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Spotlights

September 2022

Spotlight on Rebecca Hill
Research Scientist
Department of Ag and Resource Economics
Regional Economic Development Institute
Rebecca Hill is a Research Scientist with the Regional Economic Development Institute and the Co-Director of the Colorado AgrAbility Project, housed in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
Dr. Hill received her Ph.D in Agricultural Economics in 2012 and currently works on a variety of projects with the Regional Economic Development Institute, the Colorado AgrAbility Project and the CSU Extension Internship Program. Her current research involves topics such as hemp, Wheat Sawfly, land conservation and outdoor recreation provision among others.

September 2022

Spotlight on Rebecca Wasserman-Olin
Ph.D. Student
Dept. of Ag and Resource Economics

Rebecca Wasserman-Olin is a first year PhD student in the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics. She received her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed her M.S. at Cornell University where she investigated consumer purchasing habits of local produce. In between her studies, she worked as a community organizer and economic researcher in Minnesota helping farmers assess the economic impact of incorporating conservation practices into their crop rotations. She also worked as a researcher at Cornell University supporting regional food systems in New York State. Throughout her career she has worked on vegetable farms ranging from 1 to 25 acres and she finds herself happiest in a pack shed. She looks forward to learning about agricultural systems in Colorado and supporting the great work of the Food Systems Institute.

August 2022

Spotlight on Franklyn Garry
Extension Specialist
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Department of Clinical Sciences

Dr. Franklyn Garry grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York. He received his B.S. and DVM from Cornell University and MS from The Ohio State University. He worked in a dairy practice in upstate New York, and then did advanced clinical training at the Maximillian University in Munich, Germany and at The Ohio State University. He is currently a Professor at Colorado State University, where he has been in the Department of Clinical Sciences since 1987. Since 1996 he has been the coordinator of the Integrated Livestock Management program at CSU. This is a multidisciplinary graduate studies program that focuses research and training efforts at problems in cow/calf, feedlot, and dairy agriculture.

August 2022

Spotlight on Yue Xu
Ph.D. Student
Dept. of Sociology

Yue is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology, who concentrates on rural sociology, development, food industry clusters, and East Asian studies. Yue grew up in a small town in northwest China. She received her BA in General Sociology from Colorado State University and China Agricultural University and her MA in Sociology at Colorado State University. In her Master’s thesis, Yue utilized in-depth qualitative methods to examine how social inequalities were created and reproduced through the seafood industry in the Zhoushan Islands of China, and how this development has affected local rural communities in terms of uneven development, social networks, and community embeddedness. Her study was recognized by the Rural Sociological Society for its 2020 Master’s Thesis and Dissertation Research Award and the 2021 RSS 4 Minute Flash Talk award. Her current research involves conducting a comparative

 

analysis of organic food consumption in East Asia, and how this speaks to sustainable development and global value chains. In her free time, Yue loves landscape photography, filming, and reading cosmology.

July 2022

Spotlight on Robin Young
Archuleta County Extension Director
Natural Resources and Agriculture Agent

Robin Young has served CSUE for 12 years as a county director and natural resources/ag agent. Robin provides learning opportunities to ranchers with programs such as the San Juan Basin Beef Symposium and Ranching for Women. When the pandemic hit, Young responded along with the Archuleta County Food Coalition to assure residents had access to fresh food. She also provided programming on safe food practices. Currently, she is working with local residents to help them expand their knowledge in growing food in the mountains and co-teaches cottage food courses. Robin offers the Colorado Master Gardener program and also helps facilitate the Colorado Building Farmers Program. She has been a passionate mountain gardener for over 25 years. “Every year teaches us something new,” says Young about the challenges that the high country environment offers.

