S.D. horse owners asked to fill out nutrition survey
BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota State University and SDSU Extension ask all South Dakota horse owners to set aside a few minutes to fill out the online Equine Nutrition Survey before Oct. 31, 2016.
“This survey is designed to provide information to horse owners as well as SDSU Extension and the Department of Animal Science staff,” explained Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate.
Carroll encourages all horse owners from South Dakota and neighboring states, 18 years and older, who own at least one horse to fill out the survey.
A unique feature to this survey is that once horse owners complete it, they are provided with the answers to the knowledge based questions about equine nutrition and health. The survey tests owners’ knowledge and gives a quick learning experience while collecting valuable information about horse care. “At the same time, it gives us a clear understanding of what South Dakota horse owners’ are feeding, what the strengths and weaknesses are regarding knowledge of equine nutrition and how current feeding practices in this region compare to previously reported information from other regions,” Carroll said.
The survey is part of an Animal Science undergraduate research project conducted by Emily Rosenthal. Rosenthal is advised by Sara Mastellar, Equine Instructor, South Dakota State University, and works closely with Carroll whom serves as project co-leader.
“The information will be used to create a data-driven picture of how horse owners in this area feed their horses. This information will help us gauge equine owners and managers understanding of equine nutrition,” Mastellar said.
Rosenthal is a senior Animal Science major from San Diego, Calif. Actively involved on campus, she is a member of the SDSU Swim and Dive team and President of Alpha Zeta Honors Fraternity. She is also the proud owner of two horses which she boards in Brookings.
Following graduation, Rosenthal plans to pursue a Master’s in Ruminant Nutrition. She says this undergraduate research project is providing her with needed research experience.
“This survey has broadened my knowledge in scientific writing and taught me how to work and ask questions in a research-based setting. It’s also taught me that I can have a positive impact on the equine industry by creating a nutritional standard,” Rosenthal said.