Gregory Graff

Gregory Graff headshot

Role: Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Founder of the Agribusiness and Food Innovation Management Master’s Program

How are you connected to Spur?

We are launching a new masters degree focused on innovation and entrepreneurship that will be housed at Spur. The agriculture and food industries are going through an innovation revolution. There is an enormous need for young talented professionals to lead the development and introduction of new technologies, products, and businesses. These must address the grand challenges of food security and sustainability for the next generation. This masters program is customized to equip and empower new leaders, and Spur provides the perfect location and community within which to do so.

When did you get involved with Spur and why is it important to you?

My work on agricultural innovation has long advocated that Denver is a natural hub for the ag and food industries to gather, not only regionally, but nationally. I formally got involved in Spur in 2016 as the College of Agricultural Sciences began to strategize about what kinds of programs could be developed at Spur that would be most impactful in supporting agricultural innovation. That is when we conceived of the innovation masters program.

What outcomes have you seen or do you expect from work at Spur?

Our work at Spur has the potential to build and strengthen the network of agricultural and food innovators in Colorado, and help them to connect in new ways with the broader public.

What would you like others to know about Spur?

Spur embodies a range of communities, topics, and resources that are deeply interdependent. Spur is an expression of our commitment to be faithful and innovative stewards, thereby enabling future generations to meet their own needs.

BIDTAH BECKER

Associate Attorney, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority

Ms. Becker has dedicated her career to the Navajo Nation and its natural resources.  She is currently serving as an Associate Attorney for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.  Prior to this position, she had the honor of serving as the Director of the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources from May 2013 to January 2019, as an appointee of President Begaye and Vice-President Nez, after serving eleven (11) years as an attorney for the Navajo Nation focusing on water rights and natural resources issues.  Continuing her deep interest and passion for water, she serves on the Leadership Team for the Water and Tribes Initiative in the Colorado River Basin, as a Commissioner on the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, as an appointee of Governor Lujan Grisham, and on the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission, as an appointee of Speaker Damon.  Ms. Becker is equally passionate about supporting artists and serves as a Trustee for the Institute of American Indian Arts and Culture (IAIA), as an appointee of President Obama.  Ms. Becker is a member of the Nation and lives on the Navajo Nation in Fort Defiance with her husband and two school age children.

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