Sitting in the shadow of the stunning Colorado Rocky Mountains in Fort Collins, Colo. is Colorado State University, with a current enrollment of 33,877 students. While tradition runs deep at Colorado State University, founded in 1870 as Colorado’s land grant institution, innovation is a constant driving force throughout the College of Agricultural Sciences. The JBS Global Food Innovation Center in honor of Gary and Kay Smith is among the most recently completed projects in a modern building boom that has spanned a decade and has transformed Colorado State University with nearly $1.5 billion in new and upgraded facilities for teaching, research, student housing, and engagement.  The Center is a critical new asset building on the legacy of CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences Animal Sciences department.

A new, beautifully renovated Animal Sciences building in 2014 overlooking the Monfort Quadrangle was certainly an upgrade for the department, but more recently, the addition of the state-of-the-art JBS Global Food Innovation Center in Honor of Gary and Kay Smith brings the land-grant mission of CSU into the 21st century and beyond. The center officially opened in April 2019 and is the new hub for all things Animal Science at CSU. At its heart, the new building is a teaching, demonstration and research facility, where students in the Animal Sciences department get hands-on learning experience within fields of meat safety and quality, animal well- being, meat processing, meat chemistry, product development, sensory evaluation, culinary science, as well as other concentrations.

Burgers that eschew traditional meats are proliferating in both supermarkets and foodservice locations with the newer options including cellular and high-tech non-animal elements.

“The center will provide our students with 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,” notes College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Ajay Menon. 

Innovation runs through the entire center, from its LEED certification to its industry-leading methods of handling livestock designed by Dr. Temple Grandin, including harvest, fabrication further processing, and ready-to-eat packaging rooms to multiple demonstration and teaching kitchens. The building will also house the student-run Ram Country Meats—the retail side of the department’s food processing/development lab—inside the “Where Food Comes From” market.

“The addition of the ‘Where Food Comes From Market’ will allow our students to offer an increased variety of meat products in a modern retail setting and to better interact with customers,” explains Dr. Bob Delmore, director of undergraduate programs for the department. “We’re excited to have this facility as part of the JBS Global Food Innovation Center in Honor of Gary and Kay Smith.”

This June, the Animal Science Department Center for Meat Safety & Quality along with JBS will co-host the American Meat Science Association’s 72nd annual Reciprocal Meat Conference highlighting the JBS Global Food Innovation Center. This gathering of nearly 900 meat scientists will include topics ranging from “Innovation at the Cellular Level” to “Farm to Fork Bacterial Resistance” to “Enhancing the Competitiveness and Value of U.S. Beef.”

More information on Colorado State University program can be found online at: