Free family event to feature horseback rides, local foods, and more
(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) – For the second year in a row, New Mexico’s agricultural community will liven up the first Aggie home tailgate of the season, street fair-style with family fun and local food.
The 2nd annual Agriculture Day takes place Thursday, August 28, from 3 p.m. until kickoff at 6 p.m.; the football game is between the New Mexico State University (NMSU) Aggies and the California Polytechnic State University Mustangs. Dozens of groups representing all facets of New Mexico agriculture will have shaded booths in the parking lot between Aggie Memorial Stadium and the Pan American Center.
This year’s Agriculture Day builds on last year’s inaugural event, which featured samples of fresh New Mexico watermelon, ice cream, and other local foods; short horseback rides for the kids; a cow-milking demonstration; an interactive display on the water cycle; face painting; and roping demonstrations.
“This year we’re building on the fun we had last year with an enhanced, more accessible layout featuring dozens of booths showing what makes New Mexico agriculture so unique,” New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said. “Ag Day gives you a chance to ask questions and learn more about where your food comes from – and how items like cotton, wool, and wood are turned into products we use every single day.”
The fun continues inside Aggie Memorial Stadium. At the concession stands, NMSU foodservice provider Sodexo Dining Services is offering kids 12 and under a free hot dog and soda with the purchase of a $5 game ticket. People can also print a coupon for a free side of New Mexico green chile to add to their burger, nachos, or hot dog. The concessions menu will feature items containing New Mexico cheese, pinto beans, tortilla chips, salsa, pecans, pistachios, and kettle corn.
“Agriculture is integral to New Mexico and therefore to NMSU, historically and as its mission has evolved over the decades,” said Dr. Lowell Catlett, dean of NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES). “There’s a tremendous relationship that exists between NMSU and the state’s agricultural community, and this event really highlights that relationship.”
Another important part of Agriculture Day is the food drive that will be hosted onsite.
Roadrunner Food Bank – which feeds nearly 40,000 hungry New Mexicans a week through its partner agencies across the state – will be there with a refrigerated truck to collect all sorts of food and beverage donations. Meanwhile, Dairy MAX – which represents dairy farmers in New Mexico and three other states – will be collecting monetary donations by text to its “Great American Milk Drive” program. Any Milk Drive monies collected during Ag Day will stay in Las Cruces to provide fresh dairy products to hungry people served by area food banks. People donating to the drives will be entered to win prizes.
A group of agricultural organizations and companies across New Mexico is sponsoring the game. NMSU’s ACES college and New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) are working with NMSU Athletics and other university partners to coordinate Ag Day.
Tickets to the game start at $10, while tickets for kids 12 and under are just $5 and include a free hot dog and soda from Sodexo. Tickets go on sale Aug. 21 at the Pan American Center ticket office (575-646-1420) and will also be sold on the day of the game. This is the first of six home games this year; season tickets are available now starting at $50. For more information about NMSU Aggie football, please visit www.nmstatesports.com.