Student Electives

Student and teacher in an elective course.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center (GPVEC) is located on the premises of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) which is a 35,000 acre USDA research facility that is home to large populations of beef cattle, sheep and pigs.  A cooperative agreement between the USMARC and the University of Nebraska allows GPVEC to train veterinary students from across the nation and around the world.

Our electives are built around the seasonal livestock production activities on the USMARC during which students can gain practical experience and develop their clinical skills.  Limited enrollment in the week long electives allows students an excellent student-to-faculty ratio and increases the opportunity for hands-on experiences.

While field work is the primary activity of our electives, limited time is typically spent in the classroom discussing topics relevant to the events of the week to augment the hands-on experiences and place them into the context of the entire production system.  Information regarding the activities and discussions of specific electives can be found by visiting the individual electives pages listed below. 

Student electives at the Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center are open to all veterinary medical students attending AVMA accredited colleges of veterinary medicine.

Feedlot Production Management

Students will learn how to evaluate production techniques and evaluation of production including ration and feeding management, health management program development and evaluation, environmental management, quality assurance, feedlot necropsy and microbiology techniques, and break even analysis.

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Cattle in a feedlot.

Calving Season Management

Students are provided opportunities to expand knowledge and experience in all phases of calving management.

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Cow and calf in a field.

Bull Breeding Soundness

The Bull Breeding Soundness Elective involves training in all phases of the examination and evaluation procedure for herd bulls and/or sale bulls as recommended by the Society for Theriogenology.

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Student and teacher looking in a microscope.

Swine Pathology

The Swine Pathology Elective provides students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience related to the daily activities of an intensively managed confinement swine unit.

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Group of piglets.

Lambing Season Management

This elective involves students with the U.S. MARC lambing crew and GPVEC faculty in observations, assistance with delivery when necessary, and routine lambing duties.

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Sheep and lambs in a field.

Flock Management

This elective provides the opportunity for students to develop their skills in the area of health and nutritional management of sheep immediately before and after weaning.

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Flock of sheep.

Ultrasound Pregnancy Examination

Activities involve transrectal ultrasound examinations for pregnancy and data collection to evaluate the reproductive performance of the herd.

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Student performing an ultrasound on a cow.

Calf Weaning Management

This is a hands-on elective in which students participate in the weaning activities at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center.

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Student working with a machine.