Agriculture graduates, partners and students received recognition Saturday at the 2018 Aggie Alumni Association annual banquet in Curtis.
“We appreciate each of you here tonight, helping our alumni to support students in agriculture and celebrate accomplishments of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture,” said Dave Mehaffey of Bellwood, alumni president, told 85 attendees.
A 1983 alumnus of the University of Nebraska School of Technical Agriculture (UNSTA), Mehaffey is the first alumni president from ranks of agricultural mechanics.
Reinke Manufacturing Co., Inc., of Deshler was lauded for its support of ag mechanics at the two-year college, and specifically for its partnership with NCTA in helping launch an Irrigation Technician program in 2013.
About 20 students have taken NCTA electricity, welding and agronomy courses customized for irrigation technician skills in working with center pivot irrigation systems, said Dan Stehlik, ag mechanics instructor and UNSTA 1973 graduate in diversified agriculture.
He presented the 2018 Alumni Service Award to Sandi Reinke Wendell, who accepted the honors on behalf of Reinke Manufacturing board of directors. Her father, Richard Reinke, founded the company in 1954 on his farm near Byron.
(Above, Dean Ron Rosati, congratulates Sandi Reinke Wendell)
““We appreciate our partnership with Reinke and congratulate them on their dedication to student development,” said NCTA Dean Ron Rosati. “Our students at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture and the irrigation industry nationwide greatly benefits from Reinke’s commitment to technical training.
“From donation of materials and providing mentors, to student internships and scholarships, Reinke Manufacturing and its dealer network is invaluable,” he said.
In addition to providing a new GPS-equipped center pivot system at the campus farm in 2014, Reinke supports the college with shop supplies, training resources including a small two-span system indoor system at the ag mechanics laboratory, and resource personnel to administer welding tests for students to American Welding Society certified.
The company and participating Reinke dealers each give a $1,000 scholarships to NCTA students who commit to work for a dealer for three years after graduation.
Wendell, of Axtell, is a retired educator and serves on the company’s board of directors. She emphasized the importance of technical training to a skilled workforce and thanked NCTA for its academic programming.
The Aggie Alumni Association represents 4,400 living alumni from NCTA, UNSTA, and two eras of high school graduates dating back to 1913 when the institution was established by the Nebraska Legislature as a regional, residential high school.
Information provided by the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.