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LEARNING AGRICULTURE THROUGH EXPERIENCE JESSICA SPEAR Animal Science Major
IN T H IS ISSU E 06
AG ED GETS A NEW HOME
PARTNERING WITH PHILIPS LIGHTING
REMEMBERING BILL WAILES
THE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
FOOD FOR THOUGHT 2014–2015
A renewed vision for the college
Temple Grandin joins prestigious academy
New CoBank Center for Agricultural Education opens
10 Thornton-Massa speaker draws record crowds 12 CSU Horticulture Center features Philips LED lighting 16 CSU hosts Range Beef Cow Symposium 17 Keith Belk now holds the Monfort Chair
18 Deputy secretary of agriculture visits Fort Collins 20 Hands-on learning enhances the student experience 26 Sustainable agriculture Q&A 28 Breakthroughs in retaining soil carbon
29 New invasive annual grasses book 30 Specialty Crops program grows 32 Meagan Schipanski leads collaborative research teams
34 Marshall Frasier earns national teaching recognition 36 Beetle research helps combat extinction 37 Industrial hemp now a Colorado research crop
38 Doug Ming takes agriculture to space 40 Remembering Bill Wailes 41 Sarah Kappel studies at CSU via Florida
42 Michael Klamm counts the nation’s cattle 43 Anna Cordiner excels at landscape design and contracting 44 Tom Holtzer leaves a lasting impact
On the Cover Jessica Spear, animal science major, at CSU’s Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center. Story on Page 20.
Publishing Information Food for Thought is a publication of the College of Agricultural Sciences. EDITOR Jason Kosovski CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Bill Cotton, John Eisele, Marin Jacobson, Jason Kosovski, Joe Mendoza. DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Elias Martinez, Darin Sanders, Adam Mendez, Kate Wyman, Michaela Pariseau; CSU Creative Services. We welcome your support! To support College of Agricultural Sciences programs with a charitable gift, please contact the Development Office, (970) 491-7686.
We welcome your ideas! Send comments and mailing addresses to: Food for Thought, Colorado State University, College of Agricultural Sciences, 1101 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins CO 80523-1101. Editor Jason Kosovski may be reached at (970) 491-2392 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colorado State University is an equal-access/equal-opportunity University.
Connect with Us You can find our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages from our college home page, and I would encourage you to follow us on all three sites.
Dear Ag Family, There is no question that issues of food safety, food security, and food sustainability are driving the pace of agricultural innovation and defining much of the research taking place in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University. Just a few statistics help put into perspective the need for our college to address agriculture’s grand global challenges: • According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, food production will need to increase by 70 percent and require an additional 172 million acres of arable land to feed 9.1 billion people by 2050. • The USDA reported that 48.1 million people lived in food-insecure households in 2014. • Demand for meat protein in developing countries is projected to be at 213 million metric tons in 2020, up from 32 million metric tons in 1974, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute. The cutting-edge research underway in our college speaks directly to the need to ensure that food is plentiful, safe, and available to future generations. In this issue of Food for Thought, you will read about new directions for our research, new facilities that support and stimulate hands-on, experiential learning, and how our work intersects with the needs of our local, state, national, and global communities. In particular, the pages that follow will place special emphasis on the central role of hands-on learning in our academic enterprise. As we prepare the next generation to become agricultural leaders, innovators, and policy makers, we must provide them with the tools and experiences that allow them to translate what they have learned in classrooms, laboratories, and studios into tangible real-world skills. Whether these experiences are a part of course work, occur during internships, or are part of judging team competitions, we know that our students have the opportunity to live agriculture not just to study it.
By its very nature, agriculture is a hands-on discipline. Animals need to be fed, crops need to be planted, and foods need to be tested for disease and contamination. At the same time, students need to learn the technical aspects of plant and animal breeding and genetics, economic resource modeling, and water-management practices. This college is uniquely positioned to allow students to approach agricultural disciplines through both textbook and experiential learning, providing them with the skills that make them highly sought after by employers. We continue to enhance our partnerships with industry while we also foster collaborations with other disciplines at Colorado State University, including business, engineering, and veterinary medicine. Our faculty members represent some of the most outstanding minds in their disciplines, and their ability to collaborate with others both inside and outside of our college exemplifies the quality of the well-rounded education that we provide. This cannot be said enough – the strength of any college is its people, and the people who make up the College of Agricultural Sciences are some of the best in the world. Our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and stakeholders care passionately about the health, safety, and well-being of the people of Colorado, the citizens of the United States, and the growing global population. The work that we do and the graduates that we produce can and will change the world, improving our health, our environment, and our quality of life.
Ajay Menon Dean – College of Agricultural Sciences Director – Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station Contact (970) 491-6274 or CAS_Deanmain@mail.colostate.edu
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AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES THE LAST YEAR HAS SEEN SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES AT COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY. Ajay Menon became dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences in June 2015. After meeting with both internal and external college stakeholders, Menon established his leadership team for the areas of research and academics as well as for the Agricultural Experiment Station. He also appointed James Pritchett, a professor of agricultural and resource economics, as the college’s first executive associate dean. Menon and Pritchett sat down to answer questions focused on the college’s new direction and future:
Vision Food For Thought: Dean Menon, after serving as dean of CSU’s College of Business for 13 years, why were you interested in becoming dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences? Menon: Well, I must confess that this was not part of my calculus when I announced my decision to return to the faculty after 16 years in administrative roles in the College of Business. I had never envisioned becoming the dean of agriculture. But when President Tony Frank and Provost Rick Miranda approached me about the position, they shared their view of how essential this college is to the global relevance of CSU, the economy of the state of Colorado, and our ability to provide a growing global population with safe, plentiful, and sustainable food. My work in the College of Business helped me understand how central and critical the agricultural industry is to the economy of Colorado and the political stability of the world, as well as the potential that this industry has to improve the lives of people everywhere. FFT: What do you see as the mission and vision of the College of Agricultural Sciences? Menon: My vision for our College of Agricultural Sciences is unquestioned global pre-eminence in food safety, food security, and food sustainability. We will achieve this vision by renewing our academic and research focus in the areas of agritech, agribiome, and agribusiness. I think there is rich promise in focusing some of our efforts in developing research methods and new innovations within data science to address the nexus of food, water, and energy. Our faculty, staff, and stakeholders are currently being engaged in the effort to develop a shared vision and mission around the issues I mention here. Pritchett: I would add to that our college provides a dynamic learning environment for our students where they are given both the academic tools and the hands-on experiences that will position them for success beyond CSU. Our faculty members are committed to providing both technical training in genetics, plant breeding, animal handling, reproduction, and landscape design, as well
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NEW COLLEGE LEADERSHIP as bringing students into laboratories, fields, and studios so that they can translate what they have learned in the classroom into real-world experiences.
FFT: We are hearing a lot about agribiome as the next frontier of agricultural research, especially for this college. Can you help us better understand agribiomes? Menon: Agribiome refers to an agricultural system. The components of it include living organisms (animals, plants, and microbes) and environmental factors (soils, climate, etc.) that impact the system functions. FFT: What other changes are on the horizon for the college? Pritchett: We have a number of leadership transitions underway across the college. In late spring, we hosted on-campus visits of candidates for the head of the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, as well as for the head of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. We also brought to campus candidates for the position of deputy director of the Agricultural Experiment Station/associate dean of Extension. We are well into our search for a new head of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. We have had outstanding leaders in each of the positions over the last several years, and we are excited that new leadership can sustain our tradition of excellence while we also infuse fresh ideas and fresh perspectives into the college.
James Pritchett serves as the executive associate dean for the college. His passion is serving Colorado agriculture and implementing the shared strategic vision of the college. On a dayto-day basis, Pritchett directs operations and administration for the collegeâ€™s activities. He is a land-grant economist who enjoys working in a wide range of teaching, research, and engagement activities, including agribusiness management, water resource economics, community development, and interdisciplinary land management strategies. Originally from southeastern Colorado, Pritchett is a two-time alumnus of CSU, and he received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in agriculture and applied economics.
Ken Barbarick is the associate dean for academic programs and is responsible for academic curriculum and teaching. Barbarick has been in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences since 1975 and is a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar. He is committed to enhancing the student experience and ensuring that the college has a dynamic, highquality learning environment. His research interests are land application/recycling of sewage biosolids, land application/ recycling of other municipal and industrial wastes, and soil amendments.
FFT: What do you see as the role of the College of Agricultural Sciences within Colorado State University? Menon: Colorado State University was founded as an agricultural institution when Colorado Agricultural College opened its doors in 1870. Although the University has expanded into a number of other areas since that time, agriculture is at the heart of the DNA of this institution. Without exaggeration, each of the other colleges at CSU has faculty members and researchers whose work intersects with agriculture. Big data, drones, economic modeling, ethics, veterinary medicine, and food sciences are all areas in which agriculture can and should play a role. By its very nature, agriculture must be a collaborative discipline, and our ability to connect the research of this college with innovations inside and outside of traditional agricultural production will define our impact for the years and decades to come.
Jan Leach Jan Leach is the associate dean for research and a University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University. In her role as associate dean for research, she provides strategic vision for research within the college and works with faculty to build collaborative research teams. Her research group studies the molecular basis of durable plant disease resistance. Other projects in her laboratory are related to bioenergy (genetics of biomass production) and understanding the interactions of bacteria-insectsplants in plant health.
Tom Holtzer is the deputy director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and associate dean for Extension. In close collaboration with the associate dean for research, he evaluates and develops the framework, principles, and processes that will ensure that AES, the college, and Extension Services are aligned and serving our existing and evolving constituents. Holtzer was the longtime head of the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management and is serving in the position for one year before his retirement in October 2016.
