The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development has announced a $40,000 Rural Business Development Grant to William Woods University to assist in purchasing equipment and supplies for the university’s new Center for Equine Medicine.
The announcement was made by Janie Dunning, Missouri’s State Director of USDA Rural Development, Feb. 11 in the hunter/jumper stables on campus.
“Rural Development is always looking to assist in the advancement and expansion of organizations and businesses,” Dunning said. “William Woods University (is) contributing great resources to the region by providing … new equestrian educational opportunities. We are proud to be a partner in assisting these projects as they continue to develop.”
“We are very pleased to receive this grant from the USDA,” Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, university president, said. “It provides equipment vitally important to our new Center for Equine Medicine. The center will capitalize on the strength of our equestrian and biology programs, providing a unique opportunity for students to study and care for these beloved animals.”
The Center for Equine Medicine is being established through an interdisciplinary initiative involving both equestrian and biology programs. It will offer students a hands-on classroom environment to assist with emergency care and treatment, perform research, and gain clinical experience for the continued learning of equine studies and servicing the health care needs of the university-owned horses.
Located on 17 acres off Highway 54 at the HH exit, the center consists of a large indoor riding facility, six horse stalls, an isolation area for ill and contagious horses and a home for the veterinarian and his family, which will allow him to be on-site in case of emergency. Dr. Paul Schiltz, the new veterinarian, has an extensive background in sports medicine and reproduction, as well as general equine medicine and surgery.
The Rural Business Development Grant is designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small emerging private businesses in rural areas.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $213 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.