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  • ItemOpen Access
    Bioeconomic modeling of livestock production, rangeland management and forage systems in a dynamic context
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2008) Ritten, John Patrick, author; Frasier, W. Marshall, advisor
    This work focuses on optimal livestock management in a dynamic framework. The first essay utilizes linear programming to analyze proper herd management during periods of drought. It also examines the use of summer hay as an option to alleviate the negative impacts of drought on cattle producers. Findings show that while financial returns are greatly impacted by varying cattle prices, optimal management decisions are driven more by weather changes than price changes. Further analysis shows that although allowing summer feed improves long term returns to producers, the main benefit of such a strategy is the ability to carry increased inventories though drought, with the increased returns coming post-drought. The second essay utilizes dynamic programming to determine proper stocking rates when future forage production is related to current use of rangelands. The model maximizes the Bellman Equation using a Chebychev interpolation process. Results show that profit maximizing producers will leave just over half of total production as standing forage. Further analysis shows that while returns are impacted by both cattle and corn prices, optimal management decisions do not change with changes in either of these. Stocking decisions are mainly driven by animal efficiency and land productivity. The third essay adds the element of stochastic weather to the model utilized in the second essay. Specific attention is given to how producers make stocking decisions in the face of random weather events. Again, producers leave just over half of carrying capacity as standing forage when acting optimally. However, if growing season precipitation is unknown at the time the stocking decision is made actual standing forage may vary from this desired outcome, resulting in a decrease in future stocking rates. It is shown that a producer with knowledge of growing season precipitation will be more profitable than a producer without this knowledge on average by 21%. Again, stocking decisions are mainly driven by land productivity and animal efficiency as well as whether or not a producer has knowledge of current year precipitation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A computable general equilibrium analysis of aggregates materials recycling and waste disposal policy alternatives
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2009) Miller, Michael D., author; Davies, Stephen, advisor; Cutler, Harvey, advisor
    The work presented in this dissertation is intended to provide community leaders insights into possible aggregates material disposal and recycling policy alternatives. In this work four main policy alternatives are examined-a tax on landfill deposits, a subsidy for the purchase of recycled aggregates materials, a requirement that all industries in the community increase their consumption of recycled aggregates, and a requirement that the top five producers of aggregates waste supply greater amounts of materials to recycling facilities. The scenarios reported include "base case" situations and sensitivity analysis. For the sensitivity analysis, there are changes in the levels of taxation, subsidy, required use of the recycled materials, and required supply waste to be recycled. Additionally, the percentage of materials being sent to landfill and the percentage of materials being recycled is adjusted in order to measure the impacts of the tax and subsidy on communities with differing levels of recycling already in place. Two other policy alternatives are also analyzed and briefly discussed: (1) The model is allowed to respond to changes in the prices of intermediate goods; and (2) Tax and subsidy rates are changed simultaneously. This dissertation finds that, as a result of the limited economic impact of the aggregates materials industry (compared to the local economy in total), landfill deposit taxes and materials purchase subsidies have little impact on the community's economic well being. However, due to the rather "painless" nature of these policies, implementation of these policies do not preclude their use in laying the groundwork for other, more impactful solid waste material disposal approaches. The implementation of the two regulatory policy alternatives has significant positive impacts throughout the economy, but carries with them greater unknown liabilities that are beyond the scope of this dissertation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Challenges and solutions in combining RP and SP data to value recreation
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2008) González-Sepúlveda, Juan Marcos, author; Loomis, John B., advisor
