The Legacy Equine Academy, Inc. (LEA) mission is to connect with African American and racially diverse youth providing exposure to the vast opportunities in the farm and horse racing industry. The LEA program allows African American and racially diverse Middle and High School students the unique opportunity to build life skills while learning horsemanship through base instruction at Locust Trace AgriScience. The students are intentionally recruited and tagged as “Legacy Leaders” at the Middle School level. Our goal is to bridge the historical contributions of African American trailblazers such as, Isaac Murphy and Jimmy Winkfield, to the modern traditions and future opportunities in the horse racing industry. We have partnered with the UK College of Agriculture Dean’s office, KCTC, Midway College, Fayette County Public Schools along with many other Equine related enthusiasts in the corporate community. Through these relationships, we endeavor to provide a service that offers employment opportunities to qualified African American and other minorities. LEA fosters a commitment to young people that promotes the Horse industry and career related opportunities it offers. The equine industry takes a special kind of skill, passion, and patience. This program leads to industry certification and exposes local youth to professional career opportunities and related skill sets to help grow the industry. LEA also endeavors to develop alliances with the Equine and Agriculture Industries to provide successful education and career pathways. LEA proposes corporate and organization partnerships including scholarship opportunities, industry exposing events and professional career training of future prospective employees. We cultivate joint ventures to develop the LEA program in partnership with Fayette County Public Schools. These alliances endorse impactful corporate community reinvestment. Think workforce development. LEA establishes a pool of experienced middle and high school students and provides employment opportunities to a new audience in the next generation.
LEA members, along with FCPS Family Resource / Youth Service Center Coordinators at the middle school level and CCR Coaches at the high school level, identify the targeted students interested in the Equine industry and LEA works to ensure their candidacy for Locust Trace multi-level curriculum during their High School years. The outreach includes at least 25 students in each LEA school program. Our total will be 275 students in 2021 school year. This will increase to 600+ students in Fayette County Public Schools in year three*. LEA will work with various community partners, including the Keeneland, Kentucky Horse Park, All-Tech Education Outreach, Life Adventure Center, among other industry organizations to build a pipeline of students interested in pursuing an Equine related career. With horse industry support through the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, LEA facilitates relationships between the Legacy Leaders and KTA member farms. The program offers additional curriculum and activities above and beyond other Locust Trace traditional studies. LEA also manages the “Legacy Leader” pipeline to ensure a productive student experience along the pathway. Ultimately, we evaluate and measure the impact of the program as it relates to developing future farm and racing industry professionals. This model has proven to be successful for all involved.