Media Tip Sheet: Colorado State University and the National Western Stock Show

Note to Reporters: The following is a collection of experts and resources at Colorado State University related to the National Western Stock Show. The Stock Show runs Jan. 12-27 at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St., Denver.


CSU’s Beef-Feeding Innovator is the 2013 Citizen of the West
The National Western Stock Show has named Dr. John Matsushima the 2013 Citizen of the West. He will accept the prestigious award at a dinner on Jan. 14 at the National Western Events Center. Net proceeds from this event go to support 74 annual scholarships awarded by the National Western Scholarship Trust. The Citizen of the West, selected by a committee of community leaders, is an annual award given to individuals who embody the spirit and determination of the western pioneer, and who are committed to perpetuating the West’s agricultural heritage and ideals. Matsushima, a first-generation Japanese-American who grew up in Weld County and showed 4-H steers alongside Kenny Monfort, is a retired Animal Sciences professor being honored for innovations in beef-cattle nutrition, for educating an estimated 10,000 students, and for helping to open foreign markets to U.S. beef. To speak with Matsushima, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Stock Show Weather
Colorado State University State Climatologist Nolan Doesken is available to discuss snow totals and impacts on drought, weather observation, historical climate data, precipitation and seasonal weather patterns. He also can address agricultural, recreational, hydrologic and industrial applications of climate information. Doesken’s 36 years of professional experience in weather research, climate studies, data acquisition, analysis and archiving provides him the expertise to address a wide variety of climate-related questions. He can also talk about the statewide volunteer network, called the Community Collaborative Rain, Snow and Hail Network that improves precipitation monitoring and helps provide detailed storm analysis, drought, water supply and other water decision-making information to municipalities, homeowners, industries, utility providers, resource managers and educators. To speak with Doesken, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

CSU Agricultural Economists Surveying Farmers and Ranchers to Determine Drought Impact
Agricultural economists at Colorado State University are surveying farmers and ranchers to better understand the impact of the 2012 drought on Colorado farms, ranches and rural communities – and to design effective management tools for dry times ahead. James Pritchett, who is leading the effort, says information gleaned will help to inform public policy, including the federal Farm Bill, and will assist agricultural economists at CSU in providing needed information about management strategies, novel irrigation approaches, and more. To talk with Pritchett, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Water in the West
Neil Grigg, civil engineering professor and renowned water resources engineering consultant, can discuss Colorado’s water history, drought management, government water resources planning, Western water management issues, water system infrastructure engineering, flood control and urban water systems management. Grigg published a book, "Colorado’s Water: Science and Management, History and Politics," which presents long-range views about Colorado’s water issues, including drought. He has authored or co-authored about 200 publications and several books about water resources engineering and infrastructure. To speak with Grigg, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

CSU Veterinary Diagnosticians at Stock Show
Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Drs. Kristy Pabilonia and Charlie Davis will assist at the National Western Stock Show in various capacities throughout the duration of the event. Dr. Pabilonia will primarily be involved with the poultry exhibition and Dr. Davis will focus on livestock entrants including equine. Both will provide veterinary services and conduct infectious disease surveillance. They will also assist NWSS superintendents as needed for each class of animals and provide support to the NWSS staff veterinarians as well as assist Colorado Department of Agriculture personnel with regulatory issues and requirements. To speak with one of the veterinarians, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Livestock Leader Dick Monfort
Dick Monfort, scion of one of the West’s most prominent cattle families, will be honored by Colorado State University’s Department of Animal Sciences as 2012 Livestock Leader for his role as a champion of the nationwide beef industry and for high-impact philanthropy that benefits agriculture. Monfort will receive the award at a reception starting 3 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Stock Show. He is the third member of the Monfort family – representing a third generation – to be honored. For more information, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Equine Medicine Expertise at Stock Show Jan. 27
The Equine Section of the university’s world-renowned James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital will host a booth at the NWSS on Jan. 27 that will feature the region’s only dynamic respiratory scope. The new scope allows each horse to be exercised in its own environment – or at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital – offering the closest possible simulation of performance conditions. This system also prevents training on a treadmill and its associated risks and limitations, which was previously necessary to perform dynamic examinations. CSU veterinarians work with referring veterinarians for an appropriate diagnosis of respiratory issues, including those contributing to poor performance and abnormal respiratory noises during exercise. When combined with other diagnostic tests, this respiratory exam can provide a better opportunity for a precise diagnosis and accurate treatment recommendations. To speak with one of the VTH’s equine medicine and surgery veterinarians, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Equine Sports Medicine
Colorado State University’s Equine Orthopaedic Research Center and Veterinary Teaching Hospital now have a mobile Equine Sports Medicine service that has evolved from the new AVMA accredited American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. Five of the faculty from the EORC are diplomates of this new college, and CSU has the first equine residency training program in this specialty with residents in their first, second and third year of the program. The Equine Sports Medicine Service provides unique and tailored veterinary care to equine athletes from birth through retirement, offering state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment. In addition to delivering comprehensive services for equine athlete clients, the program offers CSU veterinary students exciting learning opportunities.