July 2022

Spotlight on Siwen Zhou
Ph.D. Student
Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Siwen is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at CSU. She completed her undergraduate studies at Henan University of Economics and Law with a B.A. in Public Management and obtained her M.S in Labor Economics from Shaanxi Normal University in China. Her past research contributed to understanding how China’s rural poor were affected by current issues, particularly as they relate to children’s health and education. Her current research at CSU focuses on the determinants and consequences of health disparities and social inequality among US immigrants relative to their native counterparts. Her research interests lie at the intersection of food policy, health economics, immigrant welfare, and labor economics. The overarching theme uniting all her research is to improve the well-being of vulnerable groups through evidence-based analysis of policy impacts on those groups.

June 2022

Spotlight on Eric McPhail
County Director, Ag & Youth Agent
Gunnison County Extension

Eric McPhail has served as the County Director and the 4-H Youth and Agricultural Agent in Gunnison County, Colorado for the past 16 years. Bed bugs to cattle marketing, his position takes many forms of educational outreach. His principal responsibilities include program management focused on community development, agriculture, livestock, 4-H youth, Master Gardener, and family and consumer science education. Eric prides himself on building his small county office’s 52 formal organizational and committee partnerships. He believes the balance of knowledge transfer and diverse service is where Extension can make the most impact in a community. Also, surrounding oneself with great teammates is a plus too. He loves the job, the people, and the mission of providing a helping resource, or hand, to anyone.

June 2022

Spotlight on Taís Menezes
Visiting Research Scholar
Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Taís is a visiting research scholar in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. She is funded by Fulbright and will join the program as a PhD student in Fall 2022.
She grew up in the state of São Paulo in Brazil, and completed her undergraduate studies in Economic Sciences at the Federal University of São Paulo. Taís has a Master’s degree in Applied Economics from Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (Esalq), University of São Paulo. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in the doctoral program in Applied Economics at Esalq. Taís is also a researcher with the Agricultural Policy team at the Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics in Brazil. Her research is focused on agricultural policies, animal health economics, and international trade. Taís is currently developing research that applies computable general equilibrium models to evaluate the economic impacts of foot-and-mouth disease in Brazilian and international animal and meat markets.

May 2022

Spotlight on Lily Edwards-Callaway
Associate Professor
Department of Animal Sciences

Dr. Lily Edwards-Callaway is an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University focusing on livestock behavior and welfare. Originally from the Northeast, with a Bachelor of Arts in French from Amherst College, Edwards-Callaway earned a Master of Science from the University of Rhode Island. She received her Ph.D. at Colorado State University under the advisement of Dr. Temple Grandin. Edwards-Callaway has held various roles in academia, the packing industry, and cattle production primarily focusing on improving animal welfare. She is involved in industry groups and associations including the NCBA BQA Advisory Board and the Darden Animal Welfare Advisory Council to promote and advance the beef industry.

May 2022

Spotlight on Jenna Bensko
Master’s Student
Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Jenna is a Master’s Student in Food Science and Human Nutrition with a Nutrition concentration. She grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Cornell University in 2019 with a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences. After graduation, Jenna moved to Boston and worked as a Nutritionist at the Boston Living Center, an HIV resource center. She came to CSU to pursue her interests in the link between diet and planetary health. Jenna is currently working on several projects in Dr. Megan Mueller’s lab, which focus on the influence that the restaurant industry has on consumer ordering behavior. She plans to analyze restaurant nutrition and sustainability practices across the US and understand how that might impact menu offerings. In the future, Jenna hopes to contribute to the growing field of sustainable nutrition. Outside of the lab, she competes for the Fort Collins running team, Front Range Elite, in both the marathon and ultra distances.

April 2022

Spotlight on Andrew Jones
Senior Research Scientist
Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

Andrew Jones is a Senior Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at CSU. He holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from CSU. He works on measuring atmospheric and soil moisture properties using networks of weather satellites and, most recently, has created a new way to improve sensor performance despite 5G cellphone interference. His data fusion methods are used for National Weather Service operations. He specializes in the application of weather and climate data analytics to the integration needs of integrated food systems, wildfire impacts, phytobiome interactions, and infectious disease propagation. He serves as a ssenior editor of the Phytobiomes Journal and is a member of the CSU Soil Carbon Solutions Center. CIRA continues to serve as an environmental resource to understand issues impacting food systems production, transportation, and related complex supply chain issues.

