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Combined Research and Extension Annual Report – 2018

2018 Colorado State University
Combined Research and Extension
Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results

The Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) and Extension at Colorado State University are committed to excellence in basic and applied research and translation of this research through Extension programs to crop (including ornamental) and animal (including equine) agriculture. Extension will continue to emphasize non-formal education and transfer of knowledge to audiences throughout the state, based on research information from the AES, the colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Health & Human Sciences, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine and Natural Resources. Programs will emphasize best management practices in addressing issues that affect Coloradans.

4-H Youth Development

Program Goals: 4-H Youth Development empowers youth to reach their full potential by working and learning in partnership with caring adults. 4-H affects positive change in life skills (including leadership, citizenship, decision making, and communication) and in STEM (including interest, knowledge, and application of science process skills) for youth ages 5 to 18.

Extension, AES, or Integrated: Extension

New Programs, and/or Addressing NIFA Priorities: STEM priority will benefit from available and promised content and resource support from National 4-H Headquarters, Colorado State University, Extension, and county partners.

Ongoing, Consistent, and/or Successful Programs: Colorado State University Extension reaches Colorado’s K-12 youth through 4-H youth development programs in 4-H clubs, after-school and school enrichment. Development of volunteers who provide much of the leadership for 4-H, and private fund-raising are associated activities. 4-H Youth Development emphasizes personal growth of young people through experiential learning with well-designed curricula and projects.

Crosscutting or Cross-disciplinary Initiatives: Most 4-H Youth Development programs, while focusing on youth development, are built around content that may be supported by one or more college-based specialists.

Community Development

Program Goals: Community Development outreach works with municipal, county, state, and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and citizens to create dynamic processes that address local and regional needs/issues. Our efforts focus on facilitating community planning processes that engage all stakeholders affected by an issue in ways that lead to better-informed decisions and help communities understand and deal with change. It includes providing information and resource connections, which might include community impact analysis of economic activity or evaluation of the drivers of local economies. This work encourages collaboration to build regional economies and create entrepreneur/business friendly communities. Innovative and collaborative leadership activities/trainings are provided to engage new diverse leaders and strengthen community organizations.

Extension, AES, or Integrated: Integrated

New Programs, and/or Addressing NIFA Priorities: Community Development, is highlighted by the Vice President for Engagement and Director of Extension.

Ongoing, Consistent, and/or Successful Programs: Colorado communities are changing rapidly as a result of many factors, including loss of agricultural water, influx of retirement populations, development of gas and oil industries, incidence of military deployment, and changes in cultural composition of residents. Communities struggle to develop and maintain resources: human, financial, physical, social, environmental, and political. They also are challenged to provide the organizational capacity to assess, plan, and implement activities to address resource development and management. These issues especially are acute in smaller rural communities. Colorado’s rural communities are relatively unique in terms of sparse populations, a high natural amenity and public lands base, a transitory population, and relatively low public service provision. Communities require knowledge to evaluate their resource base, their economic and social service alternatives, and their futures.

Crosscutting or Cross-disciplinary Initiatives: Technologies will be provided through training and technical assistance to Extension agents, as the system views CD as a process rather than an issue. The goal is intentionally to integrate CD into all issues work.

Crop Management Systems

Program Goals: It is the goal of this Planning & Reporting Unit (PRU) for the producers of Colorado crops to adopt and implement improved, productive, and sustainable agricultural systems that will lead to the success of farms. Furthermore, these producer actions will improve the ability of farm operations to persist and thrive through successive generations of operators. Individuals, families, and communities will all benefit by having a safe, secure and sufficient food supply. Colorado crop producers will accommodate to the growth of demand for local and world crop production without compromising the natural resources upon which agriculture depends.

Extension, AES, or Integrated: Integrated

New Programs, and/or Addressing NIFA Priorities: Global Food Security and Hunger

Ongoing, Consistent, and/or Successful Programs: Molecular biology and genomics of crop plants and their pests; Integrated Pest Management.; Wheat breeding, bean breeding and potato breeding programs; Production systems in semi-arid environments with limited water availability. Communicate results through demonstration plots and field days;

Crosscutting or Cross-disciplinary Initiatives: This is a well-organized and highly functioning Extension unit that will maintain its structure and contribute to the NIFA priority goal of global food security.


