FORT COLLINS, COLO. – Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, who has been working as the director of sustainability for JBS USA for the past four years, has been hired as the first director of Colorado State University’s new Sustainable Livestock Systems Collaborative. She will start her new role on Oct. 12.

The Sustainable Livestock Collaborative, announced last December, was designed for “CSU livestock and animal health experts to work alongside industry, government and other stakeholders in addressing 21st-century challenges as well as training current and future livestock industry professionals,” the university said.

Stackhouse-Lawson and her team will be working with industry and government, while providing hands-on experiences for students and other training for those in the livestock industry. The center will operate at a university-wide level, overseen by the Office of the Provost, with additional leadership coming from the College of Agriculture and the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

“I am excited to build a world-renowned program that drives scientific progress, empowers students, and provides worthwhile guidance to the industry to enable us to continue to feed the world sustainably,” Stackhouse-Lawson said.

Stackhouse-Lawson grew up on a small ranch in rural California and was involved in 4-H as well as Future Farmers of America. She received her undergraduate degree in animal science and management, her master’s in animal science, and her doctorate in animal biology, all from the University of California-Davis.

She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, then moved on to serve as the executive director of global sustainability for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association where she led the development of its beef sustainability research program.

In 2016, she became director of sustainability for JBS USA. While in that role, she also served as the chair of US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.

“I have dedicated my career to on-the-ground initiatives that I believe are making a difference in feeding the world sustainably,” Stackhouse-Lawson said. “I am excited to advance the sustainability of the livestock supply chain, including the natural resources that our food system depends on.”

In addition to being housed jointly in the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the new Sustainable Livestock Systems Collaborative will also work closely with CSU Extension to work with and share information with the livestock community. When developing the collaborative, the university worked with the Colorado Beef Council, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Farm Bureau, the Colorado Livestock Association, the School of Global Environmental Sustainability and the Warner College of Natural Resources.

“This new university initiative brings together expertise from across CSU alongside outside industry partners to ensure we support sustainable livestock production practices that will be challenged by the growth in global needs and environmental change,” said Dr. Mark Stetter, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “Stackhouse-Lawson’s expertise in working with livestock industry and academia, and her strong leadership skills, will ensure strong connections with key stakeholders and help bring university expertise and resources to this critical new agriculture initiative.”

Stackhouse-Lawson was chosen as the center’s first director following a national search. Her responsibilities will include growing the center, leading up to a dozen new faculty members dedicated to research in areas including diagnostics, epidemiology, infectious disease, livestock production, meat science and nutrition.

“Food is so important to us as a society,” Stackhouse-Lawson said. “It not only nourishes us but also defines elements of cultures and brings families and friends together. I’m so proud to work to provide food in a sustainable way to people across the globe.”