Forage Extension Program
Forage Extension Program

RCPP Overgrazing and Soil Degradation on Kentucky Horse Farms

RCPP Overgrazing and Soil Degradation on Kentucky Horse Farms

RCPP Overgrazing and Soil Degradation on Kentucky Horse Farms

Knapper Farm - Mercer County

thoroughbred foalPaul and Melita Knapper run a small scale thoroughbred breeding and boarding operation in Harrodsburg. Many different classes and groups of horses make it difficult for them to rotationally graze their limited number of pastures. This project will allow them to fence and renovate pastures and add new water facilities. This will to improve grazing efficiency and give the Knapper's flexibility to rest pastures and rotate horses. The Knappers hosted the Equine Farm and Facilities Expo on August 6th, 2018.







Weber's Retired Horses - Caldwell County

Weber's FarmWeber's Retired Horses is a private boarding operation for retired horses. Rob and Kim Weber care for over 20 horses, representing 14 breeds. Most of these retired from elite levels of eventing, dressage and show jumping. A wooded area and large stream separate their barn area from pasture; these areas get muddy and slippery during rainy periods. This project will help construcion protected trailways and armored stream crossings to allow these older horses to cross the stream safely and protect the stream bank from erosion and water contamination.






YMCA Camp Ernst - Boone County

YMCA Camp Ernst maintains a large horse herd for riding during its summer camp and fall lessons for kids in the northern Kentucky and Cincinnati area. However, encroachment from housing developments have left them with little pasture. This project will help them install a large high traffic pad to provide solid footing near the barn while pastures are rested. They will also be establishing highly productive grasses to provide more grazing for their herd.

Project Objectives

Our objective in this project is to reduce environmental effects of horse operations in Kentucky by installing conservation practices. Funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a part of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), have historically not been available to the equine industry. EQIP rules have recently changed and our mission is to illustrate the benefits of this program to horse farms and assist NRCS in making funds more available to the equine community. In this, we will:

  1. Enroll 20 equine operations in the NRCS EQIP program.
  2. Establish 3 of these farms as demonstration farms.
  3. Provide educational field days and NRCS training days.
  4. Assist NRCS in developing or improving practice standards to be horse friendly.

Am I eligible for cost share?

In many cases, equine operations are eligible for cost share dollars, the same as cattle or row crop farms. The next EQIP applications for Kentucky are due by November, 2018. Contact your local NRCS office for more information.

We are currently not accepting nominations for our program, but hope to again in the spring of 2020. All information and nominations will be sent through local county extension agents and NRCS field offices.

Let's Speak Horse (Slides)

Program Partners

  • Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • University of Kentucky, Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences
  • Bluegrass Equine Digest
  • Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Ind.
  • Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council
  • Kentucky Quarter Horse Association
  • Mars Horsecare US Inc., Buckeye Nutrition
  • McCauley's, An Alltech Company
  • Pennington Seed
  • Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Assocation
  • Woodford Feed Co., Inc.

Contact Information

1100 Nicholasville Rd. N-222 Ag Science Bldg North Lexington, KY 40546-0091