CURTIS, Neb. — A recent trip from southwestern Nebraska to Utah and back confirmed for NCTA students that their college program in agronomy is a solid investment.
Four sophomores studying at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis traveled to Salt Lake City with their professor, Dr. Brad Ramsdale, for the American Society of Agronomy annual meeting.
NCTA students, majoring in agronomy or diversified agriculture, on the NCTA Crops Judging Team are Kaden Bryant, Firth; Allison Wilkens, Gibbon; Kamren Sitzman, McCook; and Ahren Marburger, Malvern, Iowa.
The NCTA Team took fourth place. As the only two-year college, the Aggies scored higher than most of the four-year universities.
“Our students were excited, and rightfully so, to have beaten so many of the four-year schools,” said Ramsdale.
Individually, Kaden Bryant also placed fourth, receiving a certificate for his overall ranking among 72 students.
“I was shocked to hear my name when it was announced,” Bryant said of the awards banquet.
Then, as he was in photos with ASA leadership, he again heard NCTA being called. The team had won fourth.
“That was pretty neat to win over top teams like Texas A&M and Texas Tech,” Bryant said. “We showed a two-year college can be a contender, nationally, with the bigger universities.”
The ASA trip which included an all-day tour to Utah State in Logan, educational seminars, student poster presentations, and interactions with industry leaders and companies, was a great experience for the Aggies, said Allison Wilkens a double major in agronomy and agribusiness.
“A highlight of the trip for me was being able to compete against 4-year schools and end up 4th as a team,” said Wilkens. “I also loved the sightseeing that we did around the city.”
Sitzman said, “I had a lot of fun meeting new friends from other parts of the country and being able to gain more knowledge about studies that people have been gathering data on.”
The NCTA Aggies Crops Teams have won three national NACTA titles since Ramsdale started the NCTA program in 2010. He will serve as coordinator for the 2022 national NACTA events to be held in Nebraska.
NCTA is the host school with all events, lodging, and banquets held at multiple facilities in North Platte. A contest was not held in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Estimated attendance for the March 30-April 2 event is 600 to 800 students and educators.