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Developing ag leaders

Developing ag leaders

The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture and the Curtis community have a group of special visitors on campus this month.

We welcomed 50 young men and women from the country of Rwanda to our campus for three weeks of intensive course work on agricultural skills development. The students have just completed their freshmen year of study at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) in what is known as CUSP, the CASNR Undergraduate Scholars Program.

The Rwandan students arrived in Curtis last weekend for an orientation before beginning their three-week initiative. On Sunday, many of the students participated in various religious services in the community. That evening they were welcomed to potluck dinner at the Curtis United Methodist Church. A hearty thank you to the Methodist church for a warm welcome and a great activity!

Pastor Tunde Oladimeji gave the students an excellent presentation on how to be successful in college, in life and in a small Nebraska community such as Curtis. The students greatly appreciated the wisdom and insights shared by Tunde.

Welcome to 50 students in the CASNR Undergraduate Scholars Program for a 3-week study of agricultural skills development at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. (Photo by Tina Smith/NCTA)

After a great meal and wonderful conversation, the evening ended on a high note as the students engaged in cultural dancing. Many of the local parishioners joined in the dancing and great fun. It was a warm and friendly evening enjoyed by all.

NCTA Courses

     When classes started on campus Monday morning, we had students learning about horticultural production techniques in the college greenhouses, basics of welding in the NCTA welding lab, and skeletal structures of large and small animals in the anatomy lab at the veterinary technology building.

The scholars are engaged in a three-hour course each morning and a second three-hour course every afternoon. During their second and third weeks at NCTA they will have two new courses each week.

Topics in Week 1 include:

  • Welding – arc welding and oxyacetylene
  • Horticulture – outdoor gardening, woody plant pruning, tropical plant propagation, mulching and new plant care
  • Veterinary Technology – skeletal anatomy, parasitology lab, dissection lab, necropsy lab and parasitology lab 2

Topics in Week 2 include:

  • Welding – arc welding and oxyacetylene
  • Livestock artificial insemination
  • Agronomy
  • Animal Science –  including meat science, nutrition and rations, range plant identification and rangeland monitoring, and equine science

Topics in Week 3 include:

  • Farm power systems – tractor and small gas engine maintenance and repair
  • Equipment operation – safe operation of tractors and farm equipment
  • Veterinary Technology – Injection techniques, clinical pathology 1 & 2, beef quality assurance, and livestock handling

Community Networking

These 50 young men and women are interested in meeting our Curtis community and learning about your life in rural Nebraska. Many events are scheduled in the evenings and weekends for them to learn more about Nebraska and its culture. This Sunday, May 20, a community potluck is planned for 5:30 p.m. in the Curtis Community Center. Please join us for dinner and a great community opportunity for you to meet our visitors.

If you would be interested in hosting a group of Rwandans for a tour, field trip, meal or recreation, let us know. Contact our NCTA Residence Life Director Erika Arambula at 308.367.5247.

Thank you, Curtis community, for making this a great experience for all of us!

May events:

12-June 1 – Rwandan Students Study at NCTA

21 –Frontier County 4-H Council, 7 p.m., Ag Hall

23 – Standard of Excellence NCTA Livestock Judging Camp

24 – West Central Youth Animal Science Field Day

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