Join the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) for Salute to Ag Day on Saturday, Nov. 19, before the U of I football game versus conference rival Wisconsin.

“Salute to Ag Day is our opportunity to celebrate the importance of agriculture in Illinois and thank our agricultural partners who allow us to fulfill our mission in the College of ACES,” said Kendra Courson, ACES Assistant Director of Marketing.

Orion Samuelson will emcee this event with special guest appearances by new U of I Athletic Director Mike Thomas, the Marching Illini, and possibly a surprise visit from one of the Illini coaches.

Salute to Ag Day provides the College of ACES with an opportunity to recognize Alumni Association and Illinois 4-H Foundation award winners, as well as the Illinois AgriNews Farm Family of the Year.

This year’s winners include:
2011 ACES Outstanding Young Alumni Awards: Dawn Jackson Blatner, a 1997 Dietetics BS graduate; Holly Spangler, a 1998 Ag Communications BS graduate; and Bradley Wolter, a 1997 BS, 1999 MS and 2002 Ph.D. Animal Sciences graduate.

2011 ACES Family Spirit Award: Bauer, Mickelson, Pizzo & Russell Family

2011 4-H Alumni Awards: Carol Craig, president and CEO of Craig Technologies; and Ray and Ellen Hankes, agricultural consultant and professional organizer and consultant, respectively.

2011 Friend of 4-H Award: John Slayton, vice president of corporate banking for US BANK

2011 Larry Fischer Leadership and Spirit Award: Brad Cash of Edgar County

“Our focus in the College of ACES is still driven by the land-grant concept of working with partners throughout the state, including state agencies, legislators, local communities, agribusinesses, commodity groups, producer organizations and the many others who are involved in the Illinois food and agriculture industry,” Courson said.

The Salute to Ag Day tailgate will begin two hours before kick-off on the west side of the Assembly Hall inside the circle drive. The public is invited to attend, but meal tickets are required. A select number of tickets will be available at the door for the meal at $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Pre-ordering is preferred.  To register for the pre-game tailgate and football game tickets, visit or call 217-333-7744. Registration opens Monday, Oct. 17, and is due by Nov. 7. Ticket availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Salute to Ag Day is sponsored by the College of ACES, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and Illinois Commodities.