• Nikki suffered an injury to her right forelimb in the fall of 2010. The injury damaged 25 percent of her right front superficial digital flexor tendon. Encouraging tendons to heal as much as possible is necessary because they frequently scar and never regain the same strength they had before the injury. Nikki’s tendon was treated with Platelet Rich Plasma, where her own blood is drawn, spun down and the serum containing her platelets were injected into and around her tendon lesion. Nikki responded extremely well to this treatment and the tendon improved rapidly until almost no enlargement remained.

• Missy has proven herself as a talented team sorting horse over the years. She and her owner have become quite the competitive team, winning the #11 master team penning competition at last year’s stock show. Missy has also shown that she enjoys her job so much and she works so hard that her joints and body are put under extreme physical forces and an old stifle injury causes inflammation to flare up from time to time. A schedule of therapeutic treatment for Missy’s joints – intra-articular medication, systemic Legend and Aqequan injections as well as a therapeutic exercise program to increase core strength and stability – alleviates the inflammation and soreness, reducing the risk of compensatory injury or joint damage. This treatment regimen allows her to work at her full potential at the job she loves so much.

To speak with Dr. King or another equine sports veterinarian, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

CSU Animal Sciences Professor named Top 10 Industry Leader
A leading beef trade publication recently named a faculty member in the Colorado State University Department of Animal Sciences among the region’s Top 10 Industry Leaders. Jason Ahola, an associate professor of beef production systems, was the only Colorado professional recognized as a 2011 Top 10 Industry Leader by The Cattle Business Weekly, a leading agricultural newspaper. The publication recognized Ahola for advising the CSU Seedstock Merchandizing Team, a group of Animal Sciences students who gain unique hands-on industry education by preparing for and holding an annual sale of breeding beef cattle. To speak with Ahola, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

CSU Seedstock Team
The CSU Seedstock Merchandising Team, a select group of eight undergraduate students, will be competing at the National Western Stock Show with three pens of cattle in the Stockyards; they also will sell a group of females in the Bellringer Commercial Heifer Sale. This is just one part of the team’s work – which spans virtually the entire academic year – and is capped with an annual cattle sale at CSU’s Agricultural Research, Development, and Education Center in Fort Collins. The students select the cattle they show from the university’s 2012 calf crop and have been working with the cattle since fall. For more information, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Farm and Ranch Animal Health
Dr. Frank Garry, veterinarian and professor at Colorado State, writes a regular newspaper column on food systems and quality assurance on dairy and beef farms in Colorado. He can talk about how food is grown, harvested, processed, distributed and priced. To speak with Garry, contact Emily Wilmsen or (970) 491-2336 at

