Rams Read is Colorado State University’s Common Read program, encouraging faculty, staff, students at every level, and our wider community to read together and discuss what we’ve read in engaging ways.

This year’s book selection is Natasha Bowens-Blair’s The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming. It explores ways we can cultivate new ideas about food justice, land, bringing people together, and joining in a conversation about race and identity, both locally and around the world.

The Color of Food Book cover

The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming



Natasha Bowens Blair is an author, farmer, and community activist who focuses on building empowerment and community through food and storytelling.

Natasha Bowens Blair



“I encourage you to join me in reading The Color of Food. This book redefines our agrarian identity through amazing portraits and oral histories of farmers of color, and honoring their often-overlooked contributions to food and farming in the U.S. It is a story we all should know and carry forward with us every time we go to the grocery store, the farmers’ market, gather at the dinner table or think about our agricultural heritage as a nation. As a former professor and department head of food science and nutrition, I have long carried a passion for the basic human right of all people to have access to affordable, nutritious food for their health and well-being. But Natasha Bowens’ book takes that basic right and gives it deeper meaning by chronicling a powerful and unprecedented story of food, race, class and culture.

CSU’s history is rooted in its beginning as the Agricultural College of Colorado established more than 150 years ago, and since that time we have become a leader in agriculture and creative solutions for feeding the planet. Our researchers and academic programs have increasingly focused on food security and sustainability, and animal welfare. This makes Bowen’s book a powerful message for our Ram community and offers a special connection to better understand the context of our past and present work at CSU, and our engaged scholarship in our communities across the state. It is a unique opportunity for us to share in a deeper conversation regarding the world of farming, agriculture and the intersection of food and race.”

—Dr. Mary Pedersen, Provost and Executive Vice President

Mary Pedersen


There are several ways to engage in the Rams Read program.

  • Incoming first-year CSU students receive a complimentary copy at Ram Welcome.
  • Email RamsRead@colostate.edu if you need more information.
  • The CSU Libraries are also carrying eBook copies available for check-out.
  • The CSU Bookstore is carrying hard copies for purchase. Rentals are also available.

Join the Conversation

Programming and event details coming soon.

Learn about events, teaching resources and more.

Nominate a book

Have a great idea for a text that will engage the CSU community in the most important issues of our time? What themes do you think are important for us to engage with?

Email us your ideas at RamsRead@colostate.edu