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TRADEMARKS & ICONS
Temple Grandin Joins American Academy of Arts & Sciences
BEST TEACHER AWARD AND A PIANO The Spring 2016 semester was a busy one for Professor Temple Grandin.
In addition to being elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she was, only days before, among six instructors named Best Teachers by the CSU Alumni Association. Over the course of her career at CSU, Grandin has taught hundreds of students and helped them understand best practices for animal handling and welfare. Her teaching is not limited to lectures or classrooms – she takes her students out to CSU’s research facility north of campus so that they can experience working with animals in a real-world environment. In March 2016, Grandin learned that a piano would be painted in her honor as part of the Pianos About Town program, sponsored by Bohemian Foundation, the Downtown Development Authority, the city of Fort Collins Art in Public Places program, business owners, and community members. For a period of nearly two weeks, artists Nick, Henry, and Paul Covey painted the piano in the Curfman Gallery in the Lory Student Center on the CSU campus.
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TEMPLE GR ANDIN’S WORLDWIDE REPUTATION as a leader in the field of humane animal handling and autism advocacy has propelled her into one of the nation’s most distinguished groups – the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Colorado State University professor of animal sciences was elected to the academy among 213 new members announced in April 2016 in Cambridge, Mass. "Temple Grandin Grandin is an internationally recognized leader in animal-handling innovations, and her expertise has been used by major corporations such as Wendy’s International, Burger King, Whole Foods, Chipotle, and McDonald’s Corporation, as well as the USDA, where she trained auditors in animal care at livestock processing plants.
including earning her doctoral degree, authoring a New York Times bestseller, Animals in Translation, and having the story of her life depicted in HBO’s Temple Grandin, a film for which she was a consultant.
“Temple Grandin is a one-in-a-billion mind, and to include her as a person with autism in this group of esteemed scholars is an honor to her and to human is potential,” said Colorado a one-in-a-billion State University President mind, and to include Tony Frank. “We’re proud to include her unique and her as a person insightful mind among our faculty ranks.” with autism in this
group of esteemed scholars is an honor to her and to human potential."
Grandin is the third member of the CSU faculty to be elected to the American Academy. Biologist Diana Wall was inducted as a member of the Class of Tony Frank, Colorado State 2014; the late Marshall University President Fixman was the first inducted, in 1970. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, an alumnus of the CSU College of Liberal Arts, is Her approach to animal welfare is informed also part of the American Academy of by Grandin’s own experiences with autism Arts and Sciences Class of 2016. and through her perspective as a “visual Since its founding in 1780, the American thinker.” She is a tireless advocate for autism Academy of Arts and Sciences has awareness, a role model for individuals served the nation as a champion across the autism spectrum, and an of scholarship, civil dialogue, and inspiration for families who have loved ones useful knowledge. As one of the diagnosed with autism. Despite labels that nation’s oldest learned societies and were put on her at an early age, Grandin has independent policy research centers, accomplished much throughout her career,
the academy convenes leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to address critical challenges facing our global society. Its ranks include winners of the Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer Prize as well as Grammy, Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award winners, and other lauded intellectuals such as George Washington, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Mead and Martin Luther King Jr. In addition to delivering a multitude of public talks and presentations, Grandin has also appeared in popular media outlets such as 20/20, 48 Hours, Larry King Live, 60 Minutes, The New York Times, Forbes, and U.S. News and World Report. In 2010, Time named her one of the “100 Most Influential People,” and her namesake film debuted that same year. She also delivered a TED Talk in 2010 on “The World Needs all Kinds of Minds.” Grandin’s visibility on the world stage has increased autism awareness and understanding in ways that are truly without precedent. “To see Temple Grandin included among such a distinguished group of scientists, writers, artists, and civic leaders speaks to the power of her scholarship and the transformative nature of her autism advocacy,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences. “She has forever changed the way we understand the relationship between people and animals through her research and her own personal experiences, and she has left an indelible mark on the field of animal sciences, the colleagues she works with, and the students she has mentored.” “I am both honored and humbled to be included in such a distinguished group,” Grandin said. “As I looked down the list of members both past and present, I was awed by the impact of their work and hope that my contributions will have as much influence as theirs.”
As I looked down the list of members both past and present, I was awed by the impact of their work and hope that my contributions will have as much influence as theirs.
The Academy’s membership of 4,600 Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary Members includes many of the most accomplished scholars and practitioners worldwide. Through studies, publications, and programs on the humanities, arts, and education; science, engineering, and technology; global security and international affairs; and American institutions and the public good, the Academy provides authoritative and nonpartisan policy advice to decision-makers in government, academia, and the private sector. For more information, visit www.amacad.org
Professor Temple Grandin
TRADEMARKS & ICONS
COBANK CENTER FOR AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION
Opens for Business
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A DECADE OF DREAMING, FOUR YEARS OF PLANNING, AND A YEARLONG BUILD led to the jam-packed September 2015 ribbon-cutting for the new CoBank Center for Agricultural Education at Colorado State University. Now open for business, the center is designed to help fill a void in agricultural education teachers for K-12 students and community colleges across Colorado and the United States. “It is essential that our students help educate the next generation about agriculture,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences. “We know that we will have at least 9 billion people to feed globally by 2050, and so many of those people are here in this country, in our state, and throughout our counties. Our college will be at the forefront of innovations that will ensure that people are fed, clothed, and healthy, and agricultural education is a key component of maintaining the longevity and viability of our industry.” Fundraising for the center was led by the Colorado FFA Foundation, which helped raise $2.6 million of the $3.3 million needed for the new facility, with significant private support and a lead gift from CoBank. The center sits just north of campus at the college’s Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center. The CoBank Center for Agricultural Education encompasses more than 14,000 square feet, with customized laboratory, technology, teaching, and office space.
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It includes a special exhibit space for the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame, a signature program of the Colorado FFA Foundation. Not only will the center function as an academic space for faculty, staff, and students, but it will also serve as a community meeting space, bringing together individuals from the agricultural industry, rural communities, and local schools. There is also a display of jackets donated as part of the FFA Blue Jacket Society. Having a new space with the state-of-the-art tools for teaching agricultural education, allows agricultural education students to apply what they are learning in tangible, hands-on ways. Their experience managing facilities and teaching resources and expanding their own learning in skills such as welding, hydroponics, or crop estimating will allow them to communicate more effectively with the students they will eventually teach. CSU graduates will be better able to develop activities that will improve overall learning when implemented in their own classrooms or learning environments.
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Not only will the center function as an academic space for faculty, staff, and students, but it will also serve as a community meeting space, bringing together individuals from the agricultural industry, rural communities, and local schools.
Pictures of the Colorado Ag Hall of Fame members are displayed prominently in the CoBank Center.
So much time, thought, and planning went into creating a space that will position our students to go into classrooms across the state and around the country to teach agriculture to young people and inspire them to remain committed to the land and to the people who work on it. Assistant Professor Kellie Enns
“The ribbon-cutting of the CoBank Center for Agricultural Education brought together more than 350 donors and partners of CSU and the Colorado FFA Foundation for a spectacular evening of celebration,” said Don Thorn, executive director of the Colorado FFA Foundation. “The new building elevates CSU, our Agricultural Education program, and Colorado FFA now that we have one of the premier agricultural education teaching facilities in the United States. Combining the teaching facility with the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame and the Colorado FFA Blue Jacket Society shows the great partnership between the agricultural industry, Colorado State University, and the Colorado FFA.”
faculty member to two full-time faculty members and an instructor. The program is led by Assistant Professor Kellie Enns who is joined by Assistant Professor Michael Martin, who focuses on agricultural literacy and agricultural history, and instructor Nathan Clark. “This building has been a dream for me, my colleagues, and my students for many years,” said Enns. “So much time, thought, and planning went into creating a space that will position our students to go into classrooms across the state and around the country to teach agriculture to young people and inspire them to remain committed to the land and to the people who work on it.”
The Agricultural Education program at CSU has seen significant expansion in recent years, growing from a single
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MEDAL OF SCIENCE WINNER PRESENTS
The lecture honors the late
MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES – CHECK.
Dr. Emil Massa of Denver
WINNER OF THE PRESTIGIOUS TYLER PRIZE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT – CHECK.
and the late Bruce and Mildred Thornton, who shared a common interest in biodiversity, plant genetics, agriculture, and horticulture.
HAVING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES PERSONALLY GIVE YOU THE NATIONAL MEDAL OF SCIENCE – CHECK. In a career that has seen numerous awards, accolades, and achievements, May Berenbaum has been a public intellectual translating entomology for the general public, testifying before Congress on the disappearing honeybees, and guiding graduate and undergraduate students on the study of insects. In November 2015, Berenbaum traveled to Colorado State University to deliver the Thornton-Massa lecture, an annual lecture focused on plant biodiversity. Berenbaum has served as the head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois for more than 20 years and holds one of that university’s highest honors, a Swanlund Chair. Berenbaum’s talk, “Insects and wild parsnips: Coevolutionary arms races and peace treaties,” focused on the essential role that insects play in promoting plant biodiversity and was delivered to a recordsetting crowd in the Lory Student Center Theatre.
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TRADEMARKS & ICONS
Berenbaum’s talk, “Insects and wild parsnips: Coevolutionary arms races and peace treaties,” focused on the essential role that insects play in promoting plant biodiversity and was delivered to a record-setting crowd in the Lory Student Center Theatre.
