NCTA Aggies excel at nationals |

NCTA Aggies excel at nationals

Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture students earned individual honors for high ranks at the 2019 NACTA Student Contest in Kentucky. (From left) Kyle Krantz of Alliance won 1st place in crops, Colbey Luebbe of Seward was 2nd in horticulture, and Seth Racicky of Mason City won 1st in dairy judging. Photo courtesy NCTA News

CURTIS, Neb. – Thirty two Aggie students from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis tested their agricultural knowledge recently at a national collegiate competition in Murray, Kentucky.

Students from NCTA, known as the “Curtis ag school” and the sole two-year campus within the University of Nebraska system, competed in 12 of the 15 events for two-year colleges.

The annual competition is sponsored by the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA). Murray State College in Murray, Kentucky hosted the 2019 NACTA Student Contests.

Highlights for NCTA students were Top Overall Individual honors for Kyle Krantz of Alliance and Seth Racicky of Mason City in crops and dairy judging, respectively.

Kyle Krantz won the four-part crops contest with high overall score tying for top score in the math portion, and tying for second top score in the laboratory section.

The NCTA crops team placed third, overall, in crops. Catherine Ljunggren of Aurora was the only contestant among 48 individuals to turn in a perfect 100 points in plant identification.

Seth Racicky won the two-part dairy judging contest with top combined score in class placings and in oral reasons. The NCTA team won second place among six teams.

NCTA student placings in the top 10:

Kyle Krantz of Alliance, high overall individual (of 48 contestants) in crops and crops math

Seth Racicky of Mason City, high overall individual (of 25) in dairy judging and in oral reasons

Catherine Ljundggren of Aurora, 1st (of 48) in plant identification portion of the crops contest

Colbey Luebbe of Seward, 2nd high individual (of 12) in horticulture

Rebecca Saddler of Aurora, 4th (of 12) in horticulture

Jarrod Tuttle of Eltopia, Washington, 4th (of 12) in ag mechanics

Baily Fleischman of Tekamah, 5th (of 28) in ag business

Garrett Lapp, Adamsville, Ohio, 6th (of 25) in dairy judging

Emily Riley of Norton, Kansas, 7th (of 25) in dairy judging

Remy Mansour of Petaluma, California, 7th (of 68) in livestock judging

Camden Wilke of Columbus, 7th (of 26) in livestock management

Jacob Vallery of Plattsmouth, 8th (of 48) in crops

Grant Romshek of Shelby, 9th (of 26) in livestock management

Kallie Hilker of Cambridge, 9th (of 22) in business communication

The team competitions were again fierce among some of the larger events for individual number of competitors and teams such as livestock judging, livestock management and crops.

Aggie teams placed:

2nd place (of 6 teams) in dairy judging

2nd place (of 3) in horticulture

3rd place (of 12) in crops

3rd place (of 3) in ag mechanics

4th (of 7) in agribusiness

4th (of 6) in computer applications

4th (of 5) in equine judging

5th (of 12) in livestock management

7th (of 12) in livestock judging

Aggie students apply what they learn in their college classes and experiential learning opportunities at NCTA.

The contest draws nearly 600 students from two- and four-year colleges across the U.S. and Canada.

“The NACTA Judging Conference provides our students an excellent career-based learning experience,” said Brad Ramsdale, Ph.D., agronomy and agricultural mechanics division chair.

“It is great to be part of an event supported by numerous agricultural colleges and universities,” he said.

Along with Ramsdale, coaches were Doug Smith, Ph.D., animal science and agriculture education division chair, and Mary Rittenhouse, chair of agribusiness management systems.

Ramsdale supervised four teams: agricultural mechanics, precision agriculture, horticulture and crops. Dan Stehlik is NCTA’s instructor for welding and ag mechanics which includes irrigation technicians, electricity and engines.

Smith’s four teams were dairy, equine and livestock judging, plus students in livestock management. Animal science faculty are Joanna Hergenreder, equine management, and Meredith Cable, feedlot management and nutrition.

“The students worked hard and competed exceptionally well at NACTA,” Smith said. “A lot of time was put in on preparation and NCTA was well represented by these young professionals.”

From agribusiness management systems, Rittenhouse coordinated three teams with Associate Professor Jeremy Sievers and Lecturer Dave Jibben. Students competed in ag business, ag computer applications, and agricultural communications (sales).

“In addition to providing students an opportunity to test their abilities and skills on a national level, NACTA also provides bridges for our students to continue to develop these abilities and skills in their chosen fields,” Rittenhouse said.

“Two-year students are exposed to opportunities in the four-year schools and in ag careers, as well,” she added.

The national contest was the final major competition of the 2018-2019 academic year.

–Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture