MOUNT VERNON -- In November 2020, Valley View Farm partnered with the Academy of Equine Practitioners and Professionals (AEPP) to bring several professional certifications programs to the area for those seeking a career in the equine industry.
After undergoing a rigorous assessment, the AEPP determined that Valley View Farm’s Career Pathways program met the educational and quality standards necessary to achieve accreditation. This allows the organization, a non-profit organization located in Bellville, to offer professional certification in Equine Massage Therapy, Riding Instruction and Equine Business Management.
As the need for quality technical programs continues to rise, the equine industry is following suit.
“It became apparent that these programs would fill a void in professional training for equine professionals in our area, including those looking to enter the industry immediately following their high school graduation,” said Sarah Auchard, Director of Valley View Farm. “The equine industry, like many other technical fields, has shown a significant growth over the past five years.
"This is especially true in and around Knox County, a highly agricultural community housing nearly 20% of Ohio’s horse population, where approximately 70% of the population does not obtain a college degree.”
The AEPP and Valley View Farm’s Career Pathways program take a multi-faceted approach to training students for their chosen career. In addition to equine courses relating to their specialty, students will take business classes to prepare them for their career.
“Sadly, countless students complete certification programs and even college level programs with little success in their careers because they are ill-prepared for the rigors of owning and operating their own business,” Auchard said. “It is essential that all students understand Business principles and practices given that 85% of all equine professionals are self-employed.
"This gives students a deeper understanding of what it takes to successfully operate a business in this highly competitive industry, while raising the standard of services provided to their clients.”
Students can obtain professional certification in Equine Massage Therapy, Riding Instruction and Equine Business Management currently. The organization has plans to add Farriery, Horse Training, Equine Nutrition and Equine Dentistry certifications to their course offerings in the near future. Flexible class scheduling with day and evening options available are open to adults and High School Juniors and Seniors, generally through the Credit Flex Program offered at most schools.
Valley View Farm is currently enrolling students for Winter Quarter beginning Jan. 4, 2021. They will be hosting a virtual open house on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 10 to 11 a.m. and another on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 from 6 to 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.myvalleyviewfarm.com or contact Sarah at 419-564-1205.