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ENRICH-0020 – Curr Iss: US Agriculture (ENRICH-0020_USAG)

US Agriculture: The Complex Issues Facing Farming and Ranching

In Colorado alone, agriculture is a $6- to $7-billion-per-year industry. Factoring in processing, distribution, retailing and food service activities, that sum reaches more than $13 billion. In fact, agriculture and food systems total 15 to 20 percent of our state’s economy and, nationwide, food and agriculture represent 11 percent of all employment. Yet very few of us truly understand this increasingly complex industry, which faces the daunting task of feeding our nation’s (and the world’s) growing population. Professor Dawn Thilmany of CSU’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics explains the complex processes that bring food from a farm (or ranch) to your grocery store.

Consider the evolution of agricultural methods in recent years. What are the major components of the food supply chain and what challenges does it face? How will the industry cope with an aging farmer demographic? Discuss how the ranching and agricultural lifestyles that helped settle Colorado now contribute to Colorado’s quality of life, including food production, natural management, tourism and rural development. Next, explore public attitudes and how they affect the ways that foods are grown, the laws that govern the industry, and why our trust (or lack thereof) impacts farmers’ everyday choices. Another discussion will take a broad look at the agriculture economy. Where are U.S. food dollars going and how are households changing the ways they participate in food markets? Which market niches are growing and what are some of the motivations behind these markets? What role do food labels and other information on food play in the marketplace? Conclude the course with guest speakers Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association, and Jason Condon, owner/operator of Isabelle Farm, who will discuss the long heritage of ranching and farming and offer insights into the future of the industry. Come away with a renewed appreciation for the people and processes that help put food on your table!

Four sessions
Mon., 6:30-8:30 pm, Nov. 6, 13, 20, 27, 2017
Location: Room 186, Sturm Hall, DU campus

Dawn Thilmany is a professor and extension economist in CSU’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. She studies agribusiness management and market analysis, particularly for sustainable markets and small to mid-size farms, as well as analysis to support community economic development, labor markets and food policy.
Course Details
Location: DU Main CampusMode of Study: In-personPlaces Left: 32Waitlist Places Left: 10Fee: $175


Days of the WeekStart DateEnd DateTimeVenueInstructor
Monday6th November 201727th November 201706:30PM - 08:30PMSturm HallDawn Thilmany