    Valuing resources that lack a market could be a complicated endeavor due to the lack of appropriate prices. Non-market valuation methods have been the tools used to compensate for this shortcoming in the process of incorporating such resources into the economic analysis. Without these methods we would overlook the importance that such goods and services have to society and bias the related policy recommendations we present as economists. This dissertation looks at joining two of the most commonly used non-market valuation methods, namely, the Travel Cost Model (TCM) and the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), and their application to valuing recreation in El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico. The combination of TCM and CVM in a joint estimator allows us to test the consistency between the two methods and uncover potential issues that each may be suffering from. The study finds that the geographical limitations of the study can cause underestimation of willingness to pay when using TCM. Furthermore, it shows that CVM can suffer from the same sampling issues as TCM when the samples are collected on site. Besides pointing out these problems, this work presents alternative ways in which they can be addressed. Finally, we provide another example that imposing a common underlying utility can significantly improve the joint use of these models.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Comparing methodologies to estimate tourists' nonconsumptive use values of recreation, roadways and ranches: international and domestic applications
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2007) Ellingson, Lindsey Jo, author; Seidl, Andrew, advisor
    The objective of this dissertation is to compare two nonmarket valuation methods to estimate tourists' nonconsumptive use values of scenic viewscapes in three applications. The two nonmarket valuation techniques analyzed are the contingent behavior and contingent valuation methods. The contingent behavior method asks respondents their intended visitation behavior contingent on a hypothetical change to the good or service in question. The contingent valuation method asks respondents their willingness to pay for a hypothetical change to the good or service in question. The three applications evaluated in this research are a National Reserve in Bolivia, a scenic roadway in Argentine Patagonia and ranch open space in Routt County, Colorado. Specifically, respondents were asked their willingness to pay and travel behavior contingent on improved park service (i.e. tourist information center and naturalist guides) at Eduardo Avaroa Reserve in Bolivia. In Argentina, visitors were asked their willingness to pay and travel behavior to Glaciers National Park contingent on differing levels of development (i.e. telecommunication and mining infrastructure) along the roadway from El Calafate, the gateway community, to Glaciers National Park. For Routt County, tourists were asked how many fewer (or more) dollars per day and number of days they would travel to Routt County if existing ranchlands were converted to urban uses (i.e. housing and other resort development). Quantitative comparative analysis is conducted across the applications to determine whether there is a difference among contingent behavior and contingent valuation responses. The results show that the two methods produce statistical and policy relevant different results. In addition, other analyses were conducted evaluating differences based on survey elicitation languages, tour package purchases, using pictures to measure different levels of development, survey responses across time and regional impact analyses.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Valuation of natural resources in a small mountain community: three essays in non-market valuation and rural development
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2009) Cline, Sarah A., author; Seidl, Andrew, advisor
    Natural resources are important to rural economies in terms of the amenities they provide and the economic opportunities they generate for the surrounding communities. In many rural areas, open space provided by ranchlands provides important amenities to tourists and residents. In addition, land use may also affect the local water quality and thus produce further impacts on local amenities and regional economic opportunities. This dissertation looks at the value of ranchland open space and water quality in Chaffee County, Colorado. The value of ranchland open space and water quality to visitors to Chaffee County is estimated using non-market valuation techniques. Two joint-methods are used to obtain values for ranchland open space and water quality. The first method combines travel cost and contingent behavior data, while the second method uses travel cost, contingent behavior and contingent valuation information to estimate values for these resources. A third application combines regional economic analysis with the non-market valuation data to estimate the impacts of decreased natural resource quality on the local economy. The results show loss of ranchland open space will result in welfare losses to visitors to the county and that associated impacts from decreased water quality could significantly increase those losses.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Three essays on producer response to information disclosure
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Yu, Shuiqin, author; Costanigro, Marco, advisor; Burkhardt, Jesse, committee member; Hoag, Dana, committee member; Cutler, Harvey, committee member
