April 15, 2021


Dear Clients and Friends of the CSU Soil, Water, and Plant Testing Lab,
 
I am the Department Head of Soil and Crop Sciences, which houses the testing laboratory. I am writing today to update you on our ambitious and transformational plans, but also to acknowledge some short-term challenges.
 
Our Vision

In 2022, we will be moving the combined service labs to a new state-of-the-art facility at CSU’s new SPUR campus at the National Western Center in Denver. CSU is making a significant investment in this new facility so that we can provide world-class services at a location that is more accessible to farmers, gardeners, and land managers across the state. We have ambitious plans to re-invent the lab, offer cutting-edge soil and plant health tests, and outstanding customer service. The laboratory will implement novel tests and data systems being developed by CSU faculty, and will adopt a continuous innovation strategy so that we can always provide you with the best science-based actionable insights. We are also working closely with extension agents throughout the state so that they can help you interpret your results, informed by their deep expertise of local soils and practices.

Current Challenges

Last year, the lab operated under limited capacity due to COVID restrictions. These constraints combined with staffing and equipment issues resulting in a significant backlog and some gaps in customer service. We are not currently meeting our clients’ expectations in terms of turnaround time and data interpretation. I offer my deepest apologies to those clients affected by this. We are working as quickly as possible to hire new staff, purchase new equipment, and implement new systems to address these deficiencies. But, you should expect longer turnaround times for the next few months, and we will ask you to contact Extension for data interpretation and recommendations.
 
Today I am excited to introduce our new laboratory director, Dr. Ana Cristina Fulladolsa. Dr. Fulladolsa brings 10 years of experience in testing large sets of agricultural samples. She is the director of the CSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic where she has implemented changes to improve operation efficiency, client communication, methods, and training. Dr. Fulladolsa is broadly trained in agricultural production systems and has a specialty in plant disease diagnostics and management. She has worked closely with growers, crop consultants, government agencies, and researchers throughout her career. Dr. Fulladolsa has greatly contributed to our vision of the new service lab program at SPUR and is collaborating with multiple groups on campus, local partners, and national networks to move the program in that direction. As the SPUR lab develops, Dr. Fulladolsa will gather an agricultural advisory board to provide direction to the lab and make sure that it serves clients throughout Colorado and she will provide routine updates through college communications on lab improvements.
 
We ask for your patience and partnership through this transition period and we look forward to welcoming you to our new state-of-the-art facility next year.
 
Our Commitment

CSU is fully committed to a world-class testing facility with outstanding customer service oriented around serving your needs. Together, we will elevate and transform our ability to foster soil and crop health in Colorado and beyond.
 
Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments. Dr. Fulladolsa and I will keep you posted on our progress in the coming months.


Best Regards,

Matthew Wallenstein, PhD
Department Head and Professor
Soil and Crop Sciences Department
Soil, Water, and Plant Testing Lab · A320 Natural & Environmental Sciences Building
1120 Campus Delivery · Fort Collins, CO 80523-1120