With ceremonial gold pitch forks and bales of hay, the West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and WVU Extension Service will break ground on a multi-million dollar equine educational facility.

The groundbreaking will be held Oct. 2 at 6 p.m., at WVU’s J.W. Ruby Research Farm in Reedsville, West Virginia.

The ceremony will include remarks by WVU President E. Gordon Gee, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joyce McConnell, Davis College Dean Dan Robison, WVU Extension Service Dean and Director Steve Bonanno, WVU Foundation President Cindi Roth, representatives of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust, and Christi Schweninger, an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in animal and nutritional sciences with an equine studies minor.

In June 2015, the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust made a $6.7 million gift to transform the farm’s current facilities into a new, modern, teaching, research and extension center. The Hazel Ruby McQuain Equine Education and Resource Center will increase student and community opportunities for learning, provide applied research opportunities for faculty and provide an example of how a sustainable farm is managed. Phase 1 of the project will be substantially complete by December 2019.

“In a state where the equine industry has substantial economic impact and continues to grow, the demand for well-trained graduates and high-quality facilities is increasing,” said Dan Robison, dean of the WVU Davis College. “These new facilities will allow us to expand our teaching, research and outreach efforts and grow our support of this dynamic industry. They will also serve to enhance other aspects of operations and use of Ruby Farm at Reedsville.”

The Friday evening event will also include a “Blue Jean Bash” featuring live music and light refreshments.



CONTACT: Lindsay Willey, Public Relations Specialist
304.293.2381, Lindsay.Willey@mail.wvu.edu

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