Advancing the Science of Regenerative Agricultural Systems

Our Aspirations

We are a leader in applying a rigorous scientific framework to the analysis, development and implementation of diverse regenerative agricultural systems.

We adopt a collaborative community driven approach to help increase the availability of affordable, fresh, nutritious food while restoring the health of our communities, soils, water and air.

How Will We Accomplish This?

We Will:

  • Partner with CSU colleagues, peer institutions and leading organizations in this field to advance definitions and discovery in the science of regenerative agriculture
  • Make strategic investments in research and engagement to support the collaborative development and testing of novel solutions
  • Develop curriculum and co-curriculum that is well integrated with research and engagement activities, with an emphasis on water-limited, semi-arid systems
  • Advance stakeholder performance and longevity through cutting-edge research, practice and adoption
  • Support the growth of existing enterprises and new startups that enable regenerative agriculture

How Will We Know We’re Successful?

We Will Have:

  • Established a variety of strategic partnerships to continually advance scientific discovery
  • Grown our research presence, productivity and performance across diverse contributing disciplines
  • Placed an increasing number of graduates who contribute to the field of regenerative agriculture
  • Accelerated enterprise development and the adoption of technology and practices at scale, with positive impacts to diverse stakeholders and communities
  • Achieved public and industry recognition of our research and teaching leadership in this area

How We Think About Regenerative Agriculture

center pivot irrigation system

At Colorado State University, we have always been invested in having a safe, secure and sustainable food supply. We are now taking this work a step further by adopting a systems approach that extends beyond sustainability to leaving things better than we found them. We are thinking about regenerative as more than just the biological aspects of agricultural and natural resource systems – our work must deliver value for all stakeholders across the supply chain, while building the capacity of people and communities to become healthier and more just in the process.

Regenerative Agriculture

  • Produces diverse products in addition to replenishing the resources upon which they rely
  • Supports thriving, healthy communities by empowering producers to improve production systems through evidence-based, adaptive management.
  • Uses a place’s ecology to inform best management practices and to increase economic viability. In addition to nutritious food, the results of regenerative agriculture are climate-resilient production systems with increased soil carbon, improved water and nutrient cycling, and optimized input management.
  • Empowers producers and ranchers to make decisions using all appropriate tools, approaches, and strategies.


  • Minimize soil disturbance
  • Plants in the ground year-round
  • Integrate livestock

Context-Specific Practices

  • No-till
  • Conservation Tillage
  • Cover crops
  • Multi-season rotation
  • Cover crop grazing
  • Residue grazing
  • Managed intensive grazing

Desired Outcomes

  • Soil Carbon sequestration
  • Biodiversity
  • Efficient nutrient cycling
  • Yield consistency
  • Reduced input costs
  • Increased revenue
  • Market premium
  • Payments for ecosystem services

Barriers to Adoption

  • Social
  • Cultural
  • Economic

Advancing the Science of Regenerative Agricultural Systems

College of Agricultural Sciences Research Seminar

November 2022

We kicked off our ongoing seminar series with presentations from our faculty who are working on regenerative agricultural systems. They share how their research and findings are creating solutions benefiting agriculture.