A degree and a heifer for three Aggie graduates



via KTIC (NE) - September 18th, 2022


CURTIS, Neb. In Spring of 2022, a final semester of classes at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture came with an incentive for three Aggie students.


From farms and ranches in western Nebraska, each applied to the NCTA Heifer Link project and received one animal from the campus herd.


Heifer Link was initiated about a decade ago for NCTA students at Curtis to earn a heifer and begin their herd or add to their cattle enterprise.


Michael Comstock of Harrison, Braden Johnson of Gering, and Ryan Liakos of Bayard were three successful applicants in 2022.


Just prior to May graduation, each was awarded a heifer that had been born at campus in 2021.


I had started my own operation right after my first year of college, said Liakos, a Diversified Agricultural Management major at NCTA. He received an Associate of Applied Science for studies in crops, livestock, ag business, and ag mechanics.


Liakos farms rented ground located between Bayard and Scottsbluff. He added a Red Angus breeding heifer to the family herd. They farm corn, dry edible beans, sugar beets, and livestock feed. Liakos was active in campus clubs. He had earned his American FFA Degree while in the Bayard FFA Chapter.


Braden Johnson, also an American FFA Degree recipient from the Bayard chapter, is back at rural Gering, raising cattle and alfalfa with his family. He said they focus on the cow-calf herd, raising alfalfa for their use and outside sales, and are considering adding a small feedlot at the farm.


I appreciated the classes and programs that NCTA offered me, and enjoyed the hands-on aspect with the livestock there, Johnson said. He majored in Livestock Industry Management.


Michael Comstock studied Diversified Agricultural Management and received a certificate in Agricultural Mechanics. He ranches with his family in northwestern Nebraska, in Sioux County and they also pasture cattle just across the state line, near Lusk, Wyoming...