Tradition of feast, football and fun returns to CSU


FORT COLLINS, Colo. – CSU’s famous Ag Day is less than a month away and tickets for both the barbecue and Rams football game are now available.

Ag Day is a giant tailgate barbecue featuring many Colorado agricultural commodities such as beef, lamb, pork, potatoes, beans and dairy. The 37th Annual Ag Day will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, immediately before CSU’s football game against Illinois State. The barbecue will be served from 10 a.m. – noon and will be held on campus, just north of Canvas Stadium, west of the Lory Student Center, on Intramural Fields 12 and 13.

The 2018 Ag Day will be the 37th year of the event, one that began as a small beef barbecue and has grown into a giant tailgate featuring food from Colorado commodity groups, music and interactive demonstrations.

“Over the past 37 years, Ag Day has helped Colorado State University showcase the vast and unique diversity of Colorado agriculture,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Ag Day marries two quintessential American traditions — agriculture and football. At CSU, this tradition and the celebration of agriculture afford us another opportunity to provide students access to a world-class education, access made possible by resources raised for student scholarships.”

Proceeds go to College of Ag students

Ag Day proceeds also provide critical funding for scholarships granted to deserving students in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Each year, the event typically funds between 15 and 20 student scholarships amounting to $2,000 each. Since 2000 alone, Ag Day has funded more than 260 scholarships totaling more than $461,000 for agricultural students.

Ag Day was created by “Fum” McGraw, a CSU football legend who served as athletics director from 1976 to 1986. Animal Sciences Professor John Matsushima suggested to McGraw that CSU partner with the beef industry to put on the very first Ag Day. In 1981, 10 commodity groups supported Ag Day, and the event’s proceeds contributed to one student scholarship.

The event has grown dramatically through the years and now annually draws some 3,500 people for a football-day feast of Colorado-grown food. Ag Day showcases many commodities that have blossomed in Colorado with knowledge gained from CSU research.

Ag Day with 4-H

For the third year, Ag Day and Colorado 4-H will be celebrated together.

The Colorado 4-H Foundation will be selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a Ford F-150 truck, donated by local Ford dealers.

“The winning ticket will be drawn during the festivities, and proceeds from the raffle will support 4-H programs statewide,” said Jean Glowacki, state 4-H director. “Colorado 4-H will have activities involving STEM and Ag Education and more. There will be information about the many ways to join the Colorado 4-H youth development program.”

Gameday festivities 

Fittingly, Ag Day will be an Orange Out day at Canvas Stadium when the Rams take on the Illinois State Red Birds. You can get your orange t-shirt at the Ram Zone, also supporting CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

“One of the many outstanding CSU traditions is Ag Day, which honors both the legacy of the school’s origin as a land-grant institution and the rich agricultural history of our state, and particularly in northern Colorado,” said head football coach Mike Bobo. “Our football program proudly joins in the celebration by wearing orange jerseys and we enjoy seeing the fans dressed in orange and enjoying great food from the state’s producers.”

In addition to the BBQ and interactive 4-H activities, Ram Town will open at 10 a.m. offering more family-friendly fun to enhance CSU’s game day experience.

“We are proud of our long-term partnership with the College of Agriculture,” said Joe Parker, director of athletics. “Ag Day allows us to highlight the importance of the agricultural community and industry in our state. Canvas Stadium and its on-campus location is the perfect stage to showcase Ag Day and get people energized about our university and its football team.”

Purchase tickets now

Tickets for both the football game and BBQ, or just the BBQ, are available at the Ag Day website or by calling (800) 491-RAMS (7267).

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