Media tip sheet: Colorado State University and the 2023 National Western Stock Show

Note to reporters: The following is a collection of Colorado State University information, events, experts and resources related to the National Western Stock Show, which runs from Jan. 7-22 at the National Western Complex located at 4655 Humboldt St. in Denver. 

Media contacts: Jennifer Dimas at or (970) 988-4265, and Allison Sylte at or (720)-849-1907. 

CSU Spur opens Hydro Building, focusing on water

Hydro, the third and final building on the CSU Spur campus, officially opens on Jan. 6, with a formal ribbon-cutting slated for 1:15 p.m. 

The building, which is the largest at CSU Spur, focuses on water – continuing the campus’ mission of being a free, public learning destination aimed at providing a space for researchers and scientists to collaborate and innovate. 

Visitors, meanwhile, will have the opportunity to watch these professionals at work and in the process, learn about the efforts underway to keep our water safe and available for future generations. 

Hydro is home to Denver Water’s new Water Quality Laboratory, which will give people a glimpse into the extensive work that goes into the testing and treatment of Colorado’s drinking water. Once the laboratory is set up and certified later in 2023, Denver Water will be able to annually perform more than 200,000 tests. 

In addition, the building will house a 230-capacity theater space, “backyard” connected to the South Platte River, interactive art exhibits, artist studios, a cafe, event spaces and more.

For more information at Hydro, visit

Entire CSU Spur campus open and ready for exploration 

Vida, the first building to open on the CSU Spur campus, opened during the 2022 National Western Stock Show, and in the year since, has become a destination for learners of all ages through its daily programming and the popular Second Saturday events

Vida is Spanish for life, and the health-focused building embodies the connectivity between human and animal life – as well as the diverse cultures and Latinx ties within the surrounding neighborhoods of Globeville and Elyria Swansea. 

In addition to housing the second location of the Temple Grandin Equine Center, Vida is also home to a Dumb Friends League Veterinary Hospital, which provides a donor-subsidized clinic for companion dogs and an opportunity for the public to witness dogs and cats in surgery firsthand. 

Just across the street is the Terra Building, which opened in June 2022. Its name is Latin for Earth, and its focus is on food – and more specifically, bringing agriculture to life, allowing people to understand where their food comes from, and the challenges that lie ahead as the world works to feed a growing population. 

Terra is home to everything from CAM’s Ag Academy Lab to a food lab and public teaching kitchen to rooftop gardens and a green roof overlooking the Denver skyline.

Both of these buildings and Hydro will be open for the duration of the 2023 National Western Stock Show and are open to the public for free year -round. For more details, visit 

Temple Grandin to serve as grand marshal for 2023 kickoff parade 

This year, CSU Animal Science Professor Temple Grandin will lead the iconic drive of longhorn cattle, horses and western wagons through the streets of downtown Denver for the stock show’s one-of-a-kind kickoff. 

The parade is slated for Jan. 5. It begins at noon outside of Union Station and marches 12 blocks down 17th Street to Glenarm Place. 

Grandin’s presence will also be felt at the stock show through the second location of the Temple Grandin Equine Center, which opened last year in the Vida Building on the CSU Spur. Here, horses assist with human therapy sessions, and visitors can watch them in action. 

International Livestock Forum and inaugural Mountain Meat Summit

CSU’s Department of Animal Sciences and the National Western Stock Show have partnered together to host the ninth annual International Livestock Forum and inaugural Mountain Meat Summit on Jan. 11 and 12. 

This event will bring together industry leaders, government professionals and members of academia to discuss domestic and international livestock and food production. Attendees to the 2023 ILF and MMS, including our 4-H and FFA Youth Fellows, will experience unique tours of some of Colorado’s top agricultural enterprises, behind-the-scenes access to the National Western Stock Show and a full day of networking and interaction with an impressive lineup of keynote speakers and industry panelists on CSU’s Fort Collins campus. This is a premier opportunity to engage in the future of international livestock and food production.

