Stock dogs to beef steaks, and lots of volunteer hours between, the Aggies from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture are part of the Nebraska State Fair.
Nearly 30 students along with some staff and faculty from the NCTA campus based at Curtis are part of the educational and outreach activities this week in Grand Island.
Three students from the NCTA Stock Dog Club are competing with the dogs they have trained to work livestock. They are displaying skills of sorting, herding and handling cattle or other livestock in a two-day contest today and Tuesday.
Judy Bowmaster-Cole, veterinary technology professor, serves as faculty sponsor for the student club. They work closely with the Outback Stock Dog Association, a group from southwest Nebraska, many of whom will also be competing at the state contests.
Youth activities and displays this week include an NCTA display at the “Raising Nebraska” interactive educational exhibits. Tina Smith, admissions coordinator, along with campus recruiters Emily Griffiths and Julianna Krotz Kroeger will work with students from area schools during the August 28-30 activities at the Nebraska Building.
When 4-H and FFA youth arrive at the grounds to check in and unload their livestock on Friday evening and into the wee hours of Saturday, they will be assisted by members of the NCTA Aggie Livestock Judging Team.
Aggie volunteers help each year at the Grand Island shows in registering livestock, assisting with weigh in of animals, and unloading equipment and trailers to help keep exhibitors and animals safe upon arrival.
“We also have some of our students assisting with the 4-H sheep show throughout the weekend,” said Doug Smith, NCTA animal science professor and coach of the livestock judging team. “Our NCTA students enjoy working with the 4-H and FFA programs in Nebraska.”
Additionally, NCTA will be assisting with the 4-H beef showmanship competition. And, the college is a sponsor at the 2018 Elite Showman contest on Saturday.
Members of NCTA’s Collegiate Cattlemen are again helping to serve prime rib sandwiches on Saturday afternoon and evening at the Beef Pit, operated by the Nebraska Cattlemen. Meredith Cable, animal science professor and club sponsor, said the students enjoy representing NCTA and the beef industry.
Two NCTA students have been working as interns with Nebraska State Fair staff since mid-August. They are Rachel Miller of Basehor, Kansas, majoring in livestock management and Colbey Luebbe of Seward, majoring in agriculture education.
Information provided by NCTA.