Seeds of success, tree of knowledge

Seeds of success, tree of knowledge

Tzi Martinez trims trees inside the greenhouse in June at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. He has organized a tree planting session for the public on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at NCTA. (Anthony Gardner / NCTA photo)
Tzi Martinez trims trees inside the greenhouse in June at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. He has organized a tree planting session for the public on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at NCTA. (Anthony Gardner / NCTA photo)

By NCTA Dean Larry Gossen, Ph.D.

Happy Autumn!

The Curtis community and our Aggie students at NCTA are noticing and appreciating the gradual outdoor improvements being made around campus.

Slow but sure may best describe some of the upgrades which require bids and contracts through vendors such as for new lighting and paving of streets.

Summertime projects which have extended into the fifth week of fall semester, include landscaping and plantings for the long term.

We all enjoy the nice shade of so many of the older, large trees around campus. And, after removal recently of some of the aging trees, we’ve promised to plant replacements.

Did you know that NCTA is part of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum? We do have an extensive inventory of trees, shrubs, and plantings on campus.

I invite community residents to join us at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28 for a tree planting extravaganza. We will couple an educational program on arbor techniques with tree planting.

Campus beautification

The college was fortunate to be awarded six trees through a program sponsored by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum and Nebraska Forest Service. The two entities are affiliated with our sister campus, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The new trees are due to the enterprise of Tzi Martinez, our campus groundskeeper. When he began his new role on campus in June, he applied for the free trees. The program emphasizes public benefit for trees to be planted on public property.

Once NCTA trees were approved, Tzi worked with Chrissy Land, community forestry specialist with the Nebraska Forest Service. The trees were ordered through Huebner’s Nursery, Lawn and Garden Center in North Platte.

Youth in school groups and 4-H clubs, community gardeners and anyone interested in planting trees is encouraged to join us. The Forest Service provides support to public education.

Meet at the large parking lot of the Nebraska Agriculture Industry Education Center.

Tzi consulted Chrissy about various locations on campus to plant a replacement or new tree. Trees are 6-7 foot tall and will include:

  • Two Skyline Honey Locust and two Burr Oak on the north edge of the Ed Center parking lot. They should eventually grow into large, shade trees.
  • A Shumard Oak at the southeast area in front of Ag Hall. If successful, this will introduce a new variety of oak to the lawn.
  • A Hackberry tree is planned for a parking area north of Ag Hall. Two Elm trees in that location need to be removed.

I look forward to seeing some of you on campus next Wednesday. Be prepared to pitch in and help our NCTA Horticulture Club, Aggie students, and help plant a tree in our Aggie soil.

To learn more about activities and programs of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, see @NeArb for social media, or the web site

Aggie teams in action

This weekend we have three Aggie teams traveling for collegiate contests.  Aggie Rodeo goes to Fort Dodge, Iowa;  Shotgun Sports Team is south of North Platte at the Lincoln County Gun Club;  and Livestock Judging goes to Amarillo, Texas to the Tri-State Fair, then returns to Nebraska for the Aksarben Contests in Grand Island.  We wish them safe travels and enjoyable contests.

NCTA Events:

Sept. 16- 30:  NCTA/NU application fee waiver period

Sept. 21:  NCTA at Nebraska Extension Connect the Dots, McCook

Sept. 21-22:   College Fairs at South Sioux City, Bloomfield, Norfolk, Columbus

Sept. 22-23:  Livestock Judging, Tri-State Fair, Amarillo, Texas

Sept. 23-25:  Aggie Rodeo, Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge

Sept. 23-25:  Shotgun Sports, Prairie Circuit Conference, North Platte

Sept. 24-25:  Livestock Judging, Aksarben, Grand Island

Sept. 26-27:  College Fairs in Hastings, Kearney, Holdrege, McCook

Sept. 28:  Tree planting, public program, 4:30 p.m., NCTA Ed Center and campus

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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