    This dissertation consists of three chapters studying how information and beliefs affect producers' behavior and decision making. The first chapter studies the effect of the Local Inspector Value Entry Specification (LIVES) program on restaurant hygiene in North Carolina. The LIVES Program, a collaboration between and municipalities, enables the display of restaurant inspection reports on Yelp's platform, simplifying access for consumers. Combining individual restaurant inspection data and restaurant level demographic data from, this study employs a difference-in-difference approach and geographic regression discontinuity design to analyze the LIVES program's impact on restaurant hygiene. The difference-in-difference analysis reveals a 1.143-point improvement in inspection scores for treated restaurants. The geographic regression discontinuity method, utilizing a neighboring county as a control group, corroborates the LIVES program's positive influence. The second chapter examines the effect of online consumer reviews on restaurant workers' wages. Online consumer reviews significantly influence the demand for experience goods, including movies, books, and restaurant meals. However, research on the impact of online reviews on restaurant workers' wages remains scarce. Utilizing decade-long panel data of quarterly consumer reviews and restaurant wages, this study demonstrates that an increase in average star ratings causes restaurant workers' wage growth. Notably, the effect varies across chain, major chain, and independent restaurants. The final chapter studies how Colorado farmers' and ranchers' subjective beliefs about the cost of adoption affect their intention to implement conservation practices. Promoting the adoption of conservation practices among farmers is challenging. Despite extensive research into farmers' reluctance to participate in conservation programs, few studies investigated how farmers' personal beliefs on the cost of adopting conservation practices affect their willingness to participate in those programs. This study adds to the literature by surveying over 150 Colorado farmers on their preferences for monetary and technical support regarding conservation tillage, soil testing, filter and buffer strips, and controlled-release fertilizers. Results from a choice experiment indicate that respondents' beliefs about costs can explain a large portion of the variation in farmers' willingness to adopt conservation practices.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Potential economic implications of a U.S. – ASEAN FTA on agriculture
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Miller, Chelsey Alexandra, author; Countryman, Amanda, advisor; Hill, Alexandra, committee member; Pena, Anita, committee member
    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is both an agricultural trade partner of the U.S. and a key contributor to the global agricultural market. The implementation of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the U.S. and ASEAN has the potential to reduce or eliminate tariffs on agricultural commodities. This research employs a computable general equilibrium modeling framework to simulate the economic implications of agricultural trade liberalization between the U.S. and ASEAN. Results focus on simulated changes in import quantities and prices, agricultural export sales, production, GDP, and welfare in the U.S. and ASEAN given the full elimination of tariffs on agricultural trade between the two partners. Results show that the U.S. is expected to generate a net welfare gain of $1.9 billion, while the ASEAN region is likely to have a net welfare loss of $415 million.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The economic contribution of river recreation and tourism in the Little Yampa Canyon, Colorado
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Burkard, Matthew, author; Thilmany, Dawn, advisor; Hill, Rebecca, committee member; Bayham, Jude, committee member; Guo, Tian, committee member
    The Yampa River is a key driver of outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities to the city of Craig, Colorado and the surrounding Moffat County, drawing in river-based recreators and tourists from surrounding areas. So, opportunities to enhance access are important to a region that seeks to further diversify its economic portfolio in light of broader transitions occurring in the energy and agriculture sector. A land acquisition proposal by the Bureau of Land Management seeks to expand public access to the Yampa River and the nearby recreation amenities and improving highway access to the current Little Yampa Canyon Special Recreation Management Area, while protecting additional wildlife habitat and fisheries. The purpose of this research is to collect and analyze outdoor recreation and tourism spending data from resident and non-resident recreators near Craig, Colorado to ascertain one set of potential benefits of such an investment. This research employs an intercept survey at key access points along the Yampa River near the proposed land acquisition to capture recreator information such as dollar amounts spent across common expenditure categories, typical recreation habits, user perceptions of current and proposed recreational resource access and qualities, and demographic information. This paper utilizes an input-output methodology via IMPLAN to produce economic contribution estimates using data received from intercept surveys to quantify both the baseline contribution of recreation near Craig, Colorado and the potential, additional expenditure Craig would receive with an increase in local and publicly accessible recreation opportunities provided through the BLM's land acquisition. This paper also performs a sensitivity analysis to estimate economic contributions at lower levels of participation as compared to an estimated typical year. Using spending data combined with user responses, this paper seeks to provide key insights into user perceptions for consideration in future policy and management decisions impacting Moffat County's recreation and tourism economy, with insights important to greater Northwest Colorado as well.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The recreational value and social cost of national parks: an application of the travel cost method
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Lallement, Luc, author; Burkhardt, Jesse, advisor; Richardson, Leslie, committee member; Bayham, Jude, committee member; Iverson, Terry, committee member
