Three UVM Animal Science Alumni Who are Giving Back

Katie Berkelhamer holding two horses by their reins, Madison Simonds standing next to a black bull cow, Rachel (Lundsted) Richardson is hammering a horse shoe.
From left to right: Katie Berkelhamer, Madison Simonds, Rachel (Lundsted) Richardson.

Katie Berkelhamer is currently a science teacher at Essex High School and one of the University of Vermont Dressage Team coaches. Originally from New York and Connecticut, Berkelhamer graduated from UVM in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. She then continued at UVM to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching.

Berkelhamer has always had a passion for horses and has been riding since she was five years old. She has had the opportunity to work and train with numerous barns in areas of Westchester County, NY, Fairfield County, CT and Chittenden County, VT. From these experiences, she has had a chance to acquire various training methods and teaching techniques in a vast array of disciplines including hunters, eventing and dressage. She began teaching horseback riding lessons at age 16 and hasn’t stopped since, developing almost 15 years of instructional experience.

During her undergraduate years, Berkelhamer was a member of the UVM Dressage Team earning a fourth place title at nationals her senior year. Now as a coach for the team, she feels very passionate about providing the same opportunities for students to learn, have fun, and be a part of a positive community of people.

Berkelhamer believes in fostering the love of horses. She strives to bring joy and enthusiasm to her lessons, teaching students that through genuine horsemanship and fortitude any rider can achieve their highest goals.

Madison Simonds

Madison Simonds spoke in Animal and Veterinary Sciences Lecturer Chrissy Rohan’s Farm Animal Management course during the Spring 2023 semester. Simonds graduated from UVM in January 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in food systems, concentrating in animal science. She currently works at Poulin Grain as a dairy intern, and spends most her time assisting the dairy nutritionist with data collection and analysis. She has also been trained to work in their forage lab which is located in Newport, VT.

Simonds is working for Poulin Grain until August 2023, then she will move to Indiana to attend Purdue University for graduate school. She will be in a research assistantship program for two years, working with Dr. Jackie Boerman in her dairy nutrition research lab.

Rachel (Lundsted) Richardson

Rachel (Lundsted) Richardson reached out this winter to inquire about hosting a clinic for the Vermont Farriers Association at UVM. If UVM hosted the clinic, students could attend the clinic for free. Richardson and Chrissy Rohan worked together with UVM’s Event Management Services and the clinic was held on April 15, 2023.

Richardson is looking forward to working with students at the UVM Hardacre Equine Center in the future. She will be back in the fall to teach the students about horse hoof essentials, and is looking forward to maintaining a relationship with UVM.

Richardson grew up in Marlboro, Vermont. After receiving a Green and Gold Scholarship to UVM, she attended the university and graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. While at UVM, her interest in farriery (the art of shoeing horses) was sparked. After graduation, she attended Montana State University’s farrier school before moving to North Carolina with her husband, to apprentice under an established journeyman farrier in Southern Pines.

After apprenticing in North Carolina for a year, Richardson and her husband moved back to Marlboro, where she started her own business, Maple Hill Horseshoeing.

Continuing education is important to Richardson and she makes a point to participate in clinics, conventions, and farrier competitions. She became a certified farrier through the American Farriers Association in 2021 after passing the intensive exam, and is currently pursuing the next level of examination to become a certified journeyman farrier.

Richardson serves on the board of the Vermont Farriers Association, whose goal is to provide learning opportunities and community for the farriers and equine professionals of Vermont and surrounding areas. When not horseshoeing and pursuing career goals, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four-year-old daughter on their small family farm.

%d bloggers like this: