From the food we eat to the clothes we wear, agriculture is an essential science that needs strong innovators and entrepreneurs working together to meet the demands of our growing global population.
Since its inception, Colorado State University (CSU) has always had strong ties to agricultural studies. The College of Agricultural Sciences’ home, the Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building, required a dynamic expansion and renovation to ensure it can further its mission and empower new generations of students. Driven by the university's land grant legacy, the design for this revitalization both honors the original 1938 building and creates a much-needed home for all the departments, providing a modern space that embodies CSU’s mission and will allow it to advance in a changing future.
In 2020, Nutrien—the world’s largest provider of crop nutrients, inputs and services—announced it would provide CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences $1 million each year over the next 10 years. The largest donation the college had ever received at the time, the gift funds state-of-the-art research and teaching initiatives on campus, along with scholarship support to students, elevating CSU into a position of leadership in developing a diverse, highly skilled agricultural workforce. Nutrien currently employs more than 600 CSU alumni, so the partnership will only strengthen current relationships.
We need places where the next generation of agricultural advocates can grow and thrive, personally and professionally. We need a workforce with diverse backgrounds and lived experiences. This building is a place where we can do that, and we can also have important conversations and build positive momentum around sustainable agriculture, innovation, diversity, equity and inclusion.Brent Smith Vice President of Marketing and Innovation at Nutrien
All classrooms are designed with student success in mind. Flexible classrooms can adapt to many inclusive teaching and learning styles and can also support remote learning. An addition on the south of the building includes a 160-seat, in-the-round auditorium along with a student-focused “mall” that creates “storefronts” to many key programmatic features such as the Student Success Center, the café/coffee shop, a 90-seat classroom and an “Innovation Gym”—a flexible, collaboration-focused space ready for diverse uses.
As agriculture faces a critical moment amid global supply chain, food insecurity and geopolitical issues, buildings like this play a vital role in creating a better future.
The third-floor features three teaching labs that host soil science, plant pathology and entomology. The five labs encourage collaboration between researchers, faculty and students. Running along the walkway leading out to the roof, a specimen lab is designed to display current research. A green roof provides an inviting respite as well as sustainability benefits of rainwater absorption and insulation, while doubling as an outdoor “lab” to conduct research.