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New equine specialist hits ground running
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Responding to the rapidly growing needs of the state’s horse industry, Mississippi State University has a new equine specialist in place to educate and support owners and potential owners.
Preston Buff joined MSU’s animal and dairy science faculty in January.
Terry Kiser, animal and dairy sciences department head, said the addition of Buff to the faculty will greatly expand the university’s service to horse owners.
“We are excited that Dr. Buff has joined our Extension group at MSU. He brings a wealth of equine experience to Mississippi that will benefit horse producers throughout the state,” Kiser said. “His planned educational programs and his work with 4-H youth activities certainly adds a new and exciting dimension to horse owners.”
Buff said the decision to come to Mississippi was easy because of the proactive nature of the horse industry in the state.
“I felt like I could have a greater impact here than in some other states’ horse industries,” Buff said. “Another draw was MSU’s strong support of equine studies.”
Buff and faculty members from MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine recently completed a horse-owner workshop in Canton.
“We are planning more multi-county sessions around the state to address health and management issues that matter to horse owners,” Buff said. “On Sept. 14 and 15, we are offering a Master Stockman certification course at MSU to provide information to horse owners and cattle producers to manage their animals more successfully. Participants will be able to work through a beginner/intermediate track or an advanced track.”
Board certified in equine nutrition, Buff received his master’s and doctorate from the University of Missouri. He also pursued post-doctoral studies in veterinary biomedical sciences at Missouri where his research focused on obesity in horses.
“Just like with people, when horses are overweight, they are predisposed to other problems,” Buff said.
“We are developing a program within the department that will produce interactive digital videos for the various species including horses, beef, dairy, sheep/goats and hogs,” Buff said. “Many of these videos will not only benefit livestock producers, but they also will be very helpful with 4-H livestock projects.”
Buff’s wife Carolyn also has joined the faculty as the undergraduate coordinator in MSU’s Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences. She is teaching animal science and developing additional courses.