Colorado State University’s 28th annual Ag Day celebration was a huge hit with football fans. The event, held Sept. 12 prior to the home football opener, brought in 2,234 participants who enjoyed Colorado-produced beef, pork and lamb, as well as Centennial-state grown beans, potatoes, fruits, flowers and wheat bread, despite cool temperatures and intermittent rain showers.
All proceeds from Ag Day tickets sales fund scholarships for Colorado State University agricultural students. In all, 15 Ag Day scholarships for $2,000 each have been awarded to College of Agricultural Sciences students for the 2009-2010 school year.
The Ag Day scholarships are a component of a university-wide effort on ensuring student access to a world-class education. The Campaign for Colorado State University, the first-ever comprehensive campaign in the 139-year history of the university, seeks to complete a $500 million fundraising effort in the next three years, including $250 million dedicated to need-and merit-based scholarships.
Colorado Department of Agriculture Commissioner John Stulp congratulated CSU on the 28th anniversary of Ag Day. Stulp thanked commodity groups and other supporters for their continued assistance with the event, adding that Ag Day is a perfect complement to the Colorado Proud program, which encourages state residents to buy locally grown, raised and processed food and agricultural products which helps Colorado’s economy, local farmers, ranchers, greenhouses, manufacturers and processors.
“Three areas very important to all of us are food safety, food availability and food affordability. CSU looks to lead the way with research and market-driven solutions on all three of those fronts,” said Colorado State University President Tony Frank at the Ag Day gathering. “Agriculture plays a vastly important role in Colorado’s economy, and Ag Day is a celebration of Colorado agriculture.”
Ag Day honors the university’s rich agricultural heritage as well as the importance of the agriculture industry in the state. Agriculture is the second-largest industry in Colorado, providing more than 86,000 jobs and bringing in more than $12 billion to the state’s economy.
In all, participants consumed nearly 1,100 pounds of boneless choice top round beef, more than 1,000 pounds of smoked pork ribs and 600 pounds of lamb. In addition, some 700 pounds of small red potatoes, 200 pounds of pinto beans and more than 50 watermelons, plus apples, milk, Pepsi products, ice cream and cheese curds were devoured. About 3,000 plants were handed out, including pansies and packs of assorted perennials. More than $2,300 worth of Colorado-brewed Coors beer was sold to participants over the age of 21 and the proceeds will go directly to the Ag Day scholarship fund. A special attraction of Ag Day was the Car Toys “After Shock” sound stage, which featured Kenny Cordova and the Olde Rock Band – sponsored by K-99 radio.
Ag Day participants also recycled 15 yards of compost and 10 yards of recycling, while reducing the amount of trash generated. “Ag Day continues to be a green event and we are striving to minimize our waste stream through recycling and composting,” said organizer Dennis Lamm.
The 29th annual Ag Day celebration is scheduled to be held Sat., Sept. 25, 2010.