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Nebraska Ag News Headlines
Aggies Salute 4-H and FFA Youth
By: Larry Gossen, Ph.D., Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture - 07/31/2020

It is county fair time for Frontier County, currently at the fairgrounds in Stockville through Sunday, and continuing for a second set of contests and exhibits at the Eustis Fair and Corn Show Aug. 5-8.

The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture salutes everyone involved here locally, throughout Nebraska and surrounding states for their extraordinary efforts during this pandemic.

Our Nebraska Extension leaders and personnel have no doubt been busy for county fairs for several weeks, particularly with unique circumstances for youth exhibits and livestock shows during social distancing and extra safety measures.

Congratulations to the youth members of 4-H and FFA programs! And, a grateful note of appreciation to all of the volunteer leaders, program superintendents, county fair boards and ag societies.

Thousands of dedicated individuals commit countless hours to the success of youth education. Thank you!

My Kansas upbringing and decades of high school teaching in agricultural education programs instilled a great appreciation for these leaders and volunteers.

And, now as a newer resident of Nebraska, I am looking forward to attending some of the area fairs to view static exhibits, take in a livestock contest or horse show, and interact (safely, of course) with our NCTA partners and stakeholders.

A quick survey around the NCTA campus tells me that Frontier County residents and our Aggie community is extremely engaged in youth development and county fair programs.

Some examples include: Susan Nutt and Jo Popp in our NCTA food service department have responsibilities. Susan is a volunteer on entry day and serves a shift at the 4-H building this Friday evening. Jo is the poultry and rabbit show superintendent, and her husband, Kelly, who is a volunteer coach for our Aggie Stock Dog Team serves on the Frontier County Fair Board.

NCTA's Aggie Shotgun Sports Team coach and Experiential Learning Coordinator is a volunteer leader and shotgun instructor for the Frontier County Sharp Shooters club. Their contest was Monday evening.

Animal science professor Doug Smith is busy in judging livestock shows, and will be completing his ninth county fair in judging swine, cattle, sheep or all livestock by mid-August.

The Aggie Livestock Judging Team students will again be volunteers at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island as they judge the 4-H Beef Showmanship contests on August 29, and possibly some other contests, too.

One of our graduates, Makayla Forsythe, an equine industry and equine health graduate, is a judge of the trail class and dummy roping in Stockville this year. Additionally, NCTA helps in providing some of the equipment used in the 4-H trail class horse show.

NCTA Professor Emeritus Jo Bek continues to assist in many aspects of youth and adult education as a member and the treasurer of the Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards.

Several NCTA faculty who have been volunteer superintendents or youth program leaders are focusing on academic duties for 2020 as we prepare for fall classes. We appreciate their efforts on campus, and behind-the-scenes with 4-H and FFA youth.

I hope to see some of you at the fairs!

NCTA equine professor Joanna Hergenreder often serves as a judge or volunteer at county fairs, as well, but has stepped back a bit this year to focus on the NCTA Summer Horsemanship Clinic Series here on campus. The final two sessions on advanced horsemanship and work with the mechanical cow on cutting is Aug. 7. There is still room for registrations by calling 308-367-5291.

I applaud the creativity and curriculum that Professor Hergenreder compiled for this first-time set of clinics. Thank you, Johanna!

NCTA is confirmed to begin our in-person classes on Aug. 24, and will also offer dual credit courses with high school agricultural academies. For details on course offerings, financial aid and enrollment, contact Gaylene in our Student Services department at 308-367-5267.

Good luck to our youth exhibitors at county fairs! Keep up the great work!

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