Chandra Castle Scholars 2023

Chandra Castle Scholars 2023

The Castle family presented the scholarship awards to Donald Rohr, Frontier County, and Tailyn Thompson, Genoa, CO.
The Castle family presented the scholarship awards to Donald Rohr, Frontier County, and Tailyn Thompson, Genoa, CO.

August 10, 2023

Donald Rohr and Tailyn Thompson Awarded the Chandra Castle Memorial Scholarship

By Andela Taylor/NCTA news

CURTIS, Neb. – In a testament to the enduring legacy of Chandra Castle, two promising agriculture students were honored in May as the recipients of the prestigious Chandra Castle Memorial Scholarship for the upcoming academic year at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA).

Donald Rohr, of rural Frontier County and a Cambridge High School graduate, and Tailyn Thompson, of Genoa, Colorado, and a graduate of Limon High School, each received the coveted Chandra Castle Memorial Scholarship for $1,000. Both students are poised to begin their sophomore year at NCTA.

This award is a testament to their dedication, much like Chandra, to the field of agriculture and their pursuit of higher education. At the awards ceremony in May, Kevin Martin, Student Advisor, shared, "The selection for this scholarship is not typical, as we choose to honor those who are like Chandie; they are hard workers, know what they want, and they're just super kids."

The scholarship's legacy is rooted in the memory of Chandra Castle, a student who tragically lost her life in a car accident in January 2008. Before her untimely passing, Chandra had completed the requirements for an associate degree in agribusiness and was on the cusp of earning her second degree in production agriculture. Her family, based in Olathe, Colorado, has continued to honor her passion for agriculture and NCTA by annually supporting students pursuing similar dreams through these scholarships.

"The loss of Chandra was devastating to all of us," said Martin in her honor, "she was perfect for NCTA. She was everything that this place embodies. She worked really, really hard, she had to work hard, the culture fit her, everything fit her." Her namesake Chandie's Castle Deli, and a Colorado Blue Spruce planted in her honor are lasting reminders of the legacy of her time here as a student.

Tailyn Thompson's agricultural journey was nurtured on the family farm in Colorado. Her love of the process of crop production led her to study agronomy and compete on the crops judging team.

Donald Rohr is majoring in animal science with a focus on feedlot management. NCTA is a familiar place to him, growing up just 30 minutes east in Frontier County. Donald has excelled in FFA and 4H, showing and judging cattle.

Donald and Tailyn embody Chandie Castle's qualities: hard work, determination, kindness, and a sincere enthusiasm for agricultural studies.

For more information about NCTA's programs and scholarship opportunities, please visit or contact 1-800-3CURTIS.

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 student teams' success 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.

#  #  #

Download a PDF of this press release