(Riverton, WY) – Community stakeholders and local leaders had the opportunity to tour the new Rustler Ag & Equine Complex on January 18 with the Central Wyoming College Board of Trustees.
The complex is an 86,000-square-foot facility on 21 acres located north of the Riverton campus. This new facility pairs nicely with the 127-acre incubator farm in Sinks Canyon at the Alpine Science Institute, creating an extensive ag program for CWC.
Leading the tour was CWC President Brad Tyndall, who expressed how big of an impact this will have not only on the college, but as an economic driver in Fremont County.
The Equine portion of the complex will have classrooms, offices, labs and two indoor arenas, which are connected. The main arena will have seating for about 380 people and some basic technology for an event center. The smaller arena will be set up for dressage with mirrors affixed to the walls.
There will be an outdoor arena as well, with lots of fenced areas for holding animals and storing food.
“What’s unique about our program nationally is we train with your own horse, so you actually kind of bond more with your horse,” Tyndall said.
CWC is now the biggest equine program in the state, and plans to have both the Ag and Equine programs as four-year degrees.
As far as the old equine facility goes, they plan to take their time and figure it out.
“We do see it (the new facility) as an economic engine, but there are classes to be taught,” Tyndall continued.
The Ag portion of the complex has a separate entrance, and will be starting out as a custom exempt meat processing facility.
Students will have the opportunity to learn about the whole operation all the way down to inspection, according to Tyndall.
The Rustler Ag & Equine Complex costs a little over $18 million, according to Executive Director of the CWC Foundation Beth Monteiro. Funding has come from a few sources: the state is covering half the cost, a $3 million grant was received from the Economic Development Administration, and general fundraising has gone towards the college’s portion of the facility.
“(We) certainly appreciate any support that people are willing to give towards this because anything that we don’t completely fundraise for, the college would have to take a loan out,” Monteiro explained.
The complex is expected to open in August 2023. Click here to learn more.