CSU AgNext Hosts First Research Summit and Forages New Private-Public Partnerships

December 10, 2021

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Jenn Rieskamp

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Colorado State University and AgNext, the university’s sustainability and animal agriculture-focused research collaborative, co-hosted its first AgNext Research Summit with Five Rivers Cattle Feeding on Wednesday, Dec. 1. The summit convened academics, industry partners and financial institution representatives, bridging together both public and private sectors, to discuss the future of sustainability in animal agriculture. Over 150 industry attendees gathered to hear from leading experts on ways to enhance sustainable solutions in animal agriculture. Specifically, these discussions covered the need for continued innovation to meet global nutritional needs while curbing environmental impact, climate change, and the current lack of scalable solutions.

Caption: Panelists present to industry representatives at the inaugural AgNext Research Summit (photo credit: Grace Sanburg)

Colorado State University’s AgNext took a leadership role convening the industry for these conversations and posed an opportunity to invest in the future of animal agriculture, kickstarting partnerships that will aid in infrastructure support, research, and funding needs.  

“AgNext is on the forefront of innovation and making significant strides in ensuring we’re able to build and maintain a sustainable food system,” said Colorado State University President Joyce McConnell. “The collaboration between the world-class researchers of Colorado State University’s AgNext and the industry is crucial in identifying ways to improve animal agriculture.”

Stemming from the event, the industry committed infrastructure support to AgNext and other partner universities through funding and in-kind commitments, to develop new scalable solutions around GHG emissions, methane mitigation, carbon sequestration and more.

“We’re thrilled to see the outpouring of interest in partnering with AgNext. It’s inspiring, motivating and necessary to have academia working with both industry and financial partners to tackle the challenges that come with creating a resilient food supply,” said Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, Ph.D., director of AgNext and professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University. “Whether monetary or in-kind, all commitments make a huge difference in furthering our efforts to create sustainable and scalable solutions. We look forward to continued discussions to make this happen.”

Organizations and their commitment to AgNext marks the next phase of ownership and accountability for addressing the global climate crisis. To date, committed partners include Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, C-Lock, Inc. , JBS, Rabo AgriFinance, Brackett Ranch, LeValley Ranch, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and Magnum Feedyard.

“At Five Rivers, we’re thrilled to be part of these critical conversations as the industry collectively looks for solutions to care for our livestock and the environment in a responsible, humane way,” shared Mike Thoren, president and CEO of Five Rivers Cattle Feeding. “This coming together of the industry is necessary as we work to identify effective, scalable sustainability practices for the future.”

The AgNext Research Summit and conversations involving stakeholders across the value chain are key to creating far-reaching impact. The partnerships and work started at the summit will contribute to a progressive and more sustainable global food system for generations to come.

About AgNext

AgNext is a leader for research in animal and ecosystem health while enhancing profitability of the supply chain and serves as the crossroads for producers, industry partners, and researchers to come together to innovate real time solutions for sustainability animal agriculture. Our research focuses on advancing the science of animal agriculture to ensure a continued safe, secure, and nutritious food supply. Our mission is to identify and scale innovation that fosters the health of animals and ecosystems to promote profitable.