CURTIS, Neb. — College students on a small campus such as NCTA are an inspiration to me.
I value their enthusiasm, ideas, their broadened views “outside the box” and their determination or undaunted nature.
At the same time, however, many of these teenagers and young adults who hail from farms and ranches in the Midwest are some of the most appreciative, polite, and service-oriented citizens around. They are patriotic and do not take their freedoms for granted.
They’ve witnessed grandfathers of The Greatest Generation, perhaps, or parents, relatives, and neighbors who are committed to military service.
While they may not have been around to personally witness the horror of the morning hours of 9-11, or to understand the great sacrifices made by thousands of families during wars and conflicts, they do understand and appreciate military service.
We have veterans, active duty personnel, and reservists in our midst on campus of whom our students may not be aware.
On Veterans Day in our great nation and here in Curtis, our campus community, in a normal year, might be hosting a salute of these veterans around the flagpole in front of Ag Hall.
Or, as occurred in 2019, Aggies would be joining on November 11 with youngsters from the Medicine Valley Elementary School and High School in a public program at the Ed Center auditorium or over at the high school gymnasium. We would all have opportunity to join in the public program to honor service members affiliated with the American Legion Posts from Curtis and Maywood.
A global pandemic in 2020 is keeping us in greater distances physically but it will not dampen the spirit of gratefulness extended from our Aggie campus community to friends and neighbors.
While I am still meeting many of our community citizens as the “new dean” at NCTA, my path has crossed with several families sharing extensive military service. During this upcoming week, I plan to learn of and meet more students and staff who are military-connected.
As of this writing on Tuesday morning, an NCTA group representing the diversity of our campus family is creating a Veterans Day salute. I am certain their tribute will be as meaningful to those who are sharing and giving, as it will be for the veterans who are the recipients.
A few early insights gleaned by their outreach is introduction to three Aggie students on campus who are veterans, active in reserves or in the National Guard. We will learn more about our Aggie students in the coming days.
At campus, we appreciate the leadership and service of 40-year faculty leader and Veterinary Technology division chair Barbara Berg who served in the Navy. Tyler Faber, a five-year employee and our on-site tech consultant with the University of Nebraska’s Information Technology Services, served with the Marine Corps, both abroad and in the U.S.
Retired UNSTA or NCTA staff who are veterans include Curtis residents Buzz Cole, Jerry Huntwork, and Kenny Russell. As parents, Jo and Kelly Popp of Curtis (Jo in food service, and Kelly as a stock dog team coach) keep us posted about their daughter, Keila, and her spouse Sean Landrum, who both serve at the Naval Air Station Whidby Island in Washington.
May we never forget the service of those who gave all for their country, nor the sacrifices shared by their loved ones back home. Our Aggie campus community extends its great appreciation to all who have served, long ago, more recently, and in present day.
Nov. 7: NCTA Shotgun Sports Clay Shoot, Curtis Gun Club, 8 a.m.
Nov. 10: NCTA Discovery Day, 8:30 a.m., Ed Center
Nov. 11: Salute to America’s Veterans
Nov. 12: District FFA CDE, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., NCTA
Nov. 13: District 9 FFA Contest, NCTA
Nov. 24: District Leadership Development Event, NCTA
Nov. 26-27: Thanksgiving break, campus offices closed
Part of the University of Nebraska system, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is a two-year institution with a statewide mission of preparing students for successful careers in agriculture, veterinary technology and related industries. NCTA is known for its affordable tuition, high job-placement rate for its graduates, and for the success of student teams in numerous competitive activities including crops judging, ranch horse events, livestock judging, shotgun sports, stock dog trials, and intercollegiate rodeo. The college is consistently ranked as one of the best two-year schools in the nation.
— Larry Gossen, Ph.D., dean of NCTA
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