Department COVID-19 Updates:

Rodeo, Range and Recruits

Rodeo, Range and Recruits

NCTA Rodeo Club members gathered on campus in October 2020 for a club photo. Nathan Burnett, champion saddle bronc rider, is in center back row. (NCTA News photo)
NCTA Rodeo Club members gathered on campus in October 2020 for a club photo. Nathan Burnett, champion saddle bronc rider, is in center back row. (NCTA News photo)

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

Rodeo action for collegiate student athletes takes center stage starting Sunday at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming.

It’s an exciting time for NCTA Aggie Rodeo as Nathan Burnett of Shelton has qualified in saddle bronc riding. He won the Great Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

Burnett is majoring in livestock management and agribusiness at NCTA. He competes three times at Casper before final qualifiers are determined for the short-go on Saturday, June 19.

I plan to represent NCTA and the University of Nebraska at the CNFR. President Ted Carter asked if I could attend, and I am pleased to be there cheering on both our Aggies and the NU Huskers.

Ride strong, Nathan! We are proud of your hard work and representation of NCTA Aggie Rodeo.

Congratulations to our neighbors at Mid-Plains Community College with campuses at McCook and North Platte.  They also compete in the Great Plains Region and will have a large contingent from Nebraska. We appreciate our close partnerships with NU and MPCC.

High school rodeos

Rodeo athletes from high schools across Nebraska wrapped up their 20-21 season over the weekend with final contests at Harrison and Crawford. Next stop is the Nebraska State High School Rodeo Finals in Hastings on June 17-19.  Congratulations to all competitors and their families for an outstanding season.

We realize that the rigorous travel across the state for weekend rodeos wouldn’t be possible without an extended rodeo “family” and supportive network. High school rodeo is jam-packed as most are back-to-back with a rodeo in one community on Saturday and in a nearby location on Sunday.

Add cutting horse competitions in there, too, on some weekends (or even one location) for several qualifying contests. The schedule creates challenges to agricultural families who have livestock and family commitments back home, sometimes hours away. Campers and trailers caravan season long from one rodeo to the next.

To state qualifiers and their families, NCTA will be in Hastings to share information about Aggie Rodeo and perhaps more importantly, emphasize our academic programs and opportunities to earn a college degree or certificate.

Look for our NCTA recruiter at the exhibit area and be sure to pick up a prize or brochure about Aggie rodeo.

Then, in Lincoln on July 18-24, also look for Aggie recruiters at the National High School Finals Rodeo. Nebraska has been preparing for this national event for two years. We hope to see many of you there!      

Range Camp

The Nebraska Youth Range Camp is based at NCTA for a 4-day camp this week. Nearly 30 youth campers have dotted the hillsides and pastures as they evaluate range resources.

Thanks to the many volunteers and instructors, and main sponsor the Nebraska Section of the Society for Range Management for returning to NCTA! It has been a pleasure to work with Range Camp co-director Shelly Kelly and meet some of these students, ages 14-18.

On Tuesday, we also hosted nearly 70 visitors to campus for New Student Enrollment Day. Perfect weather was a bonus to showcase our beautiful NCTA campus as students enrolled and started preparations to become Aggies.

Next Monday, we welcome veterinary technology students for summer classes. Their eight-week course begins on Flag Day, June 14.

Aggie Alumni Day June 26

Please make plans to participate in the Aggie Alumni Day on Saturday, June 26. A luncheon and awards program begins at 11:30 a.m. Register online at

You are invited to join Fay and I for an open house and tour of our home, the NCTA Dean’s Residence. Along with alumni, Curtis-area residents and friends are welcome from 2-4 p.m.

NCTA Events:

June 7-10:  Nebraska Youth Range Camp, NCTA

June 13-19: NCTA at Collegiate National Finals Rodeo, Casper, Wyo.

June 17-19: NCTA at Nebraska State High School Rodeo Finals, Hastings

June 25:  Herding Basics Dog Clinic, 10 a.m., NCTA LTC

June 26:  Aggie Alumni Day, 10 a.m., Registration, 11:30 a.m. Luncheon

June 26:  NCTA Dean’s Residence Open House, 2-4 p.m.

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 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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