At L-H we are thankful for the patronage of our customers and we realize reciprocations is necessary to keep any economy going. In an attempt to help support our customers and the communities they live in we are committed to helping local 4-H clubs and sponsoring local rodeo and agriculture events. In this way we hope our customers can see that we are interested in the things that benefit them and like to do what we can to make their lives better in appreciation for their business.


"HC rodeo coach builds state fair arena"

- Hastings Tribune, September , 2016


GRAND ISLAND — As one who has had multiple go-arounds inside the ring as a rodeo competitor, Justen Nokes has a pretty good idea what an equine arena should look like.


So it was with his many years of competition and current position as head rodeo coach at Hastings College in mind that he was contacted by Nebraska State Fair officials in November 2015 to help design a new open air equine arena at Fonner Park.


During his first meeting with fair board members, Nokes learned the arena used at Fonner Park had become outdated and was difficult to set up for events.



It would be up to him — with help from designer Jacque Keenan, wife of a fair board member — to fashion a new design that would provide the proper infrastructure for all types of equine sporting events, including 4-H shows, rodeos and American Quarter Horse Association shows.


“It just wasn’t real user-friendly,” Nokes said. “Any time there was an event put on, whoever was hosting it had to go in and make adjustments, which was a downfall for the host. It probably kept a lot of people from wanting to use the facility.”


Designed to the board’s specifications, the 60,000-square-foot Thompson Foods Open Air Arena can be divided into two separate arenas and used to host a standard high school rodeo format.


Complete with holding pens, shaded livestock structures, professional bucking and roping chutes, and covered spectator seating, the arena ushers in a new standard of venue excellence at Fonner Park that is both functional and practical.


“When somebody shows up to put on an event, they’ll know that the ground is safe for the competitors and their livestock,” Nokes said. “They’ll see the easiness as far as the cattle flow for loading and holding livestock, where it just makes it a lot simpler to put on a production.”


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"Hastings College rodeo coach Justen Nokes wins 2017 Great Plains Region College Rodeo Coach of the Year award"

- Tri-State Livestock News, May 9, 2017


Hastings, Neb. — Hastings College rodeo coach Justen Nokes has been awarded the Great Plains Region College Rodeo Coach of the Year.


The Juniata man has been at the helm of the Hasting College rodeo team since the college started the club eight years ago. Winning the award "caught me off guard," Nokes said. "I didn't expect it one bit."


His team this year consisted of 18 students, with two of them — Nolan Sybrant, Bassett, and Marshal Peterson, Ashland — winning titles in the Great Plains region. In the region, Sybrant finished first in the tie-down roping to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo and Peterson finished fourth in the tie-down roping and fourth in the team roping (heading) to win the all-around. Peterson will compete in both of his events at the CNFR.


In his eight years as college coach, Nokes has had two other students qualify for the CNFR: steer wrestlers Richard Coats, Hastings (2013-2014) and Tom Littell, Elm Creek, (2016).

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