Equine Oat Research Advisory Board Issues Call for Research Pre-proposals

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LOUISVILLE, KY -- JULY 19, 2012 -- The Equine Oat Research Advisory Board (EORAB) is now accepting pre-proposal applications for the first Prairie Oat Growers Association Equine Oat Research Grant cycle. Research projects that the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) funds will aim to discover specific benefits of oats for horses. The EORAB invites researchers to submit pre-proposals that address one or more of the following questions:

  • How do oats contribute to the health of the horse?
  • How do oats contribute to the performance of the horse?
  • How can oats be used to prevent or manage a clinical disorder(s)?

Topics should seek answers to more specific problems related to the broader research areas outlined above. For the 2013 grant cycle, up to $400,000 is available as part of the POGA Equine Oat Research Grant(s). Preference will be given to research projects designed to produce tangible results within one year from the start of the research.

The EORAB has a two-step selection process to determine which research project(s) are recommended for funding. Pre-proposals must be no more than three pages and are due by July 31, 2012. The EORAB will review the pre-proposals and select those it believes will provide the greatest benefit to the equine and oat industries, based upon scientific merit and in alignment with POGA’s objectives. Successful pre-proposal applicants will be invited to submit full proposals for funding consideration. Full proposals are due by November 30, 2012. The EORAB will then evaluate the research proposals and recommend to POGA which proposal(s) should be awarded grant money. Researchers whose proposals are approved for funding will be notified by April 15, 2013.

“We have been planning the Equine Oat Research Advisory Board for more than a year now, and we are excited that we have reached the point where we can begin accepting research pre-proposals,” said Bill Wilton, Prairie Oat Growers Association President and Equine Oat Research Advisory Board Chair. “It is evident just how much the equine industry stands to gain. The EORAB is looking forward to reviewing the pre-proposals submitted, and we are optimistic we will receive some brilliant project ideas that could benefit the entire equine industry.”

The Equine Oat Research Advisory Board is commissioned by POGA as a part of the Equine Oat Feed Project. The Equine Feed Oat Project was created in 2009 to research, educate and communicate information about oats to the equine industry.

The EORAB will review research pre-proposals and proposals, recommend which equine-related research studies should be funded by POGA and advise POGA on further research or determine next steps based on research findings. Members of the EORAB may include: university equine researchers, equine nutritionists, extension specialists, equine practitioners, feed manufacturers, oat millers, oat breeders, oat producers, equine media representatives and other industry experts. The Executive Committee members are:

  • Dr. Nathaniel White II, DVM, MS, DACVS, Professor of Surgery at Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center
  • Dr. Lori Warren, University of Florida, Department of Animal Sciences, Associate Professor
  • Dr. Mary Beth Gordon, Land O’Lakes Purina® Director of Equine Research and New Product Development
  • Dr. Emily Lamprecht, Cargill, Technology Lead-Consumer Nutrition
  • Dr. Brian Rossnagel, University of Saskatchewan College of Agriculture and Bioresources Professor Emeritus
  • Bill Wilton, Prairie Oat Growers Association President

“Our vision for the Equine Oat Research Advisory Board is to commission the scientific research necessary to prove the nutritional benefits of feeding oats to horses in order to better educate horse owners so they can make more informed feed purchase decisions,” Wilton said. “We believe horse owners deserve to have a better understanding of what they’re feeding their horses based upon objective, factual scientific research.”

The Prairie Oat Growers Association, along with oat industry partners, funded an international project to map the oat genome in order to provide researchers with markers to assist in the development of oat varieties with desired traits. In addition, POGA commissioned Dr. Laurie Lawrence of the University of Kentucky’s Department of Animal & Food Sciences to review all of the research on oats that has been published over the last century. In her findings, Dr. Lawrence concludes that oats are the preferred grain for horses, oats are highly palatable to horses, they are more easily digested than other grains like corn, they are typically higher in fiber than other grains and they are less likely to contain mycotoxins that threaten the health of the horse. The review concluded that oats are “The Horse-Healthy Grain.” The findings of Dr. Lawrence’s study compelled POGA to fund further research on the benefits of oats for horses. This grant represents the next step in POGA’s support of oat research.

The full version of the pre-proposal application requirements for POGA’s Equine Oat Research Grant 2013 are available at www.EquineOats.org.

About the Equine Feed Oat Project

The Equine Feed Oat Project (EFOP) is an initiative of the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA), a volunteer farmer organization representing thousands of hard-working Canadian oat growers. The EFOP was created in 2009 to research, educate and communicate information about oats to the equine industry.