April 2022

Spotlight on India Luxton
Ph.D. Candidate
Dept. of Sociology

India Luxton is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology. India received her BA in Sociology from Western New England University in 2015 and her Master’s degree in Sociology from Colorado State University in 2017. Her dissertation research investigates key factors that led to high rates of COVID-19 transmission in meat processing facilities. Her prior food system research experience has revolved around food justice, urban agriculture, meatpacking, and assessing conservation practice adoption among farmers. In these projects, she utilizes qualitative research methods and social network analysis. One of India’s key pursuits is translating science into practice and helping individuals and organizations work towards environmental and social justice.

March 2022

Spotlight on Amanda Countryman
Associate Professor
Dept. of Agricultural Resource and Economics

Amanda Countryman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. Her research examines the economic implications of international trade, focusing specifically on the impacts of trade reform on agriculture. Dr. Countryman investigates issues related to trade policy, bilateral and multilateral trade partnerships, nontariff barriers to trade, trade issues related to the livestock and meat sectors, as well as trade and the environment. She teaches undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses in international trade, agribusiness, and agricultural economics, and serves as the CSU Collegiate Farm Bureau advisor. Dr. Countryman completed her B.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics and B.A. in Spanish at the University of Arizona, M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University, and Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. Prior to joining the faculty at CSU, she was an Agricultural Economist at the USDA Economic Research Service. Dr. Countryman grew up on a cotton, cattle, and alfalfa farm in Buckeye, Arizona.

March 2022

Spotlight on Ana Altares
Ph.D. Student
Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Ana is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Systems Thinking for Obesity Prevention (STOP) lab in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. She received her MS in Nutrition at CSU in 2018 and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Her master’s thesis investigated the use of community-based participatory research among youth to promote food access in a low-income neighborhood. Ana’s current research focuses on food insecurity, primarily among households above poverty in high cost-of-living regions. Ana is enthusiastic about building food environments that make nutritious foods accessible for all. As a dietitian, Ana works with clients to promote a positive relationship with food and use it as fuel for daily activities and chronic disease prevention. She enjoys spending time outside for all 300 days of Colorado sunshine, cooking, and hanging out with her dogs.

February 2022

Spotlight on Rebecca Cleary
Assistant Professor
Dept of Agricultural Resource and Economics

Rebecca Cleary is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics at CSU. She holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Wisconsin. Her work focuses on health economics, consumer behavior, and food policy. She is interested in understanding what drives consumers’ food-purchase decisions, why households do not fully adhere to nutrition recommendations, and how we can design effective policies to increase nutrition quality, particularly for households most at-risk for diet-related diseases. Dr. Cleary is also committed to undergraduate instruction and teaches the introductory course on agricultural and resource economics as well as a course on agricultural commodity marketing. As a proponent of undergraduate engagement, she has served as a judge for Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity, a contributor for Rams Read and the Signature Works program, and loves being (safely) back on campus in person.

February 2022

Spotlight on Annika Weber
Ph.D. Student
Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Annika is a second-year Ph.D. student in Food Science and Human Nutrition. After graduating from California Lutheran University with a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, she went on to complete an MSc. in Human Nutrition from The University of Sheffield. Annika’s master’s research project explored potential toxic exposure through the consumption of crops grown on contaminated soils. Here at CSU, Annika currently is part of the NSF’s Interdisciplinary Training, Education, and Research in the Food-Energy-Water Systems Program working on the development of rice bran as a nutritious food ingredient. Annika is also part of Dr. Elizabeth Ryan’s research group where she is studying the gut microbiota and metabolome changes associated with rice bran in the prevention and treatment of malnutrition. Annika grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and in her free time, loves yoga, reading in the sun, and exploring the bike paths around Fort Collins.

