CURTIS — College students in Curtis with a livestock dog by their side have more than a companion.

Their canine friend often is a partner in handling livestock such as cattle or sheep.

This weekend, two Kansas dog trainers are featured at a hands-on clinic at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

Spectators are invited to attend, pick up a few tips on stock dogs and meet the NCTA students who comprise the NCTA stock dog club and competition team.

Action starts at 9 a.m. at the Livestock Teaching Center indoor arena on the NCTA campus.

Clinicians are Laura Stimatze of Stimatze Working Cowdogs, Macksville, Kansas, and Lacey Haskell of Long Island, Kansas.

Haskell is a 2010 graduate of the NCTA veterinary technology program.

“It all started in Curtis when I got my first border collie and went to my first two clinics,” she said. “Ever since, I have had a few border collies around that I have trialed, or starter and sold.”

NCTA students have worked steadily on increasing their knowledge, training dogs at the college or at the nearby farm and facilities of volunteer coach Kelly Popp.

“We are very fortunate to have great support from people like Kelly, Eddie Merritt of Wellfleet and other local stock producers in the regional Outback Stock Dog Association,” said Judy Bowmaster-Cole, who wears multiple hats as a VetTech faculty member, stock team advisor, and mentor to decades of Aggie students.

In January, for the first time, Aggie students took their dogs to the National Western Stock Show in Denver. They competed in the stock trial contests. One went on to a national finals contest in Wyoming in June. Others competed for a third year at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island.

For more information about the NCTA stock dog team, contact Bowmaster-Cole or see the team’s public Facebook page @nctastockdogteam.

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