Animal Sciences Alum Presents Research Findings

Morgan horse with a second horse and barn in the background
Morgan Horses

Recent Animal and Veterinary Sciences graduate Emily Jensen Vargas had an opportunity to present undergraduate research findings this summer, at the American Society of Animal Science Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, NM.

Vargas took a gap year in 2022 to participate in a UVM Morgan Horse Farm apprenticeship for some hands-on experience. She first became interested in her research topic while working at the farm in Weybridge, because there were some horses suspected of having a vitamin E deficiency.

UVM student Emily Vargas presenting research at a conference.
Emily Jensen Vargas

When Vargas returned to UVM to finish her bachelor’s degree as an Animal and Veterinary Science major, she received undergraduate research credit working with Katie Ballard, Morgan Horse Farm faculty advisor and director of research at the Miner Institute. She conducted a literature review and summarized data from two studies conducted at the Miner Institute entitled, The effect of two supplemental vitamin E dosing strategies in Morgan Horses with marginal/deficient levels of serum alpha-tocopherol, and The evaluation of natural vs synthetic vitamin E supplementation for the management of alpha-tocopherol serum levels in Morgan horses.

Her undergraduate research experience at UVM culminated in the presentation of these study findings at the meeting in Albuquerque. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant for normal neuromuscular function in horses. Dietary deficiencies are common in northern climates with seasonal access to pastures.

Anyone interested in receiving an abstract of these studies can reach out to Katie Ballard at

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