“As unlikely as it might seem, even after 40 years of study, this seemingly unremarkable interaction between a noxious roadside weed and its small, unprepossessing caterpillar associate continues to yield insights into all kinds of ecological and evolutionary issues,” said Berenbaum. Among her many passions, Berenbaum has devoted considerable energy to examining recent declines in honeybee populations around the world. She chaired the National Academy of Sciences committee on the status of pollinators in North America and has helped increase public awareness of the honeybee decline. She has even appeared in documentaries on the bee decline, including Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? and Pollen Nation. Berenbaum’s connections to popular culture go well beyond having her expertise featured in documentaries. She also created the Insect Fear Film Festival, an annual event in its 32nd year on the Illinois campus that addresses insect-related fear and loathing and the film industry’s penchant for casting insects as villains. In still another connection to popular culture, Berenbaum served as the inspiration for an entomologist on the TV series the X-Files, aptly named Bambi Berenbaum. The real Berenbaum’s many other honors include her status as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Entomological Society of America. She is also an honorary fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. The lecture honors the late Dr. Emil Massa of Denver and the late Bruce and Mildred Thornton, who shared a common interest in biodiversity, plant genetics, agriculture, and horticulture. These commonalities led their
families to endow an annual public lecture through the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences and the College of Natural Sciences. Dr. Massa was a Denver physician who studied trees and grasses. His curiosity about plants and their origins, plant breeding, and biodiversity led him to support not only this lecture series, but also the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Denver Park People, a citizen organization working to preserve, enhance, and advocate for Denver’s urban forest. Bruce and Mildred Thornton shared a lifelong interest in and commitment to the study, identification, and preservation of seeds. Mildred Thornton attended then-Colorado State College and, after receiving her master’s
degree in botany, went to work as a junior botanist at the Federal Seed Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Bruce Thornton served on the Colorado State College faculty and the Agricultural Experiment Station staff from 19271962, and he headed the Colorado State Seed Laboratory from 1940 to 1961. They married in 1930, and when Bruce retired in 1961, Mildred took over the directorship of the State Seed Laboratory, where she had worked occasionally for 20 years. For more information, visit thorntonmassa.colostate.edu
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TRADEMARKS & ICONS
HORTICULTURE CENTER EXPANDS PLANT RESEARCH AND TEACHING WITH THE RELOCATION OF THE GREENHOUSES AND GARDENS AT THE W.D. HOLLEY PLANT ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH CENTER, Colorado State University constructed a stateof-the-art center for horticulture education and research adjacent to a popular community garden and federal research center. The new center expands opportunities for joint research and programming while improving the learning environment for CSU students. The new CSU Horticulture Center features advanced light emitting diode, or LED, lighting for horticultural activity, provided by Philips Lighting. The lighting is designed to optimize desired plant characteristics, including the nutritional value of city-farm produced foods, irrigation strategies, climate impact, soil conditions, thermal effects, year-round production, greenhouse food, hops, floriculture, and turf, while dramatically reducing the power consumption of the lighting component of indoor growth facilities.
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TRADEMARKS & ICONS
LEFT: As part of the Floriculture Practicum, students grow and sell pointsettias for the holiday season. ABOVE: Philips LED lights turn the building a pinkish hue at night.
â€œWe saw this as an opportunity to work with a global leader in LED solutions that has depth, longevity, and an appreciation for close collaborations with universities like CSU.â€? Steven Newman, professor of floriculture at CSU and greenhouse crops Extension specialist
HORTICULTURE CENTER AT A GLANCE “We saw this as an opportunity to work with a global leader in LED solutions that has depth, longevity, and an appreciation for close collaborations with universities like CSU,” said Steven Newman, greenhouse crops Extension specialist and professor of floriculture at CSU. The building will explore joint educational and training opportunities with CSU and CSU Extension, as well as other Philips partners and customers. New internship and cooperative learning opportunities will also be created for CSU’s graduate and undergraduate students. “Partnerships between CSU and the business community help enhance the quality of the educational experience for our students,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “The state-of-the-art installation of LED lighting in the new Horticulture Center will advance the quality and impact of the teaching, research, and engagement that our Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture program has maintained for decades.”
With modern controlled-environment agricultural facilities, the new center and greenhouses enhance CSU’s capacity to deliver programs that contribute to the beauty, sustainability, health, and well-being of the local community, the state of Colorado, and the Intermountain West. In addition to supporting the nearby Gardens on Spring Creek, the world-renowned Annual Flower Trial Garden at Lake and Remington streets, and the green industries across Colorado, the center strengthens the research, teaching, and educational programs within the College of Agricultural Sciences and all of Colorado State University. Along with opening opportunities for new research and academic programs, the new facility also houses some of the greenhouse research that took place at PERC as well as future growing seasons for the trial garden and Horticulture and Floriculture programs, including the popular Floriculture Practicum in which students grow and sell poinsettias for the holiday season and bedding plants for spring.
21,000 SQ FT GREENHOUSES
6,200 SQ FT Classrooms, Offices, and Laboratories
6.2 ACRES OUTDOOR SPACE for growing & education
LED LIGHTING OPTIMIZES DESIRED PLANT CHARACTERISTICS
Bill Bauerle, professor of horticulture and landscape architecture, has also begun testing hops grown in the CSU Horticulture Center.
RANGE BEEF COW SYMPOSIUM
Comes to Northern Colorado CONNECTING PRACTITIONERS, INDUSTRY, AND ACADEMIA IS PART OF WHAT THE RANGE BEEF COW SYMPOSIUM IS ALL ABOUT. The event, which occurs every two years, rotates among four universities – Colorado State University, South Dakota State University, the University of Nebraska, and the University of Wyoming. In November 2015, the symposium made its way to Northern Colorado when the three-day event was hosted by CSU’s Department of Animal Sciences at The Ranch in Loveland, Colo. “This event was a great resource for range beef cow producers to learn best practices and to network,” said Kevin Pond, head of the CSU Department of Animal Sciences. “We were eager to showcase our faculty expertise as well as to hear from producers and industry leaders on a range of topics, including consumer behavior, the future of the beef industry and animal welfare.” Part of what made the symposium such a unique and informative event is the broad spectrum of topics covered by speakers. Areas of focus included marketing, beef genetics, and herd health/management. Among the event’s most popular features were “Bull Pen Sessions,” in which attendees and speakers engaged in an informal discussion of topics through lively questionand-answer sessions. “With the sudden drop in the cattle market, it is more important than ever to implement best practices to maintain profitability,” said Lee Leachman, partner at Leachman Cattle of Colorado. “The Range Beef Cow
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Symposium is the most useful and practical meeting this year. Best of all, attendees rubbed shoulders with hundreds of the best ranchers in the high-plains.”
KEEPING UP ON TWITTER
Leachman took part in a symposium panel titled “Cow Feed Efficiency Unknowns, including Utilization of Range Forages.” There was also a young producers presymposium networking reception, and the symposium itself featured a panel discussion titled “How Can Young People get into the Cattle Business?” Also noteworthy on the symposium program was a free Beef Quality Assurance certification featuring a live cattle demonstration by stockmanship expert Curt Pate. Throughout the run of the symposium, there was an onsite trade show that included displays and booths from more than 75 industry representatives. Much of the event was live-tweeted by Dixie Crowe, who graduated in 2016 with degrees in equine sciences and journalism and media communication, and managed the symposium’s social presence on Facebook and Twitter. “My favorite part was live-tweeting the three-day event with more than 550 posts and being retweeted by Beef Today, Angus Journal, and others,” said Crowe. “It was an honor to host this event, which included attendance of nearly 750 beef cattle producers who are lifelong learners and seek out information through this type of event,” said Jason Ahola, associate professor of animal sciences. “The fact that nearly one-quarter of attendees were young producers or students was also encouraging, in that they see the value
in learning from, and networking with, others in the beef cattle industry.” “It was certainly enlightening to hear the presentations from all of our speakers,” said Pond. “I can think of few other events featuring such a wide range of topics presented by industry and academic leaders in the range beef cow field.”
, TRADEMARKS & ICONS
Keith Belk NAMED MONFORT CHAIR RECEIVING A NAMED CHAIR IS ONE OF THE HIGHEST HONORS A UNIVERSITY can bestow on its faculty members. Now, Keith Belk, professor of animal sciences, holds one of the oldest named chairs at Colorado State University, the Monfort Chair. The Monfort Family has a long history at CSU and also established a Monfort Lecture series; Monfort Professors, who are appointed by the provost for two-year terms; and the Monfort Scholars program, which provides support for outstanding students. The Monfort Chair, a named professorship, is in a category all its own. The chair does not have a term limit, and the funds provided by the endowment support the chair’s lab staffing, administrative support, and travel. Belk can also use these funds for speaking engagements, marketing the University and the department, and as he works to obtain new grant funding. “It is an honor to be recognized as contributing to the legacy of Kenny and Myra Monfort,” said Belk. “I am also honored to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Gary Smith, the first holder of the Monfort Chair, who is one of the most recognizable names in the field of meat sciences.” For the last five years, since Smith left CSU, the chair has remained empty, although Smith recently returned to CSU as a visiting professor and adviser to CSU President Tony Frank.
“The Monfort Chair is one of three named chairs in the Department of Animal Sciences,” said Kevin Pond, head of the Department of Animal Sciences. “Filling the chair was important to our department, as it was to the Monfort family.” The reputation of the Monfort family across the state of Colorado is wellknown as they helped establish, along with W.D. Farr and Bill Webster, the cattle-feeding industry in Colorado. Additionally, the family benefited from research conducted by animal sciences Professor Emeritus John Matsushima, who helped pioneer the practice of steam flaking corn. “Professor Belk is among an elite group of researchers who are defining the field of meat safety, both in the U.S. and abroad,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “His research has helped advance our knowledge of food safety, prevention of food-borne illnesses, and international trade.” “The Monfort Family Chair exemplifies the family’s belief in the value of strong science and outstanding agricultural education for the students of Colorado and speaks to their central role in the rich history of the Colorado cattle and beef industry,” Menon added. “Because of his breakthrough research and his commitment to training the next generation of meat scientists, it is only appropriate that Professor Belk be appointed Monfort Chair in Animal Sciences.”
