Aggies are elbow grease for GI rodeo
CURTIS, Neb. — High school athletes competing in a weekend rodeo in Grand Island, Neb., on Labor Day will see the NCTA Aggies in the arena — this time as volunteers.
Ten students from the Aggie Rodeo Team of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis are earning team funds by helping put on the rodeo at the Nebraska State Fair.
“This is a new format for the state fair rodeo,” explained Aggie Coach Jaden Clark.
Previously, at the end of the action-filled contest each Labor Day, athletes from the high schools would test their skills against those from the college ranks.
This year, however, instead of using monies for prizes or scholarships that often went unallocated, Clark said organizers opted to invite one collegiate team to work at the rodeo, contributing to that college’s rodeo sport.
As it worked out in the rotation, NCTA is the designated college to work at the 2022 event.
“We are the elbow grease or cogs in the wheel to keep the rodeo running,” said Clark.
Action at the US Foods Outdoor Arena on the east side of the fairgrounds starts at 10 a.m. on Monday.
PLENTY OF WORK TO BE DONE
Aggies will be on the ground, not on horseback, in moving stock in the alleys, opening bucking chute gates for rough stock rides, taking tickets, and helping with set up and clean up.
“In five or six hours of work, we have a chance to earn money for Aggie rodeo. This will help our team greatly in lieu of other big fundraisers,” Clark said. They can focus on practices and competitions.
NCTA is in the Great Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. Athletes must be NIRA members to compete at the collegiate level.
For the season opener on Sept. 9-10, NCTA makes one of its longer trips to River Falls, Wis.
Six Aggie students plan to compete.
The Aggie team drew several incoming freshmen and students newer to the sport this semester. “There’s a big range of prior experience.” Students enroll in the rodeo course for academic credit.
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