South Farm Equine Unit

By: Karen Brasher

South Farm Equine Unit

Equine Unit: Amy Thompson and Ashley Glenn. (Photo by Karen Brasher)

The MAFES H. H. Leveck Animal Research Center, known as South Farm, includes 1,100 acres of grazing land and houses the Beef Unit, Poultry Unit, Equine Unit, Aquaculture Unit, and Facilities Unit. Caring for livestock is a daily job, 365 days a year. The dedicated personnel at these units care and feed for the animals, while also facilitating the research and teaching programs. The farm and its livestock provide an ample training ground for students in all majors, particularly those in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Department of Poultry Science, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Ashley Glenn, Amy Thompson, and six students manage 80 horses and facilities that occupy the Equine Unit. The team feeds, waters, and cleans the stalls at the unit twice daily. Spring is the busiest season as horses are foaling. In the fall, the crew vaccinates horses. Glenn has been the facility supervisor for seven years. Thompson is a doctoral student studying equine physiology and working full-time at the unit. A relative newcomer, she has been with the unit for four months and enjoys the opportunity to interact with the horses, something she experienced while at home. In addition to managing the facility, Glenn also coach's the MSU Equestrian Team. Under her guidance, the team has grown from 20 riders in 2016, when Glenn first became coach, to 40 riders this year, often ranking n the top three in the region in Western and English Riding.