Mitch Stephenson grew up in the Nebraska Sandhills and central Wyoming. He received a B.S. degree in Animal Science from BYU-Idaho and a M.S. degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Range Science where he evaluated the effect of rotational grazing methods and time of grazing on livestock performance and vegetation characteristics in the eastern Nebraska Sandhills.
Following his time at UNL, Mitch worked as a rangeland ecologist in Wyoming and Nevada where he assisted livestock producers in developing sustainable grazing management plans and range vegetation monitoring reports. He completed his Ph.D. in Range Science in December 2014 from New Mexico State University where his research focused on targeting cattle grazing with low-stress herding and low-moisture block protein supplement and evaluating factors that affect cattle grazing distribution behavior, grazing site selection, and social association patterns..
Following his Ph.D., Mitch worked with the University of Nevada -Reno as a Post-doctoral researcher evaluating the use of livestock grazing as a tool to reduce invasive annual grass biomass on a landscape scale. Mitch is currently a Range and Forage Extension Specialist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln based out of the Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, NE.
Erin Laborie is a beef systems focused Extension Educator for southwest Nebraska. Erin majored in Animal Science and received her Bachelor’s degree in nutrition from The Ohio State University. She attended South Dakota State University for her Master’s degree in Animal Science with an emphasis on growing and finishing cattle nutrition.
Erin currently lives in Beaver City with her husband, John Robert, and twin daughters, Evalynn and Alexandra.
Jack Arterburn is the Beef Systems Extension Educator for northwest Nebraska. He grew up in Sidney, Nebraska, spending a large portion of his childhood in the outdoors hunting, camping, and fishing.
Jack attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he was involved in the Wildlife Club and Range Management Club. During his senior year, Jack was awarded a UCARE grant to conduct a pilot study on the impact of wildfire and grazing on Sandhills grassland.
Upon earned a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife focused on habitat management and minors in Grassland Ecology and Management and Grazing Livestock Systems, Jack was offered a Graduate Assistantship to lead a more rigorous field study to assess resilience and heterogeneity following fire in the Sandhills. He completed his master’s degree in August 2016 and accepted the Extension Educator position serving Box Butte, Dawes, Sheridan, and Sioux Counties.
He currently lives in Chadron with his wife, Emily, and son, Cogan.
Beef Systems focused educator with an emphasis on cow-calf management within beef production systems. My most significant accomplishments have been establishing the Nebraska Ranch Practicum, a comprehensive ranch management program graduating over 600 participants and teaching science to youth through the Husker Beef Lab I have also served on several state and regional committees.
Leah Peterson is a fifth generation Nebraska rancher, and is a member of Cooksley’s Clear Creek Farms, a diversified operation in Northeast Custer County.
Leah is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Bellevue University where she received degrees in Communications and Advanced Leadership Studies. Since that time, she has worked primarily in higher education, and for the USDA in Custer County. She is a passionate advocate for Nebraska Agriculture and dedicated to advancing efforts to ever improve conservation practices, land stewardship, and care for Nebraska’s farming and ranching communities
Twila is the Executive Secretary of the Sandhills Resource Conservation and Development office in Mullen, and also serves as the Grants Financial Manager for the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition. She has done the bookkeeping and financial management for the NGLC since the spring of 2008.
Twila and her husband own and operate the ranch that was purchased by his grandfather in the 1930s in north central Nebraska. She is also involved with the Nebraska LEAD Alumni Association, Nebraska Cattlewomen, Nebraska Wine & Grape Growers Association and the Sandhills Cattle Association.
Twila and her husband have six children — two are married, one is in graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, one is in college at Hastings College and two are still at home.
Twila says, "NGLC is important because the organization strives to promote a greater understanding of the value of grasslands through tried and proven grazing practices as well as innovative strategies that promote healthy grasslands."
The latest NGLC news is published every month in our newsletter. Share your email with us to automatically receive a copy directly in your inbox!