NCTA ambassadors of agriculture
April 30, 2018
CURTIS, Neb. – Tours at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis are far from boring.
Guests may get a chance to pet a python snake named Monty or witness students on horseback sorting cattle at the indoor arena.
Agronomy labs are filled with plant specimens evaluated by national champion crops judging students. Three different types of residence halls and an Aggie Dining menu are always high on the list.
Student ambassadors at NCTA aren't necessarily "know-it-alls" around campus but they sure get to the bottom line on what a college prospect can expect to experience and learn at the two-year, agricultural school.
This week, a 20-member team of student ambassadors will end their 2017-2018 year dedicating time and talents to assist students, staff and faculty around campus, said Jennifer McConville, NCTA associate dean for finance, operations and student services.
"We've forged great relationships through this initiative," said McConville. "The NCTA Student Ambassadors are enthusiastic representatives of our Aggie campus."
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After adding outreach and ambassadors to their duties and title, the expanded program is deemed a success.
Tour assignments are organized by Linda Cole, NCTA administrative support associate and tour coordinator, based at the Welcome Center.
She taps veterinary technology students for tours of the Veterinary Technology Complex, and agronomy or diversified agriculture majors for their subject matter areas, agribusiness and animal science students for others.
"We are tour guides, showing students around campus and the dorms, and explaining all we have to offer with Aggie clubs and organizations," said Karlee Johnson of Thurston, a graduating sophomore in agricultural education.
"Ambassadors are the first ones that Linda or Tina (Smith) call on for assistance with campus tours and our special events at NCTA," Johnson said.
Tina Smith, NCTA admissions coordinator, directs outreach and campus projects including Discovery Days and New Student Enrollment. State and national events, displays at FFA conventions, and interactive exhibits at livestock shows and county fairs are growing in popularity for ambassadors and agriculture education students.
Johnson, who will receive her associate degree in agricultural education on May 3, is headed to the next level. Two years in ag ed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will include student teaching before a bachelor's degree and entrance into the world of teaching. By fall, 2020, Johnson will be in the classroom as an ag ed teacher and FFA advisor.
Johnson said she will miss the interaction with the public at the Welcome Center where she has tallied 12 to 15 hours per week as a student worker.
"My experience at NCTA has been wonderful, and I will miss being on this awesome campus," she said.
New student ambassadors will be selected after full-campus classes resume in late August. To schedule a tour, see https://ncta.unl.edu/ncta-campus-tours.