The purpose of this course is to expose students to the broad context of agriculture and the critical issues facing the industry. The course will be taught primarily by requiring students to seek information online, and from other sources on topics (issues) posed to them by the instructor.
Topics will include, but are not limited to, genetic engineering, food safety, ethics in animal agriculture, leadership, minority influences in the West, environmental issues such as endangered species and water, and other emerging issues. The course is intended to provide students with an appreciation of the divergent viewpoints of the stakeholders involved in the many issues confronting agriculture in Colorado and the region.
Credit not allowed for both AGRI 300 (Issues in Agriculture) and AGRI 500.
Dr. Brett Kirch grew up on a small farm in the Nebraska Panhandle close to Lewellen, Nebraska. Brett received his B.S. in animal science from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and worked as an Extension aide in Garden County, Nebraska, during those years. He attended Kansas State University for an M.S. in ruminant nutrition where he was introduced to the forage-animal interface through his research project. Brett completed a Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in range and forage sciences working jointly between the agronomy and animal science departments in evaluating escape protein in grazed warm-season grasses. Following graduation, Brett took a position with Iowa State University as a regional extension beef specialist in west-central Iowa working in beef, sheep, and horse programming.
Brett’s career took a slight change in direction when he was accepted and graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University, with clinical equine rotations at the University of California-Davis.
Brett’s return to research was as a result of a unique post-doctoral position with USDA-ARS Forage-Animal Production Research Unit on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. His work in Kentucky allowed the unique opportunity to marry his interests in veterinary medicine, forages, and nutrition.
In 2008, Brett became the head of the Youth Livestock Extension program and research at Colorado State University. His research programs continue to look at the health, production, and nutritional aspects of the forage-animal interface.