Department COVID-19 Updates:
NCTA COVID-19 Response CARES ACT

Well with the world

Well with the world

 A relaxing horseback ride in wide open spaces can be a healthy avenue for recreation and improving wellness through physical fitness. (Mary Crawford photo / NCTA News)
A relaxing horseback ride in wide open spaces can be a healthy avenue for recreation and improving wellness through physical fitness. (Mary Crawford photo / NCTA News)

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

Where, oh where did the summer of 2022 go?

I find myself glancing over at the calendar to see three months have seemingly evaporated since our Aggie graduates walked down the aisle at May commencement.

The reality is that many of us will be back to school in the next two to three weeks.

Here’s my suggestion to everyone.  Give yourself a vacation.

Take one final opportunity to recharge the battery of the human body.  Get away for some rest and relaxation. Make plans to completely unplug from work.

This summer has, indeed, whisked on by. Hopefully, however, each of us within our campus community has been able to make ourselves a priority in the self-care aspects of physical and mental health.

I’ve been encouraging our staff to take a week of vacation if they can do so.  If not complete time away from the workload, then ensure some time each day to unwind. Talk a walk on our beautiful campus.

Pedal a bicycle. Read a book. Ride a horse. Enjoy summer golf league. Play with the children or grandchildren. Invite friends for a low-key outing to the lake or a picnic. Visit a county fair. Arrange a staycation right here in Frontier County.

Having had personal acquaintances who have faced stressful situations, I am thankful some have addressed their situation and taken care of themselves. Others may not have fared as well.

These are concerns in our lives, spoken or unspoken, for many in our profession.  We just can’t emphasize often enough the importance of self-care.

With COVID engaging much of our planning and actions the past two years, we continue to experience the aftermath of physical and mental health struggles among all ages of individuals.

For some, it hits very close to home. We adjust and cope, often reaching out for assistance from those nearby.  Resources surround us on the job, in church and in our homes. At the farm and ranch. On the ball diamond, at the roping arena and on campus.

Needs of young people

This fall we are incorporating greater resources to address mental health for our Aggie students and campus community. Access to professional counselors and mental health therapy will be a part of the services at NCTA.

The wellbeing of our students is a priority. Whether it is the stress of the economy, stress of a first-year college student moving away from home after the pandemic and dealing with the challenges of being on their own, we realize young people have concerns.

Perhaps they have a family farm or ranch facing severe drought. Maybe financial constraints create a worry for their educational aspirations. These are very real challenges for young people.

I will reinforce my earlier statement:  We just can’t emphasize often enough the importance of self-care.

NCTA has a wellness- exercise center. Students have opportunities for outdoor and indoor intramural sports and recreational activities.

It’s up to each of us to practice wellness and avenues for selfcare. Add time to unwind to summer’s end.

Ag can be stressful

Challenging and cumulative stressors in agriculture can lead to chronic conditions to physical health and mental wellness. Nebraska Extension is leading a workshop entitled “Communicating with Farmers Under Stress.”

It focuses on assisting individuals who work with farmers and ranchers on a regular basis, such as bank lenders, ag suppliers, insurance agents, healthcare providers and anyone involved in the lives of agricultural producers and their families.

Consider attending on Tuesday, August 16 at the Cambridge Community Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  A lunch will be provided. Register by calling the Phelps County Extension Office at 308.697.3711 or online at:  go.unl.edu/2022farmstress.

NCTA Events:

August 3-6:  Eustis Fair and Corn Show, Eustis

August 5: NCTA Summer Session ends

August 9-10:  NCTA at Nebraska Grazing Conference, Kearney

August 16: “Communicating with Farmers Under Stress,” 11:30 a.m., Cambridge

August 20-21:  NCTA New Student Orientation, campus move-in

August: 22:  NCTA Fall Semester starts

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.