Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the following column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the views of the Collegian or its editorial board.
Dear Collegian Editorial Board,
We write to you in response to your publication of Leta McWilliams’ opinion column “ ‘Construction on campus harms the larger student body’ missed the point on new campus slaughterhouse.” While we certainly respect Ms. McWilliams’ opinion, and that of others who do not support the facility, we would like to correct some issues of fact that were included in the column.
To describe the JBS Global Food Innovation Center as a “slaughter and meat packing facility” misstates the research, teaching and outreach that will take place within the center. The building will include a café, a culinary kitchen where students will learn proper food preparation techniques, and labs in which innovative research on food packaging and preventing food borne illnesses will take place. The building will also include a small-scale harvest facility where students will learn how to process animals safely, humanely, and in an environmentally-responsible way under the supervision of leading meat and animal scientists including Professor Temple Grandin.
To clarify the new facility’s future location, it will be built just south of the existing Animal Sciences Building in space that is currently a parking lot.
Ms. McWilliams cites student opposition from within the Department of Animal Sciences but follows that statement with a quote from a zoology major; zoology is not housed in the Department of Animal Sciences. She also misstates the cost of the facility and its funding. The cost of facility will be greater than $12.5 million and will be funded through a number of sources including private giving from individuals and companies such as JBS. The JBS gift to the building is $7.5 million, and they have invested another $5 million in an employee education program through CSU.
Contrary to Ms. McWilliams’ assertion, there has not been broad opposition to the facility from students within the Department of Animal Sciences. In fact, they have lobbied for this facility so that they can remain competitive with their counterparts at peer institutions such as Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Texas A&M, all of which have similar facilities on campus.
Ms. McWilliams is free to express her opposition to the facility, but we want to correct her misstatements so readers can come to their own informed conclusions about the facility.
Jason Kosovski, PhD
Director of Communications
College of Agricultural Sciences and the Agricultural Experiment Station
Colorado State University
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