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Ag Conference comes to Monte Vista

Posted: Thursday, Feb 7th, 2013

Vendors and agricultural service providers such as, Eric Kimberling with Rio Grande Commodities have set up booths at the Agriculture Conference.

MONTE VISTA—Talks about food chemistry, emerging continuing disease issues and especially how all of those topics relate to the growth and storage of Russet Rio Grande variety potatoes in the San Luis Valley were the opening presentations by Extension Specialist and Post Harvest Physiologist Sastry Jayanty, and Extension Seed Potato Specialist Rob Davidson of the Colorado State University Extension and the SLVRC, Center, at the Southern Rocky Mountain Conference and Trade Fair at the Ski-Hi Park in Monte Vista Tuesday morning.

About 120 attended the initial speeches where Lee Sommers, retiring CSU Ag Experiment Station director said, “We’re programmed to speak for about 50 minutes,” as college professors.

He spoke on “CSU’s Status Now and in the Future,” summarizing the accomplishments of research stations of the school over the past 15 years and presenting statistics outlining a difficult funding future, especially in the next eight years.

In giving perspective on the future through 2020 he said, “The basic reason for tuition increase is because state funding for higher education in constant dollars has declined in the last 15 years.” Given the problem that “Tuition for a typical student was $7,020 for 2011” he outlined the following CSU approach to the decrease of state support:

• Increase enrollment 8,000 by 2020

• Maintain access to Colorado residents

• Increase international students

• Increase out-of-state numbers via recruiting

• Replace state funds for AES and the Extension

He also detailed an effort to help ensure the future of what he said is beneficial agricultural research through efforts in Washington, D.C. through local advisors working with a national organization, CARET, or Council for Agricultural Research and Extension and Teaching. The first such marketing effort will be done by the end of February, Sommers said.

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