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Holiday blessings in 2020

Holiday blessings in 2020

NCTA Associate Professor Barb Berg in a veterinary technology class in February, before colleges instituted COVID-19 protocols. The NCTA Vet Tech facility is unique with an auditorium which enables students to observe surgeries. None were occurring during this lecture. (Crawford / NCTA News photo)
NCTA Associate Professor Barb Berg in a veterinary technology class in February, before colleges instituted COVID-19 protocols. The NCTA Vet Tech facility is unique with an auditorium which enables students to observe surgeries. None were occurring during this lecture. (Crawford / NCTA News photo)

Dec. 21, 2020

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

This fall semester has been a mixture of challenges and blessings for the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture and our Aggie students.

We successfully navigated COVID-19 and still were able to have in-person classes at the Curtis campus.  While some in our campus community faced health circumstances during the semester, we all are thankful for their recovery.

In the past week, as the college students were done with the semester and most all were back at their homes or holiday destinations, the final semester grades were tabulated and I was able to announce the Dean’s List and Dean’s Honor Roll for NCTA.

Congratulations to each student who achieved the goal of a 3.5 grade point average or higher. In all, we had 48 students earning academic merit.

Thirteen Aggies ended this semester with a perfect 4.0 GPA to make the Dean’s List. And 35 had a 3.5-3.99 for Deans Honor Roll.

Students must be fulltime enrollees, with at least 12 credit hours for the semester to be eligible for the academic designations. I congratulate each of them, and I also extend a sincere thank you to the faculty who dedicate extensive resources throughout the year to the academic success of all NCTA students.

Also occurring last week at campus were two separate district programs for FFA Leadership Development Events, also known in the FFA vernacular as LDEs.  Thank you to all who came to campus in person or who participated in virtual LDE programs.

These types of initiatives for high school youth are an important aspect of their education. Students learn to prepare public presentations and deliver speeches. They concentrate on critical thinking and analysis of situations.

FFA members learn and refine leadership skills with the procedural aspects of conducting a business meeting, serving in an elected office of their organization, and planning projects for their FFA chapter.

A tip of the hat to the volunteers who judge these LDE programs, to the many agricultural education advisors and FFA families who teach and assist in many hours of practice, and to the FFA members, themselves, for taking the initiative to set goals and attain them.

A much-deserved holiday break is now upon us as the University of Nebraska system, of which NCTA is affiliated, will close business offices and campuses for Christmas and through the New Year. Our offices will re-open on Monday, January 4, and NCTA students will begin the next semester on January 11.

Meanwhile, as most of us begin this holiday shutdown on December 24, we do have mouths to feed at campus with the livestock and animals maintained in our teaching programs.

Just as farmers and ranchers have animals to care for, and horse and companion animal owners have chores to do, so do our essential workers at NCTA. Our appreciation to students and staff in our Veterinary Technology Systems program and to Alan Taylor, assistant professor and Experiential Learning Coordinator, for their care of the fur, feathered, exotic animals, horses and livestock over these next 10 days.

May you all have healthy, safe, and joyous holidays. Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings!

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 numerous 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.