January 2022

Spotlight on Karen Crumbaker
Extension Agent in Agriculture and Natural Resources
CSU Larimer County Extension

Karen has been with CSU Extension since 2006 and with Larimer County Extension since 2009 as the Extension Agent in Ag/Natural Resources. One of the main focuses of her position is working with the many new landowners in Larimer County on best management practices for their small acreages. This includes pasture and grazing management, weed identification and management, and native plant identification. Three major natural disasters have occurred in Larimer County in the past 8 years and Karen has provided educational programming and resources to homeowners affected by these disasters, and conducted programs on emergency preparedness. Karen coordinates the Native Plant Master Program and Colorado Building Farmer/Ranchers program and brings radon awareness to homeowners by providing valuable information on radon and its health effects and distributing free radon test kits.

January 2022

Spotlight on Skyler Schuck
M.S. Student
Department of Agricultural Resource and Economics

Skyler is a first-year master’s student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He grew up in Oregon and completed his undergraduate studies at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA with a BA in Economics and BS in Computer Information Systems. Through Skyler’s studies and experience as an IT Technician at Cal Lutheran, he discovered his passion for using data systems to provide equitable solutions. At CSU he has been able to apply this passion to real-world problems as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI). His current research involves conducting impact analysis for the best utilization for equitable and inclusive outcomes of Colorado’s newest State Park, Fishers Peak State Park, in Trinidad, CO. He greatly enjoys his new life in Fort Collins exploring Old Town, hiking, mountain biking, and visiting extended family.

December 2021

Spotlight on Darrin Parmenter
Director and Horticulturist, CSU Extension
La Plata County

Darrin Parmenter is the County Extension Director and Horticulture Agent with CSU Extension in La Plata County. He is a Durango native and moved back in 2007 to work with CSU, with previous Extension experience at the University of Florida and Cornell University. His interests and outreach lie in gardening, food production, farming, and local food awareness and food insecurity issues. On any given day, you could probably find him at a school garden, walking a farm, or working with community members and organizations. One of his goals is to find pathways of success for beginning farmers in southwest Colorado.

December 2021

Spotlight on Ming Wang
Ph.D. Student
Department of Agricultural Resource and Economics

Ming is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at CSU. Ming obtained a BA in Agricultural and Forest Economics Management and an MA in Agricultural Economics and Management from China Agricultural University. Her previous research focused on the supply chain efficiency of the vegetable industry in China. Now she focuses on soil carbon sequestration in agricultural production under agricultural conservation policies. She also conducts research on hemp production. During her free time, she likes hiking, being outdoors, and enjoying the landscape in Colorado. She also likes practicing yoga and cooking. In the future, she hopes to continue to engage in environmental research at the university and help solve environmental and natural resource problems.

November 2021

Spotlight on Matthew Wallenstein
Associate Professor
Warner College of Natural Resources

Matthew Wallenstein is a Professor and Department Head of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University. He is a soil microbial ecologist who studies how microbes drive nutrient cycling, soil formation, and decomposition, and affect crop health and productivity. His group has elucidated novel mechanisms by which plants control the assembly of the microbiome in their rooting zone, and has shown how this affects plant fitness. After working primarily in natural systems for many years, he shifted his attention to agricultural systems with the aim of applying his expertise in soil microbiomes, nutrient cycling, and plant-microbe interactions to sustainable agriculture. He led the development and commercialization of microbial biostimulants that increase nutrient availability as the Chairman and co-founder of Growcentia, Inc.

November 2021

Spotlight on James Hale
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Sociology

James is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology, who specializes in studying the socio-cultural, community, and governance dimensions of food, agriculture, and environmental improvement efforts. He has spent time in both practitioner and research settings including working as a Peace Corps agroforestry agent in Malawi, helping spearhead alternative food projects in Colorado, and leading related research projects at Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Public Health. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Sustainability at the University of Otago where he studied social sustainability and governance in New Zealand agriculture. More recently, he has been contributing to the social dimensions of food system modeling, deploying social network analysis to study food and agriculture networks, and working on the conceptualization and operationalization of cultural capital in community development. In his free time, James enjoys hiking, cooking, camping, and music.