National Western Stock Show Ag Adventure program

CSU’s Ag Adventure is a student-led agriculture education exhibit at the Stock Show staffed primarily by CSU student volunteers daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Student volunteers lead guided tours through the interactive exhibit to teach children about where their food comes from. Educational and fun workshops within the CAM’s Classroom will be held daily (Saturday to Monday every hour from 12:30-4:30 p.m., and Tuesday toFriday every hour 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). 

The workshops will be hosted by students and commodity group representatives involved in the agriculture industry. In addition to guided tours and CAM’s Classroom, this year Ag Adventure is bringing back the Junior Ag Ambassador Program. 

Those who complete their Ag Adventure Field Notes will have the opportunity to become a National Western Stock Show Junior Ag Ambassador and receive their Junior Ambassador Badge and certificate. 

46th year of CSU Seedstock Merchandising Program

The Seedstock Merchandising Program at CSU is in its 46th year and the highlight of this program is the Seedstock Team. Students on CSU’s Seedstock Team are provided experiences rich in hands-on learning, leadership and industry experience. Team members will work together to exhibit cattle at the National Western Stock Show in January, to represent the Animal Sciences Department at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Annual Convention & Trade Show and to host the Annual CSU Bull & Female Sale in February. 

Beyond these activities, students will have the opportunity to travel to ranches, associations and agencies to engage with industry leaders and stakeholders. This year’s Seedstock Merchandising Team is composed of six undergraduate students who will have cattle on display in The Yards Jan. 9-15. They are exhibiting a pen of Hereford heifers at the National Western Stock Show and are scheduled to show at 8 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 14. Following the NWSS, the team will travel to the NCBA Convention and Trade Show in Houston and later host the 46th Annual Bull and Female Sale at 11 a.m. on Feb. 18 at Centennial Livestock Auction in Fort Collins. For more information on the CSU Seedstock Merchandising Program and/or the Seedstock Team, please contact faculty advisor and Animal Sciences faculty member Samantha Cunningham.

4-H Day at the National Western Stock Show

4-H Day at the National Western Stock Show will be on Jan. 13. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with Colorado State 4-H officers and state specialists as well as participate in hands-on STEM activities. Following this will be the 4-H Day Pro Rodeo starting at 1:30 p.m.

CSU Day at the National Western Stock Show

CSU Day at the National Western Stock Show will be held on Jan. 14. CSU has been part of the stock show since it was first established in 1906, and in the years since, its presence has only continued to grow. Discounted tickets (Promo code NWSSCSU) are available for CSU Day at the Rodeo, featuring seating in CSU fan sections. Tickets are good for rodeo events as well as grounds admission for the day, which includes nearly 300 trade show vendors, Mutton Bustin’, National Western nursery, kids’ activities, petting farm and more. Ticket prices range from $21 to $24. The CSU booth on the third floor of the Hall of Education will also feature photos with CAM the Ram from approximately 9-11 a.m. 

In addition, visitors can pick up their CSU Stock Show Activities Passport to fill in as they check out CSU at the Stock Show and the CSU Spur campus. Passport stops include CSU’s pens in the Stockyard and the three buildings at CSU Spur: Hydro, Vida and Terra. Visitors who complete the passport will receive CSU merchandise, such as bandanas, frisbees and straw sets. 

Colorado water and agriculture

Experts from CSU’s Colorado Water Center are available to discuss water, agriculture, environment and natural resource topics. CoWC experts can explain Colorado’s water history, drought management, western water management issues, groundwater, water quality and other water issues. Spur’s Hydro Building will serve as a hub for CoWC and partner organizations to work on water-related research, education, engagement, policy and innovation activities to `advance solutions to critical and complex water challenges.

Stock Show weather

CSU Colorado Climate Center experts are available to discuss “Stock Show Weather” and any aspect of Colorado’s weather and climate. Water supplies, drought trends, snow accumulations, winds, temperature extremes and seasonal weather patterns are all fair topics. Colorado Climate Center experts also can talk about the statewide volunteer network, called the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) that has greatly improved precipitation monitoring.