New Buildings, Same GoalWritten by Jacqueline Skarda
The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis has drastically changed its shape over the past two years.
The college can now boast a new education center, two new suite-style dorms, an addition to the veterinary teaching complex and a biomass project.
The buildings have been open a few months, but things are just now getting situated.
They should be in full use by the fall semester.
The projects required a $15 million investment from the Nebraska Legislature, the Nebraska Agriculture Industry and generous donors.
The college wants to increase enrollment from 330 to 600 by 2014.
“The major reason for all these things is because is because rural. Nebraska communities are dying. 64% of our communities are now under 500. They will not survive if we don't have young people go home and be the next farmers and ranchers and main street business owners,” says Weldon Sleight, Dean of the college.
Sleight says the United States Department of Agriculture and the Ag Industry assist in this goal.
He says the USDA currently offers low interest loans to young farmers, as low as 1.25% interest on a $300,000 signature loan.