The Grazing School of the West offers multidisciplinary vocational training, peer exchange, technical assistance, and professional development for individuals working within livestock and land management. Our mission is to support and promote individuals utilizing prescribed livestock grazing as a land stewardship methodology.

GSW has three main areas of focus in order to support the burgeoning field of prescribed grazing and to empower a new kind of land and livestock manager adept in the intersection of stewardship, project management and stockmanship.

TRAIN: New and Beginning Ranchers, Livestock and Land Manager Training

All training falls into one of our three main areas of teaching:

  • LAND: To educate emerging farmers, ranchers, grazers and land stewards in the practice and theory of regenerative rangeland management skills, incorporating wildlife ecology, soil & plant sciences and watershed systems

  • ANIMAL HUSBANDRY: To support and build productive livestock operations with ethical and humane animal husbandry practices

  • BUSINESS & COMMUNITY: To train students to become empowered entrepreneurs and community members who recognize the potential for economic development via place-based businesses.

Provide practical and business skills needed to pursue a career in land-based stockman/womanship through either entrepreneurial endeavors or employment with established livestock or grazing operations, public agencies or land management businesses.

Provide direct training for individuals looking to create livelihoods in the field in partnership with expert educators, fellow resource providers and/or colleague organizations.

CONVENE: Practitioner Gathering & Community Building

  • Host and mediate gatherings to promote camaraderie for this (re)burgeoning field of professionals by facilitating gatherings and communication platforms that promote community building, skill exchange, and personal connectivity.  

  • Social media, original content production, guest lectures and speaking engagements to create collective messaging for the ranching and grazing community with the goal of raising general public awareness as well as attracting new participants to the field.

  • Reviving a defunct national directory that catalogues western graziers in operation and available for contract work, and connects active graziers to land managers in need of grazing.

  • Assist in the creation and expansion of market opportunities for livestock producers in direct marketing meat, fiber, hide and leather products to both retail and wholesale channels.

  • Assist in connection to land and contract access through strategic partnerships with land linkage organizations, public agencies, funders, and federal, state, or private landowners.

  • When appropriate, participate in advocacy and activism in support of legislation that is fundamental to the work.

PROVIDE: Technical Assistance & Consulting

  • Provide consulting, advising, and project management services for the development and execution of prescribed grazing projects and regenerative land stewardship on private and public properties.

  • Focus on underutilized western landscapes, specifically urban and peri urban communities, to introduce prescribed grazing as fire abatement tool to local, regional, and state agencies working to maintain and protect municipal lands.

  • Help cement foundation for future grazing contracts that GSW participants can step into as operators.


Target audiences

  • new, beginning or hopeful ranchers, livestock and land managers

  • seasoned or transitioning land and livestock practitioners

  • professionals and public agencies working in the land management field

services

Consulting, advising, and project management services for the development and execution of prescribed grazing projects and regenerative land stewardship on private and public properties.

  • Training/Orientations/Presentations: Prescribed Grazing 101

  • Prescribed Grazing Program & Business Development

  • Assets to create organizational infrastructure for prescribed grazing programs


Training

Includes comprehensive and practical instruction of using livestock as a tool on both public and private landscapes for:

  • fire hazard abatement

  • livestock integrated crop systems, ie. vineyards, orchards, crop stubble fields

  • solar panel vegetation management

  • invasive species management

  • soil remediation projects

  • entrepreneurialism in land-based business working with livestock

  • ecologically-minded land stewardship and succession

  • building of soil organic carbon

  • stacked enterprise production (meat, milk, fiber, hides)  


Curriculum

Curriculum and content for both training and technical assistance includes instruction of using prescriptive grazing strategies as a tool for both public and private landscapes maintenance, and animal husbandry methodologies interwoven with research, monitoring, and documentation.

Curriculum is geared towards new and beginning ranchers, graziers and livestock managers and combines animal husbandry with methods and strategies for the business of ranching, contract grazing, food and fiber production, product and service marketing, and ecologically-minded, conservation-centric land stewardship.

Curriculum is designed and delivered by GSW stakeholders as well as a network of expert educators and professionals in their fields.


The desire for careers in meaningful and impactful work seems more important than ever. The time is now to discover new career paths that provide quality of life while contributing to positive change providing viable livelihoods. With increasing cost of living, massive student loan debt pressures and an unpredictable political, environmental, and economic climate, new approaches to support next-generation agrarians with a roadmap to success is key.

It will take collaboration from the private and public sectors, academic institutions, industry stakeholders and committed individuals to navigate and support the creation of viable careers in the challenging yet rewarding work of land stewardship with livestock, producing food and fiber, and providing public safety services through appropriate and mindful grazing practices.

Iā€™d love to see more comrade graziers from all backgrounds defining our new wave of pastoralism in the West.
— Brittany Cole Bush, Next-Generation Land & Livestock Entrepreneur