Education opens doors

CURTIS, Neb. – Our Class of 2018 graduated from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at a time when our country is brimming with exciting opportunities for hard-working young men and women.

We are grateful for the many parents, families and friends who gathered on Thursday at commencement exercises for nearly 90 graduates who walked across the stage at the Curtis Memorial Community Center.

A huge round of applause is due the students for their hard work in achieving academic success, as they experience new adventures by joining the workforce, transitioning into their own fulltime farming or ranching enterprises, or continuing their education.

University of Nebraska Vice President Mike Boehm conferred the degrees during the commencement ceremony. And, congratulatory remarks were given by University Regent Bob Phares of North Platte.

The 2018 graduation address by State Sen. Dan Hughes struck a chord with many of our students and their families.

He, too, is an agricultural producer in a family farming operation near Venango, and is a graduate of a two-year institution, Northeastern Junior College at Sterling, Colorado. He and his wife, Josie, have operated their farm for 41 years.

“After I graduated college,” he told the graduates, “I continued my education in agriculture by becoming involved in my industry, trade organizations and seminars. I learned more about farming from interacting with others than I ever did in college.

 “By continuing my education in that manner it opened doors that I could never have opened otherwise. One of those doors was being chairman of a board with international companies with offices around the world,” he said referring to his role in 2013-2014 with U.S. Wheat Associates.

Our students, faculty, staff, and visitors appreciated the words of wisdom from Senator Hughes, Vice President Boehm and Regent Phares.

A hat tip to the outstanding work and contributions made by all NCTA staff and faculty in preparing students and facilities for graduation. You have, indeed, helped in opening doors for Aggie students.

The ceremony was a huge success because of the behind-the-scenes effort expended by each person on the NCTA facilities, maintenance, food services, student services, residence life and teaching staff.

Global partners

We are putting the final touches on opening doors for our next students who arrive at NCTA this weekend. A group of 50 University of Nebraska-Lincoln students who are in the Rwandan Scholars Program will be spending three weeks in Curtis taking six courses on agricultural skills development.

Recently, students completed their freshman year at UNL, as part of a four-year study program through the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. They are coming to NCTA to develop additional competence with hands-on agricultural skills.

Having these international guests in town will provide an excellent opportunity for our local community to learn about another culture. Community groups, churches, families and individuals are planning activities for the students during their May 12 to June 1 visit. The students will be living in an NCTA residence hall, eating meals in the college cafeteria and attending classes during the day.

These young men and women would look forward to meeting you and learning about your life in rural Nebraska. You may consider hosting a small group of three to four students for dinner, or giving them a tour of your farm or business, or bringing them with you to Sunday services. If you are interested in being a part of this global exchange please contact me or our Residence Life Director Erika Arambula at 308.367.5247.

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