Grazing Livestock Systems

Total Systems Approach for Production Operations Grazing Livestock Systems

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cattle grazing in grasslands

The Grazing Livestock Systems (or GLS) degree program 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 degree program 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. The capstone experience is a management-oriented planning course, Livestock Management on Range and Pasture.

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 GLS degree program 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.

Scholarships

The Center for Grassland Studies has several funds available to provide Academic and Professional Development scholarships for eligible undergraduate students pursuing degrees in grassland management and stewardship [e.g. Bachelor of Science degree in Grazing Livestock Systems, Bachelor of Science degree in Grassland Ecology and Management, and related degrees]. 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 Feb. 14.

Scholarship Application

Internships

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 program 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.

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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.

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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 Grazing Livestock Systems degree program. Many professional societies have reduced membership fees for students.