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Hershey Cowboy is Aggie of the Year
Nebraska Ag Connection - 05/19/2020

Clayton "CJ" Monheiser led his Class of 2020 as the Aggie of the Year in graduating from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

The livestock management major, a humble cowboy from Hershey, Neb., would likely cite friendships forged and his work with cattle, horses, and stock dogs as Aggie highlights.

To his classmates, teachers and campus administrators, however, they enjoy and appreciate his ethics, personality and can-do attitude.

"CJ has shown to be a diligent student, reliable RA, and an overall assiduous person," wrote Erika Arambula, Residence Life manager, in the annual award nomination.

"He is someone that when there is a job that needs to be done, he will do it."

That perseverance and caring attitude was echoed by NCTA Interim Dean Kelly Bruns in the NCTA Awards Program, held virtually on social media.

"Aggie of the Year is based on academic achievement, campus involvement and, most importantly, leadership at the campus level," Bruns noted.

"His nominator said, 'I've seen him step up in the past year not only as an RA but working on campus when others may have not chosen to do so.' CJ has been working on the NCTA Farm which has also helped us out immensely," Bruns said.

In addition to being a resident assistant and student employee with the farm crew, Monheiser was active in NCTA Collegiate Cattlemen.

He also was president of the NCTA Stock Dog Club and traveling team. He was named the Outstanding Competitor for the team on awards night.

"CJ has done such a wonderful job for us in so many ways and he has come so far with his stock dog training, we're just so proud of him," said Judy Bowmaster-Cole, veterinary technology professor and stock dog faculty sponsor.

She coaches Aggie students in dog obedience class, and coordinates the NCTA Stock Dog Team along with volunteer coaches Kelly Popp and Eddie Merritt.

"CJ has learned enough about training his dogs for working livestock in a stress-free manner that he will be able to take them home and they will be good helpers to him along the way," she said. "That just really makes us proud."

In 2019, Monheiser served a summer internship at Adams Land & Cattle in Broken Bow.

"I wanted to work in a backgrounding or feedlot setting, applied and got the internship. I really appreciated that opportunity to gain more experience," said the 2018 graduate of Wallace High School.

He also has worked with his uncle in cattle backgrounding work, rides horses, trained a colt this semester in the NCTA Colt Starting class, and is training a second stock dog.

This summer Monheiser is working on a Nebraska ranch furthering his livestock management experience.

"My goal is to eventually own my own cattle and work for myself."

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