Penn State Students Experience the 2011 KILE
Posted: December 9, 2011
By Helene McKernan, KILE Light Horse Superintendent
Not many events provide an opportunity for both exhibitors and spectators to witness such a large number of cattle, sheep, swine and horses under one roof. Everyone has the opportunity to intermingle with the main stem of the agricultural industry, the farmers. One little known secret of the KILE is the opportunity it provides for Penn State University students in Ann Swinker Ph.D. Associate Professor of Equine Science’s Animal Science 297C Equine Events Management Class.
The Equine Events Management class provides education in the many aspects of management that is needed to plan, coordinate and staff a large event. During class time prior to the KILE event, the students are introduced to the many different aspects and opportunities equine events offer to prospective graduates. The five main goals of the class are as follows: 1) Understand the program planning process, 2) Possess some time management skills, 3) Understand the management of the volunteer and paid staff, 4) Develop an events program/schedule, and 5) Understand facility selection and preparation for an event.
There is a need for well-trained managers in the equine and livestock organizational fields throughout the United States and abroad. A career in this area demands that the students be prepared for the possible job opportunity in breed associations, product promotions, show/fairground managers, equine facilities, stable managers, livestock operational businesses and basically all aspects of the livestock/equine industry. Often the students are placed in these positions without the skills and knowledge to succeed. This PSU students gain this knowledge by culminating their class during the equine portions of the KILE. The students work close with the show secretary and assisting in operating the actual event.
The students, in a final assignment, document and relate how their experience, in assisting with the KILE, better prepared them for a possible career in events management. Not only do the students benefit from this experience, but their comments and thoughts assist the KILE Equine Show Superintendent in obtaining fresh insight into ideas that can be incorporated into future KILE horse events and improvement in already existing schedules. Penn State University would like to thank the KILE Board for allowing the students to participate and experience an exceptional livestock event. As the coordinator for the equine section of the KILE, I wish to thank all the students for their insight, hard work and participation during the 2011 KILE.