Thanks to a substantial gift from one of the world’s leading global food companies, JBS® USA, Colorado State University has begun construction on the JBS Global Food Innovation Center in Honor of Gary & Kay Smith, a new $20 million facility that will advance best practices in food safety, meat sciences and animal handling and welfare.
The state-of-the-art facility will enrich CSU’s teaching and research in meat sciences, as well as offer a space for industry collaboration through continuing education and training, equipment development and testing, and a place to engage in meaningful dialogue to advance the animal agriculture industry. Students will learn about meat processing in a hands-on environment that is not currently available in existing CSU facilities.
JBS has entered into a strategic partnership with Colorado State University that is currently valued at $12.5 million. This unique partnership includes a $7.5 million philanthropic contribution to build the JBS Global Food Innovation Center at the university and an employee educational programming investment valued at $5 million.
Long-standing research and academic partnership
“We have had a long-standing research and academic partnership with JBS, and this gift will allow us to cement that relationship for years to come,” said Ajay Menon, dean of CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences. “This facility is designed to provide our students with the hands-on experiences that will position them for careers in industry and academia, especially as they work alongside faculty members who are producing innovations in food safety, food security, and animal welfare.”
“The JBS gift to Colorado State University is an investment in the future competitiveness of food and farming in the state of Colorado and across the United States,” said Wesley Batista, Global CEO of JBS. “JBS is a people-focused company, which means that empowering and creating opportunities for young people is at the heart of our culture. We envision this facility as a place that will allow the best and brightest CSU students to innovate, discover and explore as they prepare for future careers in the industry.”
Gary and Kay Smith
Professor Emeritus Gary Smith, who, along with his late wife Kay, are honored in the naming of the building, held one of CSU’s oldest endowed chairs, the Monfort Chair, and spent more than 20 years as a professor in CSU’s Department of Animal Sciences. Smith, a world-renowned expert in meat science and food safety, is a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus and serves as a visiting professor of animal sciences and special advisor to CSU President Tony Frank. The agricultural industry has long relied on Smith’s expertise and innovations in food safety.
For decades, CSU’s Meat Sciences program has played a leading role in advising industry and producing innovations that have helped ensure meat products are safe and secure. For example, the new facility will have spaces dedicated to testing packaging and developing food products, reflecting the fact that ready-to-eat foods and packaging is a growing area within the meat industry. Additionally, the new building will have a culinary kitchen and demonstration area as well as a retail meat and dairy store with a café.
The facility will also include an educational space designed by CSU professor Temple Grandin, where students will learn about animal handling and welfare in a hands-on setting. Led by Grandin, a world-renowned professor of animal sciences and animal welfare expert, CSU has played a leading role in enhancements to animal handling and well-being.
Training the next generation of dynamic food and agricultural leaders
“Many of our most promising young team members come to JBS from Colorado State University,” said Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA. “While we enjoy a global presence, the location of our North American headquarters in Greeley makes Colorado a special place for our company. The innovation and education that will take place in this new facility will help to train the next generation of dynamic food and agricultural leaders in Colorado and across the nation.”
“This remarkable gift solidifies the longstanding partnership that CSU and JBS have built over the years,” said Brett Anderson, vice president for University Advancement. “It helps us create a platform to deliver the world’s leading science and education in food, food systems, and food safety. It allows CSU to continue to pursue excellence and innovation in agriculture and prepare future industry leaders.”
About JBS® USA
JBS® USA is a leading global food company with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australia. JBS USA processes and sells fresh, branded and consumer-ready beef, pork and lamb products to consumers all around the world. JBS is also a majority shareholder of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, the second largest poultry company in the U.S., with operations in the U.S. and Mexico. JBS USA is also the world’s largest cattle feeder and a leading producer of leather and other significant animal by-products.
JBS USA represents the North American arm of JBS® S.A., the world’s leading animal protein processor and second largest global food company, with more than 235,000 team members, more than 300 production units, and export customers in more than 150 countries.
About Colorado State University
Colorado State University, one of the nation’s top-performing public research institutes, was established in 1870 and remains inspired by its land-grant heritage and world-class faculty, staff and students. With annual research expenditures of more than $300 million, with more than 33,000 students built on multiple, consecutive years of record enrollment, including more Colorado high school graduates than any other university, and with outreach and engagement programs in every county in Colorado, we serve our state as we seek, together, to make a global difference. Alumni and friends gave nearly $200 million in gifts to CSU in 2016, shattering the record for any single campus in the state. In 2015, the Smithsonian Institution featured Fort Collins and CSU as a hub for energy innovation in an exhibit at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. CSU also in 2016 became the proud academic partner of Semester at Sea.
The Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University is housed within the College of Agricultural Sciences and has the unique mission of serving Colorado’s large and diverse livestock industries. Research, teaching and extension outreach activities in the department focus on developing industry leaders and improving profitable production of horses and food animals through the application of science and technology, resource management and food product enhancement, with emphasis on addressing societal issues concerning food safety, product quality and value, animal care and management, and environmental impacts of animal agriculture.