Our link to students, families

Our link to students, families

Sheep evaluation during a recent FFA contest at NCTA in Curtis. (Photo by Annie Bassett, NCTA student)
Sheep evaluation during a recent FFA contest at NCTA in Curtis. (Photo by Annie Bassett, NCTA student)

Nov. 20, 2019   

NCTA Dean’s Message

By Interim Dean Kelly Bruns, Ph.D.

Aggie students have had some great experiences recently in working with youth in middle school and high school classes, and 4-H and FFA programs.

This month, our Aggie outreach by the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture has extended to youth and families in several initiatives:

  • We hosted about 50 prospective students (and family members) at the Discovery Day on Monday,
  • Campus coordinated contests, meals and daylong activities for nearly 800 FFA members and their chapter leaders during the District 9 and District 12 CDE contests here a week ago,
  • STEM career explorations continue for the 8th grade students from Adams Middle School in North Platte.

These programs are in addition to our regularly scheduled classes, laboratories and activities on a busy campus. I salute our faculty, staff and Aggie students for their dedicated planning and educational public service.

Additionally, on a near-weekly basis this fall, our college outreach extends far beyond Curtis.

One of those experiences was the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis where students receiving their American FFA Degree were able to attend in person. Some students traveled with families and friends for the honor- a culmination of a rewarding FFA career.

This fall, we have had wonderful dialogs with youngsters, their teachers, leaders and families about agricultural learning.

Student ambassadors assist in hosting visitors for campus tours, serving on panel discussions for groups, and leading interactive hands-on learning at events such as the Nebraska Extension career exploration “Connecting the Dots” programs.

Five students in the Agriculture Education headed by Dr. Doug Smith are gaining early classroom experience as teachers when leading Q&A sessions. The five share confident, articulate and friendly conversations, in addition to their agricultural knowledge.

From recruiting at Husker Harvest Days, to communicating through media opportunities in public venues, these young women are teaching and informing audiences about agricultural topics and bringing listeners a greater awareness about at NCTA.

Recent public programs for industry groups and forums with production partners included Continuing Education for veterinary technicians and animal health providers at the end of October, and then the Nebraska Goat and Sheep Association meetings in early November.

Many of our college alumni are products of the 4-H and FFA programs in Nebraska, as well as nationally. Often, we see alumni returning to NCTA to enroll their children.

Alumni living and working in southwest Nebraska engage our students with on-farm work opportunities. They want to be involved in campus programs and training such as the volunteers who work with our stock dog, rodeo, shotgun sports, livestock judging, ranch horse, crops judging and agribusiness teams.

Each volunteer, coach, mentor and instructor who works with youth – whether young people or our NCTA students – makes a difference in the life of that individual.

In the next few weeks, prospective college students and their parents are diligently fine-tuning resumes, college scholarship and financial aid applications. We look forward to welcoming each one as an Aggie.

And, we look forward to working with you as the University of Nebraska’s only two-year institution. We are dedicated to our statewide mission cited below:

NCTA 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.

Upcoming events

Nov. 20-21:  NCTA Stock Dog booth at McCook Farm & Ranch Expo

Nov. 22-24:  Aggie Ranch Horse Team to Winterfest in Colorado

Nov. 25: Heuermann Lecture, public invited, 3:30 p.m., Ed Center

Nov. 27-29:  NCTA student break for Thanksgiving

Nov. 28-29:  NCTA offices closed

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