Media Advisory: Grand opening for CSU Arkansas Valley Campus to be held Sept. 25


A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Wednesday, Sept. 25 for the Colorado State University Arkansas Valley Campus, a new facility for research, extension and engagement.


Reporters and photographers are invited to the grand opening at the new CSU Arkansas Valley Campus at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at the Arkansas Valley Research Center, 27901 Road 21, Rocky Ford, Colorado, 81067.


Remarks will begin at 2:15 p.m. with CSU President Joyce McConnell, Otero County Commissioner John Hostetler, CSU Executive Associate Dean of Agricultural Sciences James Pritchett, CSU Extension Regional Director Bill Nobles, CSU Southeast Area Director of Extension Bruce Fickenscher, Arkansas Valley Research Center Director Mike Bartolo and Rocky Ford Veterinary Diagnostic Lab Director Gene Niles speaking during the event.

The grand opening ceremony for Colorado State University’s Arkansas Valley Campus in Rocky Ford signifies greater access to research and resources for residents of Eastern Colorado, as well as a better opportunity to interact with the state’s land grant university.

The Arkansas Valley Campus is the shared home of the Arkansas Valley Research Center, Otero County and the Southeast Area Extension offices, the Rocky Ford Vet Diagnostic Lab and CSU Office of Engagement. These campus partners represent a renewed partnership to serve the needs of the people of southeastern Colorado.

CSU Arkansas Valley Campus programs
  • The Arkansas Valley Research Center (Rocky Ford) AES programs focus on irrigated crop production with a particular emphasis on specialty crops and optimal water use. Alfalfa, corn, dry beans, small grains, soybeans, sorghum, onions, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes and peppers are representative of crops grown under irrigation. The research center was established in 1888 as the Bent Agricultural Experiment Station and is the oldest continuously operated agricultural experiment station, outside of Fort Collins, in Colorado. The AVRC serves the research needs of the irrigated farming area of southeast Colorado known as the Arkansas Valley, extending from Pueblo County on the west to the Kansas border. It also includes irrigated areas associated with the tributaries to the Arkansas River in El Paso, Huerfano and Las Animas counties.
  • Colorado State University Extension/Southeast Area is a trusted resource for building and strengthening Colorado communities in seven Southeast Colorado counties, and serves as the front door to the university. CSU Extension provides information and education and encourages the application of research-based knowledge in response to local, state, and national issues affecting individuals, youth, families, agricultural enterprises and communities. Southeast Area Extension staff throughout the state are dedicated to serving current and future needs of Coloradans by providing educational information and programs that are designed to meet the unique needs of each of Southeast Colorado’s seven counties. Extension offers a wide variety of programs and educational classes, teaching people how to apply science-based information in their daily lives in order to make informed choices about everything from personal finances and healthy living to community issues.
  • The Rocky Ford Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory provides a wide variety of testing services locally and handling of samples for all testing available through the CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory system. This laboratory provides full necropsy capabilities for large and small animals, as well as histopathologic examination of surgical biopsies. The services are offered by a Board Certified Veterinary Toxicologist. Consultation with fellow pathologists at the main laboratory is provided as well for difficult or problematic cases. The RFVDL is also a member of the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN), which is organized to ensure inter-agency coordination of potential food contamination emergencies.
  • Colorado State University’s Office of Engagement includes CSU Extension, the Colorado Water Institute, CSU Online, Community and Economic Development and the Regional Engagement Hub Network. The Regional Engagement Hubs are a network and a platform for the CSU System. Embedded in regions in eastern, central and western Colorado, they serve to connect that region to the university and the university to the region. The regional staff tackles workforce and economic development challenges through providing data, facilitating group decision making and strategy, and training and education.


Jennifer Dimas at (970) 988-4265 or