Seven students from the public relations campaigns class at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) have gained “a human perspective” on greyhound racing after visits to a greyhound breeding farm and Southland Park in West Memphis on October 4.

The field trip was part of an MTSU program in which the students in the public relations program take on an organization as a “client” and then develop public relations recommendations to address the organization’s needs. This semester, the “client” is the American Greyhound Council (AGC).

Before the field trip, the AGC provided dozens of pages of printed material as well as videos and web links as background for the students. Three industry representatives visited the Murfreesboro campus to deliver a comprehensive kick-off briefing.

Assistant Professor Cary Greenwood, who heads up the public relations sequence at MTSU, said the farm visit was a learning experience that “reinforced the detail and attention paid to ensuring the animals’ well-being by everyone in your organization.”

Following the farm visit, the students arrived at Southland Park, where Director of Racing Shane Bolender took them behind the scenes for a look at racing operations. As part of the tour, students visited the track’s adoption kennel, where they saw prospective greyhound owners meet the racers available for adoption.

Greenwood described the tour as a learning experience for everyone who participated. “What you did in meeting with the students and showing them your lives and livelihood was put a human perspective on the greyhound industry. They all had a great time, and I believe they came away with a much greater appreciation for the animals and what you do for them.”

Professor Cary Greenwood (far right) and her students at Southland