October 2021

Spotlight on Becca Jablonski
Associate Professor
Food Systems Extension Economist

Becca Jablonski is an Associate Professor and Food Systems Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Dr. Jablonski’s research and extension program comprise two primary areas: 1) evaluating the farm and ranch profitability impacts of sales through non-commodity markets (e.g. local food markets, farm to school programs); and, 2) assessing the community economic impacts of food system policies, investments, and programs, including strategies focused on strengthening rural-urban linkages. As part of her position she co-leads CSU’s Food Systems Initiative and the CSU’s Food Systems Extension team. Dr. Jablonski holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

October 2021

Spotlight on Ben Jaacks
M.S. Student
Department of Ecology

Ben is a Master’s Student in Food Science and Human Nutrition with a Food Science Specialization. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Ben graduated from Colorado State University in 2017 with a B.S in Fermentation Science and Technology. Since graduating he has worked in the distilled spirits industry as an operator, product developer, and packaging manager for various distilleries in Colorado and as far as Western Australia. He is returning to CSU to assist Dr. Charlene Van Buiten on her research into gliadin sequestration and its potential as a therapy for those with Celiac Disease. In the future, he hopes to work on food product development focused on plant-based and sustainable foods. In his spare time, Ben is an avid mountaineer, skier, and river runner.

September, 2021

Spotlight on Adrian Card
Extension Agent
Boulder County

Adrian Card serves as the CSU Extension Agent for Agriculture in Boulder County since 2004. He has worked in local foods in Colorado for the past 28 years as a vegetable farmer in Larimer County and as a student, instructor, and researcher at CSU. He continues that work in his current position directly with farmers, NGOs, ag value chain businesses, researchers, and public sector agencies. His Extension work focuses on cropping systems, food systems, specialty crop production, and marketing, public ag education, beginning farmer development through the Colorado Building Farmers program, ag community development, economic development, and organizational support for the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. He builds bridges to facilitate the health of farms, businesses, people, and the planet.

September, 2021

Spotlight on Laney Van
Ph.D. Student
Department of Ecology

Laney is a Ph.D. candidate in the Ecology program at CSU. Laney obtained a BA in Environmental Sustainability and Studies and an MA in Sustainable Communities from Northern Arizona University. Her previous research focused on plant-based school lunch programs throughout the U.S. and how systematic changes can help reduce the barriers to provide plant-based and plant-forward meal options to all school districts. She is very passionate about food systems, sustainability, plant-based lifestyles, and systems change. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, hiking, climbing, kayaking, hammocking, and practicing yoga. She also hopes to visit all the national parks one day. Laney hopes to become a professor in the future and help educate people about environmental issues and various solutions.

August, 2021

Spotlight on Martha Sullins
Extension Specialist
Agriculture, Business Management
and Food Systems

Martha is an Extension Specialist and affiliate in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. Her work focuses on developing tools and information to help livestock producers and fruit and vegetable growers throughout the state identify and reduce business risks. She develops and teaches business management classes, evaluates classroom and field-based educational programs targeted at beginning farmers and ranchers, and works with ag and food producers navigating food safety and business regulations, as well as those starting value-added agricultural enterprises and building new markets for their products. From policy to practices, her goal is to ensure that Colorado food and farm businesses have the ingredients to be successful!

August, 2021

Spotlight on Francesco Serafin
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Francesco is a postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University. He has his PhD in Environmental Engineering from University of Trento. His work is focused on extending cloud computing platforms with surrogate modeling capabilities, and complex networks for hydrological modeling. He is currently conducting this research at OMSLab. During his free time he enjoys all that the Colorado outdoors have to offer and spending time catching up with his friends.

