Students and community members alike will celebrate CSUâ€™s agricultural roots through music, food and scholarships this Saturday during the 30th annual Ag Day event, closely followed by the orange out football game against University of Northern Colorado.
â€œThe structure of it is pretty much the same every yearâ€ said Dennis Lamm, coordinator of Ag Day. â€œThere will still be scholarships and great Colorado-grown food, but this year there will be some special speakers in honor of the 30th anniversary.â€
These speakers include the dean of agriculture, the commissioner of agriculture, university athletic director Paul Kowalczyk and CSU President Tony Frank. Speeches will begin at 10:30 a.m. and focus on recognizing important people and scholarship winners throughout the history of Ag Day.
â€œThe scholarships are one of the greatest benefits of Ag Day,â€ Lamm said. â€œThere was one scholarship at the first Ag Day, and now we give 12-15 scholarships a year, each worth $2,000.â€
Lamm has coordinated Ag Day since 2004 and expects this Saturdayâ€™s Ag Day to be as successful as previous years.
â€œWe try to feed 3,500 people in two hours to get ready for kickoff at noon,â€ Lamm said. â€œIn the beginning there were only about 300 attendees of Ag Day.â€
â€œAg day has seen a lot of benefits over the years and has evolved and grown,â€ Lamm added.
The concept of Ag Day began with a beef barbeque started in the 1970s by â€œFumâ€ McGraw, CSUâ€™s athletic director from 1976 to 1986.
â€œMcGraw was very involved,â€ said Jean Lamm, the first coordinator of Ag Day. â€œHe was a rancher as well as football coach and later the athletic director.â€
The barbeque was originally called â€œBeef Day.â€ This tradition lasted for about five or six years before it became Ag Day.
â€œWe asked Fum about adding more commodity groups and creating Ag Day and he agreed to try it out,â€ Jean said.
In the early days, there were activities like cow-milking contests and draft horse-drawn buggies, which were easier to coordinate with a smaller crowd.
â€œIt was not nearly as organized as it is today,â€ Jean said about the structure of Ag Day. â€œWe had a tent that was provided by Coors, there was a flatbed truck for the band, and the people sat on hay bails.â€
â€œThe theme of Ag Day has been food, fun and football from the very beginning,â€ Jean added.
The â€œorange outâ€ is in honor of CSUâ€™s original school colors â€” alfalfa green and pumpkin orange â€”lasting from 1893 until 1909. The team now wears orange throwback jerseys for the first home game of the season. Fans are encouraged to wear orange as well to â€œorange outâ€ the stadium.
â€œI really have appreciated, from the beginning how the athletic department has embraced the concept of Ag Day and has supported it,â€ Jean said.
â€œAg Day is a great opportunity to showcase the wide variety and diversity of agriculture in the state and share information with those who do not understand it,â€ she added. â€œItâ€™s a fun way of promoting one of the most important economic activities of our state.â€
Ag Day isnâ€™t only for members of the Agricultural community. Senior journalism and technical communications major Amanda Ford plans to attend this yearâ€™s festivities.
â€œI have never attended Ag Day before but look forward to going for the first time,â€ Ford said.
Collegian writer Emily Horn can be reached at email@example.com.
- When: Saturday, September 10th 9:30 -11:30 a.m.
- Where: The south side of Hughes Stadium
- Cost: $15 for the meal only, $35.50 for the meal and a football game ticket