Professor Belk is among an elite group of researchers who are defining the field of meat safety, both in the U.S. and abroad. Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences
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TRADEMARKS & ICONS
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture sees the
Strength of Ag Research and Education at CSU FOUNDED AS COLORADO AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE IN 1870, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY HAS A LONG HISTORY OF collaboration with and support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In October 2015, the second highest-ranking official in the USDA came to Fort Collins and CSU to meet with University leaders and students. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden spent part of the day learning about the educational and research programs within the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences, toured the new CSU Horticulture Center and the CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden, and engaged with students who focus on developing solutions to the pressing issues in global agriculture. Even before she came to campus, Harden expressed how eager she was to meet with CSU students. “I’m excited to visit with the students at Colorado State University and hear their perspective on the future of agriculture,” said Harden. “As the average age of the American farmer continues to rise, it is more important than ever before that we give the next generation of farmers and ranchers the tools they need to succeed and lead our industry.”
According to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, agriculture contributes $41 billion to the Colorado economy and employs nearly 173,000 people. In addition to meeting with CSU President Tony Frank and College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Ajay Menon, Harden hosted a roundtable discussion with CSU students focused on how the next generation of farmers and ranchers can help meet the needs of a growing global population.
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According to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, agriculture contributes $41 billion to the Colorado economy and employs nearly 173,000 people. Agricultural production – across a diverse spectrum of industries in Colorado – will play an essential role in meeting the food and fiber needs in Colorado, across the United States, and around the world. “We were delighted to host Deputy Secretary Harden here in Fort Collins,” said CSU President Tony Frank. “There is virtually no part of CSU that isn’t touched by agriculture – faculty and staff members in all of our colleges are involved in collaborations with their counterparts in the College of Agricultural Sciences in areas such as precision agriculture, business modeling and forecasting, and the ethical treatment of animals. Deputy Secretary Harden saw the breadth of agricultural research and teaching on our campus and how we position our students to leave CSU prepared to tackle the global challenges in food security and availability, environmental sustainability, and resource conservation.”
LEFT: Students participated in a roundtable discussion with Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Harden on how farmers and ranchers can meet the needs of a growing population. RIGHT: Deputy Secretary Harden tours the CSU Horticulture Center. Harden also visited the CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden.
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A hallmark of the student experience There is no question that what is learned from textbooks is an invaluable piece of a college education. There are other aspects, however, that make the student experience in the College of Agricultural Sciences more vibrant, more dynamic, and more memorable. Hands-on, experiential learning is a central part of that experience.
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Helen Brown When Helen Brown applies to veterinary schools, she hopes her hands-on work at CSU will set her apart from other applicants. Having completed her degree in equine sciences, Brown is working for a year before looking at vet schools. After attending vet school, Brown wants to specialize in reproduction to become a theriogenologist and feels that the faculty members at CSU have given her the resources to be successful by connecting her with hands-on research. “I now know optimal strategies when breeding horses, because I have actually done the work,” said Brown. “I would describe myself as being self-sufficient, and that isn’t a skill that everyone who applies for their first job will have.” Brown's internship at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute while she was still an undergraduate led to her being offered a position there after graduation where she works as both an X-ray technician and a veterinary assistant.
Colton O’Brien Colton O’Brien is working with pollinators while completing his degree in soil and crop sciences. He has managed a number of research projects and has been given a significant amount of responsibility by his faculty mentors to see that research is conducted properly and expeditiously. “The kinds of teamwork and problem-solving that you get while in the field simply cannot be learned in a classroom,” said O’Brien. “Whether I end up pursuing the Peace Corps or entering private industry, I am convinced that what I have learned outside of the classroom will be some of the most enriching work I have done at CSU.”
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“We know that students are better positioned for careers beyond this University when their academic interactions have taken them outside of the classroom and into laboratories, fields, and studios,” said Ken Barbarick, associate dean for academic programs who also teaches Introductory Soil Science, where students test and identify soil samples in his laboratory. “I don’t think that students can be fully prepared for careers in agriculture without getting their hands dirty, even if that is a cliché.” ACROSS THE COLLEGE’S FIVE DEPARTMENTS, STUDENTS CAN ENGAGE IN A NUMBER OF HANDS-ON EXPERIENCES THAT CAN INCLUDE WORKING WITH HIGHPOWERED LABORATORY EQUIPMENT, ENHANCING THE CONDITIONS FOR POLLINATORS IN AGRICULTURE, AND EVEN WORKING IN ANIMAL REPRODUCTION. Experiential learning is also essential for landscape architecture students whose designs are often implemented in real-world environments and agricultural education students who must learn how to demonstrate and teach in real-world and relevant agriculture settings, including the agriculture mechanics laboratory. Helen Brown, who recently graduated with a degree in equine sciences, has enhanced her academic experience at CSU through hands-on activities both on and off campus. She completed an internship at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, KY., and worked with Jason Bruemmer, a CSU professor of equine sciences, as part of his reproductive practicum course and on one of his research projects. “There is so much that you need to actually experience in equine sciences if you are really going to understand the field,” said Brown. “I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to give medication, draw blood, tease mares, and flush embryos – things you could never do if you spent time only in a classroom.” Working with animals is just one way that students can have a hands-on experience in the college. Tabitha Covey, a senior majoring in soil and crop sciences, has learned the intricate
We know that students are better positioned for careers beyond this University when their academic interactions have taken them outside of the classroom and into laboratories, fields, and studios. Animal Sciences major Jessica Spear was a part of CSUâ€™s Seedstock Merchandising Team.
Ken Barbarick, associate dean for academic programs and professor of Introductory Soil Science
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In the years to come, the college has plans to further enhance learning activities at the Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center, just north of the Fort Collins campus.
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LEFT: The Soil Judging Team competes at a national competition in April 2016. ABOVE: The CSU Horticulture Center provides opportunities for students to work directly on plant research.
details of soil decomposition by measuring and monitoring compost piles. “Soil and crop sciences is an applied science, so getting to touch and work with soil is an essential part of learning,” said Covey. “I have had the chance to apply what I have learned in books and to understand what soil is all about through my experience outside of the classroom.” Colton O’Brien is also a senior majoring in soil and crop sciences, but his focus is on pollinators, specifically bees. He has worked in the pollinator lab with Arathi Seshadri, a professor of soil and crop sciences, and has conducted field research for her, which involves surveying and watching fields, ensuring that the correct data are recorded, and coaching other students taking part in the project. During his first year in the lab, he focused on evaluating how drought affects pollinators; now in his second year in the lab, O’Brien is managing two canola plots assessing how herbicide affects resources for pollinators and assessing if integration of habitat into field margins can improve habitat conditions. “My time working in the
lab and out in the field has been tremendous for my personal growth,” said O’Brien. “I have gained a sense of confidence and developed a far better understanding of how research works by doing it myself.” In the years to come, the college has plans to further enhance learning activities at the Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center just north of the Fort Collins campus. Many of the activities that were once held in the Livestock Pavilion on campus will be moved closer to where more animals are housed, fed, and maintained. Students will have access to more equipment and facilities than could be located centrally on campus. EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING HAS BECOME MORE THAN SOMETHING OFFERED AS AN ADDITION TO COURSES ACROSS THE COLLEGE. Now, these activities are being built into course work and undergraduate students leave CSU with a set of skills that will translate well into their chosen fields and set them apart in the hiring process.
For the last year and a half, Jessica Spear, a senior majoring in animal science, has been working at CSU’s Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center, located just 12 miles north of campus. There, she has taken part in many activities that have been at the core of production agriculture for generations – batching and delivering rations, livestock health evaluations, overnight calving checks, and newborn delivery assistance, while also involved in the farm operations from irrigation, and operation of farm equipment to end of the season harvest. “I genuinely love ranch and farm work, and I am extremely grateful to CSU and the ARDEC staff for providing the opportunity to do what I love while going to college,” said Spear.
Tabitha Covey Tabitha Covey’s hands-on experience at CSU has even taken her out of the country. Covey, who is a senior majoring in soil and crop sciences, traveled with a group of students and faculty members to CSU’s Todos Santos Center in Mexico as part of her sustainable agriculture course. There, she and her classmates assessed approximately three acres of farmland, created a sustainable water management plan, and developed a soil reclamation plan, all of which will be made available to the local community. Covey encourages other students to explore research opportunities in faculty labs, especially while they are undergraduates. “Research experiences not only build skills, they also help build confidence,” said Covey.
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Colorado Wheat Field Days participants learn about CSU research, including crop variety performance trials. Some of the other crops studied include corn, sunflower, sorghum, alfalfa, soybeans, and millet.
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In conversations with producers, consumers, and researchers, it has become more and more apparent that the term sustainable agriculture carries with it many meanings. We sat down with three faculty members in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences to discuss these different, and sometimes contradictory, perspectives on how agricultural systems can be made more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable.
FACULTY MEMBERS: Pat Byrne, professor Meagan Schipanski, assistant professor Addy Elliott, instructor and adviser
Q: In what ways do grain farmers use
sustainable agricultural practices?
A: Eastern Colorado grain farmers
take pride in their role in helping feed a growing global population and work to ensure that their farms are economically viable, both for themselves and their children. Many farmers use no-till management practices to conserve soils and make the most of limited annual rainfall. These farmers often include technologies such as GMO crops and herbicides in their cropping systems, employing the best practices they feel will sustain their farms into the future. Q: How do the benefits of sustainable
organic farming outweigh the costs?
