What will it look like to feed an additional 2 billion people by 2050? How will American farmers and ranchers help meet that demand? And what changes will be needed in Colorado’s agriculture and food industries to ensure continued prosperity?
Some of the country’s leading influencers and thinkers in agriculture will assemble at Colorado State University to explore creative and collaborative responses to these challenges.
The “Advancing the Agriculture Economy Through Innovation” summit will be held March 18-20 at CSU’s Lory Student Center. The event will demonstrate the broad scope and significance of the industry within Colorado and the world, while connecting innovators prepared to reimagine its future.
Tackling the big questions
The summit will open with an executive leadership roundtable exploring the obstacles and opportunities of agriculture’s next decade, followed by master classes on big data and climate-smart agriculture.
The final two days of the event will feature provocative panel sessions focused on topics such as sustainable water technologies, the global food system, the fast and fresh food revolution, and creative approaches to agricultural financing.
Colorado’s leadership role in driving innovation across the agricultural value chain will be spotlighted.
“The cluster of companies along the Front Range spawned by and supplying agriculture-related businesses is impressive; we are truly living in an innovation corridor,” said CSU Associate Vice President for Engagement Kathay Rennels. “The summit will expose and highlight the diverse relationships that make Colorado such an attractive state for companies and research on the forefront of innovation.”
In addition, this agricultural innovation corridor impacts other sectors of the economy.
"Innovation contributes to our state’s competitive and sustainable agriculture industry, and with innovation comes a blending of other industries, including technology, energy and aerospace," said Colorado Chief Innovation Officer Mark Sirangelo. "The Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) is working to build innovative interdependent relationships between industries to build on their successes, and supporting summits such as this one help us to accomplish this goal."
In addition to a number of featured CSU experts, speakers will include: Brian Kelley, president and CEO of Keurig Green Mountain; Federico Peña, former U.S. secretary of energy and transportation; Marley Hodgson, chief strategy officer and co-founder of MAD Greens; and Bill Stoufer, chief integration officer and chief operating officer at Ardent Mills. Former Fox News Executive and Anchor Alexis Glick will moderate the event.
“The list of speakers and topics outlined for this summit testifies to CSU’s power to bring together leading innovators across a number of agricultural sectors,” said CSU College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Craig Beyrouty. “Not only will the summit be an opportunity to hear from researchers and industry leaders, but it will be a site for networking and the creation of new partnerships.”
The public is invited to attend an Innovation Fair, running concurrent to the summit on March 19 and 20, that will showcase emerging ideas and technologies from businesses, faculty, students, and the public sector. The fair will culminate with a Pitch Slam event, where a select group of field-tested ventures will compete for cash prizes before a panel of experts and investors.
The summit is sponsored by the Colorado Innovation Network, Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University. For more information on the summit or to register, visit csuaginnovationsummit.com.