Hastings rodeo coach named Coach of the Year | TheFencePost.com

Hastings rodeo coach named Coach of the Year

HASTINGS, Neb. — Hastings College rodeo coach Justen Nokes has been awarded the Great Plains Region College Rodeo Coach of the Year.

The Juniata man has been at the helm of the Hasting College rodeo team since the college started the club eight years ago. Winning the award "caught me off guard," Nokes said. "I didn't expect it one bit."

His team this year consisted of 18 students, with two of them: Nolan Sybrant, Bassett, and Marshal Peterson, Ashland, winning titles in the Great Plains region. In the region, Sybrant finished first in the tie-down roping to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo and Peterson finished fourth in the tie-down roping and fourth in the team roping (heading) to win the all-around. Peterson will compete in both of his events at the CNFR. In his eight years as college coach, Nokes has had two other students qualify for the CNFR: steer wrestlers Richard Coats, Hastings, (2013-2014) and Tom Littell, Elm Creek, (2016). The 2016-2017 school year was supposed to be the last for the Hastings College rodeo team, due to financial constraints, but support from donors, namely Industrial Irrigation, have given the team one more year. Nokes enjoys seeing the rodeo athletes' progress throughout their college career. "Watching them mature, inside and outside the arena, is very satisfying. It's really rewarding to see them obtain the goals they've set, with rodeo and outside of rodeo." Nokes is an accomplished cowboy, having won multiple titles in the steer wrestling, team roping and all-around in the Nebraska State Rodeo Association, the Mid-States Rodeo Association, and the Kansas Pro Rodeo Association, but winning the coaching title means more to him. "I've had a lot of titles, but this one is special. To be voted on by your peers, it's fun." Nokes continues to compete in the steer wrestling and team roping.

Platte Valley FFA wins state dairy

KERSEY, Colo. — The Platte Valley FFA Chapter's Dairy Evaluation Team wins the Champion Dairy Judging Title for the Colorado State Career Development Event held at the Colorado State University April 30 and May 1, 2017. Brandon Kerbs was the high individual, Kassandra Shoemaker was second overall and Ashlyn Ochsner was seventh overall, all being gold medal individuals while Joey Smith was a silver medal individual. The Dairy Evaluation Team's competition consisted of evaluating 5 classes, giving two sets of oral reasons, taking a written exam, and placing a class based on performance data. They will be headed to Indianapolis, Ind., in the fall for the National FFA Convention. The Platte Valley FFA Chapter also had multiple teams competing including an Agriculture Mechanics team with a gold medal individual, Hayden Fox, and a silver medal individual, Angel Martinez. The Agriculture Mechanics team was a silver medal team. In Agricultural Sales, Mckenzie Schneider was a gold medal individual and third overall, along with her team members Bailee Hatch, Jacey Reinert, and Naomi Weimer. Each team, including the Floriculture team, were able to further their knowledge and skill in each of these events and enjoyed collaborating with other FFA members from across the state. The team members are as follows: Agriculture Mechanics- Duke Chesnut, Hayden Fox, Wyatt Lehmkuhl, and Angel Martinez; Agriculture Sales- Bailee Hatch, Jacey Reinert, Mckenzie Schneider, and Naomi Weimer; Dairy Evaluation- Brandon Kerbs, Ashlyn Ochsner, Kassandra Shoemaker, and Joey Smith; Floriculture- Kalani Chavarria, Bailie Fox, Jacob Pfannebecker, and Amanda Terrell.