Program Goals: (1) Empower Coloradans to make well-informed energy decisions; and (2) Promote a broad, unbiased understanding of energy issues. Promoting a broad, unbiased understanding of energy issues may result in well-informed energy decisions in the long-term. In the short-term, it may simply uplift the quality of energy dialogue in Colorado.

Extension, AES, or Integrated: Integrated

New Programs, and/or Addressing NIFA Priorities: Clean Energy

Ongoing, Consistent, and/or Successful Programs: Energy Masters, Center for Agricultural Energy (CAE)

Crosscutting or Cross-disciplinary Initiatives: Home & Farm, K-12

Environmental Horticulture

Program Goals: The outreach efforts of the Environmental Horticulture Planning & Reporting Unit (PRU) will provide education and services to encourage the adoption of research-based best management practices (design, plant selection, establishment, and management practices) and diagnostic techniques/services by green industry professionals and the home gardener. Our goal is that professional and lay practitioners will use reasonable inputs of labor, water, fertilizers and pesticides to produce attractive, functional, cost-effective and sustainable ornamental landscapes.

Extension, AES, or Integrated: Integrated

Ongoing, Consistent, and/or Successful Programs: The primary issues addressed by Environmental Horticulture Extension include: ornamental landscapes, diagnostic services, and volunteer engagement. Emerging issues for consideration include:

  • Sustainable landscaping
  • “Green” gardening
  • Organic/natural landscape management
  • Composting/recycling
  • Water-wise/water smart gardens
  • Youth Gardening
  • Wildlife gardening (birds, butterflies)
  • Home greenhouses
  • Spanish speaking audiences

Crosscutting or Cross-disciplinary Initiatives: Adult and youth audiences.

Family & Financial Stability

Program Goals: Financial, mental, physical, emotional and relational health are key components of well-being. Stable and successful individuals, families, and communities are important to the growth, development and health of our society. When people are in a state of financial and relational wellness, they are in control, confident and focused. They have greater balance and stability so they can concentrate on the most important tasks at hand such a weathering difficulties and making progress toward their goals. Family and financial stability education creates strong communities.

Extension, AES, or Integrated: Extension

New Programs, and/or Addressing NIFA Priorities: Renewed engagement with CSU Department of Human Development and Family Studies provides opportunities for new programs engaging field and campus colleagues.

Ongoing, Consistent, and/or Successful Programs: Family and Financial Stability (FAFS) programs seek to provide applied research and Extension education in a coordinated set of programs related to family and financial economic stability. Financial stability of families has been the area of focus for non-nutrition FCS programming. Colorado families’ financial instability includes increasing rates of bankruptcy, economic crises and loss of jobs. Family stability is important to the growth, development, and health of our society.

Crosscutting or Cross-disciplinary Initiatives: Consumer economics and human development and family studies are vehicles that can assist 4-H in reaching positive youth development and STEM targets.

Food Systems

Program Goals: Improved technical assistance for agricultural and food producers exploring new marketing channels and alternative business approaches. In addition, CSU will provide facilitation of community discussions around the interface between food and agricultural issues and broader social issues including public health, food safety, the environment and community development.

Extension, AES, or Integrated: Integrated

New Programs, and/or Addressing NIFA Priorities: This team was formed and issues were framed based on a couple of key assumptions that arose among team members as they saw the requests they received from community members change and evolve:

  1. Current work teams do not address all the system-oriented issues that agriculture and food production play a role in.
  2. There is a need for more marketing, policy and community development activities directed at food systems that vary from the conventional system used to handle high volume commodity foods.
  3. Extension is being asked to play a more significant role in food system planning, including facilitating discussions between consumers, producers and organizations interested in Ag and food issues.

Ongoing, Consistent, and/or Successful Programs: The Food Systems team has come together, drawing from a diverse set of personnel with backgrounds in agriculture, horticulture, food safety, nutrition, community development, and youth education. This team will work to increase literacy on food and ag issues, facilitate community discussions and assessments on ag and food issues, provide technical assistance to an increasingly diverse set of food producers and support new market opportunities.