July, 2021

Spotlight on Michael Carolan
Professor, Associate Dean
Department of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Michael Carolan is a Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development for the College of Liberal Arts. He is also a Visiting Professor at Ruralis Research Institute in Trondheim, Norway, and Research Affiliate at the Centre for Sustainability at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. He has been studying food systems since the late 1990s. In addition to having published over 200 articles and more than a dozen books, Michael regularly writes pieces for public audiences, which have appeared in outlets such as The Conversation, Bloomberg, Mental Floss, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Post, Popular Science, The Smithsonian Magazine, Salon, and New Food Economy. His current research projects include mapping household food mobilities, studying links between digital agriculture and rural livelihoods, understanding the rural-urban divide, examining farmer perceptions of climate change, and tracking the impacts of COVID-19 on daily household food practices.

July, 2021

Spotlight on Shuiqin Yu
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department Mechanical Engineering

Shuiqin is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Her research interests include industrial organization, information economics, and agricultural policies. In particular, she uses econometrics tools such as difference-in-difference and regression discontinuity design to evaluate the causal effect of public policy programs. She has also participated in the design, distribution, and analysis of research surveys. She is working on a choice experiment to design a water nutrient management policy to better serve farmers and agriculture in Colorado. Shuiqin likes to read economics papers, conduct economic analyses, and write research papers. In Shuiqin’s spare time, she likes hiking, mountain biking, playing tennis, and cooking healthy and delicious food.

June, 2021

Spotlight on Ryan Rhoades
Associate Professor
Department of Animal Sciences

Dr. Rhoades is an Associate Professor and Beef Extension Specialist at Colorado State University. Previously, Ryan spent six years as a faculty member at the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management in Kingsville, TX. Ryan received a Ph.D. in Beef Cattle Production at Texas A&M University. In his current position, Ryan is responsible for developing, prioritizing, and implementing innovative statewide beef extension programs based on Colorado beef industry needs. He also works closely with several state and national beef industry organizations to assist with strategic planning and the development of producer training tools. Ryan, his wife Jacqueline, and three children (Ryder, Raegan, and Roxie) live in Wellington, CO where they own/operate a small direct-to-consumer beef business, Elevation Beef.

June, 2021

Spotlight on Jaiver Antonanzas
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department Mechanical Engineering

Javier Antonanzas is a postdoctoral researcher focused on sustainability studies of food and energy production systems. He applies life cycle assessment techniques to understand the carbon footprint of diverse areas such as cereal farming, poultry and dairy industries, natural gas production and transmission systems, and solar energy. He is very passionate about sustainability and tries to transmit this passion to students in the sustainable energy courses that he teaches at CSU. Outside of work, he spends his free time climbing and running in the mountains.

May, 2021

Spotlight on Lorann Stallones
Professor, Department of Psychology
Deputy Director, High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Safety and Health

Lorann is an epidemiologist who has studied the health and safety of farmers, their families, and farm workers for over three decades. She has studied acute traumatic injuries and risk factors associated with those injuries, the role of pesticide exposures in mental disorders and suicide, stress among farming populations, and worked on designing prevention programs to reduce injury risk among youth working on farms. She has worked with colleagues in China, Costa Rica, Iran, New Zealand, and South Africa on agricultural safety and health issues. Recently, she worked with an interdisciplinary team addressing the role of euthanasia as a stressor for workers in dairy and swine production. She recently became a grandmother for the first time to a beautiful baby boy named Cedar. When she is not working at CSU, she is a member of the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers, and loves weaving and reading.

May, 2021

Spotlight on Agustín Nuñez
Ph.D. Student
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

Agustín’s current research focus is soil quality changes during the transition from irrigated to dryland cropping systems in the Ogallala Aquifer Region. Due to declining levels of available water, conversion from irrigated to dryland cropping systems is increasing in some areas of the Ogallala Aquifer Region, one of the most important aquifers in the world. In general, irrigated cropping systems yield more and have more soil organic carbon than dryland cropping systems. However, little is known about the evolution of soil quality after conversion from irrigation to dryland and the effect of soil quality on crop production during this transition. Results will help to understand the interaction between water management, soil health and crop production and identify the best cropping system management practices to improve water use efficiency.

November, 2019

Spotlight on Jason Quinn
Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering

Jason Quinn is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University. Dr. Quinn’s current work focuses on understanding the environmental impact and economic viability of various technologies.

