Community Outreach in Equine Health Education
As a land grant institution, NC State’s mission of education extends beyond our campus to our local and global communities. This priority is reflected in the NC State Strategic Plan 2011 – 2020, which calls for “enhance[d] local and global engagement”. This theme is also present in the Strategic Plans outlined separately by CALS and the CVM. With this proposal, we have developed tools for educational innovation that will be used to engage and serve the public of North Carolina, as well as promote NC State’s equine faculty, students and resources. The extension aspects of our project proposal are two-fold:
- To develop ncstatehorse.com as the premier website for public access to equine extension resources designed for viewing on mobile devices
- To engage our clients and promote our website through interactive community outreach with the physical horse simulator (PHS).
The Physical Horse Simulator
To complement and promote the extension resources on ncstatehorse.com, we will also engage the equine community with the PHS. There are four ways that the physical simulator will engage the public, as well as promote the ncstatehorse.com website:
1. The PHS will literally display the website name, ncstatehorse.com. This type of visual marketing will generate public interest and encourage clients to visit the website.
2. The various segments of the PHS GI tract will be labeled with QR codes. When scanned with a mobile device that contains our ncstatehorse.com app, QR codes will lead clients to a specific portion of the ncstatehorse.com website that explains topics such as digestive physiology, nutrition, colic and drug toxicities relevant to that GI segment.
3. Equine events attended by the PHS will be recorded and broadcast remotely using a “GoPro” camera. These video recordings will then be used to advertise the PHS to event planners and new collaborators.
4. The PHS, along with at least one equine faculty member, will attend events throughout the year at the veterinary school, the Governor James B Hunt, Jr Horse Complex, the Raleigh Convention Center, the Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center (Williamston, NC), the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center (Fletcher, NC) and the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (Tryon, NC), among others. Some of the events that the PHS will attend include: CVM Open House, Animal Science Farm Animal Days, Equine Health Symposium, NC State Fair Horse Show (Hunt Complex), NC State 4H horse show, NC Veterinary Conference, NCHJA Horse Show, Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show and the Duke Children’s Classic.
Within the public access portal of ncstatehorse.com, horse owners and industry professionals will find recorded interviews with, or demonstrations by, NC State equine experts that range from 5 – 10 minutes. These short, high impact segments will be a palatable length for mobile device viewing, as well as people’s busy lives. Clients will feel engaged by the “question and answer” format of the interviews, and the visual demonstrations will familiarize the community with the equine faculty and facilities at NC State. We will also include content that is targeted specifically to the youth audience. Participation of equine science and veterinary students in these videos will involve them in the extension process, emphasizing issues such as community education, public health, animal welfare and audience diversity. The content for this website will be determined and prioritized by a state-wide survey of horse owners and professionals, which the animal science master’s student will conduct.