RUTGERS INTRODUCES NEW EQUINE BUSINESS PLANNING COURSE A Unique Program and Workbook Helps Horse Business Owners Succeed in Writing Business Plans

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – In order to stay afloat in these hard economic conditions, equine operations need to be more business-savvy than ever. Rutgers Cooperative Extension, with funding from the Equine Science Center and Northeast SARE, is pleased to offer the innovative pilot program oriented specifically for horse business owners. The newly established Equine Business Planning course aims to help horse business owners create original business plans tailored to the success of one’s operation from planning to implementation.  For more information and to sign up, please see the course flyer and registration form.

     This course will take place over seven weeks, with one three-hour class per week on Tuesday evenings beginning February 5 and running until March 19. It will take place in two locations: Somerset County Extension Office and the Gloucester County Extension Office, and classes will run from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, including a light dinner. Simultaneous workshops at two locations will provide greater ability to reach a broad range of students across the state, and stimulate a wide array of perspectives using a combination of live speakers and videoconferencing technology. Enrollment is offered to all who own or manage horse-related businesses, whether they are product- or service-oriented.

     “So many horse business owners are overwhelmed with the daily pressures of running a business that they fail to establish a clear vision and look at the ‘big picture.’ The process of writing a plan encourages business owners to evaluate every aspect of operating an equine business, which in turn, will make them better prepared when problems arise,” explains Carey Williams, Equine Extension Specialist. According to Williams, equine business owners would benefit from a horse-specific program due to differences from traditional production agriculture industries. These workshops are fashioned after the popular program Annie’s Project, a nationally acclaimed farm business educational program for women farmers (the equine business planning course is open to both men and women). Robin Brumfield, Farm Management Specialist at Rutgers, began Annie’s Project of NJ and has also taught Suzanne’s Project for women farmers in Turkey. She reveals that “the real value is in the process of creating the business plan.”

     Throughout the Equine Business Planning course process, students will produce tangible evidence of their accomplishments and acquired knowledge. By the end of the seven-week course, students will have created an executive summary and business description, completed a business and industry profile, charted a production and operations plan, prepared a marketing, management, personnel and financial plan; plus produced an enterprise budgeting plan. The opportunity to network with fellow equestrians will not only benefit one’s equine business, but it will also be of benefit to the entire equine community. Through sharing success stories and encouraging others, the primary goal is to inspire more New Jersey horse business owners to establish original business plans.

     Additionally, the Equine Business Planning course workbook is a unique feature detailing equine-specific topics, questions, observations, charts and examples beneficial to creating one’s original business plan. The companion workbook will also serve as a stand-alone resource for horse business owners who cannot attend the course. Course instructors are Rutgers professors and agricultural professionals. Whether a student is looking to revise a previous business plan or begin a new one, this program is an exceptional opportunity for horse business owners to have their questions answered.

     Funding for the Equine Business Planning course was provided by the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program and the Rutgers Equine Science Center.

For more information about the Equine Business Planning Course, please contact Laura Gladney at or 848-932-3229.