Below are opportunities and barriers that were identified by farmer groups. This summary list includes high-priority items that are applicable to research, outreach, and education of the type funded by NYFVI. For the full 2009 report, click here.

Production Knowledge

·       Education around equine facility management (ventilation, facility design, structure management and maintenance, fencing design)

·        Education around health, vaccinations, prevention of transmittable disease, including EPM, West Nile Virus, Potomac Horse Fever, Strangles

·        Education around forage production and pasture management, including increasing yield, rotational grazing, hay production, nutritional testing, improving nutritional value of hay/pasture

·        Equine nutrition education, including legumes, grasses, pasture, grains, ration balancing, purchasing quality hay, supplements

·        Responsible breeding and improving stock quality

·        Alternatives for production cost controls, such as efficient stall cleaning, labor and cost savings practices

·        Managing increased input costs, including electricity, fuels, bedding, repairs, feed, health care

·        Energy recovery options from manure and bedding; alternative energy sources and energy management on horse farms, including wind, solar, biomass, etc.

Infrastructure Needs

·  Placement of unwanted horses; regional sites for the disposal of deceased horses

·  Lack of understanding about the extent, size, value and economic impact of the equine industry in NYS.  Lack of data about the equine industry’s value to the NYS economy

·  High-quality professionals, managers and educators to serve as resources for the equine industry; Cornell Cooperative Extension educators with adult equine work responsibilities

·  Lack of knowledge/training about agriculture on the part of local planning, zoning and municipal boards, as well as inspectors and enforcement officials, especially agricultural code, and how NYSDAM codes relate to local and state codes

·  Master Horseperson program, similar to Master Gardener program

·  Statewide and regional equine business directories

Business Management

·   Business planning

·   Knowledge of agricultural incentives, such as alternative energy, property tax exemption, agricultural assessment reduction, farmer school tax refund, as well as grant opportunities

·   Research/education in finance, including cash flow, cost control, break-even analysis, taxes, profit/loss, simple accounting; farmer tools for farm business management