A: Front Range organic vegetable
farmers want to be part of positive change in our food system by developing a resilient farming system that sustains the land and provides healthy food. They use crop diversity, tillage, and animals to manage insects, weeds, and soil fertility without chemical inputs. These farmers feel that organic food could be part of everyoneâ€™s affordable diet with additional research investments, policy changes, and continued consumer support.
Q: How are purchasing decisions
influenced by perceptions of sustainable agriculture?
A: Consumers come in many flavors, but
many share a desire for healthier food choices and greater environmental sustainability of the food system. Health-conscious consumers aspire to purchase fresh food, to minimize additives, excess sodium, and added sugars, and to support regional economies and biodiverse cropping systems. Many consumers in this group frequent farmersâ€™ markets and often purchase organic food. They feel they do their best to balance nutrition and ecological sustainability when deciding where to spend their food dollar. Q: What motivates scientists to engage
in sustainable agriculture research?
A: Public sector crop scientists are driven
by the desire to harness the power of science to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability. Given the serious challenges of meeting future food needs in an era of climate change and increasing competition for land and water, they favor investigating a broad range of technologies that will increase food security over the long term. Their research often combines a near-term practical application with results that provide a deeper understanding of how crop plants function in their agricultural environments.
To address the diverse sets of approaches and perspectives described here, CSU scientists are collaborating with communities, farmers, educators, funding agencies, and the private sector to help advance research and bring new sustainable agriculture technologies to market.
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RETAINING SOIL CARBON Addressing global climate change requires a suite of approaches. A key element in these strategies is capturing and storing carbon. FOR THOSE FAMILIAR WITH THE
investigator on the study. “Our results showed that the water-
PRACTICE OF COMPOSTING, SEEING
soluble material released early in the decomposition process
— AND SMELLING — THE BREAKDOWN of plant and organic material over a long period of time is quite familiar. In a Colorado State University-led study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, a new understanding of soil carbon sequestration pathways may help design management approaches to combat climate change. Soil organic matter, that very thin skin on the world’s terrestrial surface, serves many functions vital to humanity, such as supplying nutrients to plants and sequestering carbon. Traditional dogma has held that the slower-decaying components of plant residues, such as fibers, help build soil organic matter. The new study suggests that the early byproducts of plant residue decomposition, generally water-soluble materials, can also result in the formation of persistent soil organic matter. The study demonstrates that these fast-decomposing materials are used more efficiently by the soil microbes, thus leaving more carbon in the soil as microbial products, which bond to the soil minerals and therefore stay in the soil for longer periods of time. “We know that ‘slow’ decomposing plant residues help keep carbon in the soil, delaying its release into the atmosphere for a few years or decades,” said Francesca Cotrufo, a professor of soil and crop sciences and lead
can be used to retain carbon for longer periods, on the order of decades to centuries.” Cotrufo notes that these water-soluble materials help retain carbon when they are bonded to minerals, thus making areas without mineral-rich soils incompatible with this particular type of carbon sequestration. Cotrufo worked on the study with a number of researchers, including Diana Wall, director of CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability. Cotrufo is also a senior scientist at CSU’s Natural Resource Ecology Lab, housed in the Warner College of Natural Resources. “Addressing global climate change requires a suite of approaches, including strategies for mitigation, adaptation, and reduction of the accumulation of greenhouse gases,” said Warner College Dean John Hayes. “A key element in these strategies is capturing and storing carbon. These findings are remarkable because they dramatically shift our fundamental understanding of mechanisms responsible for carbon sequestration in soils, setting the stage for stronger ecological and climate models and potential new avenues to address climate change.” Since the release of this study, another more controlled study was published by Cotrufo and other CSU researchers which used Differential Dual Isotope Labeling and confirmed the hypothesis of the study published in Nature Geoscience. “Both of these studies confirm for us that we need to understand the soil matrix properties when we employ climate-smart agriculture management practices,” said Cotrufo. “Accounting for the variance in the capacity of soil to acquire and protect additional carbon is essential when we think about carbon sequestration strategies.”
To help the public better understand the study and its results, a video was produced in partnership with Nature Geoscience. The full study, “Formation of soil organic matter via biochemical and physical pathways of litter mass loss,” can be found at www.nature.com. Horticulture students help turn decomposed organic material produced by CSU's Earth Flow automated composter. The compost is produced with food waste from campus dining centers.
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ABOVE: The Santa Rosa Range is an area at risk from the invasive bromus species. Photograph © 2011 Nolan Preece
NEW BOOK EXPLORES
Invasive Annual Grasses EXOTIC ANNUAL GRASSES, OR BROMUS SPECIES, HAVE BECOME a dominant invasive species in the Western United States over the past century and a half. After years of unsuccessful efforts to control the spread of these species, a new book co-edited by Cynthia Brown, professor in the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, addresses critical management and planning issues related to the control and containment of Bromus species. Exotic Brome-Grasses in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems of the Western U.S.: Causes, Consequences, and Management Implications is co-edited by Brown and scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Forest Service. The book synthesizes available literature on the biogeography, biology, ecology, genetics, sociology, and economics of Bromus grasses to develop a more complete picture of and novel insights into the factors that influence their invasiveness, impacts, and management in the Western U.S. “This volume is the most comprehensive treatment of this important group of invasive plants to date. It addresses their characteristics from molecular to geographic scales
with the aim of improving management through understanding what has led to their success and what their vulnerabilities are,” said Brown. “It provides a foundation for new research and improved management.” Funding for research that contributed to the book was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Research, Extension, and Education Network – or REEnet – which brought together a diverse range of public agency and university specialists from around the United States to generate and refine ideas on Bromus grasses. Lessons learned from this synthesis can be used to address impacts of species such as cheatgrass on the sagebrush-steppe, a habitat that supports more than 350 wildlife species, including the greater sage-grouse. Greater sage-grouse occur in parts of 11 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces in Western North America. Implementation of effective management actions for the benefit of sage-grouse continues to be a focus of Department of the Interior agencies following the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the species is not warranted for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
Lessons learned from this synthesis can be used to address impacts of species such as cheatgrass on the sagebrush-steppe, a habitat that supports more than 350 wildlife species, including the greater sage-grouse.
“Invasive species, especially grasses, are a problem not only in the Western United States, but across the country,” said Lou Bjostad, interim head of the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management at Colorado State University. “That Professor Brown’s expertise figures so significantly in this book represents another example of the way in which our faculty members work to find solutions to agricultural challenges facing this country and the world.”
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Specialty Crops Colorado Agriculture
Mark Uchanski came to CSU in Spring 2016 from New Mexico State University, to continue his work on vegetable crops and to reinvigorate the Specialty Crops program. In New Mexico, he conducted research on pungent crops – peppers and onions, for example – and worked with both commercial and smallscale growers.
Natalie Yoder is the Specialty Crops program assistant. Yoder graduated with a masters degree in horticulture from CSU in 2014 and helps Uchanski with the program’s dayto-day management. She also helps manage the new Student Education Garden that came online this summer and is adjacent to the CSU Horticulture Center.
SPECIALTY CROPS PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN COLORADO AGRICULTURE, and helping students and the public understand what is and is not a specialty crop is part of the work being done by Mark Uchanski. Uchanski is an assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture who now leads Colorado State University’s Specialty Crops program. “In some ways, it is easier to think of what specialty crops are not,” said Uchanski. “For example, commodity crops – wheat, corn, soybeans – are not classified as specialty crops, and thus virtually any other kind of crop that you might grow in your backyard can be thought of as a specialty crop.” Uchanski came to CSU in Spring 2016 from New Mexico State University, to continue his work on vegetable crops and to reinvigorate the Specialty Crops program. In New Mexico, he conducted research on pungent crops – peppers and onions, for example – and worked with both commercial and small-scale growers. He also helped establish that campus’s organic farm in 2012, and spearheaded getting their organic production certified. “I was attracted to CSU because Colorado is both a larger state and one that has more agricultural diversity,” said Uchanski. “Because producers here grow so many different kinds of crops, there is a pent-up need to provide them with the research and guidance that they have come to expect from
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the state’s land-grant University.” Many smaller producers are new to farming and have numerous questions for specialty crops experts. Uchanski’s position is partly funded by the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. In 2001, CDA, together with the College of Agricultural Sciences, recognized
Because producers here grow so many different kinds of crops, there is a pent-up need to provide them with the research and guidance that they have come to expect from the state’s land-grant University. Mark Uchanski, assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, and Colorado State University’s Specialty Crops program.
the importance of working together to support specialty crop growers, and with the initial funding from the SCBGP, established a Specialty Crops program at CSU. "This arrangement is rather unique and testifies to the fact that we must support both larger commercial
Understanding the optimal use of equipment is just one aspect of the Specialty Crops program. Students are given hands-on learning opportunities of growing specialty crops, such as hydroponic watermelon, in the Horticulture Center.
farming and the increasing numbers of smaller producers, both organic and conventional,” said Uchanski. Additionally, increasing numbers of students are expressing an interest in learning about certified organic production and the viability of specialty crops across Colorado. Uchanski will teach a number of courses on cool- and warm-season vegetable production as well as how to diagnose and treat organic fields. Uchanski is joined by Natalie Yoder who is the Specialty Crops program assistant. Yoder graduated with a master's degree in horticulture from CSU in 2014 and not only helps Uchanski with some of the program’s day-to-day, hands-on management, but she also helps manage the new half-acre Student Education Garden that came online in Summer 2016 and is adjacent to
the CSU Horticulture Center. The garden affords students the opportunity to take part in internships in which they grow a product from seed to sale and deal directly with customers. Classes may also use the garden as well as indoor space in the Horticulture Center where hydroponic watermelons and organic starts are being grown right now. “There is so much opportunity for growth in this program,” said Uchanski. “Not only can we serve as a resource for growers across the state, but we can also provide students with experience in real farming practices, experience that will be invaluable whether they start their own businesses or join existing operations.”
