Penn State Extension looking for farm partners for research project

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horses eating hay

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Equine gastrointestinal parasites, and their increasing resistance to available dewormers, are a major concern in the equine industry.

A grant from the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture and Education program is enabling the PSU Equine Extension team to travel across the state educating horse owners about strategic deworming and non-drug based parasite control methods.

Project details

Farm owners interested in participating in the project must first attend the “Managing Parasite Resistance Using a Whole Farm Approach” course.

The same day-long program will be offered at four different locations and dates:

March 12 at Delaware Valley University, Doylestown, Pennsylvania; March 19 at the York County Extension Office; March 8 at the Best Western Conference Center, Bethlehem; April 16 at West Central Equipment in Butler County. The course runs from 9 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. at each site.

Cost

The cost is $45 per person and includes lectures, lunch and materials. Advance registration is required at least one week prior to each class.

Registration

For registration materials, contact Donna Foulk at dlf5@psu.edu or Heather Stofanak at 610-746-1970. The course is open to all interested horse owners, barn managers, equine industry personnel, veterinarians and vet technicians.

Heather Stofanak and other members of the equine team will discuss the research project, will present information gleaned from the farms enrolled in 2015, and will help farm owners learn to prepare samples and conduct fecal egg counts.

Research partner

Those attending the course will have the option to be involved as an “Equine Team Parasite Research Partner.”

Data collection

In 2016, the Penn State equine team is seeking 40 farms to enroll as farm partners. The participants will meet at predetermined sites equipped with microscopes and the other supplies needed to conduct fecal egg counts.

Whole herd fecal egg counts will be conducted by the farm partners three times a year. The data will allow the farm owners to determine which horses on the farm are high shedders and which ones are low shedders of small strongyle eggs.

Horses that are identified as high shedders will be dewormed using predetermined dewormers and will be rechecked after two weeks to determine the efficacy of the product on the farm.

Details

To receive a brochure about the project, contact Donna Foulk by email at dlf5@psu.edu or Heather Stofanak at haf10@psu.edu or call 610-746-1970.

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