Dr. Rhonda Hoffman

Professor | Director of Horse Science

Dr. Rhonda Hoffman
(615) 898-2908
Room SAG 110 and HSC 101B, Stark Agribusiness and Agriscience Center (SAG)
MTSU Box 5, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
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Degree Information

  • Ph.D., Virginia Polytech Inst State University, VA (1997)
  • M.S., Virginia Polytech Inst State University, VA (1994)
  • B.S., Truman State University, MO (1992)

Areas of Expertise

Experienced Professor with teaching awards and a demonstrated history of working in Animal and Horse Science higher education. Skilled in student development, horse science curriculum, academic advising, and equine nutrition research. Diplomate of the American College of Animal Nutrition.

 

Biography

Dr. Rhonda Hoffman is a Professor and Director of Horse Science in the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience at Middle Tennessee State University. She is a board-certified Diplomate of the American College of Animal Nutrition and member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists.

Dr. Hoffman joined the faculty of the School of ABAS as an Associate Professor of Animal Science/Horse Science in 2003, and she was promoted to Professor in 2011. She has been the Direct...

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Dr. Rhonda Hoffman is a Professor and Director of Horse Science in the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience at Middle Tennessee State University. She is a board-certified Diplomate of the American College of Animal Nutrition and member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists.

Dr. Hoffman joined the faculty of the School of ABAS as an Associate Professor of Animal Science/Horse Science in 2003, and she was promoted to Professor in 2011. She has been the Director of Horse Science since February 2017. Dr. Hoffman was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal & Poultry Sciences at Virginia Tech from 2000-2003, and was an Assistant Professor and Horse Extension Specialist in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Connecticut from 1997-2000.

Classes taught at MTSU include undergraduate level Equine Nutrition and Feeding, Horse Breeds and Genetics, Equine Exercise Physiology, Horse Production, Elements of Animal Science, and graduate level Advanced Equine Nutrition, Research Methods in Agriculture, and Graduate Seminar in Agriculture. She helped develop the Horse Science undergraduate and M.S. curriculum at MTSU. She advises undergraduate majors in Horse Science each year and has mentored undergraduate honors, M.S. and Ph.D. student research. She created a life-sized model of an equine digestive tract to facilitate teaching and learning of horse nutrition. This instructional model has been used in collegiate teaching for 20 years and was reviewed and published by the Equine Science Society in 2003. She was recognized as an MTSU Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2013.

Dr. Hoffman is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Animal Science and the Veterinary Record, and she is an active member in the Equine Science Society and the American Society of Animal Science. She was an invited peer-reviewer for the 6th Ed. of the Nutrient Requirements for Horses and peer-reviews manuscripts for several scientific journals. Dr. Hoffman has been a regular judge for 4-H quiz bowl and project fairs. In Connecticut, she helped develop the Horse Farm of Environmental Distinction Awards Program, which still exists today. Her service at MTSU includes being Draw Table Coordinator for MTSU-hosted Intercollegiate (IHSA) Horse Shows.

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Publications

SELECTED PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS  

Hoffman, R. M. 2013. Carbohydrates. Pages 156–167 in: Equine Applied and Clinical Nutrition. Geor, R. J., P. A. Harris, and M. Coenen (Eds). Saunders Elsevier, Edinburgh.      

Hoffman, R. M.  2011. Nutrition: Carbohydrates. Pages 779–780 in: Clinical Veterinary Advisor: The Horse.  David Wilson (Ed.)  Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, PA.  

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SELECTED PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS  

Hoffman, R. M. 2013. Carbohydrates. Pages 156–167 in: Equine Applied and Clinical Nutrition. Geor, R. J., P. A. Harris, and M. Coenen (Eds). Saunders Elsevier, Edinburgh.      

Hoffman, R. M.  2011. Nutrition: Carbohydrates. Pages 779–780 in: Clinical Veterinary Advisor: The Horse.  David Wilson (Ed.)  Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, PA.  

Hoffman, R. M.  2009.  Carbhydrate metabolism and metabolic disorders in horses (Metabolismo de carboidratos e disfunções metabólicas em equinos). Revista Brasileria de Zootecnia 38:270–276 (supl. especial).   

Hoffman, R. M., J. C. Haffner, C. A. Crawford, H. Eiler, K. A. Fecteau. 2009.  Nonstructural carbohydrate and glycemic response of feeds: how low is “low” starch? J. Equine Vet. Sci. 29:379–380.  