Animal Health
Colorado State University’s world-class veterinarians can discuss a variety of topics related to animal health and the steps exhibitors take to protect the health of their animals while showing at the Stock Show, the importance of animal health and disease control to keep human populations healthy and cutting-edge research such as using a horse’s own stem cells derived from its bone marrow to treat orthopaedic injuries. For more information, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Steak 101 with CSU Meat Scientists
Dale Woerner, a faculty member in the CSU Department of Animal Sciences’ Center for Meat Safety and Quality, often presents steak “pairings” to fellow scientists, industry groups and groups of regular-folk diners. With this taste-testing format, Woerner provides samples of different types of grilled steak – from prime Wagyu to grass-fed beef – while explaining differences in how the cattle producing this beef were raised; differences in genetics, musculature and marbling; and outcomes of consumer-related research. For instance, many consumers say they like the idea of grass-fed beef – but most prefer steaks with marbling that comes from conventional finishing with corn-based rations. Woerner’s presentations are notable for science-based information about beef quality and consumer preferences. To speak with Woerner, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Ag Adventure
CSU’s Ag Adventure on the third floor of the Hall of Education is a series of interactive exhibits run by College of Agricultural Sciences students to teach visitors about the sources of our food and fiber. It’s a great example of student-led “agvocacy,” a recent trend that has agricultural students nationwide working to teach people where their food comes from, while generating respect for the farmers and ranchers who provide one of life’s basic necessities. Ag Adventure is supported by Colorado commodity groups, the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado Farm Bureau. For more information about Ag Adventure, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Stem Cells Used to Treat Equine Injuries
The CSU Orthopaedic Research Center is a pioneer in the advancement of stem cell therapy in the horse. Equine athletes, like those horses that perform in rodeos and other competitions at the National Western Stock Show, can become injured just like any other athlete. CSU equine orthopedic experts are using an injured horse’s own stem cells to treat common joint, tendon, ligament and cartilage injuries with a great deal of success. Clinical data suggests the use of stem cells more quickly and efficiently heals equine orthopaedic injuries and reduces the chance of future reinjury. This work has been carried out on stem cells from bone marrow (as opposed to fat) of patients that are harvested and expanded and then injected directly into the area of tendon or ligament damage. To speak with a veterinarian about stem cell therapies and horses, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Students Spearhead “Agvocacy”
Students in the College of Agricultural Sciences have jumped on the bandwagon of “agvocacy” that’s become a notable trend among aggie college students nationwide: They’re using social media and other platforms to generate respect for agriculture and to teach city slickers about the sources of critical food, feed, fiber and biofuels. Some examples are light-hearted, like the wildly popular parody music video “I’m Farming and I Grow It,” a take on LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It,” produced by the Peterson Farm Bros. of Kansas. Other efforts are educational, as in the Ag Adventure program that has become a trademark in the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences and will run at the Stock Show (see above). Some examples of the trend are confrontational, as in the “Stand Up for Agriculture” video produced by Farmers Fight, a student group that began at Texas A&M University in response to a Yahoo! News post that denigrated the value of college degrees in some agricultural disciplines. CSU’s students not only run Ag Adventure, but have produced a spoof of their own – “If I Was Your Farmer,” a Youtube video based on Justin Bieber’s “If I Was Your Boyfriend.” One of our students, Shelby McCracken, recently was named 2013 National Spokesperson for Agriculture by the National Young Farmer Educational Association. A junior studying agricultural education, he will travel to Washington, D.C., to mix and mingle with federal legislators, and to persuade them to support U.S. farmers and ranchers. Our Ram Handlers, caretakers for CAM the Ram, are the original agvocates – capitalizing on the mascot’s popularity to spawn warm fuzzies about agriculture. For more information, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Meat Scientists Play Lead Role in Industry Benchmarking
Colorado State University researchers have played a leading role since 1991 in investigating quality in the beef supply chain nationwide – and in forming guidelines that have become ever-more critical to ensuring meat safety and consumer satisfaction. In the most recent National Beef Quality Audit, CSU researchers led colleagues nationwide in two of the audit’s three phases. These audits, funded by producers through the Beef Checkoff, provide a foundation for measuring and assessing meat quality that meets consumer expectations. More recently, the audits have expanded in scope to provide benchmarking for critical food-safety issues, sustainability practices, food sourcing, animal well-being, and the links between producers and consumers. At CSU, researchers involved include Jason Ahola, Keith Belk, Dustin Pendell, Daryl Tatum, Dale Woerner, and graduate students Jessica Igo and Miranda Sis. For more information contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

4-H Hosts Interactive Cowboy Ethics Booth
The Colorado 4-H Foundation will host an interactive booth at the National Western Stock Show as part of the program to introduce the ten core principles of Cowboy Ethics, or The Code of the West, to Coloradans. The public is invited to visit the educational section of the trade show on the third floor of the Hall of Education to learn more about Cowboy Ethics, how the principles are being implemented in 4-H, and participate in some fun activities. For more information contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

CSU Day at the Stock Show Jan. 19
CSU Day at the National Western Stock Show will be filled with the rodeo, giveaways and plenty of green and gold. CSU Day is Saturday, Jan. 19. The event features free giveaways, pictures with CAM the Ram mascots and an appearance by President Tony Frank and members of the CSU Board of Governors. CSU has a long and storied connection to the National Western Stock Show, one of Denver’s and the Rocky Mountain West’s most anticipated annual traditions. Today, the partnership between the National Western Stock Show and Colorado State remains strong. “The National Western Stock Show continues its history of generous giving and support of Colorado State. The Stock Show is the largest individual annual scholarship donor in the College of Agricultural Sciences,” said Rick Brase, director of development. For more information contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or