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

2007 Annual Report for EW06-019

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

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


In February 2007, Kathy Voth and I traveled to New Mexico to interview and film Drs. Derrick Bailey and Allen Torrell about the use and economics of low moisture block to improve cattle distribution and economics of ranch operations. Kathy Voth also finished filming for the economics of cows eating weeds video in the summer of 2007. Rough drafts of each of these videos have been completed.

Also a user friendly spreadsheet for determining if low-moisture block is right for a specific livestock operation is completed. Nicole McCoy is working on a spreadsheet for economically alternative methods of finishing bison.

Due to an unforeseen serious illness of one of the project members, Beth Burritt, we will be unable to meet our objectives in 2008 but will complete them in 2008/09. We will be requesting an extension for the project. This spring and summer we will film the finishing bison segment and the economics of training cattle to use upland segment. Drafts ready for review should be ready by fall 2008.

Objectives/Performance Targets

  • 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.


  • Finished interviewing and filming for two segments of the final video.

    Completed the economic analysis for the low moisture block segment.

    Created a user friendly spreadsheet for producers to evaluate the use of low moisture block on there operations.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

  • Approximately, 200 NRCS and extension professionals from the West will have the information they need to share the economic benefits of using behavior principles with other extension professionals and producers.

    The videos will become an integral part of the workshops presented as part of the BEHAVE Facilitators Network. Interest in behavior principles as an alternative system for improving economics for ranching will begin steadily increasing as indicated by requests for information and workshops and producer orders of materials.

    The videos will be requested by Extension professionals outside the BEHAVE Facilitators Network. Extension staff will commonly promote use of behavioral principles as one of many tools in managing livestock and landscapes. Producers begin to use behavioral principles in their operation because they are economically and environmentally beneficial, increasing productivity and profitability of range- and pasture-based operations.


Kathy Voth

[email protected]
Research Associate
Utah State University
6850 County Rd 24
Loveland, CO 80538
Office Phone: 9706636569
Nicole McCoy

Assistant Professor
Utah State University
Department of Environment and Society
5215 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322