Haffner, J. C., H. Eiler, R. M. Hoffman, K. A. Fecteau, and J. W. Oliver.  2009.  Effect of a single dose of dexamethasone on glucose homeostasis in healthy horses by using the combined intravenous glucose and insulin test.  J. Anim. Sci. 87:131–135.  

Hoffman, R. M.  2003.  Carbohydrate metabolism in horses.  In:  Recent Advances in Equine Nutrition 1.  S. L. Ralston, and H. F. Hintz, eds.  International Veterinary Information Service http://www.ivis.org, Ithaca, NY.  

Hoffman, R. M., R. C. Boston, D. Stefanovski, D. S. Kronfeld, and P. A. Harris. 2003.  Obesity and diet affect glucose dynamics and insulin sensitivity in Thoroughbred geldings.  J. Anim. Sci.  81:2333–2342.  

Hoffman, R. M., D. S. Kronfeld, W. L. Cooper, and P. A. Harris.  2003.  Glucose clearance in grazing mares is affected by diet, pregnancy and lactation.  J. Anim. Sci.  81:1764–1771.  

Hoffman, R. M.  2003.  The ins and outs of digestive physiology:  an equine nutrition teaching tool.  Pages 333–334 in Proc. 18th Equine Nutr. Physiol. Soc., Lansing, MI.  

Hoffman, R. M., J. A. Wilson, D. S. Kronfeld, W. L. Cooper, L. A. Lawrence, D. Sklan and P. A. Harris.  2001.  Hydrolyzable carbohydrates in pasture, hay and horse feeds:  direct assay and seasonal variation.  J. Anim. Sci.  79:500–506.  

Hoffman, R. M., L. A. Lawrence, D. S. Kronfeld, J. J. Dascanio, and W. L. Cooper.  1999.  Dietary carbohydrates and fat influence radiographic bone mineral content of growing foals.  J. Anim. Sci. 77:3330–3338.  

Hoffman, R. M., D. S. Kronfeld, J. H. Herbein, W. S. Swecker, W. L. Cooper and P. A. Harris.  1998.  Dietary carbohydrates and fat influence milk composition and fatty acid profile of mares’ milk.  J. Nutr. 128:2708S–2711S.  

Hoffman, R. M., D. S. Kronfeld, L. A. Lawrence, W. L. Cooper, J. J. Dascanio and P. A. Harris. 1996.  Dietary starch and sugar versus fat and fiber:  growth and development of foals.  Pferdeheilkunde 12:312–316.  

Hoffman, R. M., D. S. Kronfeld, J. L. Holland, and K. M. Griewe-Crandell.  1995.  Preweaning diet and stall weaning method influences on stress response in foals.  J. Anim. Sci. 73:2922–2930.  

SELECTED PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS BY MENTORED STUDENTS  

Macon, E. L., P. M. Graham-Thiers, K. L. Bowen. 2017. Plasma and muscle amino acid concentrations in insulin resistant compared to normal horses in the fed and fasted state. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 52:50.  

Wires, C., R. M. Hoffman, A. M. Brzezicki, and J. C. Haffner. 2017. Exploring horse reactivity and habituation across work types. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 52:114.  

Collins, J., R. M. Hoffman, and H. S. Spooner. 2015. The effect of dry versus soaked hay on glycemic response in horses. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 35:425.  

Martin, K. M., R. M. Hoffman, J. C. Haffner, and H. S. Spooner. 2015. The effect of fat supplementation on behavior and glycemic response in horses. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 35:385.  

Schultz, J. A., M. Wooten, J. C. Haffner, R. M. Hoffman, and H. S. Spooner. 2015. The effect of chiropractic treatment on lesson horse performance and behavior. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 35:393.  

Swirsley, N. K., H. S. Spooner and R. M. Hoffman. 2015. Supplement use and perceptions: a survey of U.S. horse owners. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 35:421.  

Hubbs, L. J., A. M. Brzezicki, R. M. Hoffman, and W. W. Gill. 2014. Equine extracurricular activities affect student GPA and persistence in a university horse program. Page 32 in Proc. 6th Natl. Assn. Equine Affl. Acad.  

Lowrey, E. D., W. W. Gill, and R. M. Hoffman. 2013. Demographics and perceptions of Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration attendees.  J. Equine Vet. Sci. 33:381  

Hubbs, L. J., R. M. Hoffman, and W. W. Gill. 2013. Equine extracurricular activities affect student success in a university horse program. Proc. Intl. Equitation Sci. 9:62.