    Studies that value the natural resources and recreational opportunities of a National Park have been explored for some time. Of the myriad techniques used to determine these values, our study uses the Travel Cost Method (TCM) to estimate the consumer surplus (CS) value per-visit for several National Parks surveyed in 2022. Previous studies have typically been conducted for one site or region at a time. Our data is novel in that it contains survey results from five different National Parks as part of the first year of the Socioeconomic Monitoring Survey conducted by the National Park Service (NPS). The parks range in size, purpose, and popularity, and we examine heterogeneity in CS estimates across these differences. Many of our CS estimates are new to the TCM literature, and some provide an update to existing estimates. In addition, we use the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) to calculate the social cost of trips to the surveyed parks. These results are used to determine the total social cost of visitation, how costs would change if social costs were incorporated into the travel cost, and finally how visitation would change in this scenario. Our methodology builds on previous literature in the TCM space by incorporating econometric techniques to address multi-purpose visitors and on-site data collection. We find that our CS estimates are in line with previous TCM estimates. When social costs are incorporated, we estimate that there would be fewer visitors to the parks when social costs exceed an individual's estimated willingness to pay, if social costs were hypothetically incorporated via a carbon tax. Our study contributes to both the methodology of TCM studies and CS estimates of use-value for natural resources and can inform future authors on how to incorporate outside data (such as the SCC) to a well-established field. In addition, our estimates can be used by the NPS to inform policy decisions and benefit-cost analysis.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploring the overall, distributional and resiliency implications of investments in rural outdoor tourism: the case of Fishers Peak State Park
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Schuck, Skyler, author; Thilmany, Dawn, advisor; Weiler, Stephan, committee member; Hill, Rebecca, committee member; Bayham, Jude, committee member
    The recently christened Fishers Peak State Park offers great potential to give a much-needed boost to the economy of Las Animas County, specifically the town of Trinidad. State parks tend to draw tourism and may even improve the quality of life for current citizens or potential new workforce entrants (a benefit to employers), representing direct and spillover economic and societal benefits to the region. Yet, not all in the region may experience the same benefits. This paper seeks to estimate the overall and distributional income effect of the new state park through traditional empirical tourism expenditure modeling and input-output model analysis, with particular attention to and consideration for how different development approaches may affect outcomes. The framing and applied case study of this work is intended to serve as a toolkit for rural communities seeking to more holistically evaluate infrastructure development options to help them maximize the strength of key economic indicators that are keystones for economic resiliency. We seek to apply the same tourism and hospitality dependency methodology from Watson & Deller (2022) to assess resiliency in the region. But, to contribute to more nuanced understanding of the region's potential impacts, the analysis will apply a more focused lens by using refined location quotients for employment concentrations and data from the restricted QCEW, and by using both the Great Recession (2007-2009) and COVID-19 Pandemic (2019-2021) as shocks.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Climate shocks, adaptation policies, and human health in developing countries: an application to India
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Kishore, Siddharth, author; Manning, Dale, advisor; Suter, Jordan, committee member; Hill, Alexandra, committee member; Pena, Anita, committee member
    My dissertation is on climate change, policy adaptation, and human health in a low-income nation. Specifically, I focus on the impact of climate change on maternal and child health in India using secondary and spatial climate data. I use an advanced econometric approach to estimate causal effects. Rural economies in developing countries revolve mainly around agriculture, and many agricultural production operations depend on monsoon rains. Food shortages due to weather-induced crop failure, and the resulting nutritional deprivation can have a negatively impact on maternal and child health. Two of my dissertation chapters are dedicated to understanding the impact of climate change on maternal and infant health. Then there are the drought-relief programs. One is a workfare program, which is very important to the developing world. One of my dissertation chapters explores how the work program may influence the use of contraceptives. My results suggest that: (1) workfare programs have an effect on the use of family planning methods for rural Indian women; (2) higher soil organic carbon moderates the adverse effect of rain shock on children's health; (3) an early childhood exposure to drought is linked to the prevalence of disability later in life. These results help us understand the impact of climate change on human health in developing countries.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Three essays on the use of spatial data to inform environmental and resource management
