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

2008 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


To date, we have completed filming most of the footage for the videos. In October 2008, we traveled to Raton, New Mexico to film ranch manager, Mark Kossler at Turner’s Vermejo Park Ranch, on alternative feeding practices and low-stress livestock handling for bison. We also obtained the footage for much of the low-stress livestock handling segments but are having difficulty meeting with Bob Budd, former ranch manager of Nature Conservancy’s Red Canyon Ranch to obtain costs and benefits of low-stress livestock handling. However, we are ferreting out additional information from other low-stress livestock handlers.

Rough drafts of the cows eating weeds and using low-moisture block on your operation have been completed. Also a user-friendly spreadsheet for determining if low-moisture block is right for a specific livestock operation is finished. Nicole McCoy is working on a spreadsheet for economically alternative methods of finishing bison.

Due to scheduling conflicts and difficulty contacting people highlighted in the video, we were unable to finish a rough draft of the video in fall of 2008. We are hoping to have the rough drafts finished in spring of 2009 and ready for distribution by fall of 2009.

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 the majority of the footage for the final video.

    Completed rough drafts for two of the video segments.

    Completed the economic analyses 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