NCTA receives $25,000 grant

Curtis – Money doesn't grow on trees but it sure will help grow a community garden and serve as a possible pilot project for rural development and community outreach.

 The University of Nebraska-Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Rural Futures Institute for a community garden project being launched this summer at the Curtis campus.  

Annually, the University of Nebraska-based RFI hosts competitive grant opportunities for Nebraskans to encourage collaborations, said Kim Peterson, RFI’s outreach program specialist.

 A “Successful Teaching & Engagement” grant features curriculum development tied to partnerships between students, faculty and community agencies/programs for service learning or engagement.

Funding will be awarded July 1, for garden and farmers’ market activities in Curtis in 2014 and 2015.  The grant will fund salaries for a program manager, student employees and interns, and start-up supplies.

    “This is exciting for NCTA to be recognized by the Rural Futures Institute,” said NCTA Dean Ron Rosati.  “We look forward to growing a garden together, with the community members who make the college more than an academic institution. This can give us all a sense of unity and tangible, collaborative results.”

Project coordinator will be Tee Bush, NCTA’s assistant professor of horticulture.

A key component will be participation by 4-H youth and clubs, in addition to college students and community residents, said Dr. Brad Ramsdale, chairman of NCTA’s agronomy/ horticulture division.

“One goal is to partner with the University of Nebraska Extension Service through Frontier County in working with 4-H youth and provide a mentoring and service opportunity with NCTA’s horticulture students,” Ramsdale said.

The project encourages college student involvement in providing services to help meet the community’s needs; integrates meaningful student service experiences into the curriculum; and builds curriculum-based reflection activities to enhance student learning, Peterson said.

Students will keep journals about their interactions and teaching experiences, Bush noted. “We are making ties with the community, college, youth and bringing it all together.”

The community garden will be located southwest of Ag Hall on the NCTA campus. Additional information is available from Mrs. Bush at 308-367-5226 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Medicine Valley Qualifiers for State Speech

Medicine Valley Speech team competed in the District competition in North Platte. The team received an overall 4th place finish. Medalist were: Extemporaneous Speaking: Connor Russell 2nd place and Rodger Farr 4th place. Informative Speaking: Madison Clark 5th place, Entertainment speaking: Savannah Willis 6th place, Persuasive speaking: Regan Garey 4th place and Hannah Hosick 5th place, OID: Connor Cottrell, Trey Willis, Sage Schmidt, Jake Korinek and Scott Taylor 3rd place. Connor Russell and the OID team advanced to theh State Competition held March 28th in Kearney. At the State Competition Connor Russell placed 6th in Extemporaneous speaking. Shown above l-r: Jake Korinek, Connor Cottrell, Sage Schmidt, Connor Russell, Scott Taylor and Trey Willis. Courtesy Photo


56 Years of Celebration for annual Easter Pageant

The annal Easter Pageant held in Curtis will be presented on Palm Sunday April 13th, at 3pm.

Starting in 1958, residents of Curtis, along with family and friends from surrounding communities have joined together to present the Living Picture Pageant. The format has evolved over the years from a “Passion Play” type of production to the current collection of 17 scenes of familiar events, famous painting and statuary. These include: The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens’ Descent from the Cross, and The Pieta by Michelangelo.

Local artists have constructed and painted the scenes. The accompanying choral music includes the song Kyrie written by David Cole while he was a student at Medicine Valley High School. The crown of thorns used in the production from a Crown of Thorns plant in Mexico. Parts of the Roman Soldier uniforms came from MGM Productions and were used in the movies Ben Hur, Julius Ceasar, and Quo Vadis.

Three and four generations have made the pageant part of the Easter season in Curtis. Children have appeared surrounding Jesus and then later taken another role on stage or in the choir.

In 1981, Curtis was designated Nebraska’s official “Easter City”. Signs of Easter can be seen all around town from the crosses south of Curtis to the insignias on the city vehicles. The Easter season lasts all year here.

The pageant is always presented on Palm Sunday, and will be hosted by the Medicine Valley High School. There is no charge to view the pageant but a free will offering is taken.


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