Equine Industry Program Reacts To Economy, Technology

by Gabe Bullard on September 29, 2010

In response to changes in the economy, the University of Louisville’s equine industry program is refining its curriculum.

The program is part of U of L’s College of Business and focuses on the business side of the horse industry. Program director Rich Wilcke says the industry is shrinking, and classes have begun to focus on entrepreneurial training. He says that mirrors changes in the business school.

“We tie those to the equine industry. We try to see the links and we try to see how technology is changing or how different aspects or approaches to business are changing and how they might affect the equine industry,” says Wilcke. “As the industry sort of shrinks and as the industry deals with the down-flowing economy, it’s more important that people who really want to be in there are going to have to be involved in that industry have to be entrepreneurial. They have to be looking for new ways to profit, new opportunities to serve the industry.”

Wilcke says the program is also putting more emphasis on practical experience.

“…Less scholarly research in academic journals and more equine industry research that is of real relevance and utility to people that are involved in the industry,” he says.

The program will begin publishing its own journal next year. Ground will be broken on a new building for the equine industry program in the coming weeks.

The growth of equine education in Kentucky is the focus of cover story in this month’s issue of the Lane Report.

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