As Colorado’s land-grant university, Colorado State University is responsive to the needs of agricultural producers, the food industry, and consumers throughout the state. Because Colorado is such a large state in terms of land and natural resources, and its agriculture is so diverse, CSU recognizes the best way to learn about pressing agricultural issues is to bring our partners from these diverse regions together to share perspectives and form priorities.
That is why CSU has launched the Colorado Blueprint project. This statewide effort will focus on collecting and sharing data to foster a discussion about the role and vision for food and agricultural programming at CSU and many partner organizations.
“It is essential that we actively engage our communities if we are going to focus our food and agricultural research in the ways that are most beneficial to our stakeholders,” said Dawn Thilmany, a professor of agricultural and resource economics and one of the project’s leaders.
Goals of the project include:
• Understanding opportunities and challenges resulting from changing public attitudes about agriculture and food;
• Assessing opportunities for Colorado food system policy to address challenges and needs;
• Documenting, assessing and highlighting key linkages in Colorado’s food supply chain, its key players and infrastructure;
• Developing priorities for capacity-building, investment and innovation across Colorado agriculture and food stakeholders; and
• Enhancing CSU’s knowledge of Colorado-specific research and engagement needs to support opportunities for all research and outreach units, both on and off campus
The project team will travel around the state, holding meetings and listening sessions that will be open to the public. The first session will take place Feb. 6 in Salida at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds from 2 to 4 p.m. Additional sessions will occur throughout February and March, and the full schedule of meetings can be found on the project website calendar. The project is a year-long process, so the website will include updated events and materials.
"The Colorado Blueprint project is an excellent example of our college’s research, outreach and engagement to enhance Colorado’s agriculture and educate consumers as to how their food is produced in a safe and efficient manner,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences.
About the Colorado Blueprint project
The Colorado Blueprint Project is a collaboration among the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences, the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station, CSU’s Office of Engagement, CSU Extension, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council and LiveWell Colorado. For more information on the project, visit the website.