Scholarship assists NCTA Aggie in meat science |

Scholarship assists NCTA Aggie in meat science

A college scholarship in honor of a longtime Sandhills, Nebraska, ranch couple is helping a Burwell student achieve her career goals.

Jaylee Lynn DeGroff received the Jim and Helen Gran Scholarship to the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture through the Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation in 2021.

The $1,200 scholarship from NCF and the Grans, who had ranched near Gordon, Neb., helped DeGroff with tuition and college expenses last fall during her third and last semester at NCTA.

In December, with her associate of applied science degree in animal science, DeGroff and the balance of her scholarship transferred into a four-year degree program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In January, the Aggie alumna started classes in meat science at UNL’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

“I was out looking for scholarships to apply for while at NCTA and came across this one given by Jim and Helen Gran, as it was directly to attend NCTA,” said DeGroff, who had attended Burwell Jr. and Sr. High School.

While an NCTA Aggie, DeGroff stuck to academic studies. “I enjoyed getting to know everyone in my class because of having small classes.”

She did take time to enjoy intramural team sports of flag football, volleyball and softball.


Her career goal: Become a USDA meat inspector.

“I enjoy working at my cousin’s meat business, Ord Locker, and spending time with family and friends.”

Jim Gran, who is retired and now resides in Lincoln, Neb., said the scholarship is meaningful as his late wife, Helen, was a longtime champion of the beef cattle industry. Both were active in Nebraska Stockgrowers (Nebraska Cattlemen) and Helen in the Nebraska Cow-belles (Nebraska CattleWomen).

“I am glad to hear that we could help support Jaylee as she continues in the industry,” said Jim Gran.

Scholarship information at NCTA is available at Many scholarships are from memorials and specific donations to NCTA through the University of Nebraska Foundation while others are from organizations or donors outside of the university.

Applications to Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation Youth Scholarships are submitted to NCF. One $10,000 Beef State scholarship application for current college students is due Tuesday, Feb. 15. Others are due March 15. Forms and details are at


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