Kansas cowboy is Aggie of the Year

Associate Dean Jennifer McConville, Aggie of the Year Damian Wellman, and Dean Ron Rosati post for a photo at awards night on May 1 in Curtis.

CURTIS — To ranchers and agricultural college students, the 2019 Aggie of the Year in Curtis would be considered a “top hand.”

Damian Wellman of Prairie View, Kansas, was named the Aggie of the Year by the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in an awards ceremony in May.

Wellman, a third-year livestock management major, is serving his summer internship at a ranch in Wyoming, the ideal spot for an avid horseman.

Aggie of the Year honors are announced each May in recognition of a student’s campus involvement, achievement, leadership and contributions to the NCTA student body, said Ron Rosati, NCTA dean.

“This year’s recipient has made a significant impact since stepping onto the NCTA campus,” Rosati said. “His personal growth, confidence, leadership and work ethic have been apparent to everyone.”

One nomination letter said Damian Wellman is reliable, always “doing whatever is necessary, whenever necessary.”

Wellman served as a resident assistant for two years, is active with the NCTA ranch horse team and competed on regional contests, and also worked as an employee of the NCTA Farm, said Jennifer McConville, associate dean.

“I can always count on Damian for helping on campus,” McConville said. “He is a great all-around student.”

After a December graduation from NCTA, Wellman has bigger plans for his career as a horseman possibly by attending college in Montana or going into ranching.

“I would like to work on a bigger ranch and help start colts (training them for ranch work),” he said. “It would also be cool to do some equine chiropractic work or be a farrier.”