September 27, 2002
UW-RF to Dedicate Colt Barn Over Homecoming Weekend
UW-River Falls will officially dedicate its new 14,000-square-foot colt barn at Laboratory Farm 1, in a ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 11:30 a.m., during homecoming festivities at the University. The barn was a generous gift from Jennifer Easton, a private donor who feels the horse science program at UW-RF is exemplary and wishes to support it.
Chancellor Ann Lydecker will participate in the dedication , along with Interim Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Stephen Ridley; other campus officials, UW System Regent Gerard Randall and Wisconsin Senator Sheila Harsdorf.
Members of the campus community, River Falls alumni and students, and the general public are all invited to attend the ceremony.
Easton, who until recently preferred to remain anonymous, decided to reveal herself as the donor in the hope that others would be inspired to make contributions to the University, according to Animal Science Professor Larry Kasten, who heads up the horse science program.
"Jennifer is a special person," said Kasten. "She was enrolled in a number of our horse classes in the early 1980s. We shared an interest in reining horses and we became friends," said Kasten. "When she came back for a visit and saw that we were still using our out-of-date facilities, she offered to build us a new barn. Her gift has greatly enhanced our horse program."
The horse science program at UW-RF is one of only a few in the United States, according to Director of Admissions Alan Tuchtenhagen. Nearly 200 students are enrolled in the program, making it one of the largest in the country. Another 150 people attend the summer horse program and youth clinics.
"There are three parts to the program," said Tuchtenhagen. "Riding and training is one part; the science aspect, which includes reproduction and nutrition is the second part; and the business end, including management and finance, is the third part."
Students have the option to specialize in any of the three areas, Tuchtenhagen said. If they specialize in riding and training, they may become professional trainers and competitors. If they specialize in science, they may conduct research or breeding programs, or they may go into veterinary medicine. If they specialize in the business end, they may manage a horse operation.
The dimensions of the barn are 228 feet by 63 feet, according to Facilities Engineer Jim Murphy. The barn contains 50 stalls, two offices, a wash stall, a tack room and a laundry facility. An enclosed 24- by 20-foot link connects the barn to the riding arena. The total cost of the project was $504 thousand.
"This is one of the largest gifts we have received from a private donor," said Bill Rost, assistant chancellor for university advancement and president of the UW-River Falls Foundation..
"Jennifer's gift is a terrific endorsement of our horse science program. It demonstrates that there are opportunities for support. We hope that others will follow suit and make contributions in areas of their own interest. .
"Private gifts allow us to do things that raise our stature as a university and narrow the margin between good and great."
For additional contribution information, contact Rost at 1-877-258-6647.
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