Farm & Ranch - May 2020




MAY 2020

Aggie drawn to raising, showing beef cattle

Goshen County. As an FFA student in Southeast High School at nearby Yoder, he was active in livestock judg- ing, ag mechanics, and then caught the bug for showing club calves. Through FFA, he was trained in beef cattle artificial insemina- tion and worked with a custom AI crew dur- ing breeding seasons. Keller also continued showing cattle, fit- ting and grooming, and learning the ropes of the cattle business throughout his high school career. Then he set his sights on college. “I knew that I want- ed to be involved in the cattle industry,” Keller said. “I checked around a lot and found that NCTA had what I want- ed the most for college.” On May 7, in a virtual, online com- mencement, he graduated magna cum laude (3.75-3.99 GPA) and was named salu- tatorian for the NCTA Aggies Class of 2020. He received an asso- ciate of applied science degree in livestock pro- duction plus the 1-year

certificate in irrigation technology. Next fall, if on-cam- pus classes proceed as currently planned by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Keller will pursue a bachelor’s degree by transferring in ani- mal science to the UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The CASNR program is a 4-year partner to NCTA’s 2-year campus. “Dalton is a bright young man,” said Doug Smith, Keller’s animal science professor and advisor the past three years. As an NCTA Aggie, Keller continued to travel to cattle prog- ress shows, including the National Western Stock Show in Denver in January. He also en- joys helping at bull and female sales and pro- cessing livestock for producers. During college, he was employed at Arrowhead Meadows Golf Course across the highway from NCTA. He also was seasonal

By MARY CRAWFORD NCTA News CURTIS — Dalton Keller is well versed in beef cattle and animal science so he decided that in his third year of college he would chart a different path. Keller added skills in irrigation technology, electricity, ag mechan- ics, welding and ag safety to his program at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. Why pursue the ir- rigation technician program? “I just wanted to have some knowledge about center pivots,” Keller explains. “How they are set up, how they work, and to have enough knowledge that when I started farming I want- ed to be able to repair one myself and not have to hire someone.” Keller’s family re- cently purchased a small farm south of Torrington, Wyoming, where Dalton raises a couple dozen cattle, al- falfa and grass-hay crops. Both of his parents work for the lo- cal school district in

Photo courtesy of NCTA Dalton Keller raises cattle and forage crops just west of the Nebraska- Wyoming state line. He graduated recently as salutatorian of the Class of 2020 at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. He intends to trans- fer to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall in animal science.

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