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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New Mexico equine summit will address horse industry problems

The first New Mexico Equine Industry Summit will be held on Saturday, March 26, at the Clovis fairgrounds, and is coordinated by New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service and the New Mexico Horse Council.

Logan Potts prepares a horse for auction at the NMSU Horse Center in Las Cruces. (NMSU file photo by Darren Phillips)

Jason Turner, associate professor and horse specialist at NMSU, has invited equine associations from across the state to attend the conference and is hoping to get a representative group gathered together.

"The whole purpose of this summit is to provide an opportunity for all aspects of the horse industry in the state to come together," Turner said. He hopes this will give those who attend an opportunity to "represent their organization, express their concerns and also have a dialogue as to ... what we can do to benefit the horse industry in New Mexico."

New Mexico is home to a diverse group of people associated with different aspects of the horse industry including those involved with ranch horses, show horses, racing horses, trail riding, rodeo, driving horses, draft horses, equine rescues, horse breeding, youth programs and even miniature horses. Although these different aspects of the horse industry exist in New Mexico, there is no central catalogue that identifies the groups. Turner is in the process of addressing that issue and invites those involved in horse associations across the state to contact him, especially if they are interested in attending the summit.

"You don't know about every group, and that's what we're trying to do is identify the different groups so we can invite them," Turner said. "We're trying to have a balanced representation so we can have a balanced conversation about what's happening in the industry."

The summit has scheduled speakers from NMSU, the American Quarter Horse Association and the New Mexico Horse council among others. Topics such as industry supported incentive programs and equine transportation issues will be addressed. There will also be scheduled small group discussions and a question and answers session where those participating can voice the concerns facing their aspect of the horse industry.

To put things into further perspective during the summit, members of the New Mexico Livestock Board and New Mexico Cattle Grower's Association will discuss regulatory issues facing animal agriculture in New Mexico and what this means for the equine industry.

Anyone interested in attending the summit can contact Turner at jlturner@ad.nmsu.edu.