From CAM’s Classroom to crop science: 6 ways to discover CSU at the Colorado State Fair

CSU booth at the Colorado State Fair

Colorado State University will be providing exploration, engagement and learning opportunities for all ages during the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo from Aug. 26 to Sept. 5. 

As Colorado’s land-grant university, CSU will have an outsized presence at the historic state fairgrounds during the 150th year of this annual celebration of all things agriculture.  

Here are six ways to discover CSU at the Colorado State Fair: 

4-H programs showcase Colorado’s next generation of innovators 

Colorado’s 4-H program is delivered by CSU Extension, and during the fair, hundreds of children from across the state will be involved in approximately 3,500 static exhibits, present 1,200 horse and 1,100 livestock entries, and compete in contests in over 33 divisions.

Those contests involve everything from dog shows to model rockets to cake decorating.

“Anyone who has been in 4-H can tell you that it’s very formative in who you are as a person and who you become in your adult years,” said Lisa Sholten, a CSU Extension specialist for 4-H Youth Development. 

For more information on 4-H programming at the Colorado State Fair, visit:

See what it takes to grow Colorado’s most famous crops

Kristi Bartolo, a CSU Extension agent and agronomy specialist, has dedicated her summer to growing various Colorado crops in planters outside the Ag Pavilion at the Colorado State Fairgrounds.

Some of those crops include pinto beans, Pueblo chilis, cantaloupes and various types of potatoes. Bartolo said her goal is to offer visitors a firsthand glimpse of the “physical and tangible work of CSU and its research centers.”

“When this idea was proposed to me by a supervisor, I was not exactly sure how it would all work, but I knew that I enjoyed growing plants and that it would certainly be a great way to engage the public – and I’d learn a thing or two as well,” Bartolo said. “I hope that the crops chosen will allow State Fair visitors and the general public to gain just a glimpse of the activity that the University is focusing on.”

Engage with CSU students who are passionate about ag education

Inside the Ag Pavilion, Colorado State Fair attendees will meet the leaders of tomorrow by visiting CAM’s Classroom, a program that allows CSU students to educate children and adults about agriculture.

Jenny Bennett, an agricultural literacy coordinator at CSU, said CAM’s Classroom is important not only because it spreads awareness about how agriculture affects our lives, but also because it gives future educators the tools they need to make a difference in their communities. 

“We don’t expect that at the end of this engagement someone is going to leave as an expert in agriculture, but what CAM’s Academy really centers itself around is having a positive experience,” she said.

Learn about CSU Extension’s statewide resources

Also inside the Ag Pavilion is a booth dedicated to the CSU Office of Engagement and Extension, which will be staffed by CSU Extension staff who are usually across the state, sharing resources and programming and making connections to CSU with Colorado residents.

One of those Extension staff members will be Range Specialist Annie Overlin, who will discuss the various properties of soil. Other members of CSU Extension, including Colorado Master Gardeners, also will be on-hand in the Creative Arts Building to help answer questions and make connections to resources, programs and lifelong learning opportunities. 

 Learn about CSU Extension here:

Find an educational program to engage in scientific discovery, change the world

Sam Cunningham, an assistant professor of Animal Sciences, will be representing undergraduate programs in CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, including animal science and equine science. The college prepares successful leaders, innovators and global citizens through the development of professional skills, technical expertise and cultural competencies needed to advance agriculture in Colorado and beyond.

Cunningham leads CSU’s Seedstock Merchandising program, which provides hands-on learning for students as they breed, manage, market and sell purebred beef cattle. 

Recruitment tables will be set up in the Fair’s CSU Pavilion, which is home to livestock exhibitions, as well as in the horse arena. Learn about the College of Agricultural Sciences’ academic programs here:

Experience a mobile virtual reality lab highlighting biomedical sciences 

CSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, along with CSU Spur, is bringing the new “Sci on the Fly” mobile outreach virtual reality learning lab to the Colorado State Fair. 

Equipped with multiple VR stations, visitors will be able to explore the same cutting-edge programs that CSU students use in the classroom to gain a deeper understanding of human and animal anatomy.  

The trailer was constructed by Wade Ingle, associate director of Outreach and Engagement for CVMBS, with help from CSU students and recent graduates. The interior is built largely using reclaimed wood from the Cameron Peak Fire.  

How to attend the Colorado State Fair 

When: Aug. 26 to Sept. 5 

Where: Colorado State Fairgrounds, 1001 Beulah Ave., Pueblo 

Hours: Monday-Thursday: 3-11 p.m.

Friday-Sunday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Labor Day: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Tickets: Adult Gate Admission (ages 13 and older) – $14

Kids (ages 5-12) – $7

Children 4 and under are FREE (when accompanied by an adult)

For more information, visit: