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Salute to Agriculture Producers and Educators
By: Ron Rosati, Ph.D., Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture - 03/15/2019

Sunday kicked off National Agriculture Week, a time when across America we celebrate the contributions of farmers and ranchers, and the affiliated industries which keep us fed, clothed, and ensured of energy resources.

From March 10-16, during National Agriculture Week, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture celebrates as one of the thousands of crops and livestock producers in the state's largest industry.

We are fortunate to be a vital part of the University of Nebraska system, educating future agricultural producers, agribusiness owners and rural entrepreneurs, animal health specialists in veterinary technology, agricultural equipment and irrigation technicians, agronomists, agricultural educators, and community and youth leaders.

We appreciate the faculty and staff who are mentors to NCTA Aggie students and young agriculturalists in the region's 4-H, FFA and youth programs.

Thank you to each parent, family member, teacher, friend and mentor of our NCTA Aggie family.

Thank you, Aggie Educators!

Recently, I joined three individuals from the NCTA faculty who were recognized by parents of students attending the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Last fall, the UNL Parents Association (which includes NCTA) asked parents to recognize special faculty or staff who make a difference in the life of their student.

Three NCTA faculty were honored with the Parent's Association Award of Merit.

Ricky Sue Barnes Wach, DVM, and assistant professor Judy Bowmaster-Cole, both of the NCTA Veterinary Technology Division, and Daniel Stehlik, instructor of Agricultural Mechanics, were recognized March 1 at a ceremony in Lincoln.

These faculty had been identified as being especially caring and helpful at NCTA. Their dedication and guidance to Aggie students has not gone unnoticed by the students and their families. I applaud the three and their service to NCTA and American agriculture.

This week, another faculty member is acknowledged for teaching excellence. Douglas Smith, chair of the NCTA Animal Science and Agricultural Education division, is an associate professor and also our livestock judging coach.

On Tuesday, Dr. Smith was named a Senior Faculty recipient of the 2019 Holling Family Teaching Award for Excellence. He is one of three who are recognized for teaching excellence of six or more years from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Nebraska Extension, or the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at UNL.

Congratulations, and thank you, Professor Smith for your dedication to your profession and Nebraska agriculture, and most particularly for the student initiatives you lead at NCTA and UNL.

The Bruntz Family Teaching Award, another faculty honor approaching its third year, is specific to NCTA.

David and Ann Ramm Bruntz of Friend are both graduates of the University of Nebraska School of Technical Agriculture, Class of '71. Their daughter, Julie, also received a certificate from the NCTA veterinary technology program in 2003. They established the Bruntz Family Teaching Award in 2017 and awarded the first recognition to Assistant Professor Judy Bowmaster-Cole of Curtis who was instrumental in the college career of Julie Bruntz.

A year ago, the second Bruntz Family Teaching Award was presented to Joanna Hergenreder, assistant professor of animal science. Professor Hergenreder specializes in equine science and management, and she coaches the NCTA Ranch Horse Team.

The dedication of faculty such as professors Bowmaster-Cole and Hergenreder to each individual student's success in the classroom, and in life, is significant.

During this National Agriculture Week, all of us as NCTA salute those who are involved in the daily mission of producing food, fiber, fuel and Aggie leaders.

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