Meet the Aggies, our programs and people

Meet the Aggies, our programs and people

NCTA ag education major Audrey Heinz of Eaton, Colorado, visits with NCTA alumnus Conrad Nelson, who farms near Wallace about student programs. (M.Crawford/NCTA News photo)
NCTA ag education major Audrey Heinz of Eaton, Colorado, visits with NCTA alumnus Conrad Nelson, who farms near Wallace about student programs. (M.Crawford/NCTA News photo)

Sept. 30, 2019 

NCTA Dean’s Message

By Interim Dean Kelly Bruns, Ph.D.

Nebraska’s two-year collegiate opportunities in the University of Nebraska system are known throughout this great state!

Student ambassadors, staff and faculty recruiters, and our Dean’s Office team from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture have had outstanding opportunities this month.

We are enjoying meeting new friends as we share the story of the “gem of southwest Nebraska” to many audiences around the state.

Throughout September and into October, students from Nebraska high schools learn about post-secondary programs in technical schools, colleges and universities though college fairs or Educational Planning Programs.

We’ve had NCTA representatives at Mullen, Alliance, Chadron, Scottsbluff, Sidney, Ogallala, Ord, Broken Bow, Hastings, Kearney, McCook, North Platte and Grand Island. Students are quite interested in learning more about agribusiness, animal science, agronomy, ag mechanics, equine management, veterinary technology and newer programs such as poultry and dairy production, irrigation technology and welding.

Alumna Casey Gathje has returned to Nebraska from Oklahoma to join the NCTA team this week as assistant recruiter. She immediately hit the road traveling to some of these college fairs. Welcome Casey!

Recently, high school and college guidance counselors came to regional information sessions to learn about new academic programs and receive “Counselor Updates”.  Kevin Martin, NCTA student services advisor, and myself represented NCTA at Kearney, Lincoln, Omaha and Wayne.

I would like to share a few of my observations from these Counselor Updates:

  • Students are in need of affordable education opportunities. NCTA offers this.
  • Many students prefer small classes. NCTA has class sizes where our instructors know each of our students. This enhances communication and learning.
  • Students are desiring “hands-on learning” experiences.  NCTA’s mission is to provide this experiential learning with applied applications beyond the classroom.
  • Counselors speak highly of our instructors and programs at NCTA.

I am pleased to be affiliated with NCTA, a small, campus with a big impact.

Fall Festivities

NCTA enjoys a community celebration in Curtis when they can participate in the parade and fun of the Fall Festival. Students created displays on a large flatbed trailer with a giant tortoise and live animals, including exotic pets such as a snake.  The entry from the Student Technicians of Veterinary Medical Association club won fifth place.

Shotgun Sports

Colby Mitchell of Burwell led the Aggie Shotgun Sports Team at a mid-September Midland University Ice-out held in Lincoln. He scored 356 points overall in sporting clays, skeet, super sporting clays, double skeet and trap. David Jelkin of Hastings scored 349 and was second overall for the Aggies.  They competed among 139 shooters from 11 colleges in two-year and four-year divisions.

Aggie rodeo and judging

The Aggie Rodeo team traveled to Fort Dodge, Iowa as Iowa Central Community College hosted collegiate rodeo Friday and Saturday. Nathan Burnett of Shelton won the saddle bronc riding.  

Our Aggie Livestock Judging freshmen had an inter-squad scrimmage at Bertrand on Sept. 21. Lauren Nichols of Scottsbluff placed first.  She was joined by teammates Bailey Johnson, Hastings; Melody McDonald, St. Edward; Jose De La Cruz, Columbus; and Avery Bermel, Randolph.

Until next week, go Aggies!

NCTA Mission:  The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is devoted to a statewide mission of preparing students for successful careers in agriculture, veterinary technology, and related industries. The college provides open access to innovative technical education resulting in associate degrees, certificates, and other credentials.

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