farm in mountains

Food, Landscapes, Rural Economies & Natural Resources  

The College of Agricultural Sciences fosters the health and well-being of humans, animals, plants and the environment through the experience of agriculture, landscape and natural resources. We contribute to the resilience of communities by equipping our stakeholders with the tools and information to solve economic, managerial, educational and policy-related problems within agri-food and resource systems.

Living Our Land-Grant Mission

Some notable examples of how we’re living our land-grant mission in this area.

Human Health, Nutrition and Food Security

  • Led by Dr. Eduardo Gutierrez-Rodriguez and his graduate students, the Growing Food Security project supports the RAMS Against Hunger initiative. To date, they have donated 6,000 lbs. of produce to CSU and Larimer County Food Bank.
  • A team of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture faculty are working to optimize the nutritional quality of microgreens, the young leafy greens of many vegetables, herbs, grains, and flowers, with potential to promote human health and sustainably diversify the global food system.
  • Dr. Jessica Prenni is part of a global network of visionaries who are creating the Periodic Table of Food, a reference database of the composition and function of the most important foods for people and society that are representative of geographic and cultural diversity worldwide. This work promises to catalyze scientific breakthroughs to revolutionize human health, agriculture, nutrition and food sectors.
  • Dr. Jennifer Bousselot, a leader in her field, is bridging the urban and rural divide to broaden food access and bolster community resilience through her green roof research and outreach. Read more about Jennifer’s work Rurbanization: It’s Time to Make Cities More Rural | WIRED
  • A team of faculty from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics have completed important work examining the likelihood of the use of SNAP benefits across different demographics and associated health outcomes.

Healthy and Beautiful Landscapes

  • Associate Professor Brad Goetz’s recent work focused on the preservation and restoration of important WWII landscapes in Hawaii that are still thriving communities for US Armed Forces and families.
  • Dr. Yaling Quan’s research studies the use and effects of treated (recycled) wastewater for irrigation in urban landscapes, as well as the effectiveness of compost products on improving turf quality, reducing disease and resource inputs.
  • The CSU Trial Gardens directed by Dr. Jim Klett are an outdoor display and test areas established to allow students, researchers, industry representatives, homeowners and extension personnel to teach, learn and evaluate through horticultural research and demonstration projects conducted in the unique environmental conditions of the Rocky Mountain/High Plains region. As one of the most photographed places in Fort Collins, the garden is visited by thousands each year.
  • Students in LAND 360 advised by Lori Catalano and Scott Carman will be collaborating with the developer of Sonders, an “active adult” community, and CSU’s Institute for the Built Environment, in developing ideas for a proposed 6-acre park in Fort Collins, honoring Sonders’ central tenets of sustainability and rejuvenation.

Resilient Rural Economies

  • Dr. Stephen Koontz is working with stakeholders across the country and testifying in Washington on cattle price discovery. The proposed change in policy would significantly reduce profits for the Colorado cattle industry.
  • Dr. Dana Hoag is helping ranchers work to mitigate livestock kills by wolves and how to compensate ranchers for wolf kills.
  • Through the Food Systems Institute and Regional Economic Development Institute, faculty from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics are addressing farm labor issues, the profitability of hemp products, and expanding industry capacity through the longstanding Colorado Building Farmers program, in partnership with CSU Extension.

Stewarding Natural Resources

  • Dr. Andrew Seidl is a close partner with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust in their work on agricultural land easements and played a role in helping several foreign governments consider bio-finance.
  • Jordan Suter, Dale Manning, and Chris Goemans are actively involved in a variety of projects related to the depletion of the Ogalala Aquifer and agricultural production.
  • Associate Professor Jude Bayham’s work is advancing understanding of the economics of wildfire in the United States. With an adjunct appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health, he has been leading important work on the impact of human behavior on infectious disease management during the COVID-19 pandemic.