Aggie Alumni Banquet June 24 in Broken Bow features alumnus, cowboy poet

Aggie Alumni Banquet June 24 in Broken Bow features alumnus, cowboy poet

R.P. Smith, Custer County rancher and cowboy poet, is an UNSTA alumnus. (Photo courtesy of RP Smith)
R.P. Smith, Custer County rancher and cowboy poet, is an UNSTA alumnus. (Photo courtesy of RP Smith)

June 15, 2017

By NCTA News Service                                                       

Broken Bow, Neb. – Rancher, cowboy poet and Curtis Aggie alumnus R.P. Smith of Custer County will entertain classmates and college friends when Aggie alumni gather June 24 in Broken Bow.

The Aggie Alumni Association of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture and its predecessor college, the University of Nebraska School of Technical Agriculture, expects about 85 registrants for the annual reunion, said Kim Bowers Mortensen, alumni association president.

“We have quite a few alumni from the Sandhills region so we are looking forward to a great turnout,” said Mortensen, a native of Iowa and Class of ’83 UNSTA Vet Tech graduate, who with her husband Allan and family, farms and custom feeds cattle near Curtis.

Aggie alumni leadership decided last fall to head north to Broken Bow for the 2017 gathering so that more graduates who live in north central Nebraska could attend. Registrations are still underway, Mortensen said.

Saturday festivities will include an annual banquet, awards presentations, a campus update from NCTA Dean Ron Rosati, and entertainment by alumnus, area rancher and cowboy poet R.P. Smith. Smith and his wife, Beth, are alumni and ranch in a 4-generation family operation.

“It’s been exciting to have registrations coming in from all over the state, and even from Texas, and to see some of the items donated for the silent and live auctions which benefit student scholarships to NCTA,” Mortensen added.

Recent graduates are invited to attend, as well as scholarship recipients and alumni of honor classes from 1972, 1977, 1982, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2012. Awards will be presented for alumni service and alumni achievement, life members, distinguished service and the new “Leave Your Mark” honor.

Special recognition will be given to the Mervin Eighmy Foundation, which will be represented by Jim Jones of Eddyville, a rancher, former Nebraska state senator and Eighmy Foundation board member. Last fall, the Foundation contributed $16,000 to purchase news welders and shop equipment for the NCTA Welding Program.

Eighmy, who died in June, 2000, was president and director of Gooch Feed Mills, owned a Custer County ranch and resided near Buckeye, located 17 miles south of Broken Bow. The foundation in his name supports educational and youth programs.

High school students who attended Nebraska School of Agriculture (NSA) and University of NSA during its tenure from 1913-1967 will be recognized. The college was started as UNSTA in 1965 with two years of overlap as both a high school and college.

Saturday activities will include a board meeting at 1 p.m. at the Bonfire Grill, with the 5:30 p.m. social and 7 p.m. banquet both at the Nebraska One Box Convention Center.

Alumni Association officers are:  President Kim Bowers Mortensen of Curtis, President-elect Dave Mehaffey of Bellwood, Secretary Catherine Potter Hauptman, Treasurer Taylor Rossenbach, and Past President/Awards Chairman Dan Stehlik, all of Curtis.

To register, contact Hauptman in the NCTA Dean’s Office at 308 367-5200, 1-800-3CURTIS or e-mail

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