WHAT IS A SPECIALTY CROP? Section 101 of the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004 (7 U.S.C. 1621 note) and amended under section 10010 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113-79 (the Farm Bill) defines specialty crops as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Eligible plants must be cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops. Processed products shall consist of greater than 50 percent of the specialty crop by weight, exclusive of added water. The estimated value of specialty crops in Colorado in 2014 was $563 million.
For more information on the Specialty Crops program, visit: specialtycrops.agsci.colostate.edu
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Building collaborative research teams Diversifying crop rotations & studying the Ogallala Aquifer
“Colorado State University has a great environment for building collaborative research teams, which are increasingly required to successfully compete for research funding.” Meagan Schipanski, assistant professor of soil and crop sciences
2015-2016 HAS BEEN BOTH BUSY AND PRODUCTIVE FOR MEAGAN SCHIPANSKI, assistant professor of soil and crop sciences. In September 2015, she received a $1 million grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to examine how crop rotations and management can help improve soils through the retention of both carbon and water. In March 2016, Schipanski was the lead investigator on a $10 million, four-year grant from USDA-NIFA that will fund innovative research and Extension activities to address water challenges in the Ogallala Aquifer region. “Colorado State University has a great environment for building collaborative research teams, which are increasingly required to successfully compete for research funding,” said Schipanski. The NRCS project iooks at the economic and soil quality trade-offs of different practices. Traditional farming practices plant fields with a single crop such as corn or wheat to reduce farmers’ short-term
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risk related to crop losses and low yields. By rotating crops or integrating mixtures of grazed forage crops, farmers might reduce their long-term risk by improving the quality of their soil to benefit all of the crops they plant. The challenge is in reducing short-term risk while managing the soil for longer-term benefits. Diversifying crop rotations and the use of cover crops has maintained yields while reducing environmental impacts for farmers in other parts of the United States, and Schipanski and her team want to see what rotation strategies can be best used here in Colorado as well as in Kansas and western Nebraska. Schipanski is collaborating with a number of other researchers in CSU Extension, her own Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, and the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. For the Ogallala grant, Schipanski is working with a team of CSU economists, agronomists, and engineers and the CSU
In addition to scientists from Colorado State University, the team Water Institute, who will coordinate with irrigators and groundwater management districts and other scientists across a six-state region to identify practices and institutional changes that can prolong the life of the aquifer and improve the sustainability of agricultural systems and the rural economies in the region. The Ogallala, along with many of the world’s aquifers, is declining on a path many consider to be unsustainable. The Ogallala Aquifer region currently accounts for 30 percent of total crop and animal production in the U.S and more than 90 percent of the water pumped from the Ogallala Aquifer is used for irrigated agriculture. “This project will integrate cutting-edge science and technology with an evaluation of policy and economic strategies as well as outreach to foster adaptive management,” said Schipanski. “Our interdisciplinary team has an exceptional track record of work in the region, and this project offers an opportunity for muchneeded integration and collaboration
includes scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, New Mexico State University, Texas Tech University, West Texas A&M University, Texas A&M AgriLife and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service.
to extend the life of our shared groundwater resources.” Schipanski was also named a member of CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability Global Challenges Research Team focused
The Ogallala Aquifer region currently accounts for
30% of total crop and animal production in the U.S
on food systems. This research team facilitates systems-based research to address the challenge of improving global food accessibility while reducing agriculture’s environmental impacts. She also received the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Outstanding Research Award, an award given to faculty members whose work has gained national and international recognition early in their careers.
MOR E TH A N
of the water pumped from the Ogallala Aquifer is used for irrigated agriculture.
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National Recognitions for
WHEN MARSHALL FRASIER, PROFESSOR OF AGRICULTURAL AND RESOURCE ECONOMICS, began his career at Colorado State University more than 22 years ago, his teaching style and philosophy were quite different. After years of seeing his teaching evolve, and as he developed new approaches to student learning and student outcomes, Frasier’s work has been recognized with a regional USDA Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award. The award is administered by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and honors “university faculty for their use of innovative teaching methods and service to students.” Frasier’s career is one that has seen exceptional teaching, a commitment to University and college leadership, and a focus on student success, both inside and beyond the CSU classroom. “Throughout my time at CSU, I feel as though I have grown as a professor,” said Frasier. “While I was more concerned with test performance and attendance early in my career, I now focus on helping students achieve an outcome that will position them for success outside of my courses.” Being “outcome-oriented” is a central theme of Frasier’s teaching philosophy. One way that Frasier helps students achieve in his courses is by challenging them. “Without challenges, there is no accomplishment, no matter how many tests you take,” said Frasier. For Frasier, it is not just about students knowing what the right answer is but it is also about helping them understand the process of getting to an answer. Frasier’s courses focus not just on answers that can be found in textbooks or by solving equations – he wants his students to understand the context in which answers can be found. “Professor Frasier makes himself available to all students at all times and is willing to help anyone
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Marshall Frasier exemplifies our college’s investment in student success – academic success in the classroom and personal and professional success beyond the classroom. Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences
who is willing to work,” said Liza Poet, who is one of Frasier’s former undergraduate students. “He uses relatable examples, pulling in real-life information from areas his students called home. His colorful assignments bring humor and laughter into economics while still providing sound content.”
as what we do within the classroom,”
Outstanding teaching is just one aspect that led to Frasier’s APLU award. He has served on numerous college and University committees, including the University Curriculum Committee and the College of Agricultural Sciences Academic Affairs Committee. He was a pioneering force in the college’s efforts to promote dual majors, especially those that combined agricultural and resource economics with animal sciences. He helped establish the Ag Adventure program, which brings local third-graders to the college’s Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center north of campus to learn about animal and plant agricultural production. In August 2015, Frasier also received the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
should, have a life that takes them out
In 2004, Frasier took 21 students on a study abroad trip to New Zealand, a trip that he believes helped transform his teaching. “That trip helped solidify for me that life outside of the classroom can be just as rewarding
said Frasier. “Attending my classes
MARSHALL FRASIER & COLORADO STATE
is important and, in many ways, is
Served on numerous college
essential to student success. But
and University committees,
having a full and rich life outside of
including the University
course work is part of what makes
Curriculum Committee and
a well-rounded student. I want my students to feel that they can, and of the classroom.” “Marshall Frasier exemplifies our
the College of Agricultural Sciences Academic Affairs Committee. A pioneering force in the college’s efforts to promote dual majors, especially those
college’s investment in student
that combined agricultural
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professional success beyond the classroom,” said Ajay Menon,
Helped establish the Ag Adventure program, which
dean of the College of Agricultural
brings local third-graders
Sciences. “He consistently receives
to the college’s Agricultural
high marks from both his students
and colleagues, and his continued commitment to helping students grow as individuals, embrace the learning process, and become engaged
and Education Center north of campus, to learn about animal and plant agricultural production.
citizens in their community are just a
Received the Outstanding
few reasons why he is so deserving of
Teaching Award from the
Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in August 2015.
ABOVE: Frasier helps paint the A on Horsetooth Reservoir. RIGHT: Children learn about agriculture during the Ag Adventure program.
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Using Beetles to Help Combat Extinction WHEN A SPECIES IS UNDER THREAT OF EXTINCTION, BIOLOGISTS AND CONSERVATIONISTS WORK TO INCREASE THE SIZE OF THE SPECIES’ POPULATION.
BELOW: The Tribolium castaneum beetles are being used as test cases to compare increasing populations as opposed to producing a different genetic profile to avoid extinction.
How to help a species avoid extinction and increase population sizes is under debate. Now, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by a Colorado State University researcher and a colleague at the University of Colorado Boulder, beetles can be used as a model species to tackle this problem. Their work demonstrates that adding individuals with different genetic profiles to threatened populations may be just as useful as or even more useful than increasing a population’s numbers directly with the addition of genetically similar individuals. Ruth Hufbauer, a professor in CSU’s Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, along with Brett Melbourne, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder, have been using Tribolium castaneum beetles that are subjected to a challenging environment to simulate a species on the decline. “These beetles provide an excellent model species for studying how different approaches to reinvigorating populations might play out in the real world,” said Hufbauer. “We could not do this research using an existing threatened species because we would not want to do anything that might further reduce that species’ numbers.”
“The introduction of new genes was a significant factor in helping the population thrive." Professor Ruth Hufbauer
In this case, the beetles, which are abundant in numbers, provide a useful test case to determine if a demographic approach, characterized by increasing a population’s size, or a genetic approach, characterized by introducing a different genetic profile, is the most productive. “To avoid extinction, genetics is where it’s at,” said Hufbauer. “We found that the introduction of new genes was a significant factor in helping the population thrive, especially in smaller populations.” Hufbauer notes that large populations saw some benefit in adding more, genetically similar individuals. But both small and large populations, grew rapidly just two generations after one to three genetically distinct individuals were introduced. In a new project, Hufbauer is using the beetles to focus on understanding the role of evolutionary adaptation to a novel environment in biological invasions. Hufbauer and Megan Vahsen, a master’s student in her lab, have found that evolution speeds the spread of invaders, and leads to population sizes more than double that of nonevolving populations. “The potency of adding new genes is impressive, and this introduction likely facilitates evolutionary adaptation in a novel environment as well as reduces inbreeding,” said Hufbauer.
