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. 11-26 at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St., Denver.

CSU Partners to Revitalize National Western Complex
After more than 100 years, the National Western Stock Show is synonymous with Denver; it has a long tradition in Colorado’s capitol city – and at CSU, where college students and faculty have played significant roles in NWSS success. But all traditions, from time to time, can benefit from new ideas and perspectives. The university is one of five partners imagining and exploring ideas to revitalize the National Western Complex into a year-long, premier destination focused on agricultural education, entertainment and animal and human health literacy. Concepts being explored include community gardens teaching farm to table education about food, trial crops, equine medical facilities, and urban agricultural and sustainable demonstrations and education. To speak to someone about the partnership, please contact Dell Rae Ciaravola at (970) 491-6009 or

Antibiotics in Livestock Feed
Two Colorado State University veterinarians, Paul Morley and Josie Traub-Dargatz, are among eight nationwide who penned a policy paper giving guidance on use of antibiotics for livestock, and they can offer an inside line on the hot issue of antibiotics in livestock feed. It’s a topic of intense concern for human-health advocates worried that medicated livestock feed, through its effects on bacteria, produces antibiotic resistance among people who need medication to combat bacterial illness. Antibiotics in livestock feed also is a significant issue for producers – including those in Colorado’s $3.7 million beef industry – who for decades have used medicated feed to promote growth and to prevent disease in poultry, hogs, sheep and cattle. The veterinarians, in a “consensus paper” that will be updated this year, provided core guidelines that were echoed in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration plan released last month. The plan called for conservative use of antibiotics in livestock feed and only when specifically prescribed by veterinarians. The plan’s release is widely considered a warning that the FDA will soon set and enforce regulations on the issue. Conservative use of drugs is a best practice in medicine, the CSU vets note. Even so, it would surprise many consumers to know that there is little evidence that antimicrobials used in livestock feed actually cause antibiotic resistance in people. Learn how it works and why it matters from Traub-Dargatz and Morley.
FDA and veterinary documents provided for reference:
To speak to Morley or Traub-Dargatz, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Stock Show Weather
Colorado State University State Climatologist Nolan Doesken is available to discuss "Stock Show Weather" and any aspect of Colorado’s weather and climate. Water supplies, drought trends, snow accumulations, winds, temperature extremes and seasonal weather patterns are all fair topics. Doesken’s 36+ years at Colorado State University conducting 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 has greatly improved 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 Kortny Rolston at (970) 491-5349 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 Kortny Rolston at (970) 491-5349 or

CSU Seedstock Team
The CSU Seedstock Merchandising Team, a select group of 8 undergraduate students, will be competing at the National Western Stock Show with 2 pens of cattle. The students selected these cattle from the 2013-born calf crop produced at CSU’s Agricultural Research, Development, and Education Center in Fort Collins. Since selecting them this fall, the team has been developing and preparing these cattle for the upcoming show. The team will have cattle at the Stock Show from January 11-18 (CSU day at the Stock Show). During that time, students will host a CSU booth in "the yards.” They will be overseeing the National Western Stock Show’s Red Angus shows Jan. 11-13. The team will host a free lunch in the CSU yard pens on Thursday, Jan. 16 at noon and will show their cattle on Friday, Jan. 17 beginning at 8 a.m. (heifers) and 9:30 a.m. (bulls). For more information, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

CSU Animal Sciences Professor Honored with 40 Under 40 in Agriculture Awards
Colorado State University professor Dale Woerner has been honored with Vance Publishing Corporation’s inaugural 40 Under 40 in Agriculture Awards. The assistant professor of Animal Sciences was selected from among 200 applicants to join researchers, consultants, executives, and other top agricultural professors on this prestigious list. Woerner was selected for his leadership and commitment in advancing the cause to double food production by 2050. The group of young agricultural leaders, representing agriculture at its best, has made a remarkable impact on both their organizations and the industry as a whole. For the past couple years, Woerner has worked with the U.S. Meat Export Federation to address questions from U.S. export markets about beef-cattle production and marketing practices, efforts that have helped to grow markets for U.S. beef. To speak with Woerner, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

Ag Adventure
CSU’s Ag Adventure, located next to the CSU booth, is an interactive exhibit in conjunction with multiple Colorado commodity groups that will help teach children about where their food comes from. The exhibit includes information from the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Farm Bureau, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Colorado 4-H and commodity groups such as beef, dairy, eggs, potatoes, corn, wheat, sugar, beets, wool, honey, and other vegetable producers. Guided tours are offered to about 20,000 school-aged children from the Denver metro area during the weekdays and other busy times, but self-guided tours are also available during NWSS hours. In all, more than 70,000 people visited Ag Adventure last year. For more information about Ag Adventure, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

CSU Students to participate in the National Western Invitational 4-H/FFA Livestock Judging Contest
As parts of the NWSS, each state is invited to enter one 4-H and one FFA livestock judging team consisting of no more than four members. The three members with the three high scores will be counted for the team points; however, all individuals are eligible for individual awards. The team members are selected in a manner determined by the state 4-H/FFA leader or advisor. The contest, to be held Saturday, Jan. 11, will be comprised of 10 classes of livestock. Of these 10 classes, four will be beef, three will be sheep, and three will be swine. All of these classes will be comprised of four animals and the winners of the contest will be determined by a team of judges. CSU Professor Dale Woerner helps to coordinate the project. To speak Woerner contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

CSU Students to Compete in the Western National Roundup FFA Contest
CSU students will take part in the Western National Roundup FFA Contest, an event divided into six individual sections. Students will take a written test, participate in meat formulation problem solving, identify retail cuts of meat, assess beef quality and grading, place six classes and respond to ten questions from the placing classes. This contest, to be held Saturday, Jan. 11, is open to a team of four 4-H members from a state to be selected and/or certified by the state 4-H leader. Throughout the event, contestants will move from exhibit to exhibit during the contest in five or more separate groups. CSU Professor Dale Woerner helps to coordinate the project. To speak Woerner contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543 or

CSU Day at the Stock Show Jan. 18
CSU Day at the National Western Stock Show will be filled with rodeo, mutton bustin’ and plenty of green and gold. CSU Day is Saturday, Jan. 18. The event features free giveaways and pictures with CAM the Ram. CSU System Chancellor Mike Martin and other members of the Board of Governors will kick off the 11 a.m. rodeo with an entrance on the National Western Stock Show’s stage coach. CSU football players also will be featured at the rodeo on CSU Day in honor of the team’s victory over Washington State in this year’s Gildan New Mexico Bowl. 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