UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Careers: Equine Emphasis

Equine Alumni Spotlight:

Meet Allison

Allison KuhlAllison Kuhl

Vice President of Omega Fields
ENRECO, Inc. /Omega Fields, Newton WI

Hometown: Tonka Bay, MN

B.S. Animal Science, Equine Emphasis, Business Management Option (May 2007)

Since July 2008, I have been working for ENRECO, Inc./Omega Fields. I was first hired as Omega Fields' National Sales Manager; in October of 2009 I became our Director of Sales East and was then promoted to my current role, Vice President of Omega Fields (retail sales division) in November of 2010. As vice president, I am fortunate to work remotely from home where I collaborate with team members to promote our company's growth.We focus on improving brand awareness and product acceptance by embracing new marketing techniques, developing social media strategies and launching a new Web site to communicate more effectively with our customers. My team strives to provide the most relevant product and industry information via consumer and b2b newsletters. I am also in charge of our marketing decisions and advancing opportunities for new product development and enhancing our already stellar customer service.

Throughout my five years at UWRF, I gained valuable experience not only in the classroom and hands on labs, but also by being involved in the Rodeo Club as a team and club member, barrel racing director, sponsorship co- chair, and secretary. My degree and overall college experience at UWRF was a key factor in preparing me for a fulfilling career.

Meet Carrie

Carrie MuellerCarrie Mueller

Research Assistant Graduate
School of Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Hometown: Merrill, WI

B.S. in Animal Science with Equine Emphasis (May 2009)

I am currently employed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Using the skills I learned from the UWRF Colts-in-Training program, I was able to transition smoothly into the workplace. I have gained valuable experience educating undergraduate students in the classroom as well as teaching colt-starting and other horse-related labs. In addition, I am performing equine exercise physiology research in pursuit of a Master’s degree. This fall, I will begin my doctoral program in biomedical sciences with a research focus on the field of immunology, including vaccine development and controlling agents of bioterrorism.

I firmly believe that I wouldn’t be where I am today without my experience at CAFES.  Despite being a relatively small college, the coursework was rigorous enough to prepare me well for the challenges of graduate studies. The professors are knowledgeable and passionate; their willingness to go above and beyond has afforded me with opportunities I couldn’t have imagined. I still keep in touch with several of them and am grateful for their continued guidance.  Through CAFES I was able to engage in significant research projects, even presenting the results at a national meeting as an undergraduate student.  This opportunity as well as a research internship at UW-Madison, provided through UWRF, paved a career path that set me up for success. What I liked most about CAFES was having the opportunity to tailor my degree specifically to my interests - something you don’t see a lot at other universities.

Meet Brian

Brian Nielson LabBrian D. Nielsen

Professor, Equine Exercise Physiology
Michigan State University

Hometown: Dodgeville, WI

B.S. Animal Science with Equine Emphasis (Agriculture) with Chemistry minor (1990)

Despite starting school as a Chemistry major, the horse program at UW-River Falls quickly caught my attention. Shortly before switching my major to Animal Science, I took an internship on a Morgan horse farm in Vermont before coming back to Wisconsin to start learning how to ride bareback bucking horses. I was also an active member of the Rodeo Club, Horseman's Association and Horse Judging team at UWRF. 

I pursued a Masters degree at Texas A&M University as well as a Ph.D. in Animal Science, specializing in equine nutrition and exercise physiology. I have since been employed by Michigan State University as a faculty member in the Department of Animal Science. I teach senior-level courses in Advanced Horse Management and Equine Exercise Physiology, serve as an academic advisor to numerous students, and I am the advisor to the MSU Rodeo Club. In addition, I am routinely invited to speak at national and international conferences.

Brian Nielson MascotThroughout my academic career, I have maintained involvement in the racing industry by breaking and galloping racing Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds and have been a licensed racehorse trainer since 1997. Though a Falcon at heart, I am enjoying my time now as a Spartan - proudly serving the MSU community by driving the MSU Spartan Chariot!

Having come into the UWRF horse program with a very limited equine background, I can attest to the great education one receives in this program. The tremendous opportunities and life experiences I have been able to enjoy have come about due to the education and skills I received while at River Falls. My recommendations for all students in the horse program is to take advantage of the many activities available for you and to make sure you join some of the great student organizations. The friendships you develop, along with the networking opportunities they provide, can serve you well in the future. 

Meet Barb

Barb Wibbel, Equine AlumnaBarb Wibbel  

Breeding Manager
Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses

Hometown: Eagan, MN
B.S. Broad Area Agriculture (1995)

I started UWRF in the fall of '90 not sure of what I wanted to "be." I did know I wanted to do something with horses. I did not grow up on a farm, but I owned a horse for about five years. I was interested in the showing aspect of the horse industry, and was on the UWRF Rodeo team throughout most of my college career. I was turned on to Reining when I took the colts in training class with Larry Kasten. That was when I decided I wanted to train horses. I was also interested in the breeding aspects of the horse industry, but at that time, there weren't a lot of equine reproduction classes offered.

I graduated in spring of '95 with a degree in Broad Area Agriculture. I had taken as many equine classes as I could.  I became an assistant trainer with Brian Welman in River Falls for three years. After that I was offered a job in Texas with Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses. I was assistant trainer as well as breeding manager, and farm manager. After a few years of training and showing, I decided I liked the breeding and farm managing aspect of my job better. I have been the breeding manager/manager for Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses for the last 10 years.

I met a lot of great people and had a lot of great experiences through UWRF. I know I would not be where I am now if not for CAFES.

Opportunity Awaits!

UW-River Fall's equine program prides itself on the close connections between our faculty and the horse industry. And as a result, our students are able to secure quality internships and employment opportunities. Here are just a few examples:

  • Agricultural Extension Agent
  • Agricultural Journalist
  • Agricultural Loan Officer
  • Breed Association Representative
  • Breed Publication Editor/Assistant
  • Breeding Farm Management
  • County Extension Assistant
  • Equine Equipment Sales and Service
  • Equine College Instructor
  • Equine Nutritionist
  • Extension Youth Specialist
  • Farrier
  • Farm or Stable Manager
  • Nutrition Consultant
  • Pharmaceutical Sales
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Race or Show Groom
  • Research Assistant Riding
  • Instructor
  • Trainer