Always Give Thanks

Dean Larry Gossen highlights many reasons to always be thankful at NCTA.
Dean Larry Gossen highlights many reasons to always be thankful at NCTA.

November 20, 2023



By Dr. Larry Gossen


This week is a time to reflect on our blessings and show our gratitude to those around us.


Heartwarming is the word I use when I talk to people from across the state that, when they learn I’m from NCTA, tell me of someone they know, or they attended UNSA, UNSTA, or NCTA. There is always a fond memory they want to share or a story of some kind.


At times, it is difficult to feel grateful. Sometimes it’s challenges in the classroom, weather related issues, vehicles breaking down unexpectedly, or any number of things. However, even in these hard times, we still have reasons to be thankful.


Never take for granted that we live in the greatest nation in the world; that we have access to fresh water, clean air, ample food; that we have a caring community and friends and family that love us.


Keeping these good thoughts in our minds will help you get through hard times. I am reminded when I read my favorite Book, that we should think about things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, and excellent.


Several things come to my mind when I look back on this past year at NCTA. We have truly been blessed in so many ways. Enrollment numbers have remained relatively steady. We have added new faculty and staff, and celebrate those that have chosen to retire this year after giving many years of service to the university.


Good things are happening on the recruiting trail. The majority of our students have a common link to a local FFA chapter. Whether from Nebraska, California, Florida, or New York, we continue to broaden our outreach in FFA. Nathaly Dragoo, Kia Brown, Haley Robb, Morel Jurado, Wyatt Deemer, and myself represented NCTA at the national FFA convention and made connections with students from across the nation.


I know that the success of NCTA can be placed squarely on our outstanding faculty and staff. They are passionate about students, focused on student success, and dedicated to making NCTA the best it can be. They believe NCTA is the place for students to come and get the very best education in agriculture and veterinary technology.


Veterans Day a couple of weeks ago reminds us again to be thankful for our freedoms, and for the men and women in uniform that have helped preserve those freedoms. Regardless of your politics, religion, or other beliefs, we can celebrate our freedom to exercise these rights and privileges every day.


I continue to be amazed at the generosity of our alumni, stakeholders, and friends across this state and nation that continue to support the mission and vision of NCTA. Whether large or small, donations come in that provide opportunities for our students. Their support makes what we do possible in so many ways.


Never before have I been so excited to be part of an organization whose primary purpose is the success of students. I am truly grateful to be part of NCTA and serve those students, faculty, staff, and the community of Curtis across the region, state, and country.


Gratitude should be a yearlong attitude and way of life for us all. Let this Thanksgiving season be the beginning of a year of gratefulness and appreciation to all those that cross your path. Enjoy your time with friends and family. And my best (worst) advice, don’t gobble your turkey.



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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