Folks driving to Pullman are being welcomed by a massive display of Cougar pride courtesy of a local farmer, a regional business and an expert artist.
Using straw, composted soil from Washington State University and alfalfa hay, a team of six people have carved a mural displaying in giant letters “Go Cougs,” as well as the image of Butch T. Cougar holding a WSU flag, on the side of a hill overlooking the intersection of U.S. Highway 195 and State Route 270, which is west of Pullman.
The project is sponsored by BECU. Bethany Hawley, the credit union’s spokeswoman, wrote in an email that the mural covers 1.5 acres and measures 210 feet tall by 260 feet wide.
The field belongs to local farmer Jack Fulfs, a third-generation Pullman landowner, who was approached by BECU and artist Stan Herd about using his field for the artwork.
“I was happy to do it because it’s the perfect spot,” Fulfs said.
Fulfs said the mural will be there to greet the fans coming to Pullman for WSU football’s homecoming game against Colorado on Oct. 19.
The mural took the team about 10 days to create, Hawley said in her email. The crew carved out the wheat stubble and used straw, soil and hay to create the variety of color tones.
According to Hawley, the company wanted to create the artwork to celebrate its partnership with WSU, which includes supporting scholarships, financial programs, WSU athletics and the WSU Alumni Association.
Herd, an earthworks artist who has created images in fields around the world, said he is a college football fan and is excited to be part of any project involved with the sport. Herd said he roots for WSU because he enjoys “when they beat up on Southern California, Oregon and Washington.”
Herd said he comes from seven generations of family members involved in agriculture, and returning to agriculture with his art means coming full circle.
“It reminds me of my youth growing up on my tractor,” he said.
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.