AgNext Concludes a Successful First Year of Innovating in Solutions for Sustainable Animal Agriculture

Research summit panelist discussion.

AgNext Concludes a Successful First Year of Innovating in Solutions for Sustainable Animal Agriculture.

In just over a year, Colorado State University’s AgNext, formerly known as the Sustainable Livestock Systems Collaborative, has grown to become a forerunner in sustainability for animal agriculture. The research collaborative went through many changes in 2021, including the addition of new faculty, welcoming graduate students, conducting research, establishing our vision, mission, purpose, and pillars for strategic priority areas. Most importantly, we established a strong network of support including the AgNext Industry Innovation Group which meets regularly and offers feedback and industry insight on AgNext strategic initiatives and research.

AgNext is led by Director Dr. Kim Stackhouse-Lawson.  Dr. Stackhouse-Lawson joined CSU after working with JBS USA as the Director of Sustainability. She is passionate about sustainability and leads the industry to find solutions to the most pressing issues facing the animal agriculture today.  

Through the past year, Dr. Stackhouse-Lawson had the opportunity to speak at many industry events, conferences, and served as a leader in sustainability. Through events and media promotion, AgNext has begun to gain momentum and the collaborative has much to be proud of this year including Dr. Stackhouse-Lawson presenting over 90 presentations to a variety of audiences from producers to packers, breed organizations, state-wide agencies and governmental organizations, young farmers, and ranchers all with a specific focus: sustainability and food system resiliency.  

The AgNext team has worked diligently through the first year of operation to build strategic partnerships and to secure funding for research projects. These ongoing projects will help clear a path to increase solutions for sustainable animal agriculture and benchmark and mitigate livestock greenhouse gas contributions. In addition, current projects are taking an in-depth look at sustainability within the supply chain and net-zero commitments – partnering with JBS and National Beef.

To round out the year, AgNext and Five Rivers Cattle Feeding co-hosted the AgNext Research Summit on December 1st. This event brought academics, industry leaders, and financial organizations together for an important discussion about the future of agriculture and the importance of funding projects that make the industry more sustainable. As a result, AgNext gained new strategic partnership support and funding to continue pushing forward to find sustainable solutions for animal agriculture. 

As we reflect and look forward to 2022, AgNext will continue to raise awareness of the industry’s future, enable uptake of sustainable solutions, and focus on educating stakeholders, through strategic outreach and engagement.