December, 2019

Spotlight on Joshua Berning
Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Joshua Berning is an Associate Professor in DARE whose research has largely focused on examining food marketing, consumer demand for food and nutrition, and consumer health outcomes. More recently, he has been developing research on the beer industry and examining food insecurity for at-risk populations.

December, 2019

Spotlight on Hailey Summers
PhD Candidate

Hailey Summers  is a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering and her research is focused on quantifying the sustainability of agriculture, bio-processing and food-related systems through life cycle and techno-economic assessments. She is interested in understanding environmental and economic trade-offs within individual systems, as well as improving the process efficiency of existing product pathways and supply chains

January, 2020

Spotlight on Alessandro Bonanno
Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Alessandro’s research applies economics tools to the analysis of policies affecting food systems. Some of his interdisciplinary food systems work has focused on addressing access issues for consumers in the Northeastern US, the effectiveness of Farm to School policies and the analysis of the linkages between institutional procurement and healthy eating.

January, 2020

Spotlight on Shelby McClelland
Ph.D. Student
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
Prior to arriving at CSU, Shelby worked as a research associate with the University of California Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center in Northern California studying the invasive annual grass Taeniatherum caput-medusae in Californian range lands. For the last two years she has researched enteric methane and agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the Environmental Defense Fund. Shelby is currently researching soil carbon and GHG emissions in organic agriculture production systems. She is particularly focused on three key organic-oriented practices: cover crops, manure and organic amendments, and plant-soil impacts of management intensive grazing. Results of this work will be integrated into the COMET-Farm and Cool Farm Tool to improve GHG decision-support for farmers.

February, 2020

Spotlight on Ragan Adams
Veterinary Extension Specialist
Department of Clinical Science, CVMBS

Ragan Adams, MA, DVM, is a CSU Extension Specialist in the Department of Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She often remarks ”livestock’s not lettuce” as a reminder that animal production comes with different challenges than plant-based production. A veterinarian for many years, her passion is helping to improve the health and welfare of both animals and their caretakers to strengthen the quality and resilience of our food system.

February, 2020

Spotlight on Regan Gilmore
M.S. Student
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Regan’s research interests lie in the broad scope of sustainable agriculture and food systems. Within this area, she enjoys studying local and organic markets, consumer behavior, food access and security, and sustainable consumption and production. As an undergraduate, she researched the U.S. market implications of a CO2-equivalent tax on meat consumption and statistically analyzed producer adoption of conservation practices in conventional Nebraska and Iowa agriculture. Regan also served as president of UNL’s Student Organic Farm and has worked with Nebraska Extension and local farms. She’s thrilled to be a part of this team working to improve our food systems for all.

March, 2020

Spotlight on Megan Mueller
Assistant Professor
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Megan Mueller is an Assistant Professor in the   Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition   at   Colorado State University. Her research is focused on obesity prevention in children, parents, and young adults, with an emphasis on restaurants and the food environment. Megan received her Ph.D. in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from the   Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy   at Tufts University in 2017. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in   Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health   in 2019.

March, 2020

Spotlight on Eddie Welsh
M.S. Student
Department of Political Science

As a Masters of Political Science candidate, Eddie’s thesis tracks the coevolution of agri-food (large and small scale) with the diets, health, and overall lifestyles of not just consumers, but individuals in the production of food also. By focusing on the historic, political economy of food industries, insight into its relationship with our broader society can be drawn. He received a bachelor’s degree in history and in political science from Colorado State University in 2017 and is a Colorado native.

April, 2020

Spotlight on Nathan Mueller
Assistant Professor
De partment of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Nathan Mueller is an Assistant Professor in the  Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability  and the  Department of Soil and Crop Sciences  at Colorado State University. Nathan’s research analyzes agricultural sustainability and the impacts of climate change using geospatial data and models. Current projects are examining the impacts of changing snowmelt water resources on irrigation and mechanisms of climate change adaptation. Nathan received his B.A. from St. Olaf College and his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.

