Three Aggies receive alumni scholarships
CURTIS, Neb. — Sometimes it pays to follow in your parents footsteps.
Just ask Ellie Jarecke of McCook, Trevor Schneider of Cozad, or Konnor Thompson of Lawrence.
Each has a parent (or both parents) who, in the 1990s, paved the way for their children to also become graduates of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis.
The next generation will receive a two-year associate degree from the “Aggie” campus. This time, with the Aggie Class of 2023.
Earlier this year, the three students were tabbed by the NCTA Aggie Alumni Association to receive $400 scholarships due to the legacy of their parent. They will be recognized at an alumni event in November in Lincoln.
Ellie Jarecke is on track to become an agriculture education teacher and FFA adviser. She began her ag ed journey for one semester at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Then, after a COVID period of online learning from her home near McCook, she transferred to NCTA for her next three semesters.
An industrious FFA student and 4-H member during high school, Jarecke was her 4-H club president for four years and McCook FFA Chapter president for two years. She had worked at the Hillcrest Nursing Home in McCook, and continued while an NCTA student, often putting in 25 hours a week while commuting to classes in Curtis.
Jarecke is now completing her NCTA degree while also earning a bachelor’s degree from UNL. Her classroom debut as a teacher will be in 2024.
It is no surprise that on Saturday Jarecke will reach the pinnacle of her career as a member of the McCook FFA Chapter, receiving her American FFA Degree, in person, at the 95th National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Ind. Her father, Theron Jarecke, is a 1998 alumnus of NCTA.
Trevor Schneider farms with his family just south of Cozad in Dawson County. Like his father, Ryan, who graduated from NCTA in 1997 with a production agriculture degree, Trevor plans to eventually assume management of the family operation.
“I like being close to home so I can go farm in the evenings and on weekends,” Schneider said of planting and harvest seasons, in particular.
His NCTA courses this semester are especially applicable for a future in ag production: Farm & Ranch Management, Irrigation Management, Pest Management, and Crops Practicum II join his portfolio.
Konnor Thompson’s plans after his graduation in May are two-fold: return to the family farm in Nuckolls County, and “be hired help for my boss” (Mike Wehrman and his father, Joe), a job he began as a high school sophomore.
“I’ve learned a lot here in my classes at NCTA,” said Thompson, a diversified ag management major. His courses include crops, livestock and ag mechanics. He reached one goal last spring, getting his ag chemical applicator’s license.
His parents Kent and Sara (Buescher) Thompson are both NCTA graduates, in 1997 and 1998, respectively. “They encouraged me to check out NCTA for my college program, so I did.”
Aggie Alumni Association members and friends recognized Jarecke, Schneider, Thompson and their parents on Nov. 19 at an alumni event that was held in conjunction with the East Campus Tailgate at the Animal Science Complex of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Applications are now being accepted for Aggie Alumni Association Scholarships for 2023. Students must be enrolled at NCTA for the spring semester. Application forms are available from Josi Arnold in the NCTA Dean’s Office or at the NCTA Welcome Center.