Penn St. course addresses changes in equine laws

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Horse Owners Listen Up – Things are changing in Equine and Environmental Stewardship.

• Are you aware that all farms with animals in PA are required to have a manure management plan?

• Do you know how these and other environmental regulations affect you?

• Do you know how pastures can benefit your horses and how and when grazing may put some horses at risk?

• Do you know how to manage your pastures to increase pasture quality and reduce weeds and toxic plants?

• Do you know how to compost manure so that it is a resource that you can use in your pastures?

• Do you know how to feed your horses to supply the proper levels of nutrients in their diet?

For answers to these and other questions, you will need to attend the Equine Environmental Stewardship short course, an exciting new program being offered by Penn State Cooperative Extension. The three-part, hands-on program is aimed for barn managers, owners, and all horse enthusiasts. Equine research is providing exciting new information that is generating many changes in recommendations for practices that have been in place for many years.

Participants in this short course will be made aware of new and emerging information that will benefit their horses, their farms, and the environment. Participants will learn about how grass grows, how to reduce grazing health risks, how to rotate and rest pastures to increase plant growth, how to identify grasses, weeds, and toxic plants, how to properly fertilize soil, how manure and nutrient management regulations will impact their farm, how to properly store, compost, and apply manure, and how to develop a feeding program for horses that meet but do not exceed nutritional requirements. By attending the short course, farm managers will be able to make environmentally sound management decisions that enhance the health of their horses and the environment.

The course is being subsidized in southeast PA by grant money supplied by the Department of Environment Protection (DEP) and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE).  Participants in this area will be able to attend all three sessions for $40 and will receive soil test kits, a notebook and additional educational materials.

The course is being held on March 8, 15, and 29 at the Government Service Center in West Chester, PA and on March 10, 17, and 31 at the Inn at Towamencin, Lansdale, Montgomery County.  The classes are held from 7:00 to 9:30 PM.

To receive a brochure, contact Donna Foulk at 610-746-1970, or email dlf5@psu.edu.   Due to the hands-on nature of the course, enrollment is somewhat limited so register early.

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