Dr. Brian LeBlanc and unit head Dr. Bill Carney recently collaborated with Dr. Ron Sheffield (Biological and Agricultural Engineering), Dr. Vinicius Moreira (Southeast Research Station), Carol Franze (Southeast Region), Lacy Urick (Washington Parish) and Dr. Ed Twidwell (School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences) to develop a program to target horse owners and farms with educational resources to mitigate non-point pollution from these sites.
The impetus for the program came from Carol Franze in the Southeast Region, who serves on several environmental committees. One such committee led by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, related concerns about the number of horse owners in the Florida parishes. DEQ is concerned that given what they have found in their water quality assessment of the region, horse farms and even small parcels of land that hold horses could be major contributors to runoff in the region's lakes and tributaries.
This concern prompted Ms. Franze to inquire about possible solutions the AgCenter could consider. As a result of those meetings, the above faculty collaborated on an “Equine Water Quality Series,” which consist of nine individual topics covered in multi-page color factsheets that are available both in print and on the Web. The series focuses on practical cost-effective methods to reduce potentially harmful runoff from buildings and grounds where horses are kept.
Additionally, for each factsheet, the group put together 15- to 30-minute PowerPoint presentations for each topic covered to give more detailed information to consumers. A tabletop banner along with the printed facts sheets is available for use at horse shows or other equine events. The group has selected several educational programs and shows for the upcoming year to present this information. To date,the group has presented some of this material at two equine events in Louisiana.
To obtain these factsheets, go to www.lsuagcenter.com or call Dr. Brian LeBlanc at (225) 578-6737 or email. For more information on the PowerPoints and to possibly set up presentations at equine events, contact Carol Franze at (985) 543-4129 or email.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture