CSU Department of Soil and Crop Sciences Celebrates its Centennial Year

Note to Reporters: For more information on the “From the Ground Up: 100 Years of Agronomic Excellence”, the Soil and Crop Sciences Department’s 100th anniversary celebration, visit: http://soilcrop.colostate.edu/100th_anniv/index.html.

The Colorado State University Soil and Crop Sciences Department will celebrate its 100th anniversary Sept. 11 and 12. The commemorative weekend will include events honoring the past, celebrating the present and envisioning the future of the Soil and Crop Sciences program.

In 1879, the Colorado Agricultural College was founded and run by a four-member staff. With federal monetary assistance, the “Aggies” continued to grow and the Department of Agronomy, currently known as the Department of Soil and Crops Sciences, was founded in 1909.

Alvin Keyser became the first department head in 1909 and served the institution under this title for 36 years. The Soil and Crop Sciences department has been managed by seven department heads since its beginnings and is currently headed by Gary Peterson. Peterson’s career research has focused on the application of the principles behind soil science to solve field-related soil management issues.

Today, the department has 24 research, teaching and Extension faculty on campus and at four branch Experiment Stations as well as 28 research associates and 40 graduate students.

Officials in the Soil and Crop Sciences department attribute the 100 years of success to teaching, research and Extension activities in areas ranging from basic genomics to production agriculture research. Researchers strive to make advances in the science, teaching and technology realms that ultimately benefit society.

In honor of their 100th year celebration, the department will recognize Legends of the Century who contributed to the reputation and success of the school. Eleven former department heads, professors and researchers have been recognized by Soil and Crop Sciences. Honorees include David W. “Scotty” Robertson, department head from 1946 – 1959 and the first researcher to hold a doctorate degree in the department, and William G. Stewart, leading contributor in founding the CSU wheat research program. A full list and biography of each of the legends can be found at: http://soilcrop.colostate.edu/100th_anniv/legends.html.

Celebration Calendar of Events

Friday, September 11
Check-in: 11 a.m., Lory Student Center West Ballroom
Luncheon: 11:30 a.m., Lory Student Center West Ballroom
Back to the Classroom Presentations: 2– 4 p.m., Lory Student Center East Ballroom
Department Open House: 4– 5 p.m., Plant Sciences Building
Awards Ceremony Dinner: 6 p.m., Lory Student Center West Ballroom

Saturday, September 12
AG Day Barbeque: 11:30 a.m., Hughes Stadium
CSU vs. Weber State Football Game: 3 p.m., Hughes Stadium

The Back to the Classroom presentation will feature four keynote speakers versed in agriculture, soil and crop sciences. Reagan Waskom, director of the Colorado Water Institute will present Water in the West – What is the Future of Irrigated Agriculture; Keith Paustian, soil ecology professor will present Greenhouse Gas Mitigation by Agriculture – Boon or Boondoggle; Patrick Byrne, plant breeding and molecular-quantitative genetics professor will present Feeding the World – What Agricultural Science Can and Can Not Do; and Jan Leach, University Distinguished Professor, will present Crop Genome Improvement: Past, Present and Future. These presentations are open to the public.