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Awards

MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY
MTSU Outstanding Teacher of the Year, 2013.
Board certified Diplomate of the American College of Animal Nutrition (ACAN), 2007–present.
Board certified American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists: Horse Species, 1999–present.
Excellence in Presentations, MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences, 2007.
Outstanding Grantsmanship, MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences, 2004.
Most Val...

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MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY
MTSU Outstanding Teacher of the Year, 2013.
Board certified Diplomate of the American College of Animal Nutrition (ACAN), 2007–present.
Board certified American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists: Horse Species, 1999–present.
Excellence in Presentations, MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences, 2007.
Outstanding Grantsmanship, MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences, 2004.
Most Valuable Asset Award, MTSU Equestrian Team, 2004
VIRGINIA TECH
Educator of the Year, Virginia Horse Council, 2002
First Place Poster, Life Sciences, 13th Annual Virginia Tech Graduate Research Symposium, 1997
John Lee Pratt Graduate Fellowship in Animal Nutrition, Virginia Tech, 1994-1997
John Lee Pratt Graduate Assistantship in Animal Nutrition, Virginia Tech, 1992-1994
TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY
Outstanding Senior in Agricultural Science, Truman State University, 1992
American Society of Animal Science Scholarship Award for Excellence, 1990, 1992 
Presidential Combined Ability Scholarship, Presidential Honorary Scholarship, 1987–1991
Board of Governors Scholarship, 1987–1991
Music Service Scholarship (Piano), 1987–1989

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Research/Scholarly Activity

Dr. Hoffman's research emphasizes carbohydrate fractions in feeds and forages with analysis relating to equine digestive physiology rather than plant chemistry. She is particularly interested in carbohydrate metabolism, glucose-insulin dynamics and insulin sensitivity in horses as related to diet, obesity, pregnancy, performance and disease.

Courses

ANSC 1410 - Introduction to Animal Science. 3 credit hours. Overview of the science, production, and management of domestic animal species, including beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, swine, poultry, horses, and companion animals. Topics include reproduction; breeds, breeding, and genetics; nutrition and feeding; animal health; management; and products processing and marketing.

HORS 3410 - Horse Breeds and Genetics. 3 credit hour...

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ANSC 1410 - Introduction to Animal Science. 3 credit hours. Overview of the science, production, and management of domestic animal species, including beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, swine, poultry, horses, and companion animals. Topics include reproduction; breeds, breeding, and genetics; nutrition and feeding; animal health; management; and products processing and marketing.

HORS 3410 - Horse Breeds and Genetics. 3 credit hours. A review of the history of the horse from the prehistoric era to present day with a focus on the development and contributions of horse breeds in the U.S. and state horse industry. Roles of breed associations, principles of genetics, selection of desired traits, genetic abnormalities associated with specific breeds, and matching breeds to disciplines discussed.

HORS 3430 - Horse Production. 3 credit hours. Prerequisite: HORS 2110 or HORS 2400 or approval of instructor. Scientific principles relevant to production requirements of horses as related to exercise physiology and performance, growth, reproductive physiology and state, age, and clinical support. Facilities management, marketing, legal aspects of horse ownership, and career opportunities covered. Lecture/lab.

HORS 4440 - Equine Nutrition and Feeding. 3 credit hours. Prerequisites: ANSC 1410 and CHEM 1010/CHEM 1011 and CHEM 1020/CHEM 1021 or approval of instructor. Equine digestion and utilization of nutrients, appropriate feeds and feeding management, and diseases with a nutritional component. Nutrient requirements for the horse at various stages, including maintenance, reproduction, growth, performance, age, and clinical support discussed.

ABAS 6000 - Research Methods in Agricultural Science. 3 credit hours. A review of current scientific methods related to experiments in agriculture. Topics include research ethics, welfare of research subjects, literature resources, critical review of scientific literature, experimental design, scientific writing, interpreting data, and data presentation.

HORS 6440 - Advanced Equine Nutrition. 3 credit hours. A class in organic chemistry or biochemistry recommended. A biochemical approach to understanding the nutritional requirements for horses at various life stages, including maintenance, growth, reproduction, performance, age, and clinical support. Feeding management related to nutrient digestion, absorption, and metabolism. Current equine nutrition research and its applications to practical equine management emphasized. 

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