More information about the study, “Three types of rescue can avert extinction in a changing environment” can be found on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences website: www.pnas.org
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While this emerging industry faces a number of COLORADO STATE UNIVERSIT Y STARTED RESEARCH ON HEMP, a plant with practical uses such as the creation of textiles, soaps, and oils that can also be used in the production of a range of pharmaceutical compounds. Because industrial hemp is the same species of plant as marijuana, CSU is navigating a complex legal landscape that has expanded to allow universities to conduct research on industrial hemp. The research Colorado State University has begun is designed to benefit producers by identifying best varieties and innovative research techniques that should be used under Colorado conditions to ensure industrial hemp is cultivated efficiently and profitably. Industrial hemp is botanically the same as marijuana, but is different in that it contains less than 0.3 percent THC – the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Bill makes provisions for CSU to conduct research on industrial hemp. Researchers in the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences work with the Colorado Department of Agriculture to manage these crops, in part because the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration considers
unique challenges, such as its legal landscape on a federal level, Colorado’s hemp farmers are becoming national leaders in their industry. Don Brown, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture
industrial hemp to be the same as marijuana and classifies it as a Schedule 1 narcotic crop. “While this emerging industry faces a number of unique challenges, such as its legal landscape on a federal level, Colorado’s hemp farmers are becoming national leaders in their industry,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown. “Our registrants are passionate and dynamic entrepreneurs who are developing uses that weren’t imagined just a few years ago. It will be exciting to see how this industry develops in the years to come.” Although industrial hemp is grown in a manner similar to irrigated corn, Colorado’s arid climate and short growing season present challenges for some producers. CSU researchers believe that the greatest economic opportunity for industrial hemp may be in its future use in pharmaceutical compounds, and less for widespread production as a biomass crop for producing fibers.
Hemp variety trials have been completed at CSU research centers in Northern Colorado and the southwest region of the state. These trials were designed to identify how different fiber, seed, and oil varieties perform under different Colorado climatic and growing conditions, and were done in cooperation with researchers in the European Union who have similar interests. John McKay, an associate professor in CSU’s Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, managed one of the CSU trials and said that more research is necessary to fully evaluate the viability of the crop. “We will put out a variety trial this year as well, and we will remove some of the varieties that do not flower in our latitude as well as add a few other varieties based on crop modeling,” said McKay. “We will also do some drought experiments that focus on how much water the crop uses in our climate, as these data are lacking for this species.”
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ROCKET MAN Doug Ming takes CSU soil science to the red planet
rover instrumentation so that samples can be analyzed on Mars, without the samples needing to be brought back to Earth. NASA has long been interested in exploring whether plants can be grown in lunar and Martian materials, and a chance encounter with two NASA scientists visiting Texas A&M led Ming to develop a proposal for a postdoc appointment at NASA, which later developed into a full-time position. “If someone had told me that I would spend more than 30 years working at NASA, I would not have believed it,” said Ming. “Today, I could not see myself doing anything else, and I attribute many of my successes to the topnotch education I received at CSU.”
Doug Ming delivers a talk in Fort Collins in 2016.
WHEN DOUG MING GRADUATED FROM COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY 35 YEARS AGO, he never expected to go to Mars. Now, when he goes to work every day, he spends nearly all of his time on the red planet. Ming, who received his bachelor's and master’s degrees in soil sciences from CSU, is a planetary scientist at NASA, where he leads tactical science operations for the robotic Mars rover Curiosity, one of two rovers still functioning on the Martian surface. “I tell people that I work on Mars,” said Ming. “Even though I am not physically on Mars, my days are consumed with traveling around the planet, albeit via a rover.” The rovers are complex robots that can test the chemical composition of the soil, assess Martian mineralogy, and measure the sizes of particles found on the surface. The rovers can even drill into the planet’s rock and look at organics found below rock surfaces as well as sedimentary materials. Ming, who also has a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, uses his soil expertise to direct the
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Few of the faculty members Ming studied under are still on campus, but Ken Barbarick, who is now associate dean for academic programs, remembers Ming well from when Ming was his student nearly 40 years ago. “Doug Ming is the epitome of a soil scientist, has completed cutting-edge basic research with NASA on the mineralogy of Mars, and has used his results in developing the media necessary to grow plants in a Martian base,” said Barbarick. Thomas Borch, a professor of soil chemistry at CSU, always tells his soil chemistry students that what they learn in his course can be applied to any type of soil. “Doug Ming has indeed used his background in soil chemistry from CSU to discover water, soil structure, and organic compounds on Mars,” said Borch. “The impact of his research is impressive and has led to more than 30 highly cited papers in the journal Science, and one of the most fascinating things about him is his sincere desire to teach others, especially kids and young students, about Mars and science in general.” Ming has at least a few more years left at NASA, but when he retires, he plans on pursuing more earthly endeavors such as fly-fishing in Colorado and skiing. “Right now, most of my time and attention is spent on Mars, and it will be nice to be able to come back to down to Earth someday,” said Ming.
CURIOSITY SELFIES ON MOUNT SHARP, MARS This view from the Mast Camera on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the rover’s drill just after finishing a drilling operation at a target rock called “Telegraph Peak” on Feb. 24, 2015, the 908th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s work on Mars. Three sols later, a faultprotection action by the rover halted a process of transferring sample powder that was collected during this drilling.
Photos provided by: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
This self-portrait of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the “Mojave” site, where its drill collected the mission’s second taste of Mount Sharp. The scene combines dozens of images taken during January 2015 by the Mars Hand Lens Imager camera at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. The pale “Pahrump Hills” outcrop surrounds the rover, and the upper portion of Mount Sharp is visible on the horizon. Darker ground at upper right and lower left holds ripples of windblown sand and dust.
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IN MEMORY OF
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY’S DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL SCIENCES HAS LOST A LEADER, A MENTOR, AND A VISIONARY
B Bill Wailes, who served as department head from 2003-2010, an Extension dairy specialist for 12 years, and manager of the CSU dairy research facilities for 18 years, passed away Feb. 26, 2016, surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues. Wailes was inducted into the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2011, received the CSU Alumni Association Jim and Nadine Henry Award in 2008, and the Colorado Livestock Association Top Choice Award, also in 2008. He was a member of several prestigious industry and academic organizations, including the American Dairy Science Association, the American Society of Animal Sciences, the National Dairy Shrine, and the National Milk Producers Federation. “Bill had the unique skill of being able to teach just about anyone about animal agriculture, whether they were raised in agriculture, earned degrees in animal sciences, or were completely new to agriculture,” said Kevin Pond, current head of CSU’s Department of Animal Sciences. “He was respected and admired by our faculty members, and his influence has produced countless young scientists, dairy innovators, and the
To donate: advancing.colostate.edu/BWAILES
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next generation of faculty members whose work has helped ensure the viability of the dairy industry.” Graduating from CSU with an undergraduate degree in animal science in 1969, Wailes went on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps as a naval flight officer from 1969-1977. He also managed the Stockover/Hertzke Dairy for five years before joining CSU. “In Bill’s passing, the academy and industry lost a decent and inspiring leader whose values helped define and mold hundreds of students and practitioners,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at CSU. “As I formed my leadership team, there was no question Bill’s years of experience, reputation throughout the dairy industry, and respect in the Department of Animal Sciences would be invaluable to me as dean and to our college as a whole.” In a career spanning decades, Wailes saw tremendous innovation and adaptation within the dairy industry. His work and his leadership helped the industry produce more milk with fewer cows and do so in a way that is more sustainable and more socially responsible. Wailes also led dairy producer tours across the nation and world to expose Colorado dairy farmers to the newest technology and innovation. Wailes is survived by his wife, Elaine, five daughters, and 14 grandchildren. A scholarship, the William R Wailes Jr. Animal Sciences Scholarship, has been established in his honor.
Bill Wailes, 1946-2016
Wailes's work and his leadership helped the dairy industry produce more milk with fewer cows and do so in a way that is more sustainable and more socially responsible.
A Student’s Journey
From Florida to Fort Collins WHEN SARAH KAPPEL TRAVELED TO FORT COLLINS FROM HER HOME IN FLORIDA, she knew immediately that she had found her home. Kappel, who graduated in May 2016 with a degree in animal science, always wanted to be a veterinarian, but Colorado State University’s top-ranked veterinary school wasn’t the only draw for her. “This college is very family-oriented,” said Kappel. “And being a part of an academic family was and is important to me.” Kappel explored other veterinary schools across the country but settled on CSU, in part, because of the Vet Start program – a program that identifies high-achieving high school students and guarantees them admission to CSU’s veterinary school, provided they meet a set of requirements and maintain a high GPA. Having completed the program successfully and kept up her grades as an undergraduate, Kappel will begin her veterinary program at CSU in the fall of 2016. Many students with degrees in animal science go on to veterinary school, and Kappel has engaged in a number of other extracurricular activities that will provide her with a solid academic foundation for graduate school. In both her course work and her work off campus, Kappel has leveraged
what she has learned in the classroom into real-world hands-on experiences. “My studies emphasize just how important production animals are to agriculture,” said Kappel. “So I pursued a number of activities and internships that would allow me to teach others about agriculture, interact with different kinds of animals, and gain industry experience.” Kappel completed an internship at Morning Fresh Dairy where she helped milk cattle and care for calves; she works at CSU's James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s Critical Care Unit caring for patients; and she worked at the Gulf Coast Veterinary Clinic in Houston, Texas, where she
My studies emphasize just how important production animals are to agriculture. Sarah Kappel
observed dermatology, internal medicine, and critical care. Kappel has also been active on campus serving as one of the college’s Agricultural Ambassadors and was even part of CSU’s Rowing Club.
recruiting in six years at CSU,” said Ruben Flores, director of recruiting for the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Sarah has done so well as an undergraduate, and now she’s off to her next adventure of attending the CSU Veterinary Medicine Program.” Despite not coming from an agricultural background and growing up outside of Colorado, Kappel said she always felt welcomed in the college. “Faculty members go out of their way to help students learn and thrive,” said Kappel. “My course work taught me the technical details of animal sciences and also helped me learn to think and problem-solve on my own. I always felt like my teachers cared about me as a person and wanted me to succeed.” Although she isn’t exactly certain of her post-vet school plans, Kappel has an interest in orthopedic surgery for small animals or becoming a dairy vet. “I have always cared about animals,” said Kappel. “From the time I got my first job at 12 years old cleaning kennels and caring for dogs and cats at a vet clinic, to college where I got to work with my favorite animal, cows, my goal has been to make the lives of animals better, more comfortable, and safer.”
