Tag Archives: NCTA Curtis

CURTIS, Neb. – The road to college education in Curtis, Nebraska, is a two-way street. Often the travels made by a student to their farm, ranch or home residence involve a pickup truck.

That is because we are a rural campus at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, serving the needs of our NCTA Aggie students who are studying agriculture and veterinary technology programs.

If students reside in Nebraska or surrounding states, they may be pulling a horse trailer in their travels to and from home, or to their jobs with livestock operations. Other times they are bringing feed supplies or hay to campus for their dog or horse (boarded off campus).

Thanks to the generosity of NCTA alumni Lacey and Jake Haskell of Kansas, the college now has a kennel at the Veterinary Technology complex where six student-owned dogs of the Aggie Stock Dog Team can board their dogs for a monthly rental.

We are fortunate that on some weekends students are able to go home to their family operations and assist in the busy season of work, whether that be fall harvest, calving season, spring branding, or processing livestock for marketing or transport.

I enjoy hearing from students as they talk about their work on their family operations. And, how what they are learning in our NCTA classroom programs and laboratories might be considered in the management decisions discussed with family.

That tells me our experiential learning and hands-on programs at NCTA are doing the very thing we aim for at the campus.  Students use applied skills and knowledge daily as they build their careers.

Applying life skills


In the next few weeks, you will continue seeing NCTA Aggies out and about as they interact with our community in their official capacities as NCTA students.

This weekend, for example, the NCTA Crops Judging Team heads to Hutchinson, Kansas, for their first contest of 2019. Agronomy Professor Brad Ramsdale coaches the two teams comprised of sophomore and first-year students.

As three-time national champions in their agronomic endeavors of plant identification, knowledge testing and more, these Aggie students will have their classroom and field training tested against their collegiate peers.  Good luck and safe travels, Aggies!

Also, this weekend, the NCTA Livestock Judging Team makes its second trip of the season to compete in livestock evaluation contests in Valentine and Des Moines.

Eleven students, two student assistant coaches and Animal Science Professor Douglas Smith will attend the first-time judging event at the Heart City Bull Bash in Valentine. Then, they travel to the Iowa Beef Expo for a second contest of the weekend. Good luck to these Aggies as well!

Here at campus


NCTA is hosting another large FFA event at campus on Wednesday which draws more than 200 contestants from area high schools.

The District 11 Career Development Skills Contest will include competition in areas such as agriculture mechanics, agricultural communications, nursery and landscaping, veterinary science, biotechnology, agronomy and farm management.

With each of these program areas a part of the NCTA curriculum, the campus facilities and resources are readily available in our partnership with State FFA and high school chapters.

Welcome back to NCTA, students and advisors.  We are glad you are the future leaders, entrepreneurs, communicators and producers for American agriculture.

This weekend, stop by the NCTA Livestock Teaching Center indoor arena and observe the stock dog trials hosted by the NCTA Stock Dog Team and Outback Stock Dog Club. Action begins at 8 a.m.

CURTIS, Neb. – The other day two job announcements crossed my desk from companies in Nebraska’s expanding poultry industry. They were seeking employees with a specific skillset in food production.

Last week, a recruiter with our institution, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, received an inquiry about career placement opportunities for NCTA Aggie students in beef cattle feedlots and ranching enterprises.

Weekly, our college web site, ncta.unl.edu, lists student internships or fulltime employment opportunities for veterinary technicians, livestock specialists, certified welders, agronomists, agribusiness managers, and much more.

The NCTA Business Office in Ag Hall frequently posts employment opportunities for our graduates and the public to review.

It’s evident that many agricultural industries are seeking well-trained, skilled individuals. We strive to meet what the industry needs by being responsive with strategic academic plans.

Our statewide mission at NCTA is workforce development in agriculture, veterinary technology, and related industries.

Nebraska’s agricultural industries and the NCTA advisory groups provide us with assistance in developing our roadmap for college growth.  As a result, the college has added several new degree and certificate programs.

A few of our newer programs for workforce development are:

Irrigation Technician – Two programs focus on the needs of the center pivot irrigation industry, including a 16-hour certificate or a 34-hour concentration. Upon completion, students may also become certified for the Reinke PLUS Certification Program. Or, students may choose to combine their credits to obtain a degree in Ag Equipment Management.

Welding Certificate – A 15-credit hour certificate help students develop expertise in welding and metal fabrication. The program can be completed in one year or less.  It provides students with the opportunity to take advanced courses and also to become certified by the American Welding Society.


Poultry Production AAS – This Associate of Applied Science program is offered in partnership with Mississippi State University.  The program consists of three semesters at NCTA, a summer internship, and one semester of hands-on experience in classes and poultry barns at the MSU campus.

Careers with this major may include broiler house manager, hatchery worker, hatchery manager, and egg production facility manager.

Dairy Production AAS – This Associate of Applied Science program is offered in partnership with South Dakota State University.

This program is 76 hours of college credits, with three semesters at NCTA, a summer internship, and one semester of hands-on work with the dairy herd and programs at SDSU in Brookings.

Careers with this major may include dairy farmer, herd manager, dairy equipment specialist, dairy field specialist, and nutrition consultant.

Agriculture Certificate – This program consists of a 16-hour online certificate designed for high school dual credit students, undergraduate college students and current professionals. This certificate enables the student or current professional to attain college credentials in crop science, animal science, natural resources management, agricultural economics and more.

In total, NCTA provides 31 program choices for students including 11 certificate programs which may be completed in one year or less, 14 AAS programs in agriculture or veterinary technology, and six Associate of Science (AS)  degrees with the transfer option available for students choosing transfer into a four-year degree program.

Additional information on any of these academic areas in workforce development as an NCTA Aggie is available at ncta.unl.edu or by contacting NCTA Student Services at 1-800-3CURTIS.