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Freshmen ag students get familiar with college with the help of other students, faculty

Freshmen ag students get familiar with college with the help of other students, faculty

NORFOLK, Neb. – New students enrolled in agriculture programs at Northeast Community College went through New Student Orientation with hundreds of others prior to the start of classes back in August. They had a chance to go through another orientation experience designed to help them learn more about the department as well as find out how to participate in clubs, contests and extracurricular activities on campus.

This is the second year for the department’s Ag Orientation Day. Agriculture Program Director Jill Heemstra said after COVID 19 shut down so many activities for the students while they were in high school, they are noticing that the freshmen are eager to find ways to participate in college life. 

“Another goal of the day was to really talk through each of the majors and the types of courses and potential jobs available for them. We do find a few students realize they are not in the major they should be.”

A fun part of the day is when students participated in a “get to know the faculty” game show. It was designed to help students recognize that their instructors have interests and experiences outside of the classroom. Another important part of the day was to outline the expectations instructors have for the students when they are representing the department at contests and events. 

“We have some department-wide things we expect of them, and we introduce them to some campus-wide resources they may have already seen in larger presentations, but they may be less intimidated in a smaller group setting,” said Dr. Trentee Bush, horticulture instructor. “Sophomores were here to show them the ropes and help us with some of the legwork, but it’s also a great way for them to be involved. And the day also helps us as faculty members in putting faces with names of students that we may not see until their second year with us.”

Dr. Leah Barrett, president of Northeast, also spoke to the students. 

Heemstra said it was a good day for everyone. She said having sophomore students participate in the day-long event was beneficial to the approximately 120 freshmen.  

“They helped move groups from one session to another, explained what they gained from participating in clubs and events and were part of a student panel that fielded questions from the freshman. 

All events took place at Northeast’s Chuck M. Pohlman Agriculture Complex on the Acklie College Farm approximately one mile east of the main campus in Norfolk.

Northeast Community College offers 13 agriculture programs in agriculture, food and natural resources –agribusiness, agriculture - college transfer, agronomy, animal science, dairy technician, diversified agriculture, horticulture & golf course management, mechanized agriculture, natural resources, precision agriculture, urban agriculture, pre-veterinary technology, and veterinary technology. 

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                                                                                                   PHOTO CUTLINE 

Sophomore agriculture students at Northeast Community College speak to freshmen ag students during a question-and-answer session in the Chuck M. Pohlman Agriculture Complex on the Acklie College Farm. It was part of the department’s Ag Orientation Day – a day designed to provide freshmen ag students with more information on the department as well how they can participate in clubs, contests and extracurricular activities at the College.