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CMU Tech's compost facility played a significant role in CREF’s decision to select Grand Junction for the training due to its reputable compost

Compost professionals from across the nation gathered in Grand Junction last week for the Compost Research & Education Foundation (CREF) Compost Operations Training Course.

CREF is a North Carolina-based foundation recognized as a leading authority in the compost industry.

The five-day course, held from May 13 to May 17, included a tour of CMU Tech’s student-run compost facility. The training provided attendees with firsthand exposure to top composting practices for universities and smaller-scale composting sites.

“They wanted to tour our facility because they think we would be a good prototype to replicate in other universities and colleges around the country. We had the opportunity to be a trendsetter,” said CMU Tech Assistant Technical Professor of Agricultural Programs Bryan Reed. “It was very gratifying to represent the university as a place with expertise and insight into community composting.”

CMU Tech's compost facility played a significant role in CREF’s decision to select Grand Junction as the venue for the training. The town was considered after a CREF member purchased worm compost from CMU Tech's compost facility and praised the quality of the product.

Their admiration for the compost is well-founded. CMU Tech’s compost undergoes annual biological testing by the Earthfort soil testing lab, which assesses the number and diversity of microbes in the finished product. The compost is currently ranked in the top 10 percentile for quality among the samples the lab regularly receives.

“It’s really cool to think our product gained that kind of recognition,” said CMU student and compost facility employee Hayden Rokke. “It’s super fulfilling as a student to showcase our compost. We’re a pretty small facility, and we make good compost. We’re very proud of that,” added CMU student and compost facility employee Sarah Nunnally.

The facility has made significant contributions to western Colorado, integrating into the greater agricultural community. It accepts donations of food waste, old potting soil and other compostable items, which can be used in the composting process. The resulting compost is then available for purchase by community members for their farms or gardens.

The facility sells both traditional compost and worm compost by the cubic yard or five-gallon bucket. All proceeds support the Sustainability Council and the facility’s operations. For availability and pricing, contact [email protected]

CMU Tech’s compost facility is one of many sustainability initiatives at Colorado Mesa University, alongside the Sustainability Council, the GreenToGo program, the Geo-grid system and campus-wide energy conservation efforts.


Written by Amber Whisman