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Farmers Are Sunsetting Operations and Retiring - There Is Still Time To Learn From Our Teachers
Not only is she a sheep rancher, but Dr. Nancy Irlbeck was my graduate
school mentor while completing a Master’s in Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University (CSU). Nancy is an animal nutritionist and an educator. In addition to teaching students, she was the consulting nutritionist at the Denver Zoo. She is also a wife and
partner to her husband, Steve Musick, who has a solid background in animal agriculture, livestock transportation, and ranch management. Fantastic souls who empower people to think about animal agriculture in a new and different way—following one’s heart and building something special. Not only producers but teachers of the craft and stewards of the land.
To that end, I began my research journey with a solid willingness to understand better the common thread amongst farmers and learners that touches all aspects of our lives—producing healthy food and agricultural products for our community. After ten years since we saw one another, reconnecting with Nancy and discussing our current challenges in farming, I couldn’t help but think about how land grant colleges will be challenged to build their learning centers after our farmers and educators begin to sunset and retire their operations. These same farms are the learning platforms for students and craftspeople engaging in the trades, and we need them.
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