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Rutgers Equine Science Center Website Features "Ask the Expert" Area
"Ask the Expert," a new feature of the Rutgers Equine Science Center web site, www.esc.rutgers.edu, invites horse owners and enthusiasts to seek science-based answers to their questions about horse health and management. The Equine Science Center, located at Rutgers-Cook College, taps the expertise of some 30 faculty, researchers, specialists, and staff who are affiliated with the Center. These individuals, primarily drawn from Cook College, the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension, include a nutritionist/veterinarian; equine exercise scientist; endocrinologist; water, pasture, and nutrient waste management specialists; economists; West Nile virus researchers; and financial managers, among others. Recent questions have addressed supplements, behavior problems, nutritional inquiries, toxic plants, and similar subjects.
Visitors to the website can access "Ask the Expert" directly from the Equine Science Center website's home page by selecting the highlighted menu item in the upper right hand corner. "Ask the Expert" is managed by Carey Williams, MS, PhD, extension specialist in equine management at Cook College and Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension. Williams' can be emailed directly from the "Ask the Expert" page. Visitors generally get a personal answer within 24 to 48 hours, and then selected questions and answers are posted on the site.
Other features of the web site include highly informative equine fact sheets, an area devoted to frequently asked questions, details about special educational courses and activities that are available to the public, information about special events, links to other popular horse-related websites, bulletins about regulatory matters and other useful resources.
The web site has just marked its first anniversary. It is receiving visitors at the rate of more than 50,000 a year, generating more than three million hits. Twenty percent visit repeatedly, and currently, the average visit is running nearly 14 minutes in length.