By Tony Phifer
Colorado State University
Colorado State University and Nutrien, the world’s largest provider of crop nutrients, inputs and services, have entered into a strategic partnership with a primary goal: feeding the world in the most sustainable, inclusive and innovative way.
Nutrien is providing CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences $1 million each year over the next 10 years. This $10 million gift will fund state-of-the-art research and teaching initiatives on campus and provide scholarship support to students, elevating CSU into a position of leadership in developing a diverse, highly skilled agricultural workforce and boosting Nutrien’s ability to deliver industry-leading products.
“We are grateful for this incredible support from Nutrien,” CSU President Joyce McConnell said. “Both Nutrien and CSU share a vision of using high-tech agriculture to help sustainably feed the world. We face immense challenges to accomplish this task, and it is through improved research capabilities and training more students to bring their innovative ideas forward that CSU will make a bigger impact on the future.”
Nutrien, a global company with offices not far from campus in Loveland, Colorado, has been providing crop inputs and expert agronomic services for more than 50 years. The company has operations and investments in 14 countries and 20,000 employees, including more than 600 CSU alumni.
Mike Frank, Executive Vice President and CEO of Retail at Nutrien, said studying strategic plans put together by CSU and the College of Agricultural Sciences that look 10 years into the future inspired his company to seek a partnership with the University. He said CSU’s commitment to sustainability, diversity and inclusion, global research, and high-tech agriculture perfectly fit with Nutrien’s vision.
“We’re extremely excited about our partnership with CSU – the University itself and in particular the College of Agricultural Sciences,” Frank said. “When we talk to CSU and the folks in the ag school about their strategic vision, it really aligns with what we’re doing.
“We have an incredible responsibility and opportunity in agriculture to feed a growing population around the world. The American farmers have embraced that, and the programs and research at CSU and the tools and knowledge that CSU imparts to its students really fits with where agriculture is going.”
A rendering of the Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building at CSU.
Nutrien’s gift – the largest in the College of Agricultural Sciences’ history – will impact the college in numerous areas:
- Scholarships for students in the college, focusing on education and success of women and students from diverse backgrounds.
- Program enhancements to help students become career-ready in the field of agriculture, and ensuring they persist in their studies through graduation and placement in the industry.
- Funding to attract top talent in the application of technology to agricultural problems including food safety, security and sustainability.
- Sponsorship of high-impact engagement and educational events at the nexus of technology, innovation and agriculture, such as CSU’s AgInnovation Summit.
- Sponsorship of the Nutrien Ag Day BBQ each fall, held annually to coincide with a home football game.
In recognition of this transformational gift, the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Shepardson Building will be renamed the Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building. This building is undergoing a radical remodel of its 1938 structure and a 41,000-square-foot expansion with funds from the State of Colorado and CSU. The Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building will house the impactful programs and people supported by the Nutrien gift, and the building will become a home for Colorado agriculture, student aspirations and agricultural innovation for a global impact.
“We have a long-term vision in mind and a partner (Nutrien) who wants to be part of that, which is tremendously exciting,” said James Pritchett, interim dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “I’m especially excited for our students. Nutrien’s gift is transformational for attracting, retaining and placing talent in agriculture. Students respond with enthusiasm and boundless energy when we show our confidence in their future, and that is exactly what this gift does. Our students will be working in state-of-the-art facilities, and that means we will be teaching and they will be learning better. We invite all to come to the table and be partners in this future vision.”
The college has more than 120 faculty and more than 2,200 undergraduate student majors and minors – 65 percent of them female – plus 298 graduate students. Nearly 30% of agricultural sciences students are the first in their family to attend college.
Nutrien is the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services, playing a critical role in helping growers increase food production in a sustainable manner. Nutrien produces and distributes 27 million tons of potash, nitrogen and phosphate products worldwide. With this capability and the leading agriculture retail network, Nutrien is well positioned to supply the needs of its customers. Nutrien operates with a long-term view and is committed to working with stakeholders to address economic, environmental and social priorities. The scale and diversity of Nutrien’s integrated portfolio provides a stable earnings base, multiple avenues for growth and the opportunity to return capital to shareholders.
About State Your Purpose
The Campaign for Colorado State University: The University’s first $1 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign has attracted transformative philanthropic support for people, programs and places at CSU. The campaign surpassed its original goal 21 months ahead of schedule and continues through June 2020, coinciding with the conclusion of a yearlong celebration of CSU’s 150th anniversary. Read more about the campaign’s impact at giving.colostate.edu.