Sep 262004
Authors: Lindsay Reiter

Fans, students and alumni gathered under the September sun in

front of Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium for the 23rd annual

Ag Day celebration on Saturday.

Laughter, talking and music filled the tailgating party, which

preceded CSU’s 1 p.m. football game against Montana State


Ag Day got its start in 1981 when Fum McGraw and Bill Thomas of

the College of Agriculture came up with the concept.

“Football was not very popular at the time so they started Ag

Day to bring people out to the stadium,” said Jim Heird, who has

been the event co-chairman since 1990. This is Heird’s last year in

the position. He will be the new director of CSU Equine


In recent years, Ag Day has drawn so many tailgaters that

organizers had to limit the number of tickets sold to 3,500. All

proceeds from ticket sales go toward college scholarships, and

Colorado companies donate all of the food.

Steve Gabel, a CSU alumnus, took advantage of the day to meet up

with friends.

“I’ve been coming here for 10 years. It gives me the opportunity

to see other alumni, renew acquaintances and visit with friends as

well as the opportunity to eat Colorado-grown food,” Gabel


Most people at Ag Day were happy to support Colorado


“Knowing it’s all from Colorado makes it taste even better,”

said Karl Hoff, a CSU alumnus. “I’ve never had anything at Ag Day

that I didn’t like.”

The tradition has evolved from a small tailgating party to a

community event.

“I think it’s a great way to get everyone together. It creates a

sense of community around agriculture,” said Jessica Nash, a senior

art education major.

Even people who do not have a connection to the university

joined the festivities.

“I adopted the (football) team 10 years ago when I first started

going to Ag Day because they always seem to be the underdog. I have

been dressing my son up in a Cam (the Ram) suit since he was six

months old,” said Zoe Stank, a CSU fan.

Stank also pointed out that Ag Day has something for all ages

and interests.

“There are cockroach races for the kids and live music for the

adults. You even get to take something home with you,” she said,

referring to the Colorado-grown flowers that people received as

they left.

While Ag Day has become a family tradition for families like

Stank’s, for others, this year was their first time at the


“I’m a member of the Future Farmers of America and we all came

as a big group to bond. It’s my first time here. I think it’s a

really cool tailgating party and lots of fun,” said Ashton Dilka, a

high school freshman from Briggsdale.

In addition to good food and live music, all of the clubs

affiliated with the Department of Agriculture were also represented

at the celebration.

“Ag Day is a celebration of heritage and food production,” Heird

said. “It is probably the largest food tailgate party in the


 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.