“Sarah is one of the most determined students I’ve had the pleasure of
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FOR THE NATION
“What I learned at CSU, and have been able to apply in my professional career, is that economics, agricultural and WHEN MICHAEL KLAMM GRADUATED FROM COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY with a degree in agricultural business in 2010, he didn’t expect to have a leadership role at the USDA. But just six short years later, Klamm is now the national cattle statistician at the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Responsible for more than 30 reports a year, Klamm compiles statistics on cattle inventory, prices, and production trends for U.S. cattle producers. “I have always enjoyed working with numbers,” said Klamm, who also minored in economics at CSU. “I also had a strong connection with the cattle industry from the days showing both beef and dairy cattle, to my time working on my family cattle ranch in southern Colorado, and throughout my time at CSU.” Klamm saw attending CSU as his only option – if he wanted to study agriculture and stay in Colorado. Colorado State University is the only four-year institution in Colorado that grants degrees in agriculture. In his youth, Klamm participated in both FFA and 4-H, and he always knew that CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences was where he wanted to be.
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resources, and animal sciences are really quite connected.” Michael Klamm
During his time at CSU, Klamm served as a teaching assistant for both microeconomics and a freshman computer class – a role not usually given to undergraduates. “Mike’s success is not surprising, and I feel lucky to have worked with him,” said Christopher Goemans, associate professor of agricultural and resource economics. “Yes, he was a hard worker and very bright, but equally important was his positive attitude and desire to be involved. We are all proud of Mike and excited to see what the future holds.” Klamm’s CSU experience also included interacting with faculty members in the Department of Animal Sciences. Former department head Bill Wailes helped guide Klamm as he progressed through his studies. “What I learned at CSU, and have been able to apply in my professional career, is that economics, agricultural and resources, and animal sciences are really quite connected,” said Klamm. “I am grateful that I was able to learn about all three areas during my time as
an undergraduate.” “Mike’s willingness to engage in scholarship in and outside the classroom – in essence his willingness to ‘own’ his learning process – is the foundation on which his successful career is founded,” said James Pritchett, executive associate dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences and professor of agricultural and resource economics. “We’re very proud of Mike and look toward finding avenues for all of our students to have similar successes.” The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service conducts hundreds of surveys every year and prepares reports covering virtually every aspect of U.S. agriculture. Production and supplies of food and fiber, prices paid and received by farmers, farm labor and wages, farm finances, chemical use, and changes in the demographics of U.S. producers are only a few examples.
For more information visit: www.nass.usda.gov
Designing Her Future
THROUGH LANDSCAPES IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE DRIVING THROUGH COLORADO WITHOUT SEEING BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES in front of homes and businesses everywhere. Those spaces are designed by landscape professionals who help clients make decisions about which plant life will look best, be most sustainable, and be more sensitive to water consumption. Students in Colorado State University’s Landscape Design and Contracting program take what they have learned in classrooms and studios and apply that knowledge in their professional careers. For Anna Cordiner, a recent graduate of the program, practical experience while still a student led to her success at CSU and helped her find a job months before graduation. “I don’t know if I would have found a job so quickly, if I didn’t have the guidance of my faculty mentors and the hands-on experience that is an essential part of the program,” said Cordiner. “Our faculty members come from industry and understand what it takes to be successful in this business.” Cordiner joined Lifescape Colorado, a landscape design and contracting company based in Denver as a design associate in May 2016. Part of what makes this academic program so unique is the variety of career paths for graduates of the program. Some students apply their plant knowledge; others focus more on the business model; others work directly with clients on estimates and planning; and still others become more involved with landscape management. “My position will help me learn more
about inventory maintenance and estimates as well as help me hone my AutoCAD skills,” said Cordiner. “Anna exemplifies the talented graduates of our program, and her hard work and dedication to our rigorous curriculum has prepared her for a very bright future,” said Zach Johnson, associate professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. “She is positioned as a leader in our profession, where she will design, build, and manage the outdoor spaces that improve all of our lives.” Cordiner encourages students to explore service projects and extracurricular activities, especially because these activities can connect students with industry professionals. As part of the CSU team that took fourth place overall at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition, Cordiner took first place out of more than 680 other individual competitors. She also served as a CSU student ambassador for the National Association of Landscape Professionals, a position that allowed her to meet and network with representatives from businesses both large and small. “Participating in both NALP and NCLC was rewarding in so many ways,” said Cordiner. “I learned so much from people already in the industry, and these activities really emphasized the value of team building – and team building is essential in landscape design because there are so many different parts to the business.”
“I don’t know if I would have found a job so quickly, if I didn’t have the guidance of my faculty mentors and the hands-on experience that is an essential part of the program.” Anna Cordiner
Cordiner even worked on the coolseason plant trials at CSU’s Annual Flower Trial Garden, which gave her yet another set of skills that she can bring to her future employer. “I am excited about getting started in my professional career and know that what I learned at CSU will be invaluable for me, my clients, and the companies that I work for.”
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A 30-YEAR IMPACT When Tom Holtzer retires in October 2016, he will leave behind a legacy of leadership that has spanned two departments, the Agricultural Experiment Station, and Extension. Holtzer served nearly 30 years as a department head, first in the Department of Entomology and continuing as head when entomology became part of the newly formed Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, or BSPM. For the last year, Holtzer took on a new college leadership role as deputy director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and associate dean for Extension. “For me, it has been a great run in the College of Agricultural Sciences,” said Holtzer. “I really enjoyed the role of department head and then the opportunity to contribute in a brand-new role in my last year has been especially rewarding. I have had a chance to put my experience to good use in my efforts to streamline and better coordinate the relationships between research supported by AES throughout the state and Extension efforts and lay some solid groundwork for the next person in this role.” Holtzer arrived at Colorado State University from the
University of Nebraska in 1988, when he joined what was the Department of Entomology. In 1996, he led the merger of Entomology with Plant Pathology and Weed Science to form BSPM. Holtzer led the new department from its creation through 2015. BSPM offices are adjacent to those of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, and Holtzer often served as a bridge between the two units, encouraging faculty collaboration and stimulating industry research. “Tom worked directly with wheat growers and helped raise the profile of our Wheat Breeding program,” said Scott Haley, a professor of soil and crop sciences who leads CSU’s Wheat Breeding program. “Whether it was hiring innovative wheat researchers as a part of our faculty or obtaining grants to help support the program, Tom was instrumental.” Praise for Holtzer’s leadership is not limited to those internal to CSU. Dan Anderson, president of the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation, was quick to recognize Holtzer’s work with the industry. “It has been through Tom’s vision and leadership that advancements in pest management and weed science have benefited wheat growers statewide,” said Anderson.
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B.A., biology, Thiel College; undergrad ecology field trip
M.S., entomology, ecology minor, North Carolina State University
Ph.D., entomology, ecology minor, North Carolina State University
Entomological Society of America awards ceremony
Assistant professor at the University of Nebraska
Led the merger of Entomology with Plant Pathology and Weed Science to form BSPM
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Throughout much of his time as department head, Holtzer also maintained an active research program, taught, and mentored graduate students. Scott Merrill, now a research assistant professor at the University of Vermont, was Holtzer’s student until he completed his Ph.D. in 2007. Merrill recounted one instance when he worked throughout the night and into the wee hours of the morning with Holtzer to finalize a USDA proposal.
as department head of the euphonious Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, steered through academic reorganization, tight budgets, and policy changes, and recruited outstanding faculty, staff, and students, all while maintaining a cheery, enthusiastic air,” said Blodgett. “A unique Renaissance man wearing the many hats characteristic of the land-grant University mission areas, conducting active research, advising students, and his leadership in research, graduate student advising, and teaching, number among the many hats that he wears, switching among them effortlessly with great aplomb. He has inspired generations of faculty, students, and staff.”
A UNIQUE RENAISSANCE MAN WEARING THE MANY HATS OF A LAND-GRANT UNIVERSITY “Tom was always available to help, and help with more energy and thought than a graduate student,” said Merrill. “I feel extremely fortunate to have had Tom as my principal adviser and mentor through graduate school.” For the last 10 years, Holtzer co-taught Agricultural and Food Systems Ethics, an undergraduate course that invited students to explore some of the difficult ethical questions facing 21st-century agriculture. Among his many professional affiliations, Holtzer is a member of the Entomological Society of America and was elected to the governing board twice; a member of the American Phytopathological Society; and a member of the Weed Science Society of America. Sue Blodgett, chair of the Department of Entomology at Iowa State University has been one of Holtzer’s colleagues for decades. “Tom has navigated the shoals leadership
Frank Peairs, a professor in BSPM, chaired the search committee that brought Holtzer to campus in 1988. “Tom has always had a positive relationship with the faculty and the college administration,” said Peairs. “He moved both departments forward in times of budget uncertainty and ensured that resources were allocated to support graduate students and for faculty members to maintain a level of excellence in their research.” Although his post-retirement plans are far from settled, Holtzer notes that he is looking forward to a dory boat trip down the Colorado River not long after he packs up his office.
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Guest at Haramaya University graduation in Ethiopia
Co-taught Agricultural and Food Systems Ethics
Took on a new college leadership role as deputy director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and associate dean for Extension
Retired after 30 years with CSU Celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with wife, Irene
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Sept. 17, 2016 Hughes Stadium
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