Serving Up “Cowboy Caviar” in Honor of the Dayton Rodeo

It’s “Date Night” tonight and “Kids’ Night” tomorrow at the annual Dayton Championship Rodeo in Dayton, Iowa.  Load up the truck (mini van or SUV) and head to North Central Iowa for a weekend of affordable family fun at the 74th annual event.  From carnival rides, flea markets and Bingo, there’s sure to be something of interest to everyone!

Nightly performances, at 7:00 Friday through Sunday, will feature bull riding, saddle bronc riding and barrel racing.  There will also be a 1:30 p.m. performance on Labor Day.

In addition to performances by some of Pro Rodeo’s top contestants, the Dayton Rodeo will feature special entertainment. This year’s headliners include Serpentine Riders, The Wild Child and Cory Wall. Plus Latham Hi-Tech Seeds is proud to sponsor Rodeo Announcer of the Year Boyd Polhamus.

“It takes a lot of people, who worked really hard, to make this a great holiday weekend event,” says Latham Hi-Tech Seeds’ sales manager Jim Heckman, who’s in his third year as chairman of the Dayton Rodeo Committee.  “We’re happy to bring contestants, the rodeo committee and the community together.”

Pulling everyone together involves lots of “behind the gates” coordination.  That’s why the Dayton Rodeo Committee contracts with Cervi Rodeo Company.  “You have to have good bucking horses, bucking bulls and a lot of fighting bulls,” says Mike Cervi, whose family has been in the rodeo stock business for more than 60 years.  “You need color in the front and the employees in the back to make it run smoothly.”

Keeping everything running smoothly also includes the chow line!  Today Mike Cervi shares with us one of his favorite recipes for Cowboy Caviar.  It also sounds like a great recipe to serve this weekend at a get together with family or friends.

Cowboy Caviar


Drain each can and mix together:

  • 1 can black-eyed peas
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can white shoe corn (or whole kernel corn)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 jar chopped pimentos

Then add:

  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1 c. chopped green pepper
  • 1 small can of chopped green chilies (or Rotel®)


Ingredients for dressing:

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp.  pepper
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 3/4 c. cider vinegar
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 T. water


  1. Mix the above ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Pour dressing over the bean mixture; marinate overnight.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips.


Photo from