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Graduate Programs in Equine Nutrition

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  • Graduate Programs in Equine Nutrition

    I've done the "real job" thing for a while now, and I'm beginning to think it's time to look again at graduate programs. While I am also considering vet school, I am very interested in the idea of pursuing a PhD in equine nutrition.

    Any suggestions on good programs, people to contact, etc? Texas A&M looks to be promising, but trying to navigate the website to get more detailed information takes me in circles. For now, I'm most interested in schools in TX, PN, and around NYC (let's say three hours or so). Google has produced some leads, but I want to make sure I don't overlook anything.

    I currently have a BS in Biology and almost 3 years laboratory experience, including work with lab animals, if that makes a difference.

    Thanks so much! Now back to my Googling!
    If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

  • #2
    Bumping because I want to know too!
    FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450

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    • #3
      I believe that the University of Maryland, College Park, has a program. If you email Beth Weiss who recruits students for the Ag school, she can tell you more. Go to the www.umd.edu website and search for the email address for Elizabeth Weiss. UMD has lots of good Animal Science programs.

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      • #4
        Rutgers. Sarah Ralston is very good and gets funding so you can do research. She also posts on COTH now and then so ask very nicely and maybe someone PM her to add to this thread Rutgers is known for being a very "humane program", doing great research and getting students out in a reasonable amount of time.

        Not withstanding putting out some very good graduates, I do not like Texas A&M. I have shared grad school horror stories about that place. It sounds very much like the website---once you get in you cant figure out what to do or how to get back out!

        VA Tech has an excellent program, but that's not in the Geographical location wanted. Ditto USC Davis, Kentucky and NC.

        Grad school pays you $$$ while Vet school costs $$$$. PhD's have good hours and are more likely to get academic and corporate positions. Vets save lives every week and get slightly more respect.

        Not to further confuse, but there are also programs in behavior and equine physiology that look fun too Even more choices. . . weeeeee!

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        • #5
          I know Auburn had an Equine Nutrition Masters, not sure about a PhD tho.
          Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

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          • #6
            Check out the folks at University of Kentucky and Gluck Equine Center.

            Go to each of the large land grant ag/school vet schools and look at their faculty interests. DVM's often will collaborate with PhDs to supervise students. Also contact some of the specialty feed companies and ask their vets where they went to school. There's several big feed companies around the midwest (i.e. St. Louis). I know they fund grad student projects. It may be worth contacting some of their research staff to see if they have any projects that they need a PhD student for.

            Good luck!!!!!!!!!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bugsynskeeter View Post
              I know Auburn had an Equine Nutrition Masters, not sure about a PhD tho.
              Not really. They had some students who did their work in equine nutrition, but there was not even 1 equine nutritionist on staff. They would work with a cattle nutritionist and an equine behaviorist. They did good work, but they would have done good work anywhere. They would have done much better work if they had someone to work with who knew something about equine nutrition. They did their equine nutrition work to get an MS or MSag to get into Vet school where they became very good Vets.

              A program means your grad advisers are trained in what you study. It means you have access to mentorship and experienced researchers. It means there is hopefully a budget of more then $1,500, trained professional staff and a real interest in equine nutrition. That is not the case at Auburn.

              I helped on the best nutrition study they ever put out. The grad student did all she could, but it could never be excellent at Auburn. Rutgers is 100x better then Auburn.

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              • #8
                There was an equine nutritionist on staff when I was there in 06. But Since I have admantly avoided the place since then, I am sure much has changed.
                Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bugsynskeeter View Post
                  There was an equine nutritionist on staff when I was there in 06. But Since I have admantly avoided the place since then, I am sure much has changed.
                  If you have avoided the place, not much has changed in 10 years

                  I see they did hire a nutritionist. She also went to TX A&M. Her website does not work. Surprise surprise. No clue as to what her research is like. I think if all your grad advisers were taught at TX A&M you might as well go to TX A&M.

                  I still would not recommend either place. Not when there are so many really excellent programs out there. Unless of course I hated the person. . .. . .

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                  • #10
                    Many schools have good people and programs. It will help if you can narrow down your field of interest a little. You don't have to be too specific yet, but it will help you find the kind of place that will suit you best. Are you wanting to do mostly lab bench work? more field work? Would you want to work with a particular nutrient? would you rather read about biochemical pathways or ration formulation? Are forages a big interest?

                    Pretend you're back in school already and have to write a paper about an equine nutrition topic of your choice. Start reading (try sciencedirect.com, pick Agricultural and Biological Sciences, and type equine nutrition whatever in the all fields search). You will probably find that the same names start to show up on articles that catch you interest. Find out where they are, and check it out.

                    BTW, University of Florida has a good program.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by asanders View Post
                      Many schools have good people and programs. It will help if you can narrow down your field of interest a little. You don't have to be too specific yet, but it will help you find the kind of place that will suit you best. Are you wanting to do mostly lab bench work? more field work? Would you want to work with a particular nutrient? would you rather read about biochemical pathways or ration formulation? Are forages a big interest?
                      To answer your question, what is most appealing to me (as of now - I am aware it could change as I learn more) is mostly along the lines of ration formulation (especially for easy keepers), and I would LOVE to truly understand the influence of minerals on coat color.

