For a state that leads the nation in cattle harvested and usually is first or second in cattle on feed, the visit was special because it represents one of the state’s largest industries.
“We are the nonpolicy side. Our job is the fun side,” said Ryan Loseke who feeds cattle north of Columbus and is president of the foundation. “We get to raise money and disburse it.”
The Nebraska Cattlemen’s Research and Education Foundation has supported Northeast Community College in a couple of ways. It donated to the Nexus campaign for the Vet Tech/Acklie Farm facility buildings as well as making an annual donation to the Livestock Judging team for several years.
Mike Roeber, Northeast agricultural instructor and livestock judging coach, led the foundation members on the tours. Roeber was assisted on the tour of the Vet Tech building by Brandi Doernemann, a sophomore veterinary and technology student from Dodge. Roeber said he and the judging team appreciate the continued support.
The Nebraska Cattlemen’s Foundation raises funds in several ways, including a Retail Steer Challenge that is statewide. Loseke said it usually raises about $250,000.
Last year, the foundation gave more than $65,000 in scholarships to incoming college students, along with other college ventures like the livestock judging teams at Northeast, the University of Nebraska-Curtis and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The foundation also provides grants to fund research and professorships at UNL.
“We try to be cognizant to send our money across the state. We have had our members talk about this as we look for workforce development. The two-year institutions are just as viable to our members as the four-year institutions,” Loseke said.
The foundation board has the state divided into seven regions, plus a few at-large members. The members represent everyone from cattle feeders to cow-calf producers.
The foundation usually has about five or six meetings a year. The September meeting usually rotates across the state. Before Northeast, it was held in recent years in Scottsbluff, Curtis and southeast Nebraska.
Northeast Community College hosted the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Foundation for one of its meetings, lunch and then provided a tour of the Vet Tech facility and the Acklie College Farm facility this week.