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

2009 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


We have completed the filming of the footage for the project videos. The video segment using low-moisture block on your operation have been completed as well as well as a user-friendly spreadsheet entitled “Economics of using low-moisture block on your livestock operation.” Cows eating weeds segment is finished and includes interviews with ranchers about their experience with the training process of teaching their cows to eat weeds and using cattle grazing as a management tool to control weeds. Nicole McCoy completed the economic analyses and model for cows as weed managers and an tool for ranchers to figure the cost of the technique and it’s effectiveness. The analysis for economical alternatives for finishing bison and cattle is also finished.

As far as written materials, we have finished the discussion questions for each of the segments and several fact sheets. Written materials for the producer workbook are 50% completed.

Objectives/Performance Targets

  • To raise awareness that understanding and applying behavioral principles can improve ranch profits and ecological sustainability.
    To create 4 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 footage for the final video.
    Completed two of the video segments.
    Completed the economic analyses for 3 of the video segments.
    Created a user-friendly spreadsheet for producers to evaluate 2 of the techniques overviewed in the project.
    Collected and summarized numerous publications on the benefits of offering choice to finish cattle, sheep, and goats.

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