Seminar: Advancing the Science of Regenerative Agricultural Systems

November 2022

We are happy to share a recorded portion of our first seminar in the series. Take a moment to watch how our faculty presenters are engaged with regenerative agriculture during the panel discussion.

Our Regenerative Agriculture Seminar Presenters

panel takes questions during a research seminar

Steven Fonte

Associate Professor of Agroecosystem and Soil Ecology Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

Presentation: Engaging Producers Around the Globe to Support Soil Health and Agroecosystem Resilience

Dr. Fonte’s research takes an ecological approach towards understanding multiple functions and drivers within agricultural systems and then applies this knowledge towards the sustainable management of soils and farming systems around the globe. Dr. Fonte’s research is largely centered in Colorado, but also involves work in smallholder systems of Latin America and Africa. This work is done largely in collaboration with farmers and other stakeholders across a range of agricultural contexts.

Contact Dr. Fonte via email to learn more about his research.

Mark Uchanski

Associate Professor of Horticulture, Specialty Crops Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Presentation: Agrivoltaics

Mark Uchanski was born and raised in the far western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois – where the suburbs meet rural America, corn, and soybeans. He fell in love with vegetable farming systems and food systems in his backyard and grandfather’s garden in Chicago. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) for his undergraduate degree in horticulture. He later went on to pursue his Ph.D., also at UIUC. His graduate project involved testing and removing pathogens from horseradish propagation stock to provide pathogen-free planting materials to growers. Shortly after graduation in 2008, Uchanski moved to New Mexico to serve the commercial chile pepper and onion industries as Assistant Professor of Horticulture at New Mexico State University. That work soon expanded to include small farm, diversified, and organic operations. In 2015, Uchanski moved to Fort Collins to serve as the Colorado State University Specialty Crops Program Coordinator. There he continues his work with vegetable and other specialty crop producers, including conducting research on sustainable and organic practices and inputs that are applicable to Colorado agriculture. As an Associate Professor at CSU, he continues to blend his research and teaching interests in horticulture, ecology, and inputs in sustainable vegetable cropping systems.

Contact Dr. Uchanski via email to learn more about his research.

Pankaj Trivedi

Associate Professor Department of Agricultural Biology

Presentation: Rejuvenating the Soil Microbiome through Regenerative Agriculture

Pankaj Trivedi is a member of the CSU Microbiome Network. Dr. Trivedi received his Ph.D. from Kumaon University, India, in Microbial Ecology. He did two Post-Docs at the University of Florida and Western Sydney University before joining CSU in 2017. His research aims to establish knowledge and evidence to enable the management and usage of complex microbial communities in the context of agricultural sustainability and climate change mitigation.

Contact Dr. Trivedi via email to learn more about his research.

Jordan Suter

Professor and Graduate Program Chair, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Presentation: Regenerative Agriculture–Water Economics Research

Jordan Suter is an environmental and natural resource economist who studies the economic incentives that drive of land and water use decisions. He received his MS and PhD in Resource Economics from Cornell University and initially served as an Assistant Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Oberlin College in Ohio. He is now a Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. Dr. Suter’s research primarily addresses issues related to land use and water resource economics by analyzing how individuals and groups respond to the incentives generated by resource management policies and characteristics. Current research projects that he is working on use hydro-economic modeling to assess the economic tradeoffs associated with groundwater management and the performance of policies aimed at improving water quality. His research also investigates the impact of social comparisons and incentives on water resource use and reporting behavior, economic tradeoffs related to water salinity management, and the incentives that underlie recreation behavior on public land.

Contact Dr. Suter via email to learn more about his research.

Kim Stackhouse-Lawson

Director, AgNext Professor of Animal Science

Presentation: Leading in Solutions for Wicked Problems in Animal Agriculture

AgNext utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to advance sustainable solutions for animal agriculture. Prior to leading AgNext, Kim was the Director of Sustainability for JBS USA where she was responsible for coordinating the company’s corporate sustainability program and strategy. Kim also served as the Executive Director of Global Sustainability at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association where she developed the industry’s sustainability program. Kim received her PhD in Animal Science from the University of California, Davis and was a postdoctoral fellow at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine Beef Cattle Institute. She was awarded as the 2018 Distinguished Young Alumni by the UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. She and her husband, Spencer live on the eastern plains of Colorado and have two sons, Weston and Callan.

Contact Kim Stackhouse-Lawson via email to learn more about her research.

M. Francesca Cotrufo

Professor Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

Presentation: Regenerating Soils to Regenerate Agriculture, Society and Environmental Health

Dr. Cotrufo is a soil ecologist and biogeochemist, internationally recognized for her work in the field of litter decomposition and soil organic matter dynamics, and in the use of isotopic methodologies in these studies. She strives to advance understanding of the mechanisms and drivers of formation and persistence of soil organic matter, and their response to global environmental changes and disturbances. She uses this understanding to improve modeling of soil C-climate feedbacks to inform climate and land use policy and management. She also pursues applied research to innovate and increase throughput of soil carbon and health testing, and to propose soil management practices that regenerate healthy soils and mitigate climate change. As a scientist fully aware of the current and future challenges expecting humanity, Dr. Cotrufo is interested in promoting research education, and outreach activities to help mitigating the current human impacts on the Earth System and assure a better sustainable path for humanity. To this end, with Dr. Keith Paustian and other colleagues at CSU, she recently formed the Soil Carbon Solutions Center. Recently, Dr. Cotrufo became an entrepreneur and cofunded, with other five women in her lab, Cquester Analytics, an analytical facility designed to accurately quantify, using science-based approaches, metrics of soil organic matter and C sequestration at scale. To date, Dr. Cotrufo has published over 140 peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters. She earned a B.Sc. from the University of Naples, Italy and Ph.D. from Lancaster University, UK.

Contact Dr. Cotrufo via email to learn more about her research.