CSU announces Agricultural Sciences department changes | TheFencePost.com

CSU announces Agricultural Sciences department changes

Our Colorado agricultural industry generates an estimated $20 billion in economic activity each year. And thousands of Colorado State University graduates live and work in Weld County and other agricultural communities, helping to drive this robust and dependable part of our state economy.

In this context, I am pleased to share with you the news of three new department heads recently hired to join our leadership team in CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

They will play a vital role in charting the course of our college – focusing on the university’s land-grant mission in teaching, research and outreach activities.

These activities significantly add to our state’s agricultural industry in the form of highly trained graduates entering the workforce, science-based knowledge, and the real-life application of knowledge through on-the-ground outreach.

Our new department leaders are:

» Dr. Gregory Perry, who joined us July 15 as new head of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Perry, who comes from Oregon State University, is an expert in agricultural finance and taxation who has extensively studied water-management issues.

Regarding the importance of his field, Perry recently said: “Economics is the driving force in a lot of ways that agricultural activities occur in the state, determining what commodities are grown, when and how. Economics becomes the prism through which all agribusiness production decisions are seen.”

» Dr. Eugene Kelly, who began his new role Monday as head of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. Kelly, a department faculty member at CSU for 22 years, is a soil scientist with notable interdisciplinary research experience who has supervised several large projects examining ecological interplay.

Discussing the role of his department, Kelly said: “The issues facing Colorado have become more complex as we work to maintain sustainability of our agricultural and natural resources in the face of growing urban populations, a national energy crisis and global change. The Department of Soil and Crop Sciences is poised to address these issues using interdisciplinary approaches to generate important new knowledge.”

» Dr. Kevin Pond, who will join us Aug. 15 as the new head of the Department of Animal Sciences. Pond, who comes from Texas Tech University, is an expert in beef-cattle nutrition who helps run a fifth-generation family cattle ranch in the Texas Panhandle and was a department head at Texas Tech for about 15 years.

Regarding the focus of his work, Pond said: “Profitable and environmentally sound production is paramount to the success of the livestock industry. Those of us in animal agriculture need to be in a position where what we’re doing is understood by both industry participants and consumers because we share an interest in improved human health and well-being.”

These hires are a critical aspect of our path forward for the college as a cornerstone program of CSU. We are confident we’ve found the best available leadership in the nation to join Dr. Tom Holtzer, head of the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, and Dr. Steve Wallner, head of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture.

I also want to thank our outgoing department leaders, Dr. Stephen Davies from Agricultural and Resource Economics, Dr. Gary Peterson from Soil and Crop Sciences, and William Wailes from Animal Sciences. Those of us who care about the college owe these three a debt of gratitude for their strong, dedicated leadership.

College and department administrators often work behind the scenes to help set the stage for a skilled workforce, new scientific discoveries and the economic vibrancy that are so important to our state, nation and world.

Our leadership team sets a vision for science with a purpose and for preparation of leaders in an agricultural industry that faces challenges unprecedented in their complexity and scope.

Not least of these challenges is producing safe, healthy, abundant and affordable food for the world’s booming population, while paying close attention to stewardship of our often-scarce natural resources.

To find out more about our new department heads, visit the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences website at http://www.agsci.colostate.edu.

Dr. Craig Beyrouty is dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University. Reach him at (970) 491-6274 or craig.beyrouty@colostate.edu.

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