The center of the tailgating universe may or may not be in Nebraska, but in my opinion nobody does it better!

If you’ve ever spent a Husker football game day anywhere near Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium, you’ve experienced the incredible energy of a crowd that knows how to tailgate in epic proportions. Maybe you’ve walked past these gatherings on the way to the game, or you’ve hosted your own event in the same spot for every home game through the years. Either way, pregame food with friends is a highlight of football season. Even in my hometown–population 900–heading to the bleachers for an eight-man football game usually involves a stop at the local booster club’s tailgate. Gathering with the community under the Friday night lights wouldn’t be complete without a charburger and all the fixings.

Out on our farm, fall also means tailgating in the field during the busy harvest season. Meals are often served on-the-go or around the back of a pick-up truck. Over the years, I’ve compiled a long list of hearty field meals that are tasty, easy- to- make, and practical to transport and serve. Connecting with everyone on our harvest crew over food and conversation is one of my favorite things about this time of year, because harvest doesn’t happen without everyone working long hours together. As for the football games? They’ll be listened to on the radio or watched in a moblie app–and that goes for volleyball, too!

On the road, there’s another kind of tailgating that comes to mind, but it’s one that we want to avoid. Keeping everyone safe during fall harvest is a priority, and while we do our part to be careful, we also hope that those who share the road with us will lend some patience as we move from one field to the next. Large farm machinery not only moves at slower speeds, it often has a limited field of vision and requires more room to come to a full stop. A little bit of extra time to keep everyone safe on the road is well worth it for all of us, and allowing extra space behind trucks and equipment is a responsible driving habit. If we can leave the tailgating to football games and pick-up trucks, we’ll all be safer this fall.

As you kick-off tailgate season this fall, make it a great one. Sport your favorite attire and raise a flag in your yard–preferably one for the Huskers! Sing along with the band when they play the fight song and hold your hand over your heart for the national anthem. Stay safe on the road whether it’s full of game day or harvest traffic.

And always, as you enjoy connecting with family and friends over great game day foods, remember the farmers who work to bring them to your table–and your tailgate!