Engagement and Extension

How We Engage With Colorado

We are actively engaged with farmers and ranchers, large and small companies, non-profit organizations, policymakers, teachers, natural resource managers, and numerous other stakeholders to better understand their needs and to work with them to co-create solutions for their real-world concerns. We work up and down the food value chain to bring our research to bear on from helping farmers in Southern Colorado more efficiently use their water resources, to bringing ranchers and activists together to help better manage livestock and wildlife interactions on the Western Slope, to considering large food system issues by convening the Colorado Food Summit in Denver. We increase agricultural literacy across Colorado by taking Cam’s Academy educational programming to county fairs and the National Western Stock Show and bringing students to the Morgridge Learning Lab at the CSU Spur campus in Denver. As we tackle these challenges, many undergraduate and graduate students work with our faculty as part of the Extension Internship Program. 

Food Systems

We are leaders in bringing interdisciplinary research to solve food system-related issues in Colorado and beyond. We engage with stakeholders throughout the entire food supply chain. Several DARE faculty members are part of the CSU Food Systems Institute Co-Directed by Dr. Becca Jablonski. Their focus is to fulfill the land grant mission of research, teaching, and service related to food issues in Colorado. The CSU Food Systems website describes some of the research and educational impacts for several programs and initiatives as well as provides updates on events and opportunities.


Facilities and Partners

Agricultural Literacy and Education

We engage students of all ages about agriculture. More than 50,000 school children have been part of our Cam’s Agricultural Academy Junior Ag Ambassadors programming. These students may engage with agricultural sciences at the Morgridge Learning Lab at the Spur campus, at Ag Adventure at the National Western Stock Show, or at many Colorado county fairs.

Through these programs, students learn about the importance of many aspects of agriculture in Colorado. Thousands of Colorado high school students have participated in the FFA Career and Leadership Development events held at the CSU Fort Collins campus organized by our agricultural education team. In partnership with the Colorado Community College System, we provide Colorado agriculture teachers with continuing education to help keep the high school agriculture programs across the state cutting-edge and inspiring for students.

Facilities and Partners


Resource Conservation

We work with Colorado’s farmers and ranchers, producer organizations, resource managers, policymakers, and others to help efficiently conserve and preserve our land, water, energy, air, wildlife, and other natural resources. We help the stewards of our valued resources manage and maintain our natural assets in financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable ways.

Facilities and Partners

  • Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service National Wildlife Research Center
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. National Park Service
  • Powerhouse Energy Campus
  • Nutrien
  • Colorado Water Conservation Board
  • Republican River Water Conservation District

Regional Economic Development

We contribute to the engaged scholarship of rural development. We work on understanding barriers to economic growth and build solutions for rural and urban areas. We offer analysis to help legislators develop rules for conservation easements benefitting landowners and environmentally valuable public goods. We also work with agricultural producers and processors to develop value-added products and production facilities.

Our faculty member Dawn Thilmany co-directs the CSU Regional Economics Development Institute that offers links to several economic development reports.


Facilities and Partners