Crosscutting or Cross-disciplinary Initiatives: To formalize and coordinate activities that require interdisciplinary approaches related to emerging issues, a new resource team on Food Systems seems warranted.

Livestock & Range

Program Goals: The Livestock and Range (L&R) Planning & Reporting Unit (PRU) strives for rangeland health, improved animal health and production, industry policy and regulation awareness, and economic sustainability using a broad array of methodologies that provides information, skills, and technology to producers and L&R Unit members. This PRU is designed for Extension Programming for livestock producers, ranchers, and rangeland managers who have, or are striving for, a significant portion of their personal income coming from the farm/ranch. These may be small farms/ranches or larger scale operations. Livestock producers may also integrate cropping production systems into their operation.

Extension, AES, or Integrated: Integrated

New Programs, and/or Addressing NIFA Priorities; Global Food Security and Hunger

Ongoing, Consistent, and/or Successful Programs: Extension outreach will span the breadth of the topics of research to assure that industry participants have practical knowledge in modern beef, dairy, and sheep production systems, biosecurity, economic and risk management, and response to policy and consumer changes. Outreach to youth involved in livestock production and judging events will continue as part of experiential learning in 4-H, FFA, and college judging. Producers will realize increased prices and lower cost of production. Consumers will benefit from higher human nutritional values of food. AES will lead research on animal production systems and reproductive efficiency.

Crosscutting or Cross-disciplinary Initiatives: Reorganization of Planned Programs pulls apart animal production systems and plant production systems. The work will integrate Extension education in disseminating research results. CSU Extension will:

  1. Deliver workshops and educational classes for producers;
  2. Provide individual counseling for producers and clientele on specific animal production problems.

Cross-cutting or Cross-disciplinary Initiatives: Research on animal production systems and reproductive efficiency.

Natural Resources

Program Goals: The Natural Resources Planning & Reporting Unit (PRU) members will work together to develop and implement high quality educational programs and tools to ensure a high quality of life for Colorado citizens.

Extension, AES, or Integrated: Integrated

New Programs, and/or Addressing NIFA Priorities: The Natural Resources PRU is focused on how best to manage our landscapes from the perspective of plants, animals, soils, water, and pests. Our goal is to protect these resources through our programming efforts, with special emphasis on native species.

Ongoing, Consistent, and/or Successful Programs: AES and Extension programs address the growing competition for finite water, land, and air resources in a state with a growing human population by:

  1. Educating agricultural and resource industry professionals;
  2. Researching technical and economic issues related to improved resource utilization;
  3. Enhancing international competitiveness.

Crosscutting or Cross-disciplinary Initiatives: Nutrient management and odor and dust control.

Nutrition, Food Safety & Health

Program Goals: The goal of this PRU is to promote adoption of healthful eating and activity patterns and ensure an abundant and safe food supply for all. Adoption of healthful eating and activity patterns can enhance the overall health and wellbeing of children, youth, adults, and the growing senior population. Adoption of food safety knowledge and safe food handling practices will ultimately reduce the incidence of foodborne disease in Colorado, especially among the most vulnerable populations (infants, young children and individuals who are immuno-compromised through aging, medical intervention, and illness). Through various programs, CSU Extension contributes to the statewide efforts to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, increase physical activity, and decrease overweight/obesity risk in Colorado.

Extension, AES, or Integrated: Integrated

New Programs, and/or Addressing NIFA Priorities: Planned Programs are reorganized to again combine Nutrition and Food Safety work in this category.

Ongoing, Consistent, and/or Successful Programs:

  • Food safety training for food service managers and employees
  • Food safety education for high-risk audiences, their caregivers, and health care professionals
  • Food safety information for consumers including Farmers’ Market vendors and their customers.
  • Nutrition and Health Promotion programs provide research-based nutrition and health education to a variety of audiences across Colorado in an effort to promote healthful nutrition, activity and lifestyle behaviors.

Cross-cutting or Cross-disciplinary Initiatives: AES food safety research emphasizes pre-harvest management of livestock to prevent transmission of human pathogens in livestock production and handling and post-harvest detection and management systems to prevent contamination of meat and plant products with human pathogens.

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