Raising college scholarship money is a top goal for Ag Day, the festive football-day feast of Colorado-grown food that is held each fall at Colorado State University.
In fact, Ag Day has funded nearly 150 scholarships totaling well over $250,000 since 2000 alone. The scholarships are $2,000 each and are awarded to deserving students in CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
Up to 3,500 CSU students, alumni and friends are expected at the 31st annual Ag Day. The event will run 1:30 – 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, on the south side of Hughes Stadium off Overland Trail in Fort Collins. The barbecue is open to the public and precedes the football game pitting the CSU Rams and Utah State Aggies; kickoff is at 5 p.m.
Aside from offering fun, Ag Day has benefitted dozens of students. In 2012-13, 20 students received scholarships to support their studies in a wide range of agricultural disciplines – from equine science to landscape architecture and plant genetics.
“It’s huge,” Jennifer LaTour, a student pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural extension education, said of the impact. “A lot of times, I don’t think people who attend Ag Day realize how much they are helping.”
LaTour, from Wisconsin, is a first-generation scholar – the first in her family to earn a college degree. Financial support has been essential to her university studies, she said.
“It means the world,” she said. “I’m excited to be volunteering there next weekend and to be able to tell people how much the Ag Day scholarship has helped.”
Patrick Halde is another student who appreciates Ag Day’s focus. A freshman from Cheyenne Wells, Colo., Halde also is among the 2012-13 scholarship recipients.
“It’s a wonderful thing because every dollar counts, and every scholarship is appreciated,” said Halde, who has a double major in agricultural business and soil and crop sciences. “It means a lot.”
Ag Day meal tickets cost $16.50 each and may be purchased in combination with football tickets. Tickets and information are available at the Shepardson Building on the CSU campus and on the Ag Day website, www.csuagday.com.
Colorado’s leading commodity groups partner with CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences to plan the event and provide the Ag Day feast.
The menu includes Colorado beef, pork, lamb, potatoes, beans, wheat and dairy products, green salad, watermelon and drinks.
The Fort Collins rock-n-roll band Better Than Bacon will entertain the crowd.
Other Ag Day highlights:
• Farm-themed activities for kids
• Farm displays
• CSU agricultural student groups. These include the ever-popular Gillette Entomology Club, which will provide hands-on bug activities as part of the club’s 100th anniversary celebration this year.
• A pre-game visit from the CSU Marching Band
Gov. John Hickenlooper recently signed a State of Colorado Proclamation that designates Sept. 22 as CSU Ag Day.
For more information, visit www.csuagday.com or call (970) 491-6497.