Using Videos as a Teaching Tool: Improving Profits and Rangelands Through Application of Behavioral Principles

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2006: $80,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: Colorado
Principal Investigator:
Beth Burritt
Utah State University

Annual Reports


  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: feed formulation, free-range, feed rations, range improvement, grazing - rotational
  • Education and Training: extension
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement, riverbank protection
  • Pest Management: biological control
  • Sustainable Communities: public participation


    We created a DVD/CD multimedia project entitled: Saving money and Improving Landscapes: The Economics of Behavior. The project includes four video segments on the economics of behavior. They are: 1) Improve Rangeland Use and Profitability: Using Low Moisture Block to Extend the Grazing Season, 2) Reduce Feed Costs and Improve Feed Efficiency: Let Animals Mix their Own Diets, 3) Improve Rangeland Use and Profitability: Herding and Low Stress Handling, and 4) Cost Effective Weed Management: Training Cows to Eat Them.

    We also created a companion CD that provides more information on each topic listed above and will help ag professionals create workshops around each topic. Materials on the CD were either created for this project or downloaded from the web and included on the CD. Web materials were in the public domain and given proper credit. For each video materials include: 1) discussion questions; 2) fact sheets 3) references 4) worksheets and tables.

    We printed 1000 DVD/CD projects. Eight hundred of them were NRCS and extension personnel throughout the West. We gave another 150 video to NRCS personnel who attended our summer short course or individuals who requested more copies of the video after reviewing it.

    We conducted a survey about the usefulness of the videos and supporting materials. Overall, respondents were very positive about both the subject matter or the video and its quality.

    Project objectives:

    1. To raise awareness that understanding and applying behavioral principles can improve ranch profits and ecological sustainability.

      To create 3-5 video segments to demonstrate how behavioral principles can be used to improve ranch profits and ecological sustainability.

      To create support materials (workbook, fact sheets and spreadsheets) to increase understanding and implementation of certain behavioral principles.

      To distribute the video to about 200 extension and NRCS personnel throughout the West who have had training in behavioral principles.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.