NCTA: Learning and sharing

NCTA: Learning and sharing

Stock dogs are helpful in safe cattle handling for herding and sorting cattle. (Photo by Dottie Fulton / NCTA Stock Dog Team)
Stock dogs are helpful in safe cattle handling for herding and sorting cattle. (Photo by Dottie Fulton / NCTA Stock Dog Team)

Sept. 13, 2018

By NCTA Dean Ron Rosati, Ph.D.

September is a busy month for agriculture as producers are harvesting crops, weaning spring–born calves and drilling fall cover crops and winter wheat.

The bounty from hard work and commitment to goals also pays off for college students engaged in academic enrichment activities at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

Our Aggie teams in several collegiate sports have started their fall competitions. Individually, they are testing skills each has honed in classes and programs at NCTA in Curtis.

Students and their coaches from four teams represented NCTA in recent competitions. The Ranch Horse Team went to Sterling, Colo., the Aggie Rodeo Team traveled to Fall River, Wisconsin, the Shooting Sports Team made a day trip down to Hays, Kansas, and several NCTA Stock Dog Team members participated nearby at the Wellfleet Fall Festival.

Five years ago our veterinary technology program started a livestock dog club to teach the practices of safe handling of cattle and sheep. Professor Judy Bowmaster Cole receives wonderful support from local stock dog owners and the region’s Outback Stock Dog Association.

Our student stock dog handlers competed at the Nebraska State Fair in late August, and did well last week in Wellfleet. The NCTA Club will be taking their dogs to be a part of the Curtis Fall Festival Parade on Saturday.

The Ranch Horse Team coached by Joanna Hergenreder kicked off their season in a two-day show and brought home several champion and reserve champion placings. Congratulations, Aggies!

Students can use their own horse or use a college horse in contests rating the rider and horse in cattle or ranch work. These students compete in practical ranch skills such as sorting cattle, reining and cutting animals out from the group, or maneuvering through trail class obstacles. These contests test the students on skills needed multiple times a day when mounted horseback in a real-life ranch setting.

Beginning, intermediate and advanced riding courses taught at NCTA help these equine and livestock managers gain a thorough understanding of working animals on the range or in a feedlot setting.

The NCTA Rodeo Team is in the Great Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. Ten Aggies made the trek to River Falls, Wisconsin, along with their coach, NCTA alumnus and team roper Taylor Rossenbach of Curtis.

The Aggies will have their shortest trip of the fall season this weekend as they head up the road to the Wild West Arena at North Platte where, in the Friday and Saturday go-rounds, they will be hosted by Mid-Plains Community College. It’s sure to be a great contest with plenty of local fans to cheer on contestants from 13 colleges. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Hastings College, MPCC and NCTA are the Nebraska Four.

Four freshmen with the NCTA Shooting Sports Team and their coach Alan Taylor traveled to Ft. Hays, Kansas on Saturday.  Coach Taylor says the young men did well in the sporting clays contest and gained confidence in their shooting.

Team members practice twice a week at the Curtis Gun Club, and this year archery is added to Aggie Shooting Sports. The Aggies are hosting a sporting clays fundraiser this Saturday, Sept. 15 during the Curtis Fall Festival. Join them at the Curtis range east of town from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Each of these academic enrichment experiences provide technical skills, leadership, work ethic, and instill team spirit among the campus community. We are fortunate to have dedicated, enthusiastic coaches for NCTA programs.

Enjoy the Fall Festival this weekend, and watch for NCTA students and volunteers at the parade, Star Theater, activities at the park, arena and on campus. Go Aggies!

Upcoming Events:

Sept. 14-15 - Aggie Rodeo at North Platte

Sept. 15-16 - Curtis Fall Festival

Sept. 17 – Frontier County 4-H Council, 7 p.m., Ag Hall

Sept. 18 – Collegiate Cattlemen, 5:30 p.m., LTC

Sept. 20 – Nebraska Cattlemen’s Cow Calf Field Day, 10 a.m., Ed Center

Sept. 22 – UNSTA Class of ’68 Reunion, Curtis

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

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