NCTA Celebrates a Century of Education

NCTA held their annual banquet along with celebrating 100 years on Saturday night. Pictured holding a quilt during the auction is Dave Bruntz (1) and auctioneer for the night was Dave Smith.  Photo by Tori Willis

One hundred years after its founding, former and current students, instructors and administrators gathered to celebrate a century of education as the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture honored its past and looked to its future last weekend in Curtis. Activities throughout the weekend included participation from a number of former students in various activities including performances and donations.

The weekend of festivities started on Friday evening with a chuck-wagon feed, where more than 75 attendees enjoyed the traditional western fixings. The chuck-wagon feed was followed by dessert at the college where the attendees were entertained by RP Smith, a rancher from Broken Bow and a member of UNSTA class of 1980. Smith enchanted those attending with a performance of cowboy poetry.

Saturday saw the continuation of events, as meals were served, tours of the college offered and board meetings by both the alumni association and the statewide advisory board took place. 

The highlight of the afternoon was the presentation of two new John Deere tractors to the college by Plains Equipment of Broken Bow/Ord.

“We’re providing a 6105 M Tractor for general use around the college and then we’re also providing a 6190 R, it’s on the cutting edge of technology,” said Mike Connely a 1992 NCTA Alumni and employee of Plains Equipment.

The donation of the tractors was prompted by the work of NCTA faculty member and farm manager Roy Cole who initiated the discussions with Plains Equipment.

The events of Saturday were capped by the alumni banquet with 169 people in attendance at the Curtis Memorial Community Center.

Ken Rahjes, former KRVN radio personality, was the MC for the night’s activities, which included both a live and silent auction, prime rib dinner, and dance.

The keynote addresses of the evening were delivered by Dr. Ronnie Green, the vice-chancellor of the UNL College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Dr. Ron Rosati, NCTA dean.

Cowboy poet, and UNSTA alumni RP Smith, wrote and presented a special poem for the evening. He was then awarded Alumni Legacy Award in a surprise announcement.

Two former students create website so alumni can keep tabs on each other

Ken Mercer and Jack Andersen, both class of 1964, recently launched a new website dedicated to the alumni of the Nebraska School of Agriculture (NSA) and the University of Nebraska School of Agriculture (UNSA), both previous high-school incarnations of NCTA.

The site,, was created this past spring with the intent preserving memories of the institution from when it was a high school. The two scanned in every yearbook from 1924-1968,  there is also a volume dedicated to the classes of 1913-1923. The site has a searchable database where visitors can search the yearbooks by student name.



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