Gov. Hickenlooper, Mayor Hancock headline Ag Summit

Colorado State University has added two more high-profile speakers to its “Advancing the Agriculture Economy Through Innovation” summit – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock will deliver keynote addresses on Thursday, March 19, at the Lory Student Center on the CSU campus.

The summit, co-presented by CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Office of Engagement, will run March 18-20 and will feature industry leaders, CSU scholars and government officials.

Champions of innovation

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

“We are delighted that both Gov. Hickenlooper and Mayor Hancock will join us on Thursday,” said Craig Beyrouty, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at CSU. “Gov. Hickenlooper was instrumental in convincing Ardent Mills to come to Colorado, and Mayor Hancock’s leadership has been instrumental in transforming Denver’s tech industry, expansion of the airport, and the effort to reimagine the National Western Center – an effort that includes CSU as a key partner.”

Hickenlooper has championed innovation on a number of fronts since taking office in 2011, including education reform and a balanced approach to energy policies, as well as cultivating a diverse network of global innovation leaders through the development of the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN). The governor’s Bottom Up Economic Development plan and Colorado Blueprint helped to spawn the agricultural innovation that the summit will showcase.

‘Vital economic driver’

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock

“Colorado State University is proud to be a strong partner with our state’s agricultural community, and this summit reflects that commitment,” said CSU President Tony Frank. “As our state has emerged from the recession, agriculture has also emerged as an even stronger and more vital economic driver for Colorado. The challenge we face now is to identify the growing and evolving innovation trends that will influence the industry going forward – and explore how we can effectively meet those challenges in the years to come.”

The vision for the new National Western Center in Denver, developed in partnership with Mayor Hancock’s office, includes a year-round campus that will promote innovative partnerships, research, and education addressing a number of agricultural issues including feeding a growing global population, providing safe and secure water, and food systems’ energy use and environmental impacts.

Industry leaders featured

The summit will feature speakers from leading companies including IBM, JBS USA, Keurig Green Mountain, Leprino Foods and MAD Greens.

The Advancing the Agriculture Economy Through Innovation summit is produced in partnership with the CSU Offices of the President, Provost, Vice President for Research, Vice President for External Relations and College of Business. It is supported by the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN), Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and a cooperative of industry partners.

Registration available now

For more information on the summit or to register, visit