settings •Students will demonstrate competency in assessing client and horse suitability for EAAT activities"

Investigation of a Translatable Animal Model in Order to Understand the Etiology of Heterotopic Ossification

Project Lead: Aaron Olsen

To house animals being used in an orthopedic study evaluating heterotropic ossification. Animals must be housed in USDA registered barn.

Tannin-containing legumes in pasturelands and their ecological services

Project Lead: Juan Villalba

The sustainability of U.S. agriculture is threatened by the degradation and/or loss of ecosystem services through natural processes or human interventions such as reduced biological diversity, water and air pollution, and loss of soil quality. As an example, US wetlands and grasslands have been converted to cropland for the production of annual feed grains, reducing the ecosystem services provided by these lands. In order to reverse this trend, we propose the development of a transformative tannin-containing legume-based beef production system. We will determine the ecosystem services (production, environmental impacts and profitability) provided by our proposed system relative to current beef production systems in which beef cattle are fed and finished on either irrigated “conventional” pasture or in a feedlot. We expect that ecosystem services will be enhanced for both the cow-calf and the finishing phases of beef production in this alternative system. This project addresses the supporting ecosystem services of nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration by eliminating the need to feed cereal grains, and consequently annual grain cultivation and fertilization, from all phases of beef production. It addresses provisioning services by supporting the tradition of regional livestock production in rural America, it addresses the regulating ecosystem service of mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with the current US beef system, and it addresses cultural ecosystem services by providing local food products with a more healthful nutrient content.

Employing Forage Legumes to Improve the Sustainability of Ruminant Production

Project Lead: Jennifer MacAdam

The long-term goal of this project is to improve the profitability of Utah livestock producers, reduce the negative environmental impact of ruminant production and increase the food security of residents of Utah and the northern Mountain West. Beef and dairy production account for a large proportion of Utah's agricultural output. Feed costs are the most expensive input for livestock operations, and the efficiency of feed use can have a significant effect on both the profitability of a livestock operation and its environmental impact. Western livestock producers can increase the productivity of privately owned land by increasing the use of legumes, particularly those that can be grazed without fear of bloat. They can also increase the profitability of livestock production by marketing natural or organic meat directly to the high concentration of urban residents and restaurants.