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Sheng, Di, author; Suter, Jordan F., advisor; Manning, Dale T., committee member; Goemans, Christopher G., committee member; Bailey, Ryan T., committee member
    This dissertation consists of three essays that use of spatial data to inform trade-offs related to environmental and resource management. The first essay explores how a spatially targeted differentiated payment design can reduce the social cost of achieving a given level of ecosystem service (ES) provisions. Performance comparisons between uniform payments and differentiated payments for ecosystem services help to identify the context under which differentiated payments offer the largest advantage relative to a uniform payment. A mathematical programming model is developed to explore the performance of different payment schemes and to derive generalized lessons from simulations. Then generalized lessons are evaluated with two case studies related to water quality management. It is found that the simulations and case studies align with each other in terms of the total cost reductions, but they diverge in the payment rate choice due to the underlying distributional differences. The findings suggest that a higher payment rate for parcels that systematically provide higher levels of ES can reduce the social cost of providing the ES of interest, particularly for cases where the mean ES provision benefits across land types are different and ES provision targets are relatively low. In the second essay, I examine whether China's pilot carbon emission trading system (ETS) has the co-benefit of reducing local PM2.5 levels. Two ETS pilot provinces are selected to be the treated group, while the control group is constructed with institutional knowledge. Static and dynamic difference-in-differences designs are adopted and compared to reveal the ETS treatment effect. The spatial and temporal variation in the ETS pilot areas allows me to adopt a dynamic two-way fixed effects model to estimate heterogeneous treatment effects on the treated areas. I find that the ETS improves the local air quality in Hubei but not in Guangdong. A further analysis suggests that a sector-standards based allowance allocation mechanism can cause local air quality to deteriorate. The third essay revisits the groundwater resource value question in the Ogallala aquifer through estimation of an econometric model of agricultural land prices that includes fixed effects, with the repeated transactions from the ZTRAX data product. Saturated thickness is used to present the groundwater availability and the study includes irrigated parcels only. Heterogeneous responses in land values to groundwater stock changes are found across Colorado and Nebraska. The marginal value of groundwater stock is highest at low levels of groundwater availability, which implies that additional groundwater depletion in Colorado is more costly than depletion in Nebraska.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Camping in clearcuts: the impacts of timber harvesting on USFS campground utilization
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Wallace, Kelly, author; Suter, Jordan, advisor; Bayham, Jude, committee member; McCollum, Dan, committee member; Tulanowski, Elizabeth, committee member
    The United States Forest Service (USFS) governs its lands under multiple-use management, where land is managed for more than one purpose or objective to achieve the greatest possible combination of public benefits. Some objectives are compatible, while others are not (Clawson, 1974; Rose and Chapman, 2003; USFS, 2021c). This research seeks to inform the site location of future timber harvests relative to existing campgrounds by analyzing how past and current harvests near campgrounds have influenced campground utilization. Beyond this, the research also informs the expected impacts of timber harvesting and recreation on local economies. Previous economic research related to timber harvesting's impact on nearby recreation has been carried out at a smaller spatial scale or outside the U.S., and none have focused on campgrounds specifically (Eggers et al., 2018; Harshaw and Sheppard, 2013). Past studies find that intensive forest management changes the degree of naturalness of a forest and generally negatively impacts recreation. The research we conduct builds on these studies to apply a temporally and spatially explicit model to analyze harvesting's impact on campground utilization on USFS land across the Western U.S. We find that timber harvests significantly decrease reservations during the year of harvest. Furthermore, the selection method of harvest has the most negative impact, likely due to being the most common harvesting method both overall and near campgrounds. There are regional differences in campground demand during harvesting. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that campground reservations continue to be impacted one year after a harvest takes place. The loss in campground utilization from the reduction in reservations during harvest years can be expected to have negative impacts on nearby tourism-dependent economies.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Analyzing the impact of Hurricane Matthew on the housing market in Savannah Georgia
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Wrigley, Adam, author; Hill, Alexandra, advisor; Suter, Jordan, advisor; Iverson, Terry, committee member
