CSU Extension re-establishes presence in Pitkin County

Colorado State University Extension will once again have a presence in Pitkin County with a new office opening April 1, 2022. Extension had a limited presence in Pitkin in the mid-1990s with support from Agents based out of Garfield and Eagle counties, as well as a brief part-time presence in the early 2010s. The re-established service represents a more structured and permanent approach to providing useful, science-based educational resources for Pitkin communities.

The Extension presence in Pitkin is unique. Drew Walters will be stepping into a split position, working a 20% appointment as an Extension Agriculture Specialist and an 80% appointment with Pitkin County Open Space and Trails. Walters previously served as the Agriculture, Horticulture and Natural Resources Extension Agent for Garfield County.

“Having an Extension presence in Pitkin County provides the agriculture community, as well as residents of the county, an open door to CSU’s research and resources,” said Walters. “Growing up in the Roaring Fork Valley, having been an agent in a neighboring county and talking to folks from Pitkin County, I can see there is a need for Extension services and programs.”

Walters will provide agriculture-focused Extension programming including soil and feed testing, educational workshops, greenhouse operations, on-site assistance for weed/plant and pest ID, irrigation efficiency and more. This is in addition to Walters’ work with Pitkin County Open Space and Trails overseeing, supporting and building on the Agricultural Leasing program within the county.

Drew Walters Headshot
Drew Walters is leading the new CSU Extension Pitkin County office as an Agriculture Specialist.

“My initial goal is to deliver programs that help address the county’s agricultural needs and, over time, work towards building a more complete Pitkin County Extension program,” said Walters. “I have seen the impact Extension has on communities and I am very lucky to be a part of expanding it to Pitkin County.”

“It’s all about going back to our roots” said Carla Farrand, Garfield County Extension Director and Interim Director for Extension’s Northwest Region, which includes Pitkin County.

Farrand has been instrumental in establishing the Pitkin Extension service after initial negotiations were set in motion by CJ Mucklow, previous Extension Northwestern Regional Director, in partnership with Paul Holsinger, Agriculture & Conservation Easement Administrator with Pitkin County. After Mucklow’s retirement in December 2021, Farrand, Holsinger and Walters led the charge to finalize the Extension presence in Pitkin County.

“Bringing Extension back into Pitkin will be a great way to bring the university’s science-based research and resources to folks there,” said Farrand.

CSU Extension – Pitkin County will share a part-time office space with the Open Space and Trails office in Aspen, Colo. Office hours are irregular and extension consultations will be available by appointment only. Appointments can be made by emailing drew.jacob.walters@colostate.edu or calling 970-319-0475.

About CSU Extension

CSU Extension empowers Coloradans to address important and emerging community needs using dynamic, science-based educational resources. For over 100 years, CSU Extension has helped people in Colorado find the answers they need for a healthy home life, successful business and thriving community. We bring the University’s research-based resources to local communities across the state. Learn more at extension.colostate.edu