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A Unique Summer Experience
By: Ron Rosati, Ph.D., Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis - 06/14/2019

Summer sessions are in full swing with veterinary technology students back on campus.

They join several other groups on campus this week for some unique educational opportunities in 2019 at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis.

We have been very fortunate to be a host site and teaching location for a broad range of youth and adult programs. Our external partners tap into the resources and outstanding facilities at campus.

The Nebraska Section of the Society for Range Management has returned to Curtis for the Nebraska Youth Range Camp. I was pleased to welcome the 55 campers and 12 volunteer teachers on Monday.

Nebraska Educational Service Unit #11, based in Holdrege, brought 10 high school students to campus for an Ag Honors program with an emphasis in veterinary science and technology.

Fifty CUSP scholars from Rwanda are now engaged in their fourth week of classes in diversified agriculture. We are having a great experience with the summer visitors to our campus.

The two-fold aspects of this international initiative are: develop agricultural production capabilities for a country striving to improve food production, and enhance global perspectives with NCTA students.

Several Rwandan students were involved in teaching the recent West Central Youth Animal Science Field Day at NCTA. This event was coordinated by Nebraska Extension.

Youngsters were quite engaged in learning about Rwanda and hearing the CUSP scholars describe their country and agriculture.

The scholars are living in Curtis for seven weeks. And weekly, they report they are gaining more "firsts" in their hands-on agricultural experiences in the classrooms, labs, and NCTA farm.

Gabin Kundwa of Rwanda helped in caring for newborn piglets.

"Oh, it was very exciting ... I was born in a city, and it was my first time seeing an animal giving birth, especially a sow."

In addition to classes, students are responsible for daily chores at 8-9 a.m., and 4-5 p.m. Chore activities include feeding, facilities maintenance and other production activities for dairy cattle, laying hens, broilers, Boer goats, and swine.

Formal classes for the Rwandan students started with Session 1 from May 20-31. They had the option to take two courses within the topic areas of animal management, agronomy, goat production, welding, and construction.

Session 2 started June 3 and concludes Friday with courses on swine and poultry production, food processing and production, agronomy, arc and oxy acetylene welding.

Monday kicks off the final set of courses from June 17-June 27 in small engines/woodworking, meat processing, dairy production and processing, and horticulture which includes green house, market garden, fruit production and hydroponics.

We will continue to share basic agriculture skills and knowledge with the CUSP students, and they with our Curtis residents, too, as we plan for their graduation event on June 27.

Two great Aggie events:

To all Aggie alumni, register by the weekend for the Aggie Alumni Association gathering in Broken Bow on June 22. Details can be found at https://go.unl.edu/xgb0 or call Catherine at 308-367-5200.

New Student Discovery Day is next Tuesday. Students starting classes on August 26 will find this an extremely helpful day in preparing them for being a college student here at NCTA.

Thanks for reading, and let us know if you would like to host some CUSP scholars at your farm or home. Let's share local Nebraska hospitality!

June events:

18: New Student Enrollment, 8:30 a.m., Ed Center

18: Coffee with a Forester, Tree Walk, 6-8 p.m., Ed Center

19-20: Youth Livestock Showing & Fitting Camps, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Arena

20: Frontier County Extension Board, 6:30 p.m., Ag Hall

22: Aggie Alumni Association annual meeting, Broken Bow

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