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Colorado Conservation Tillage Association selects 2009 scholarship winners


The Colorado Conservation Tillage Association will award three $500 Agriculture Scholarships during the High Plains No-Till Conference, Feb. 3 and 4 in Greeley, Colo., at the Events Center, Island Grove Regional Park. Scholarships will we awarded to Rex May of Brush, Colo., Alan Wiese of Filley, Neb., and Ransom Sitz of Burwell, Neb.

Rex May is attending Colorado State University and is majoring in soil and crops sciences. May was raised on a farm and states, "With farming so close to my heart, knowing how production agriculture is such a vanishing way of life deeply hurts me. Technology in agriculture is rapidly advancing, and new crops and farming practices will be developed to utilize the limited amounts of water available. Reduced tillage is one of the prominent methods to farm and conserve water. Whether I choose to return to the farm or pursue a career in another area of agriculture, conservation knowledge will give me the ability to gain the most yield and productivity in this time when agriculture is in such a perilous state."

Alan Wiese is attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is majoring in mechanized systems management. Wiese shares his on farm experiences with conservation farming. He states, "Assisting my dad with the management of a 250 head cattle operation, an 850 head hog finishing unit, and 1,400 crop land acres, I have learned and applied conservation practices that have promoted good stewardship of the land. Optimizing the nutrients with the top soil, my dad and I take the time to educate ourselves on effective conservation practices. We have been involved in five government programs that promote conservation, and we independently implement practices that prevent erosion and preserve natural wildlife habitats and grassland growth. Reflecting on the wisdom my dad has shared, he emphasized my responsibility to take care of the land and the earth's natural resources. It is a privilege to serve as a steward of the land and I look forward to having an opportunity to serve an integral role in developing innovative practices that continue to preserve our fertile soil and prairie lands."

Ransom Sitz is attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is majoring in entomology. Sitz was raised on a ranch in the Sandhills of Nebraska. He states, "My interest in entomology stemmed from insect collections for the county fair in 4-H. People always ask me why I'm not an animal science or agronomy major. My answer is that insects directly affect cattle and crops, whereas the opposite may not be true. The presence of insects affects decisions that farmers and ranchers make when managing their land, livestock, and crops. One of the things I find interesting is how integrated pest management of certain insect pests is affected by tillage practices. In the near future, I want to stay active with switchgrass research and some of the entomology outreach programs. After graduating from UNL I want to use my agricultural background and education to help farmers and ranchers or start farming and ranching myself."

It gives the Colorado Conservation Tillage Association great pleasure to award there three outstanding agriculture students $500 scholarships. Our future agriculture future will be in good hands. For more information about the upcoming High Plains No-Till Conference and registration costs, go to www.HighPlainsNoTill.com or call 970-576-8970, Kathy. Pre-registration ($100--spouses $70) will be taken through Jan. 29 and walk-in's at the door ($130--spouses remain at $70) are welcome.

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