    This study seeks to shed light on the relationship between destructive hurricanes and public belief in the increasing risk to homeownership from these storms as climate change progresses. We investigate the impact of Hurricane Matthew on transaction prices of properties in the city of Savannah, Georgia because it is an example of a natural disaster which was unique in severity for its era but is characteristic of storms which will become more common with warmer oceans and higher sea levels (IPPC 2021). Hurricane Matthew made landfall in 2016. It was the first category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic since 2007 and occurred late in the season relative to previous hurricanes in the area. We use a hedonic modeling approach to shed light on the perceived risk and vulnerability of owning low elevation real estate by comparing property prices before and after the hurricane. We do this to speculate on whether the impact of a single storm can noticeably change the behavior of market participants in a location. Within our hedonic modeling framework, we employ several econometric specifications including a difference-in-difference regression, an event study model, and a repeated sales model. Our findings indicate that homebuyers were willing to pay a premium for more protected homes, i.e. higher elevation homes, compared with less protected homes, i.e. lower elevation homes, in the two years after the storm. This changing preference for relatively safer homes within a county, at the expense of the amenities available to the low elevation homes such as ocean views, is consistent with increased belief in the immediate dangers of climate change following a destructive event.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Three essays on food economics
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Mendis-Murukkuwadura, Sachintha Sarani, author; Bonanno, Alessandro, advisor; Berning, Joshua, committee member; Bayham, Jude, committee member; Cleary, Rebecca, committee member; Miller, Ray, committee member
    This dissertation is comprised of three analyses of households' food acquisition behavior. In Chapter 2, we estimate the substitution between different food categories and time allocated to food purchase and preparation using a demand system which includes both the demand for time and that for goods, by extending the Exact Affine Stone Index-EASI (Lewbel & Pendakur, 2009). This is the first study estimating Resource Engel Curves (which characterize the relationship between "total resources" and resource share), and goods-time cross price elasticities. For this analysis we created a unique dataset by merging the 2012 American Time Use Survey (ATUS) with the National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS), and perform the analysis for three sub-samples of households - 1) households participating in the SNAP program, 2) SNAP-eligible households that do not participate in the program, and 3) SNAP-ineligible households. The objective of Chapter 3 is to study the relationship between time allocated to different food related activities and households' diet quality of food acquisitions measured by their Healthy Eating Index - HEI, across the distribution of HEI. We utilize the same datasets developed in Chapter 2 and an Unconditional Quantile Regression estimator to perform the analysis on the same three sub-samples of households used in Chapter 2. In Chapter 4, we assess whether households whose children are exposed to Farm-to-School Programming show different fruits and vegetables purchasing patterns than those that are not. We matched two years of the USDA Farm to School Census (2013 and 2015) to Information Resource Incorporated Consumer Network Panel household-level data on Food-At-Home fruits and vegetables expenditures. We perform our analysis focusing on sub-samples of households residing in metro and non-metro areas, as well as by households below and above 185 percent of the poverty line.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Assessing the impact of the DIGS curriculum on agricultural literacy in youth
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Appel, Sarah E., author; Enns, Kellie, advisor; Clark, Nathan, committee member; Martin, Jennifer, committee member; Bennett, Jennifer, committee member
    This research examines the impact of the DIGS curriculum on agricultural literacy, the breadth of agricultural understanding, and affinity for agriculture. The DIGS curriculum is a third thru fifth-grade curriculum emphasizing hands-on, interactive lessons in eight agricultural pathways. Students participated in each lesson and completed a supplemental activity in the DIGS booklet. This curriculum was implemented over a school year with one monthly lesson and activity. Chapter one assesses the impact of DIGS on agricultural literacy. Researchers define agricultural literacy as understanding agriculture as an integrative system built on experiences, relationships, and inspiring investment in the future of agriculture. The Longhurst Murray Agricultural Literacy Instrument (LMALI) is used to collect pre- and post-scores to evaluate the agricultural knowledge of participants. Researchers then assessed the breadth of agricultural understanding by completing a content analysis on the booklets. The breadth of understanding is broken into three themes based on the definition of agricultural literacy: (1) agriculture as a system, (2) agriculture and relationships, and (3) the future of agriculture. Researchers found that DIGS participants had increased LMALI scores after completing the curriculum, and many had evidence of a breadth of agricultural understanding. Chapter two assesses the impact of the DIGS curriculum on students' affinity for agriculture. Students