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Well with the World
By: Dean Larry Gossen, Ph.D., NCTA - 08/05/2022

Where, oh where did the summer of 2022 go?

I find myself glancing over at the calendar to see three months have seemingly evaporated since our Aggie graduates walked down the aisle at May commencement.

The reality is that many of us will be back to school in the next two to three weeks.

Here's my suggestion to everyone. Give yourself a vacation.

Take one final opportunity to recharge the battery of the human body. Get away for some rest and relaxation. Make plans to completely unplug from work.

This summer has, indeed, whisked on by. Hopefully, however, each of us within our campus community has been able to make ourselves a priority in the self-care aspects of physical and mental health.

I've been encouraging our staff to take a week of vacation if they can do so. If not complete time away from the workload, then ensure some time each day to unwind. Talk a walk on our beautiful campus.

Pedal a bicycle. Read a book. Ride a horse. Enjoy summer golf league. Play with the children or grandchildren. Invite friends for a low-key outing to the lake or a picnic. Visit a county fair. Arrange a staycation right here in Frontier County.

Having had personal acquaintances who have faced stressful situations, I am thankful some have addressed their situation and taken care of themselves. Others may not have fared as well.

These are concerns in our lives, spoken or unspoken, for many in our profession. We just can't emphasize often enough the importance of self-care.

With COVID engaging much of our planning and actions the past two years, we continue to experience the aftermath of physical and mental health struggles among all ages of individuals.

For some, it hits very close to home. We adjust and cope, often reaching out for assistance from those nearby. Resources surround us on the job, in church and in our homes. At the farm and ranch. On the ball diamond, at the roping arena and on campus.

Needs of young people

This fall we are incorporating greater resources to address mental health for our Aggie students and campus community. Access to professional counselors and mental health therapy will be a part of the services at NCTA.

The wellbeing of our students is a priority. Whether it is the stress of the economy, stress of a first-year college student moving away from home after the pandemic and dealing with the challenges of being on their own, we realize young people have concerns.

Perhaps they have a family farm or ranch facing severe drought. Maybe financial constraints create a worry for their educational aspirations. These are very real challenges for young people.

I will reinforce my earlier statement: We just can't emphasize often enough the importance of self-care.

NCTA has a wellness- exercise center. Students have opportunities for outdoor and indoor intramural sports and recreational activities.

It's up to each of us to practice wellness and avenues for selfcare. Add time to unwind to summer's end.

Ag can be stressful

Challenging and cumulative stressors in agriculture can lead to chronic conditions to physical health and mental wellness. Nebraska Extension is leading a workshop entitled "Communicating with Farmers Under Stress."

It focuses on assisting individuals who work with farmers and ranchers on a regular basis, such as bank lenders, ag suppliers, insurance agents, healthcare providers and anyone involved in the lives of agricultural producers and their families.

Consider attending on Tuesday, August 16 at the Cambridge Community Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A lunch will be provided. Register by calling the Phelps County Extension Office at 308.697.3711 or online at:

NCTA Events:

Aug. 3-6: Eustis Fair and Corn Show, Eustis

Aug. 5: NCTA Summer Session ends

Aug. 9-10: NCTA at Nebraska Grazing Conference, Kearney

Aug. 16: "Communicating with Farmers Under Stress," 11:30 a.m., Cambridge

Aug. 20-21: NCTA New Student Orientation, campus move-in

Aug.: 22: NCTA Fall Semester starts

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