Neb.'s Chadron State bull rider shares first place

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CHADRON, Neb. — Two of Nebraska's Chadron State College cowboys have won championships in the Central Rocky Mountain Region and will advance to the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., on June 9-16. Prestyn Novak, a junior from Newell, S.D., won the tie down roping championship and sophomore Chasen Cole of Hermosa, S.D., the region's bull riding winner. Two more bull riders also will compete at the CNFR. They are junior Cordale Martin of Panhandle, Texas, who finished second in the region, and sophomore Dakota Rice of Kellogg, Idaho, who gets to compete at nationals after serving as the student representative on the region's board of directors this year. Both Novak and Cole will receive saddles for their regional victories. Novak finished the year with 590 points to edge two of Wyoming's Casper College ropers for top honors in the region. Bryce Bott earned 570 points and Logan Brown 540. Chadron State's Lane Day was sixth in the tie down standings with 330 points. Cole came from behind to win the bull riding title by placing second in the event at the University of Wyoming rodeo. He finished the season with 580 points. Martin is the runner-up with 510. Logan Biever of Gillette College in Wyoming is third with 480. Rice is also a capable bull rider. He finished fifth in the regional standings this year with 290 points and for the finals rodeo a year ago, when he placed third in the region. The top two teams and top three individuals in each event for the year qualify for the CNFR. Novak also competed at last year's finals as a member of Chadron State's regional championship men's team, and finished eighth among the 46 entries in the final tie down standings. Besides winning this year's regional tie down championship, Novak was seventh in steer wrestling and also earned points in team roping to finish third in the all-around cowboy standings. Riley Wakefield, a native of O'Neill, Neb., and a sophomore at Gillette College, won the all-around title with 1,605 points. Brady Thurston of central Wyoming was second with 1,200 and Novak third with 1,180. Among Chadron State cowgirls, Brandi Cwach of Geddes, S.D., came the closest to qualifying for nationals. She finished fifth in goat tying with 591.67 points. The third place goat tier had 633.67. The region's all-around cowgirl is Quincy Segelke of Gillette College with 1,477 points. Lacy Camp of Casper College was second with 1,000.

K & W Farm receives Neb. Leopold

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts joined Sand County Foundation, the Nebraska Cattlemen, Cargill and the Nebraska Environmental Trust to announce K & W Farms as the recipient of the 2017 Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award. The annual award honors Nebraska landowner achievement in voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources. Kurt and Wayne Kaup own and manage K & W Farms in Stuart, Neb., where they raise hogs and crops. With a commitment toward improving natural resources on the land, The Kaups are leaders in implementing no-till farming strategies combined with the use of cover crops to improve the soil, reduce erosion and recycle nutrients. Understanding that their farming practices impact the environment around them, from pollinators and songbirds to deer and waterfowl, benefits from the family's conservation practices. The environmental gem of K & W farms is a spring-fed cold-water trout stream that originates on the property, which has produced a strong conservation partnership with Nebraska Game and Parks and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. "Congratulations to the Kaup family on winning this coveted award," Ricketts said. "Nebraska's Farmers and ranchers are the original conservationists of our great state. Long before modern conservationists organized, ag producers were caring for and tending the land, so they could pass it on to the next generation. The Kaup family are an excellent example of how conservation and agriculture continue to work hand-in-hand to grow Nebraska."

DiSogra announces retirement from United Fresh

Lorelei DiSogra, the vice president for nutrition and health at the United Fresh Produce Association for the past decade, announced she will retire at the end of May. DiSogra, who joined United Fresh in 2005, has been a key figure in recent farm bills and in the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, as United Fresh sought federal policies to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. "The only word that describes Lorelei and her work and commitment to the fresh produce industry is — passionate," United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel said in a news release. "She has been a life-long advocate for fresh produce and healthy eating and she is a living example of someone truly 'walks the walk.' The impact and benefit of her work will be felt for many years to come and I can say that our industry is truly better because of her." DiSogra's top accomplishments at United Fresh include the expansion of the fresh fruit and vegetable program to schools in every state, increasing fruits and vegetables in school meals programs that serve 32 million children daily, and revising the food package for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children known as WIC to include fresh fruits and vegetables as recommended by the Institute of Medicine, United Fresh said.

As one of the creators of Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools, she worked closely with President Barack Obama's administration, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United Fresh members and health foundations to make salad bars the norm in schools nationwide, United Fresh noted. More than 5,000 salad bars have been donated to schools across the country. Before joining United Fresh, DiSogra was the director of the National 5 A Day Program at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, from 2001-2005 and vice president of nutrition at Dole Food Co. from 1991-2001. She holds a doctorate from Columbia University in nutrition education and is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Public Health Association. A search is underway for DiSogra's successor, United Fresh said. ❖

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