We all know that that “Aggies” is a popular college nickname, and the Cornhuskers of Nebraska and the Longhorns of Texas
are about as iconic as they come. But outside of the major college ranks, there are hundreds of smaller schools, several
sporting clever farm-related nicknames. These are some of the best:
Bethel College Threshers (Kansas)
It’s no surprise that a school out of an agricultural focalpoint such as Kansas would adopt the name Threshers for its athletics teams. Threshing machines were invented in the late 18th century and had seen many iterations since. Bethel’s sports teams, which have been around for a century, wear the name proudly as part of the NAIA.
Hardin-Simmons Cowboys (Texas)
There’s no question as to how this school based in an iconic Texas town such as Abilene got its nickname. Texas has a nation-leading 250,000 farms and ranches, and few states conjour images of cowboying and rodeos the way that Texas does.
Concordia-Moorhead Cobbers (Minnesota)
Back in 2009, the Cobber was selected by ESPN as the No. 2 most inventive or quirky nickname in college sports. There are many roots of the term Cobber, but today the mascot is an ear of corn. ESPN quipped: “How fierce can a corncob be? But that’s what makes the Cobber special — it symbolizes not only Concordia’s athletic spirit, but its overall good sense of humor.”
Knox College Prairie Fire (Illinois)
The nickname isn’t as deeply rooted as some others on this list, having been adopted in the early 1990s. According to the school’s website: “The name itself relates to the natural history of the Midwestern region and to a powerful force of nature. The massive fires that swept through the Illinois prairie were essential to restoring the vitality of the environment.”
Skidmore College Thoroughbreds (New York)
The speed of this popular racing horse is a fitting name for a team mascot. The origins of this breed date to the 17th and 18th centuries in England and has become known worldwide. At Skidmore, they’re often shortened to “T-Breds,” and though there are many sports offered here, it’s the only one on this list that doesn’t have football.
Muhlenberg Mules (Pennsylvania)
The name “Muhlenberg” is often mispronounced, but the “h” is silent, so the nickname is fitting when you realize that the school’s name is pronounced Myoo-len-berg. Mules, the offspring of male donkeys and female horses, aren’t used commonly as beasts of burden in the U.S. anymore, but at one point, they were integral parts of an ag operation.
Trinity College Bantams (Connecticut)
Who’s going to be afraid of a chicken? As it turns out, more than one source uses the term “aggressive” or “spirited” when describing this breed, particularly among the males.