Grazing Livestock Systems

Total Systems Approach for Production Operations Grazing Livestock Systems Option

cattle grazing in grasslands

The Grazing Livestock Systems (or GLS) degree option was developed for students interested in the management of forage/livestock production operations or for those working in educational or industry roles with grazing livestock. The GLS option effectively integrates animal science, forage and range sciences and agricultural economics through a carefully designed curriculum, seminars, a required hands-on internship and a senior capstone experience. Some examples of previous internships have been at individual farms and ranches, land and cattle companies, federal agencies, university research farms and ranches and in extension education. The capstone experience is a management-oriented planning course, Livestock Management on Range and Pasture.

The GLS option allows specialization in ruminant livestock, forage and range management or economics while preserving the systems orientation. The GLS faculty team is composed of two animal scientists, two forage and range scientists and one agricultural economist. An advisory group of industry professionals provide guidance for the program to stay up-to-date and relevant to real-world needs and trends.

fire on the prairie range on East Campus
In the range ecosystems course, GLS student Ben Andrews learns about prescribed burning while helping with the annual small prairie burn on the campus.

Meet the Grazing Livestock Systems Team

John Guretzky

John GuretzkyAssociate Professor, Agronomy & Horticulture

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Kacie McCarthy

Kacie McCarthyAssistant Professor, Animal Science

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Jay Parsons

Jay ParsonsAssociate Professor, Agricultural Economics

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Bryan Reiling

Bryan ReilingAssociate Professor, Animal Science

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The Center for Grassland Studies has several funds available to provide Academic and Professional Development scholarships for eligible undergraduate students pursuing a degree in grassland management and stewardship. The Center and our students are very fortunate to have donors passionate about the Nebraska grasslands and committed to the education of our future professionals and grassland stewards. Deadline for scholarships is March 15.

Scholarship Application


The opportunity to apply knowledge learned in the classroom to a career is essential to the education of our students. Grazing Livestock Systems (GLS) degree option students are required to conduct an internship consisting of at least 13 weeks of approved experiences designed to complement their academic course work. GLS interns have been in a variety of positions including field research assistant, lab technologist, assistant extension educator, NRCS field intern and rancher. Whether roping and branding on a Nebraska Sandhills ranch or conducting experiments in a research facility, internships are tailored to the experiential learning needs of GLS students. An Internship Symposium is held every fall.

More About Internships

Grazing Livestock Systems Club

The Grazing Livestock Systems (GLS) Club provides the framework for the academic, professional and social development of students and helps students develop external and internal professional networks. The GLS Club provides a forum for interaction and engagement among undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, faculty and external professionals. Through its activities, the GLS Club increases the presence and visibility of the Grazing Livestock Systems program on campus. Activities include regular meetings, seminars with professionals working in the field and celebrations for the members.

More About the GLS Club

Professional Societies

Most clubs are chapters of professional societies. The annual highlight for many students is attending these professional meetings where there is a focus on student activities, including student contests, social events and special sessions on job placement and career development. Membership in relevant societies is encouraged, especially for students in the Grassland Systems degree program. Many professional societies have reduced membership fees for students.