April, 2020

Spotlight on Chelsea Didinger
Ph.D. Student
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Chelsea has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from UC San Diego and a Master’s degree in Biology from Seoul National University. She is adopting a translational, interdisciplinary approach for her PhD research on beans, using laboratory work to answer key questions that will inform the development of outreach materials. She thinks it is critical to integrate dissemination into research plans, and she is preparing for a career with Extension. Chelsea also helps coordinate the Food Systems webinars.

May, 2020

Spotlight on Erin Love
M.S. Student
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Erin loves being part of the CSU food systems team! Her interest in food systems and agriculture began in college when she worked on a ranch in Arkansas for a summer. She continued to learn about various food systems after college, living on a small fishing island in Maine for two years and studying seaweed aquaculture as an income diversification strategy for lobstermen. Then she worked for the YMCA Nutrition Department running their after-school and summer meal programs in the mountains of western North Carolina before moving to Fort Collins. Her research interests include food systems as a mechanism for economic development, particularly in rural areas, supply chains, and, of course, potatoes! In her free time, Erin enjoys cooking adventurously, going to bluegrass shows, brewing beer, playing frisbee, snuggling her (very unimpressed) cat, and hiking and running the local trails.

June, 2020

Spotlight on Miranda Ulmer
Viticulture Extension Specialist
CSU Extension

Miranda began working for Extension in June 2019 where she pioneered CSU’s very first Viticulture Extension program based out of Grand Junction. Viticulture is the science of grape growing. Her interest in viticulture comes from her love of food (& wine) and her passion for the environment. Miranda recently graduated from Oregon State University where she studied different pruning techniques for Pinot noir wine grapes and their effect on grapevine bud fruitfulness. She looks forward to addressing the challenges faced by grape growers across the state of Colorado, namely cold hardiness and phylloxera, an aphid-like insect that feeds on grapevine roots. You can find Miranda conducting site visits for beginning and experienced growers in vineyards of all sizes. Another important aspect of her work involves relaying research-based information, such as which varieties grow best in Colorado and which management practices are most suited to our conditions. She looks forward to getting more involved with the Food Systems team!

June, 2020

Spotlight on Azmal Hossan
Ph.D. Student
Department of Sociology

Azmal’s research interest is the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus and its climate change implications. As a national research trainee of InTERFEWS at CSU, he is particularly interested in how climate change affects food security amidst the growing scarcity of irrigation water in the Global South. His interest in food security comes from his MA thesis where he examined how the underlying connections between climate change and household characteristics influence women’s nutritional status in Bangladesh. Currently Azmal is engaged with different multidisciplinary research groups covering food justice in the US prison system, implications of the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) for Colorado’s food system, the COVID-19 pandemic and food security, climate change resilience of indigenous, rural and vulnerable communities in the South-central region of the USA, and climate gentrification and socio-environmental justice.

July, 2020

Spotlight on Alexandra Hill
Assistant Professor
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Alexandra Hill is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. Her primary research and teaching areas include economic productivity, agricultural labor economics, agricultural business management, and econometrics. Her current research revolves around understanding the factors that affect worker productivity and labor supply, including wage contracts and peer effects, welfare program participation, non-pecuniary benefits, pollution and weather, and specialty certifications; measuring effects from agricultural policy changes, in particular how agricultural sales tax exemptions affect producer spending, profits, and productivity; and modeling producer and retailer behavior under contracts written for quantity and quality.

July, 2020

Spotlight on Hailey Simpson
M.S. Student
Department of Animal Sciences

Currently, Hailey is researching worker perspectives in livestock operations in order to better working environments, training methods, and animal welfare. While she doesn’t have a farming background, she received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University, where she engaged in community agriculture outreach and worked at 4-H events in the area. Previously, Hailey spent time teaching children about livestock handling and animal agriculture systems across the US. At CSU she is assisting on a variety of projects in the Department of Animal Sciences, ranging from equine behavior to animal handling. She is very excited to reach out to communities to help them grow fresh produce and raise livestock in order to attain a nutritious and balanced food supply.