Feeding people is important – Greeley Tribune

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On the same day in 1863, the U.S. government created both its own Department of Agriculture and a new model of higher education institution – land-based universities – that also aimed to prepare people to feed a nation. in full growth.

Granting universities like the State of Colorado continue to focus on the fight against hunger in their teaching, research and outreach activities. Today, the activity of feeding the world must take into account sustainability issues, the importance of bridging wealth gaps, urban-rural divisions and divisions around the size of the production unit.

Discussions must address global protein and calorie insecurity – and consumer preferences for how those proteins and calories are produced. This is a daunting challenge, which can only be achieved through collaboration and partnerships.

But this truth remains: Feeding people mattered yesterday, it matters today, and it will matter tomorrow.

This is the main driver behind the creation of our CSU Spur campus, which opens in Denver in January. This is the reason for the critical and ongoing work of our CSU Faculty in Agricultural Sciences, and the shared commitment among our three CSU campuses to tackling hunger in our own communities and beyond.

Why is this important? More than 38 million people in the United States went hungry last year. One in 6 American children do not know where they will get their next meal. One in 14 American seniors faced hunger before the pandemic, and that situation has worsened significantly with COVID-19.

And while rural America produces the food that feeds our planet, 87 percent of the counties with the highest rates of overall food insecurity are rural. Black, Latin, and Native American households all suffer from hunger at more than twice the rate of white households.

Our CSU campuses and outreach teams have long focused on finding ways to combat these statistics. The Community Alliance for Education and Hunger Relief – a project of the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station and its Western Colorado Research Center – annually collects and delivers nearly 100,000 pounds of campus-grown food to people in need on the West Slope. . Our Fort Collins and Pueblo campuses are designated a Hunger Free Campus by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and our campuses have focused on anti-hunger programs in their own communities with the Pantry Pack in Pueblo and Rams Against Hunger in Fort Collins.

This commitment to improving lives extends to how we link research and education to the real-world food challenges facing Colorado. CSU professors critically focus on biosecurity issues and how to protect our food system from threats to crop and animal health.

They have partnered with growers across the state to support long-term productivity through facilities such as the San Luis Valley Potato Research Station and one of the premier genetics labs in the wheat of the country. We have worked to expand access to agricultural education with co-op programs offered in conjunction with other Colorado campuses.

In partnership with donors, alumni and the State of Colorado, CSU has invested millions of dollars in additional core funding for its agricultural science programs and experimental stations and tens of millions in facilities on campus and in the state – because we know there is critical work ahead of us, and it is fundamental to who we are to show up with our sleeves rolled up, ready to work.

This work links our modern educational and awareness-raising missions directly to the fundamental elements of our heritage as granting universities. He challenges us to share our best practices in Colorado and across borders, and to never lose sight of the fact that our actions serve our fellow human beings, regardless of national borders, race, religion or language. .

Feeding people – everyone – is important.

– Tony Frank is Chancellor of Colorado State University System

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