                      I will take your suggestion on the search, however - thanks!

                      Keep the thoughts coming!!! I really appreciate it!
                      If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                      Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

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                      • #12
                        Pretty sure Va Tech has a program. At least they used to have grad students and a PhD on staff.

                        SCFarm
                        The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

                        www.southern-cross-farm.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pattnic View Post
                          To answer your question, what is most appealing to me (as of now - I am aware it could change as I learn more) is mostly along the lines of ration formulation (especially for easy keepers), and I would LOVE to truly understand the influence of minerals on coat color.

                          I will take your suggestion on the search, however - thanks!

                          Keep the thoughts coming!!! I really appreciate it!
                          As a general suggestion, try to leverage your laboratory experience. Even if more applied work seems appealing to the horse person in you (and the person that might be tired of lab work in you). That real work experience will be very valuable to a potential advisor. Like any job search, you'll have to balance selling yourself to the program, and shopping for a program that meets your needs.

                          I missed the part about vet school before. Do you really want to be a practitioner, or are you interested in veterinary research? You should broaden your search to include graduate programs (M.S. and PhD) in veterinary schools. These are sometimes closely affiliated with the Animal Science program, but not always.

                          Try searching at WileyInterscience too, for example the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition

                          I'll admit, minerals and hair coat color may be a little narrow. Remember that the usual idea of a M.S. program is to develop some knowledge and skills accross an area of research, most importantly the general understanding of how to do research. Your project may be quite focused, but it's really about the process. A PhD is where you get to really focus, and hopefully create a career niche for yourself.

                          Also, most decent programs will qualify you to do general ration formulation, and there is plenty of need for this. It's just not something I'd put a lot of weight on when searching for a program. Look for the things that fascinate, not just interest you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Lori Warren is at the Univ. of Florida and is a genius....you will learn more from her than you could possibly imagine. I highly recommend their program.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Plenty to choose from

                              Originally posted by LLDM View Post
                              Pretty sure Va Tech has a program. At least they used to have grad students and a PhD on staff.

                              SCFarm
                              They sure do, I am a graduate (PhD) from VA Tech.
                              It certainly was a good program at one time, not so sure now.
                              Other good programs can be found at
                              Florida
                              UK (Kentucky)
                              Colorado
                              UC Davis
                              Rutgers
                              Maryland

                              I also would not recommend Texas A&M, unless I disliked the person then I'd suggest that they go there.

                              MW
                              Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
                              Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
                              New edition of book is out:
                              Horse Nutrition Handbook.

                              www.knabstruppers4usa.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'm sorry. I don't know how I missed this!

                                I am currently finishing up my M.S. in equine nutrition at the University of Kentucky. If you would like to consider the program here or just have questions about grad school in general, feel free to PM me.

                                VA Tech's program is essentially non-existant at the moment. We have a couple of their grads working in our department right now. I'm not sure what the prognosis looks like for the future there.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I don't have any advice, but just wanted to encourage you to really look at what the programs are teaching. I know people with degrees in animal science who think they know everything there is to know about equine nutrition because "that's what they went to college for" and both consider themselves "professionals", but they know squat about equine nutrition. One feeds a sweet feed that she thinks is amazing and the other things grain free diets are ridiculous. They're morons.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    [quote=ellebeaux;3845605]Check out the folks at University of Kentucky and Gluck Equine Center/quote]

                                    The Equine Nutrition program at UK is based in the Animal Science Department. There is no nutrition research at the Gluck Center currently. The main areas at the Gluck center are infectious diseases, genomics, musculoskeletal and reproduction.

                                    Originally posted by LLDM View Post
                                    Pretty sure Va Tech has a program. At least they used to have grad students and a PhD on staff.
                                    I graduated VT with an MS in Equine Nutrition in 2007, and the program has since dissolved.


                                    As others suggested, try a PubMed search to see what research is currently being done where. Also, most of the people who do equine nutrition research present/attend the Equine Science Society meeting every other year. There will be one this summer, but you can also get a good idea of who is doing what by checking out the titles from the 2007 meeting: http://www.equinescience.org/2007/07program.pdf

                                    If you have questions, please PM me. I have attended/currently attend The University of Maryland, Virginia Tech and The University of Kentucky, so I'm pretty familiar with all of these programs.
                                    *Absolut Equestrian*

                                    "The plural of anecdote is not fact...except in the horse industry"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Absolut Equestrian View Post
                                      I graduated VT with an MS in Equine Nutrition in 2007, and the program has since dissolved.
                                      Wow, I am so sorry to hear that! Oh - about the program dissolving - not about your graduation!

                                      That program was a great resource to me over the years. I referred a lot of people to it too. Now I am just bummed out.

                                      SCFarm
                                      The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

                                      www.southern-cross-farm.com

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