Food drive part of Ag Day on NMSU campus this Thursday

Prizes offered to encourage donations to help hungry New Mexicans

(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) – Organizers of the 2nd annual Agriculture Day happening this Thursday on the campus of New Mexico State University (NMSU) are rallying around two organizations to collect donations to feed hungry New Mexicans – and they’re offering some tempting prizes to help encourage donations.

Ag Day takes place from 3 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot between Aggie Memorial Stadium and the Pan American Center.  It coincides with the tailgate happening before the Aggies open their football season with a home game against the Cal Poly Mustangs.

Among Ag Day’s 40-plus booths are Roadrunner Food Bank and Dairy MAX, both of which will be looking to help feed hungry New Mexicans via donations from the public.

Roadrunner Food Bank – which feeds nearly 40,000 hungry New Mexicans a week through its partner agencies across the state – will have its refrigerated truck to collect donations onsite.  Not sure what to bring?  Consider high-protein items like canned tuna and other meats, beans, peanut butter, and the like.  Ag Day organizers are offering prizes to encourage 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.  All people have to do is text MILK to 50555 to give $5 worth of milk to the Roadrunner Food Bank’s partner agencies in Las Cruces.  To say thanks for contributing, Dairy MAX will offers reusable shopping bags and t-shirts to Milk Drive donors on a first-come, first-served basis.

Representatives from NMSU’s on-site food pantry, the Aggie Cupboard, will also be on hand to make their program known to NMSU students and staff.

Because food is central to agriculture, it’s central to Ag Day.  Free samples of beef, dairy products, chile, watermelon, and peanuts will be offered at the street fair.  Inside Aggie Stadium, NMSU foodservice provider Sodexo Education Services will be selling items containing New Mexico cheese, pinto beans, tortilla chips, salsa, pecans, pistachios, and kettle corn.  Sodexo is also offering kids age 12 and younger a free hot dog and drink with the purchase of a $5 game ticket.  People of all ages can print a coupon for a free side of New Mexico green chile to add to their burger, nachos, or hot dog. 

Food aside, families will find plenty of fun at Ag Day: free therapeutic horse rides for the kids; a chance to pet and take their picture with small, friendly farm animals; facepainting and more.  That’s in addition to all the fun activities in the nearby Pistol Pete’s Kids Zone: jumping castles, carnival games, and more.

A group of agricultural organizations and companies across New Mexico is sponsoring the game.  NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) 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 can be purchased 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.