Aggie recruiter is NCTA alumna

Aggie recruiter is NCTA alumna

NCTA’s new assistant recruiting coordinator is Casey Gathje, a 2010 agronomy graduate of NCTA. (Crawford/NCTA News Photo)
NCTA’s new assistant recruiting coordinator is Casey Gathje, a 2010 agronomy graduate of NCTA. (Crawford/NCTA News Photo)

Oct. 28, 2019

By NCTA News and Nicole Wright, student writer

CURTIS, Neb. – A Willie Nelson tune could become the mantra for Omaha native Casey Gathje.

The 2010 graduate of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis is “On the Road Again” – this time to the 92nd annual National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Last month Gathje was hired by her alma mater to become NCTA’s assistant recruiting coordinator.

She spent much of her first 30 days on the job traveling for the 2-year ag school, taking college to new friends in her NCTA outreach at high schools and college fairs.

This week she sets up an NCTA recruiting base in booth #2465 at the three-day FFA Expo. She can walk the talk in conversations about agriculture.

After earning an associate degree in diversified agriculture at NCTA, Gathje worked as an irrigation researcher for a year before transferring to Oklahoma Panhandle State University. There, she graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and agricultural business.

Later she became a soil scientist, which she pursued for six years before returning to Nebraska this fall.

What brought you to NCTA?

“As a student, the small campus offered a hands-on and personal learning experience. As a recruiter, I love this college, and I enjoy being able to tell people why this campus is such a good opportunity.”

You used to write for the school newsletter. What else did you participate in at NCTA?

“I wrote the newsletter Aggie Up, which I enjoyed. I also was the school photographer, I was a student ambassador, worked in maintenance, and participated in several other activities such as Women in Agriculture, Collegiate Cattlemen, 4-H and FFA, Student Senate, and Collegiate Farm Bureau.”

How do you plan to improve NCTA’s current recruitment strategies?

“I plan to increase out-of-state recruitment as well as urban recruitment. I also would like to utilize social media more.”

What advice would you give current students?

“Always ask questions, no matter what, and stay involved.”

Why should future college students choose NCTA?

“Education here is sustainable. You can continue to learn, grow and develop from what is taught at NCTA. All of our courses are practical and hands-on.”

Back on the Aggie campus

“Casey was very involved as a student and a student worker while at NCTA,” recalls Kevin Martin, NCTA’s student ADA/504 coordinator and advisor. “We’re glad to have her back in Curtis.”

Gathje has ambitious plans for NCTA’s recruitment and will be working with student services, communications, college alumni, and many campus events. She still enjoys photography, hosting groups for campus tours, and traveling to high schools.

She learned about the University of Nebraska’s sole two-year college from an NCTA recruiter during a college fair when a junior at Omaha North High School.

“It’s true that my theme song really could be ‘on the road again’ with NCTA,” Gathje said, as she took a driving break Monday somewhere between Missouri and Illinois.

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