Sep 082011
 
Authors: Emily Horn

Students and community members alike will celebrate CSU’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.

“The structure of it is pretty much the same every year” said Dennis Lamm, coordinator of Ag Day. “There will still be scholarships and great Colorado-grown food, but this year there will be some special speakers in honor of the 30th anniversary.”

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.

“The scholarships are one of the greatest benefits of Ag Day,” Lamm said. “There was one scholarship at the first Ag Day, and now we give 12-15 scholarships a year, each worth $2,000.”

Lamm has coordinated Ag Day since 2004 and expects this Saturday’s Ag Day to be as successful as previous years.

“We try to feed 3,500 people in two hours to get ready for kickoff at noon,” Lamm said. “In the beginning there were only about 300 attendees of Ag Day.”

“Ag day has seen a lot of benefits over the years and has evolved and grown,” Lamm added.

The concept of Ag Day began with a beef barbeque started in the 1970s by “Fum” McGraw, CSU’s athletic director from 1976 to 1986.

“McGraw was very involved,” said Jean Lamm, the first coordinator of Ag Day. “He was a rancher as well as football coach and later the athletic director.”

The barbeque was originally called “Beef Day.” This tradition lasted for about five or six years before it became Ag Day.

“We asked Fum about adding more commodity groups and creating Ag Day and he agreed to try it out,” 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.

“It was not nearly as organized as it is today,” Jean said about the structure of Ag Day. “We had a tent that was provided by Coors, there was a flatbed truck for the band, and the people sat on hay bails.”

“The theme of Ag Day has been food, fun and football from the very beginning,” Jean added.

The “orange out” is in honor of CSU’s original school colors — alfalfa green and pumpkin orange —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 “orange out” the stadium.

“I really have appreciated, from the beginning how the athletic department has embraced the concept of Ag Day and has supported it,” Jean said.

“Ag 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,” she added. “It’s a fun way of promoting one of the most important economic activities of our state.”

Ag Day isn’t only for members of the Agricultural community. Senior journalism and technical communications major Amanda Ford plans to attend this year’s festivities.

“I have never attended Ag Day before but look forward to going for the first time,” Ford said.

Collegian writer Emily Horn can be reached at news@collegian.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
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