Colorado’s bounty will be celebrated Sept. 9 when Colorado State University and producers from throughout the state enjoy the 19th annual Ag Day, featuring a barbecue, football game and exhibits.
For the second year, Cans Around the Oval, the university’s food drive to help Larimer County’s less fortunate, will join the festivities as well. Donations go to the Food Bank of Larimer County.
For the past 14 years, Colorado State students, faculty and staff have collected canned and durable foodstuffs and have lined the university’s classic Oval with them. The first year, cans barely went a quarter of the way around the tree-shaded commons area. In 1999, foodstuffs circled the Oval 13 times.
"This is Colorado State’s way of celebrating World Food Day Oct. 16," said Adam Hallauer, special events program coordinator.
Seeking to involve the community more deeply this year, organizers are appealing to Ag Day participants to bring donations. Bins will be located at the entrance to the Ag Day barbecue area, which opens at 1 p.m., and at the south end of Hughes Stadium, where the Rams take on Eastern Tennessee State University beginning at 3 p.m. Donors will receive a raffle ticket for a dinner for two at Bisetti’s in Fort Collins.
"Since we’re celebrating Colorado agriculture, it seems appropriate to share with the hungry of Larimer County," said Mary Golden, assistant director of the university’s Office for Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs. "Even though Fort Collins and nearby areas are affluent communities, there’s hunger here."
Last year, Golden said, Cans Around the Oval collected about 28,000 pounds of food.
"The Larimer County Food Bank gave out over 2.8 million pounds of food last year. That means the Food Bank distributed in three business days what we collected at Cans Around the Oval in 1999," Golden said.
"We’d like to invite area residents to join us in meeting this year’s goal of 30,000 pounds of food, and one way to do that is through Ag Day," she said. "Community members also can drop off donations from Sept. 27 to Oct. 6 at Steele’s markets in Fort Collins and Windsor."
Donations also are welcome when student and staff volunteers, led by honorary chair and Rams football coach Sonny Lubick, line the Oval on Oct. 5 beginning at 10 a.m. For more information on donating food at Ag Day or later, contact Hallauer or Golden at at (970) 491-1682.