Environmental Best Management
Demonstration Horse Farm
Through the use of best
management practices, equine facilities can flourish while
remaining environmentally friendly.
In 2005 a team of Rutgers researchers affiliated
with the Equine Science Center and several state and federal agencies
began a multi-year collaboration. They sought to develop a demonstration
working horse farm on the Cook campus that would use
agricultural best management practices to provide solutions to many of
the problems facing farm owners and stable managers today.
Our researchers have identified numerous environmental
issues, such as preserving water quality, proper nutrient and waste
management, farm and pasture management, weed control, fencing, pasture
rotation, and soil enrichment. These are just a few of the many facets
of farm management that the project will address.
Located at the existing Ryders Lane facility on
approximately 40 acres, the facility, when complete, will be not only be
a model best management practices horse farm, but also a learning center
where research, education and proactive outreach through live
demonstrations and twilight seminars will enrich the public’s
understanding of how to successfully manage the environmental challenges
their farms may pose.
Goals of the project:
- To develop and maintain the Ryders Lane facility as a
demonstration working horse farm by implementing best management
practices (BMPs) which address pasture management, stormwater, and
manure issues. BMPs are cost-effective and easy to implement.
- To conduct
educational programs at the farm which demonstrate the
implementation of best management practices to enhance and maintain
pasture and water quality.
- To utilize the farm
site to conduct research on new forage varieties.
- To provide learning
experiences and educational programs in pasture renovation, forage
varieties, soil fertility, weed identification and management,
rotational grazing, storm water management and manure storage,
composting, and utilization.
Equine Science Center partners for
this project include:
- Region II of the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- The Natural Resources Conservation Service
- The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
- The New Jersey Department of Agriculture
- The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
- The Center for Turfgrass Science at Rutgers University
- The Department of Animal Sciences,
- The Department of
Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University
- Rutgers Cooperative Extension of the New Jersey
Agricultural Experiment Station
- The Service
Department of Animal Care, Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Assistance and collaboration in this
project has been provided by the following:
- Paul Coco, NRCS
- Laura Coover, Conservationist, NRCS
- Ed Kunkel, P.L. Rohrer
- Evan Madlinger, NRCS
- Michael Mirage, Civil Engineer, NRCS
- Chris Smith, Soil Scientist, NRCS
Rutgers Cooperative Research and
Extension Team Members
Carey A. Williams, Ph.D. (Project Lead) Extension
Specialist in Horse Management
Dr. Williams specializes in equine nutrition and pasture management.
Christopher C. Obropta, Ph.D., P.E. (Co-Manager) Extension
Specialist in Water Resources
Dr. Obropta is leading the design for stormwater runoff and water
Michael Westendorf, Ph.D. (Co-Manager) Extension Specialist
in Livestock and Dairy
Dr. Westendorf is leading the design for proper manure management,
including storage and composting.
William J. Bamka, (Collaborator), County Agricultural Agent
Mr. Bamka is collaborating on the design of a pasture management
Michael J. Fennell, Ph.D., (Collaborator), Director of Animal
Dr. Fennell supervises the involvement of animal interaction at the
Sarah L. Ralston, VMD Ph.D., dACVN (Collaborator), Associate
Professor in Animal Sciences, SEBS
Dr. Ralston specializes in equine nutrition and effects of pasture
on equine metabolism.
Supporting Team Members
Karyn Malinowski, Ph.D., Director, Equine Science
Clint Burgher, Research Farm Manager, Animal Care, SEBS
Dan Kluchinski, Agricultural Resource and Management Agent,
Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension
William Meyer, Professor, Plant Biology and Pathology, SEBS
Robert Mickel, Agricultural Resource and Management Agent,
Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension
Janice Reid, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs,
New Jersey Department of Agriculture
Mark Van Gessel, Ph.D., University of Delaware Weed
Nick Romanenko, Michael Westendorf, Ph.D. Carey Williams, Ph.D.
Rendering provided by Peter L. Kallin, Ph.D.