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Aggies on the recruiting trail

Aggies on the recruiting trail

The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture recruiting outreach in July includes the National Junior Hereford Spectacular at Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Andela Taylor / NCTA)
The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture recruiting outreach in July includes the National Junior Hereford Spectacular at Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Andela Taylor / NCTA)

Dean’s Message by NCTA Dean Larry Gossen, Ph.D.

July is the start of county fairs across Nebraska, often mixed with concerts and rodeos.

Summer activities that begin at the family farm or ranch often are the result of months of hard work by a 4-H’er or FFA member. Or, in the case of rodeo, the entire family engaged in nightly practices and travels to junior or high school rodeos.

We also applaud the youth and families engaged in raising and exhibiting livestock in specific breed associations or junior livestock shows. To all who have competed with animals and favorite projects, or in the throes of preparing for fair week quickly approaching, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture appreciates your commitment and congratulates you!

College outreach by NCTA faculty and staff also starts here “at home” in Curtis. Summer workshops and field days attract youth and adults. Andela Taylor of Cambridge and Rulon Taylor of Curtis joined NCTA as recruiters last fall.

This summer, they are traveling to agricultural events, fairs, rodeos, livestock shows, and college career programs.

You are apt to find our NCTA recruiters, staff, and faculty at some of your summer activities.  Maybe they are judges, fair superintendents, organizers, parents or volunteers, Watch for NCTA Aggies!

Here at NCTA

With stakeholders and visitors to NCTA, our recruiters engage in many capacities. Andela and Rulon give tours, answer questions, greet guests, and lend a hand to make each event successful. Last month when more than 100 people attended Aggie Alumni Day the two took alumni on campus tours, driving up and down the hills, seeing facilities, old and new, and learning about experiences and memories from high school and college.

Rulon was at NCTA last week, greeting and engaging participants at three activities:  New Student Enrollment, Agronomy Youth Field Day, and a 3-day Ag Mech/Ag Teachers Boot Camp.

He shares most often-asked questions at NSE are about student life, the Curtis community and job opportunities. Once students and parents have learned about the academic aspects of NCTA, they ask community support, activities and how students interact with businesses, organizations, churches, and recreation.

The agronomy field day was enjoyable as youngsters were eager to fly a drone, experience hands-on learning in the field and lab. Rulon connected their STEM activities and topics to college courses and careers. “The hands-on things they learn here today and in college courses at NCTA helps prepare them for a good job in agriculture.”

Recruiters Out ‘N About

Andela traveled to Kansas City for a college career fair and recruiting at the National Junior Hereford Spectacular. Since the NCTA exhibit was along the entry point to the show arena, Andela had a great chance to speak with many of the 900 exhibitors (from 41 states) as they lined up for classes.

“Their command of the cattle was beyond impressive. From fearless pee-wees to seasoned seniors, the Hereford breed is in good hands," she shares. This week she plans a visit to the National Junior Angus Show in Grand Island.

Other recruiting includes conversations at the Furnas County Fair, a college fair at the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute in Lincoln and setting up our NCTA expo booth for the National High School Rodeo Finals which is July 18-24 in Lincoln.

I will join Rulon and Andela, along with Aggie collegiate saddle bronc rider Nathan Burnett of Shelton, in representing NCTA at the NHSRF College Fair on Monday. We look forward to meeting some of the 1,700 high school rodeo qualifiers and telling them about NCTA: Our Small Campus with a BIG Impact!

After a short breather in travel, NCTA recruiters, a few alumni and Aggie students along with our own Macy Zentner, Miss Burwell, will cross the Sandhills to Burwell for Nebraska’s BIG Rodeo. Look for NCTA’s big red truck in the parade on July 31 and with a recruiting table near the western store downtown. See you there!

We end July and open August outreach at the Frontier County Fair & Rodeo in Stockville on July 31-August 8, and the Eustis Fair & Corn Show Aug. 1-7. Best wishes to all exhibitors, parents and families for a safe and fun fair! And, great appreciation to the many volunteers, leaders, fair board members, and Kathy Burr and team from Nebraska Extension Frontier County, for putting on successful and safe fairs!

Have a safe and productive July!     

NCTA Events:

July 14: NCTA recruiter at Furnas County Fair, Beaver City

July 15: NCTA recruiter at NAYI Career Fair, Lincoln

July 18-24:  NCTA recruiters at National HS Rodeo Finals, Lincoln

July 31:  NCTA at Nebraska’s BIG Rodeo, Burwell

July 31: Start of Frontier County Fair & Rodeo

Part of the University of Nebraska system, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is a two-year institution with a statewide mission of preparing students for successful careers in agriculture, veterinary technology and related industries. NCTA is known for its affordable tuition, high job-placement rate for its graduates, and for the success of student teams in competitive activities including crops judging, ranch horse events, livestock judging, shotgun sports, stock dog trials, and intercollegiate rodeo. The college is consistently ranked as one of the best two-year schools in the nation.

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