Fresh face takes reins of CSU’s animal sciences program |

Fresh face takes reins of CSU’s animal sciences program

Kevin Pond has been around agriculture his whole life; plenty long enough to have come to an understanding that many consumers don’t see the ag industry as much more than buying their food at a grocery store.

“We’re to a point that we just assume what we buy is safe food, not thinking about whether the animal it came from was properly fed and cared for, etc.,” he said. “The amount of research that’s gone into every ounce of safe food, and how much research continues going into food, is simply mindboggling.”

That’s where Pond comes in.

Meet the new head of Colorado State University’s Department of Animal Sciences. Pond comes to CSU after serving as professor and chairman with the animal and food sciences department at Texas Tech University, capacities he held for 15 years.

“I’m looking forward to this new opportunity greatly,” he said. “Colorado State has such a tremendous reputation for its agriculture and animal sciences departments, as well as food safety programs … so many similarities to where I’m coming from.”

As Pond noted, he and his students and staff have plenty of work to get to when he arrives in Fort Collins permanently Aug. 15.

The food industry has many challenges ahead, from identifying and combating new forms of bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli, to solving issues the industry faces on the marketing and international fronts, Pond said.

It’s a tall task, but one for an educator whose background leaves him prepared for the challenges.

Born in Denver, Pond moved to New York with his father, an animal scientist at Cornell University.

At an early age, young Pond knew what he wanted to do.

After graduating from Cornell, Pond went on to do graduate work at Texas A&M University, where he focused on beef cattle, before later becoming a teacher and researcher at North Carolina State University.

Throughout his teaching and researching career, Pond has been part of international programs that took new food technologies and methods to Asian and African populations, and helped develop food safety standards at home and abroad.

While Pond’s focus has been on beef cattle and food safety in the past, he’ll look to grow CSU’s animal sciences program in all of its capacities, focusing on a needed update in facilities and technology.

The faculty needed to continue building on CSU’s reputation in animal sciences, Pond said, is already in place.

“I feel very fortunate that I’ll be working with such great people,” said Pond, whose wife will be working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Denver and whose three children are all following careers in animal sciences. “So many of the professors and researches here sit on critical advisory boards that will help keep us informed of the many changes that come in this industry.

“When answers are going to be needed, the people with answers are going to be here at CSU.”

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