Farm & Ranch - May 2020

F7

FARM RANCH

THE NORTH PLATTE TELEGRAPH

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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