The Illinois State football team will open its home campaign against Morehead State on September 10, which is the same day ISU Athletics Department will be hosting Ag Day for the first time at Hancock Stadium.

The Ag Day event is in connection with the 100th anniversary of the University’s Agriculture Department. There will be a departmental tent in the Redbird Tent Zone, along with several commodity groups. Ambassadors from the agriculture program will be giving tours of the Ropp Agriculture Building.

“We’re excited about hosting our first Ag Day at a Redbird football game this season,” Illinois State Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing and Promotions Brad Ledford said. “The game and its festivities will provide us a great opportunity to recognize our agricultural alumni, department, community, and corporate partners. We look forward to a  fun and exciting day for all to enjoy!”

Rob Rhykerd, department chair and professor, is hoping that a number of ag alumni return for this special event.

“The Ag Department has a rich tradition of graduating leaders in agriculture,” Rhykerd said. “Come join us in looking back at 100 years of agriculture at ISU and see how we are planting the seeds for another 100 years of excellence.”

There will be farming machinery on display prior to the game, along with in-game recognitions of prominent individuals and groups connected with the ISU Agriculture Department. As in years past, the home opener will also include a fireworks show at halftime.

Alumni and groups involved in the world of agriculture who are interested in attending this special event should contact Ledford for special group ticket rates. Ag commodities interested in participating in the Ag Day activities at the Redbird Tent Zone, should call (309) 438-4500 to secure a reservation.

With limited tickets remaining for the 2011 Illinois State home opener, purchase tickets in advance online at, by phone at (309) 438-8000, or in person at the Illinois State Athletics Ticket Office.