NCTA’s Aggie fall season wrap-up

Six athletes with the NCTA Aggie Rodeo Team ended their fall season at North Dakota in October. From left, Caprice Christianson, Greenbush, Minn.; Bryce Tobiassen, Hildreth; Ryan Smith, Ragan; Quentin Anderson, Pierce; Wyatt Colman, O’Neill; and Nathan Burnett, Shelton.
Photo by Mary Crawford/NCTA News

CURTIS, Neb. – Season travels are winding down this fall for five of the competition teams at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

During the fall semester, NCTA sponsors athletes and students at individual and team contests for livestock judging, ranch horse, rodeo, shotgun sports and stock dogs.

“Aggie students word hard all year long to be eligible for these academic enhancement opportunities,” said Joanna Hergenreder, interim chair of the animal science and agricultural education division, home to four NCTA Aggie teams.

“Students develop discipline, time management, organization, decision-making, communication and teamwork,” among other traits, Hergenreder said. “They need to be mentally prepared and fully motivated to compete at the collegiate level.”

The NCTA Ranch Horse Team, coached by Hergenreder, will travel to Colorado on Nov. 22-24 for a working stock horse contest. Riders and mounts are judged on practical applications taught in NCTA equine programs such as reining, working cow horse, ranch trail and ranch pleasure.

Aggie teams for stock dogs, shotgun sports, rodeo and livestock judging have finished their travels for the fall semester.

Next spring, crops judging kicks into high gear with agribusiness management and agricultural mechanics students also competing nationally.

“I enjoy working with our Aggie students, faculty and coaches in the competition teams, as well as the classroom and laboratories,” said Kelly Bruns, NCTA interim dean.

Bruns is familiar with the dedication and skill needed to maintain class assignments, grades, campus clubs and leadership roles while on a traveling team.

“Discipline and time management are as important as fundamentals and skills within each endeavor,” Bruns said.

While an animal science major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the 1980s, he competed on meats and livestock judging teams.

A recap of Aggie teams traveling this fall includes:

Aggie Rodeo Team: Traveled to five rodeos, ending at North Dakota State where Quentin Anderson of Pierce won the calf roping and was third in team roping. Current standings in the Great Plains Region have Nathan Burnett of Shelton sitting third overall in saddle broncs, with Anderson 12th in tie down roping and eighth as a team roping heeler. The season resumes next spring.

Livestock Judging Team: Team members competed at three national contests, Tri-State Fair in Amarillo, Aksarben in Grand Island, and Colorado State University, Fort Collins. Students also assisted with FFA contests and fairs in Nebraska. They had opportunity to work out at farms and purebred operations during their travels, evaluating many livestock. Aggies resume contest travels in January.

Shotgun Sports Team: Aggie athletes competed in five collegiate contests, with freshman Colby Mitchell of Burwell ranking among the top of our NCTA team. He won high overall shooter at Colorado State, and recently was 15th overall among 100 males at Grand Island. The Curtis Gun Club serves as the team’s home base. After winning fifth place among two-year colleges at nationals in April, the Aggies hope to return to Texas next spring.

Stock Dog Team: Students and canine companions competed at the Nebraska State Fair and at two contests on campus. They recently hosted a public clinic. In January, they will compete at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. Stock Dog students and some of their dogs will attend the Farm & Ranch Show in McCook this week, with an exhibit about their sport. The team is based in the NCTA Veterinary Technology division with courses in dog agility and programs for students from all academic majors.

Ranch Horse Team: The Aggies will travel for the first collegiate show Nov. 22-24 for Winterfest at Loveland, Colo. Their annual “Punchy in Pink” spring show, open to the public, will again be at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds, McCook.