here - Omaha Home for Boys

For more information, please contact Michael Watkins, OHB, marketing and communications
manager, (402) 457-7195 or [email protected], or Mary Bargman Crawford,
NCTA, external relations coordinator, (308) 631-5134 (cell) or [email protected]
Omaha Home for Boys, Nebraska College of Technical
Agriculture (NCTA) Announce Joint Pilot Program
OMAHA, NEB. (Friday, March 28, 2014) – An agriculture college in southwestern Nebraska is
bringing a little bit of country to the city, and to a farm where urban youth can learn about raising
crops and livestock.
This fall, high school students from Omaha area schools and adult
learners interested in boosting their knowledge of horticulture and
farm animals can enroll in courses offered by the University of
Nebraska-Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) and
the Omaha Home for Boys at the Cooper Memorial Farm, 8502
Mormon Bridge Road.
“The joint effort between NCTA and the Omaha Home for Boys is a pilot project for anyone in the
Omaha area. It is designed to support locally-produced food, produce job-ready agricultural
graduates, and foster social and economic development for youth and adults,” said Ron Rosati, PhD,
NCTA Dean. “Omaha Home for Boys is a real gem in guiding young men and women on their life
“Our NCTA faculty and staff are fortunate to be part of this new academic venture with OHB, by
providing hands-on learning here in Omaha in gardening, horticulture, and animal science,” Rosati
Courses offered this fall will be organic and alternative agriculture, and livestock and carcass
evaluation. Spring, 2015, classes will include plant propagation and seed stock preparation and
marketing (feeding and fitting livestock to show in 4-H or FFA). In future semesters, if students
garner sufficient hours of college credits, they may be eligible for a college certificate or an associate
of science degree. Livestock classes will include a summer camp in preparation for showing and
grooming (fitting) livestock for county fairs.
Main Campus • 4343 N. 52nd Street • Omaha, Nebraska • 68104 • 402.457.7000
Jacobs’ Place Campus • 919 N. N. 48th Street • Omaha, Nebraska • 68132 • 402.558.0366
The project is a good fit for the urban classroom offered by two long-standing institutions, said Jeff
Moran, president and CEO of the Omaha Home for Boys. The Omaha Home for Boys was founded
in 1920 as an orphanage and today works with young men and women, ages 12 to 24.
The community-based organization includes Inspiration Hill residential care, Jacobs’ Place
transitional living, Branching Out independent living and the Cooper Memorial Farm. Students
attend various high schools in Omaha.
“The Omaha Home for Boys is excited to partner with NCTA in offering an agricultural academic
program on our Cooper Memorial Farm,” Moran said. “We believe this collaboration with classroom
and experiential education will provide both youth and adults in the greater Omaha metropolitan area
an opportunity to explore an agricultural curriculum within an urban setting.”
Based in Curtis, Nebraska, since 1913, the agriculture school was first a residential high school for
55 years. Many individuals from western and southwestern Nebraska and the Sandhills area attended
school at Curtis.
When it became part of the University of Nebraska system in the late 1960s, NCTA offered an
Associate’s degree program and is the only NU institution emphasizing two-year, open enrollment
programs. NCTA also teaches computer-based online and distance learning courses for high school
students concurrently earning college credits. In the Omaha program, NCTA will provide faculty,
curriculum and supplies. The Omaha Home for Boys provides the site, farm manager and laboratory
While Omaha-area schools consider adding agricultural or horticultural sciences to their curriculums,
the pilot project helps meet that demand, Rosati said. It may complement the urban ag and natural
resources classes and FFA recently added at Bryan High School.
“I see the partnership with NCTA as a win, win, win,” said Jeff Hallstrom, M. Ed., Omaha Home for
Boys program manager-educational services. “We see the potential in having our youth participate
and work on various agriculture projects. For example, we would like to work towards a farmers
market where our youth learn how to grow healthy, locally grown produce that can be eaten in our
Dining Hall and be sold to the community. Members of our community will also benefit with
educational opportunities for traditional college students and adult learners.”
For further information on the OHB-NCTA Collaborative Agricultural Education Program, see or contact 1-800-3CURTIS.
For more information about the Omaha Home for Boys, please visit
Main Campus • 4343 N. 52nd Street • Omaha, Nebraska • 68104 • 402.457.7000
Jacobs’ Place Campus • 919 N. N. 48th Street • Omaha, Nebraska • 68132 • 402.558.0366