Colorado State University will establish satellite campuses in Orchard Mesa and Rocky Ford as a way to improve access to the university’s research, extension and other services.
The CSU Western Campus will be located at the university’s existing facility in Orchard Mesa, while an existing center in Rocky Ford will house the CSU High Plains Campus. The campuses will include new and revamped facilities that will provide better access to CSU’s agricultural and natural-resources research, extension, engagement, veterinary diagnostics and the Colorado State Forest Service.
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“Our goal is to better serve our constituents in eastern Colorado and on the Western Slope,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station, in a prepared statement. “These centers will ensure that our programs are more effective by pulling together our various areas of expertise and being much more efficient by putting our resources together to meet the needs of our local communities.”
The CSU Western Campus will provide administrative oversight and intellectual leadership for CSU’s agricultural experiment stations throughout western Colorado. Orchard Mesa will also house the CSU Extension western region office, the regional Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and the regional Colorado State Forest Service office. The Rogers Mesa site near Hotchkiss will also be revamped and reopened.
The CSU Western Campus will see $9.7 million in site improvements and investments to facilities, including two new buildings: a $3 million Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and a $5 million Research and Engagement Building. The Research and Engagement Building will include office space, two conference rooms and a seminar room, and a commercial kitchen for engagement and Extension education.
The CSU High Plains Campus will serve the eastern plains from its home in Rocky Ford. The campus will house the regional Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, CSU Extension Southeastern Colorado regional personnel, and Otero County Extension personnel. The High Plains Campus will be the administrative home and intellectual leadership center for the agricultural experiment stations in the High Plains, including optimizing crop production systems, novel horticultural crop development, agricultural water efficiency and agricultural water quality research.
“CSU has a strong commitment to agriculture across the state, and this is a testament to that commitment,” said CSU president Tony Frank. “The support of our state legislators and county commissioners has been remarkable and crucial to making these CSU centers a reality. We are extremely grateful for their innovative engagement in coming up with ways to best to use these facilities to really serve producers and the community.”