Rosati: NCTA Aggies at academic pinnacle

NCTA Dean Ron Rosati, Ph.D.

CURTIS, Neb. _With college commencement on May 2 only three weeks away, students at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture are climbing to the peak of their academic careers at Curtis.

Individual and collective endeavors depend on their earnest applications of all they have learned and experienced during their years of classroom and laboratory programs.

I invite you to share in the enthusiasm and success of our prospective graduates and underclass students at public events on May 1 and May 2 in Curtis.

On Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. we will recognize outstanding work of top students in each of our four divisions as well as meritorious efforts from enrichment activities through student clubs and competition teams.

Parents, family and friends will join our Aggie students at the Nebraska Agriculture Industry Education Center at NCTA for the 2019 Aggie Awards Program.

Let’s fill the seats of the 225-seat auditorium as we celebrate student successes through special scholarships, awards, and announcements for honor students and graduates.

I will name the 2019 Aggie of the Year student, and we will then present commemorative NCTA belt buckles to students, faculty and staff.

This will be the third year that NCTA Aggies can purchase or be awarded a class or team belt buckle as a recognition from their alma mater. Appropriately, NCTA initiated a belt buckle instead of a class ring for its soon-to-be Aggie alumni.

Also that day, students newly accepted to the Alpha Iota Tau Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society will be installed at 1 p.m., also in the Ed Center auditorium. This ceremony is open to the public.

Phi Theta Kappa recognizes academic achievements of students attending a two-year college. It provides opportunities for growth and development through honors, leadership and service. Professor Eric Reed is the faculty advisor for the Alpha Iota Tau Chapter.

Leadership of PTK for 2018-2019 has been President Dorothy Fulton; Vice President Peyton McCord; Secretary, Leighlynn Obermiller; Historian, Kendra Marxsen; and Student Senate Representatives Shayla Woracek and Baleigh Miller.

We know many families and friends will be traveling from across Nebraska, and several states in the U.S. to join us at the 2019 Graduation ceremony at 1:30 p.m. at the Curtis Memorial Community Center.

This week I announced our commencement speaker will be Joan Ruskamp, an NCTA alumna from the Class of ’80, who studied veterinary technology. She and her husband, Steve, also an alumnus, farm and operate a family feed yard west of Dodge, Nebraska.

We are quite honored to have Joan deliver the commencement address! Please join us for this special day of recognizing student achievements.

Ranch Horse Team hosts major contest

This weekend will be testament to both the equine and leadership success of our Aggie students, as well as draw hundreds of horse enthusiasts, at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds in McCook.

The NCTA Ranch Horse Team, coached and led by NCTA professor Joanna Hergenreder, hosts the annual “Punchy in Pink” competition Friday through Sunday at the Kiplinger Arena.

Due to pending inclement weather the starting time on Friday has been delayed from noon until 3 p.m. so that participants have time for safe travel.

I urge you to come to McCook – where they have outstanding indoor arenas, horse facilities, and plenty of parking – for free admission to the show. You can view stock cow horses in reining, pleasure, performance classes and even some fun added for Saturday night in the classic fundraiser races to benefit cancer programs. Action will be all day on Saturday and Sunday, as well. See you there!