The equine industry contributes about $122 billion annually to the U.S. economy, employing 1.74 million people. And, Texas has the highest per-state horse population with over 767,100 horses. So, it’s no surprise that Texas A&M University has a strong equine focus, and that focus is growing this year thanks to a newly approved Equine Science Institute.
Texas A&M University’s System Board of Regents has approved the new institute which will bring together science and academic expertise and facilities to advance the university’s equine imperatives: curriculum enhancement, outreach and engagement expansion, facility construction, and partnership development.
Support for establishing the new institute totals nearly $25 million. The university anticipates graduating industry leaders and to generate research and veterinary medical care to improve the horse industry.
“The Equine Institute combines expertise and resources across Texas A&M toward a well-defined, unified mission,” said John August, BVetMed, MRCVS, Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M. “With this, we aim to ignite the collaborative spirit of advancing equine science, academics, leadership, well-being and industry.”
A director for the new Equine Institute will be hired after a national search. The institute will include internal and external advisory committees and undergo an annual review.
Sarah Schobert, the university’s equine lecturer and horse judging coach told 25News KXXV, “Just making sure that everybody has the tools to be educated in their own field and that we’re a helpful player to everybody being successful whether it’s their businesses or just some 4H groups as well and their continued establishment and looking for the next generation of horsemen as well.”
Texas A&M is already home to the Thomas G Hildebrand’s DVMP ’56 Equine Complex which opened in April of 2014. The facility has hosted equine teaching, outreach, and athletic events since its opening. There’s also the Dick Freeman Arena & Equestrian Center, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, and Reproduction Pavilion.