Santa Rosa, Calif.-
Sonoma County's horse industry can thank voters for passage of a bond measure that, among numerous other projects, will allow for the construction of a $2.4 million equine center, reports The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa.
The center, which the region's horse industry has sought for 30 years, is expected to be completed within several years, the newspaper reports.
Sonoma County is among the top 10 counties in California in numbers of horses. A survey by Sonoma State University in 2000 found there were 14,000 horses in the county, a figure reportedly on the rise.
"The growth of the Sonoma County horse industry is very definitely a trend closely watched by Santa Rosa Junior College. (This) will allow us to expand the college's equine science program and offer more educational opportunities in the horse industry," says Steve Olson, SRJC's dean of instruction and educational programs.
Olson tells the newspaper that equine science students would be trained for jobs at horse ranches, veterinary clinics, feed stores and other equine-related businesses.
The center will grant Sonoma County the potential to become the "equestrian capital of California," says Olson.