Colorado State University Brings Agriculture and Veterinary Education to Downtown Denver | Subscriber content


The interior glass walls of the Vida building, which opened on Friday at Colorado State University’s new downtown campus, gives urban youth a clear view of a future career in agriculture or veterinary medicine.

Vida, which means “life” in Spanish, is the first of three buildings on the Spur campus. The Terra and Hydro buildings will arrive later this year. Officials describe it as a “free year-round educational public destination in Denver focused on engaging students, families and visitors from Kindergarten to Grade 12 around food, water and health. “.

A horse mural on the wall of the new Vida building on the CSU Spur campus at the National Western Center, next to I-70 and Brighton Boulevard. The building includes the Temple Grandin Equine Center.

The campus is located on the grounds of the National Western Center Authority, off I-70 and Brighton Boulevard. The authority was established in 2015 with an agreement between the Western Stock Show Association – which hosts the National Western Stock Show – the Colorado State University System and the City and County of Denver. He oversees the land that makes up the National Western Center complex and the Denver Coliseum. And now the CSU Spur Campus.

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Vida includes the Temple Grandin Equine Center’s equine assistance services program – where people receive therapy while working with horses as well as sports medicine and therapy for the horses themselves. It also has a subsidized Denver Dumb Friends League veterinary hospital for those who cannot afford pet surgeries.

Visitors will be up close and personal as both facilities have glass walls so that surgeries and therapy sessions are in sight.

“It’s right in the heart of downtown Denver,” said Adam Daurio, director of the Temple Grandin Equine Center. “There is no limit to what we can now bring to the urban population, especially urban youth. “

Jocelyn Hittle, deputy vice chancellor of CSU Spur, said the name has three meanings: in a nod to Western heritage, cowboys use a spur on their boots; the site was once a railway branch line, a side track used for loading and unloading trains; and it is also a verb.

CSU Spur campus Vida building

A worker completes the installation of an interactive cat statue in the lobby of the new Vida building on the CSU Spur campus at the National Western Center, off I-70 and Brighton Boulevard.

“We want to spur creativity, spur innovation and inspire people to think about careers they might not have,” Hittle said. “We want learners of all ages to contribute to the major global challenges of food, water and health. “

CSU had been looking for a way to have a presence in downtown Denver for years, she said. It will include research labs, classrooms and programs engaging directly with the community and neighborhoods in the region.

“We are really determined to listen to our neighbors and respond to what they ask of us,” Hittle said. “We are delighted to welcome the public through our doors.

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Dr Apryl Steele, president and CEO of the Denver Dumb Friends League, said the new veterinary hospital will help reduce demand at the League veterinary hospital in Yuma.

“It’s only for people who can’t afford emergency care for their pets,” Steele said. “At Yuma, we have people lining up at 4 am to get one of the slots. Often at 8 am we have all the animals we can serve. It is fully subsidized and no one is turned down for inability to pay.

The partnership with CSU will also make Vida Hospital a training and education center.

“We try to engage a diversity of different people in animal welfare in medicine,” she said. “A big part of what we’re going to do is attract downtown youth and show them what this career path looks like. … There is a massive shortage of vets right now.

CSU Spur campus Vida building

A CSU Spur campus sign on the new Vida building on the CSU Spur campus at the National Western Center, next to I-70 and Brighton Boulevard.

Surgeons will speak to the public and answer questions. Senior veterinary students from CSU will do two-week rotations there.

“With this partnership with CSU, the reach is pretty amazing,” she said. “Most animal welfare organizations couldn’t even imagine a spectacular partnership like this. “

It will also have a community center with resources like leashes, collars, and education on how to care for pets.

Regarding the equine center, Daurio said the educational goals are the same.

“We take this urban population and now we see it as a bridge to teach them about rural life,” said Daurio. “We do it in a scientific and scientific way. It’s not that we’re just teaching them old-fashioned farming. We teach them the science behind innovation in food and water and natural resources and how animals can be involved in healthcare.

In other words, they will have “horses helping humans and humans helping horses,” he said.

Research has shown the benefits of “client-assisted services,” or assisting horses in therapy. In addition to therapy, there will be research, he said.

“It’s a great way to show what CSU can do for the Denver community and how the role of horses in society can really impact the community,” said Daurio. “We are bringing the healing power of horses to the city of Denver. “

They have already planned partnerships with Craig Hospital for Spinal Cord Injury Patients and Children’s Hospital. They have also scheduled a program with students at Denver Public School that will bring more than 200 students through Vida on Friday.

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Horses will also benefit from numerous physical therapies in the field of equine sports medicine. This isn’t just for the National Western Stock Show attendees, but also for horse owners in the area – there are plenty of them in Douglas, Jefferson, and Boulder counties.

“The Front Range area now has direct access to sports medicine and rehabilitation services,” he said.

CSU President Joyce McConnell said in a statement, “As Colorado’s land granting institution, CSU is committed to making our teaching, research and class engagement resources world accessible to our entire state. This is why I am so excited about the new CSU Spur campus.

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