Montana State University Farrier School has lacked a director since Bryce Kawasaki left the program in 2018. To revive its farrier program, the university has named farrier Diego Almeida, AWCF, CJF (EE, FE, TE), as its new director. Almeida officially begins with the farrier school on August 17.
Almeida joins the school after serving as farrier instructor at Midwest Horseshoeing School (MHS), which was acquired by the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. He also provided farrier services through the university's Middlefork Forge. Almeida is a 2011 graduate of MHS. He is the only American Farrier's Association (AFA) Certified Journeyman Farrier to have earned the association's three endorsements (education, forging and therapeutic). The AFA also named him the J. Scott Simpson Outstanding Educator Award in 2016, 2017 and 2019.
Almeida's primary duties will be to educate the farrier students and provide footcare for horses within the program. The university has not determined a start date for the next session, due to COVID-19. In the immediate term, Almeida will work with the university to define the program, including the curriculum, cost and session duration. In addition, he will work with the animal sciences program to develop joint instruction to provide farrier students with improved horsemanship study, while providing equine science program students with basic footcare instruction and safe horse-handling when working with farriers.
Almeida also will operate a private practice in the Bozeman area.