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Nebraska rural communities need young ranchers


On Jan. 22, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture will sponsor a Nebraska rancher seminar designed to bring producers, current, and future NCTA students together to examine NCTA's new 100 Beef Cow Ownership Advantage Program. For almost two years, NCTA has been developing and promoting its 100 Beef Cow Ownership Advantage Program. This fall, 25 students entered NCTA specifically for this program, which will provide them with the technical skills important to beef cattle production along with the entrepreneurial and business skills necessary to understand how to own and operate a beef cattle enterprise. Upon completion of this program, NCTA students are eligible to receive a USDA-Farm Service Agency low interest loan for up to $300,000 to purchase cows, but they need partners. These partners must be willing to hire the students and allow them to either purchase 100 cows as a partner from the current rancher or bring 100 cows to the owner's operation. NCTA Dean Weldon Sleight says, "Students involved in the 100 cow program will be the best employees an operator could ever hire because they will own part of the business. This ownership will create within the young ranchers an urgent sense of responsibility for not only the employee's cattle but the owner's herd as well."

Shortly after the 100 cow program was developed for students resident on the NCTA Curtis campus, older hired hands started demonstrating interest in the program. These requests brought about the outreach program in partnership with the West Central Research and Extension Center. Together, these sister institutions developed a program that allows currently employed individuals to enroll in four courses that require only two days a month away from their employment. Larry Cooper, director of the outreach program said, "This program is perfect for the currently employed rancher who needs to start building collateral in cattle; they can one day be used to purchase a ranch."

Dean Sleight said, "The future of Nebraska ranching is dependent on getting young ranchers in partnerships with those who are thinking about expanding or slowing down. We encourage all Nebraska ranchers to consider a partnership with an NCTA graduate. The program on Jan. 22, is a great opportunity for NCTA students and current cattlemen to get acquainted with the 100 cow program." For more information concerning the 100 Beef Cow Ownership Advantage program and seminar, contact Larry Cooper at 1-800-3CURTIS.

4 Star NE\7-B

Date: 1/30/09

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