Enriching conversations on, off campus
By NCTA Dean Larry Gossen, Ph.D.
Week #1 of the fall semester is in the books!
By now, the students at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture are settled into their class schedules and residential accommodations here on campus or in the community.
Throughout the fall semester, one of our many goals is to provide educational experiences and enriching opportunities for students. We can do that on a small campus as we can be flexible in our planning.
Three unique opportunities occurred in week #1, and more are coming up later this week.
Classes started on August 22, and we’ve already had delegations of students off-site on enrichment experiences.
On August 24, a dozen students from the animal science and range management courses participated in the open house at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory north of Whitman.
I joined three faculty and the students in learning about topics ranging from weather, ag markets, Eastern Red Cedar control, post-fire grazing and forage management, to yearling production systems and first-hand accounts from cattle producers who manage yearlings.
Attending and in the accompanying photo are, from left:
Pictured, from left: Faculty Doug Smith and Kelley Duggan, students Claudia Stevens, Fordyce; Maddy Carr, North Platte; Nathaly Dragoo, Lincoln; Konnor Thompson, Nelson; Levi Lennemann, Franklin; Keith Miller, Nelson; Carson Harting, Norton, Kansas; Payden Leiker, Pfeifer, Kansas; Luke Larson, Geyserville, California; Andrea Hipke, Spencer (in front of sign); NCTA Dean Larry Gossen, Emma Harms, Sterling; and faculty Alan Taylor.
While classroom lectures and learning labs are foremost at a college, interactions with industry and our agricultural partners is crucial as well.
A second delegation of agronomy students and their professor Brad Ramsdale went to North Platte the next day, August 25, for the Water and Crops Field Day at the West Central Research, Extension and Education Center.
NCTA works closely with the WCREEC faculty and staff. Being nearby geographically is an advantage for our students who can participate in research and work experiences.
These industry programs by our Nebraska Extension partners help our students to understand the much bigger picture of agriculture than what they see at their own local farm or here at NCTA.
I commend our faculty for taking our students to these field days and ensuring that Aggie students can engage with the industry.
A third opportunity during the first week was to Grand Island where animal science and livestock judging team members helped with the 4-H sheep and beef shows at the Nebraska State Fair. They received stock at check-in, kept exhibitors organized and directed in the show arenas, and gained behind-the-scenes experiences working a major livestock competition.
This weekend, we again will have an NCTA presence at the State Fair. Recruiter Rulon Taylor takes the NCTA booth to the Raising Nebraska Building Thursday through Saturday.
Livestock students will help at the FFA livestock shows. The NCTA Collegiate Cattlemen will be serving Nebraska beef and meals at the Beef Pit from 3-9 p.m. on Saturday.
Veterinary Technician student Bryanna Grim of Farwell gains great experience with the public and Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association volunteers in the State Fair Birthing Pavilion.
Aggie Rodeo team members help run the high school rodeo on Labor Day. Be sure to check out the FFA shows and agricultural exhibits of the fair!
High school students can shop for 2-year and 4-year colleges and post-secondary programs at a series of Educational Planning Programs, also known at College Fairs, beginning September 6.
Our NCTA recruiters, the dynamic duo of Rulon Taylor and Andela Taylor (unrelated by the way) will be traversing more of the northeastern, eastern and southeastern part of the state next week.
Organizers at local events invite high schools from their area to these EPP’s – with some expecting up to 1,000 students at large venues. Look for Rulon or Andela at York, Columbus, Peru, Falls City, Beatrice, Gretna and Fremont.
Also, NCTA student clubs are being encouraged to volunteer for community service at the Wellfleet Fall Festival Sept. 9-10 and the Curtis Fall Festival Sept. 16-18. See you at a fair or festival!
Aug. 31: NCTA at Cuming County College Fair, West Point, 4-7 p.m.
Sept. 3: NCTA Collegiate Cattlemen, State Fair Beef Pit, 3-9 p.m.
Sept. 5: Aggie Rodeo at State Fair High School Rodeo, 10 a.m.
Sept. 5: Aggie Sporting Clays fundraiser, Taylor’s Pasture, Maywood, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Sept. 5: Labor Day, campus closed
Sept. 6-9: NCTA at College Fairs York, Columbus, Peru, Falls City, Beatrice, Gretna and Fremont
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.Download a PDF of this press release