Department COVID-19 Updates:

Measuring Aggie advantages

Measuring Aggie advantages

Aggie Rodeo Team ended its fall season in September yet the students meet for rodeo seminar twice weekly to hone their skills. Competition resumes next spring. (Emma Bassler / NCTA Rodeo)
Aggie Rodeo Team ended its fall season in September yet the students meet for rodeo seminar twice weekly to hone their skills. Competition resumes next spring. (Emma Bassler / NCTA Rodeo)

Oct. 13, 2020

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

Financial savings when applying for college classes don’t get much better than a current opportunity at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

Cost of education is reduced through the University of Nebraska system for students seeking admission to NCTA and three other NU campuses. Here in Curtis, NCTA applicants can consider three incentives:

  • Nebraska students applying online by Sunday evening (Oct. 18) can have the $45 application fee waived, just by asking.
  • Families in Nebraska who have an annual income of $60,000 or less can have their student or students attend NCTA tuition-free.
  • All fulltime or part-time NCTA students, regardless of residence, have college tuition frozen at $139 per credit hour for the next two years.

Get out your calculator to figure the savings. Better yet, see our website at for details or a college calculator.  Or call our enrollment or admissions department at 1-800-3-CURTIS to have a conversation about these initiatives.

NCTA has the most affordable 2-year college in Nebraska, according to 2020 rankings reported by WalletHub, a personal finance website. In comparisons to six community colleges, the statewide programs of NCTA lead in career outcomes for graduate salaries, education outcomes, and cost and financing of a college education.

We are grateful to NU President Ted Carter and the Board of Regents for creating an affordable Aggie advantage.

Connecting through teams

In the past four months I’ve enjoyed getting to know our Aggie students and observing them in action, both in the classroom and laboratory as well as in their interactions with Aggie teammates on academic teams.

These competition teams are academic enhancements. Students earn course credits as they pay tuition and fees for this educational component of their college career.

Students interested in Aggie rodeo, ranch horse team, crops judging, livestock evaluation, stock dog team, and shotgun sports teams enroll in their experiential learning seminar which meets several times each week.

Travel and competition teams teach students the skills and knowledge specific to educational goals in farm or ranch production, agronomy and crops consulting, livestock or equine management, veterinary technology, and agribusiness management. Leadership, discipline, time management, public speaking, and teamwork are priority personal development aspects for student athletes and competitors.

Professors and team coaches are fulltime or adjunct faculty members. These individuals are quite dedicated to their competition/travel teams, teaching at least one section of the seminar class.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and regional or state health guidelines which affect college programs, many of these competition teams have been on reduced travels this fall.

As administrators, we carefully review each request for off-site travel and the health/safety plan for the student teams.  Fortunately, many of the activities are outdoors such as shotgun sports contests, rodeos and livestock events.  These allow for physical distancing amid the safety precautions.

NCTA Aggie Teams in Autumn Action

Livestock Judging Team – The team traveled to several states this fall for contests and has ended its competition season. They will be hosting FFA contests here at NCTA in November, and travel to other district FFA contests as official judges.

Ranch Horse Team – Several students submitted filmed entries to a virtual contest in September, and traveled to Elbert, Colorado this weekend. A second virtual contest may be next, with the Northeastern Junior College Fall Showdown at Torrington, Wyoming.

Rodeo Team– Completed its fall season after double rodeos at North Platte, Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Dickinson, North Dakota. Nathan Burnett of Shelton is leading the Great Plains Region in saddle bronc riding.

NCTA Shotgun Sports – The team has traveled for five meets this season, finishing this weekend at the Hastings College meet at Heartland Shooting Park west of Grand Island. The team will be hosting a fundraising sporting clay event at the Curtis Gun Club range on Nov. 7 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Stock Dog Team – A few students competed at the Nebraska State Fair contest in September, then NCTA hosted a two-day trial here at NCTA in conjunction with the regional Outback Stock Dog Association. They will host a clinic with John Holman on Oct. 24-25, and then another public trial at campus on Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

Vet Tech Appreciation Week

This week we celebrate and appreciate the contributions of veterinary technicians. The Vet Tech students at NCTA plan an activity each day. They also are preparing for the 44th year of continuing education sessions on Oct. 23-24 here at the NCTA Veterinary Technology Systems complex.

Thank you, vet techs, for all that you do to support animal health and the wellbeing of their owners!

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.

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