responded to an affinity survey at the end of the curriculum and completed monthly activities in their DIGS booklets. Researchers performed a content analysis on the booklets and post-curriculum posters to evaluate how students felt about the curriculum and agriculture throughout the process. Researchers found that many students had or developed an affinity for agriculture during the curriculum. Many shared thoughts of wanting to participate in agricultural activities and reported that the curriculum was "fun" and that agriculture was "important." This project demonstrates the impact of the DIGS curriculum on agricultural literacy, a breadth of agricultural understanding, and affinity for agriculture. Overall, the findings show that DIGS impacted all three of these areas; increasing agricultural literacy based on knowledge, demonstrating a breadth of understanding in agriculture, and developing an affinity for agriculture throughout the curriculum.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Water use in the western U.S.: irrigated agriculture, water leases, and public preferences
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) Thorvaldson, Jennifer Lynn, author; Pritchett, James, advisor; Frasier, Marshall, committee member; Bright, Alan, committee member
    In the western U.S., water continues to be reallocated from agricultural to urban uses as a result of rapid population growth and urbanization. However, the negative implications of permanent rural-to-urban water transfers call into question the economic practicality and social acceptability of additional transfers. While some of the short-term economic impacts of permanent water transfers have been estimated, less attention has been given to the longer-term impacts of such transfers. There is also a need to evaluate the economic and social viability of emerging alternatives to permanent water transfers. In addition to assessing the economic contribution of irrigated agriculture, this dissertation assesses the economic and social viability of water transfers and some of their alternatives, from the perspectives of both farmers and urban households. Chapter 1 provides a brief overview of western water law and motivation for the research. Chapter 2 assesses some of the longer-term effects of reduced irrigated acreage on the economic health of western rural counties. First, the relationship between irrigated agriculture and rural economic health is modeled via regression analysis of secondary data. The modeled relationship is then examined for structural breaks to test whether there is a minimum level of irrigated land necessary to sustain the economic health of rural agricultural communities. In Chapter 3, a survey of households in the western U.S. uncovers public perceptions and preferences regarding water use, conservation, and reallocation; current levels of water knowledge; and willingness to pay a fee in support of various water conservation and reallocation programs. In Chapter 4, a survey of irrigators in eastern Colorado is used to estimate a supply curve for leased water and to identify some of the factors that influence farmers' decision to lease their water. Chapter 5 concludes and suggests areas for further study. The research results will be useful to rural community leaders who are concerned with the evolution of their communities as their resources transition to urban use; urban planners as they consider water supply options; western households as they face the costs of water supply and reallocation programs; policymakers as they consider implementation of water lease markets; and farmers as they consider selling or leasing their water rights.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Determinants of investment: sexed semen in dairy cattle
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) McCullock, Katelyn, author; Hoag, Dana, advisor; Seidel, George, committee member; Wailes, William, committee member; Parsons, Jay, committee member
    The process of sexing semen through flow cytometry has achieved results in several species, including humans. Potentially, the dairy industry has the ability to earn large gains from sexed semen because of the need for all female herds. This research examined key components in the areas of technology, management, and market environment that affect the adoption of sexed semen on a commercial dairy farm. A spreadsheet was built to simulate the interactions among these areas of interest and regression was used to map and simplify the results. Three scenarios were compared on a case farm using sexed semen. Results identify Dairy heifer calf price had the most impact on profitability of this technology. Conception rate and technology variables affecting conception rate also had significant impacts on return on investment.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Valuing ecosystems and economic services across land-use scenarios in the Prairie Pothole region of the Dakotas
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) Gasciogne, William R., author; Hoag, Dana, advisor; Koontz, Lynne, committee member; Loomis, John, committee member; Goldstein, Josh, committee member; Koontz, Stephen, committee member
    This thesis uses biophysical values derived for the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North and South Dakota, in conjunction with value transfer methods, to assess the environmental and economic tradeoffs under different policy-relevant land use scenarios over a 20-yr. time period. The ecosystem service valuation is carried out by comparing the biophysical and economic values of three focal services ( carbon sequestration, reduction in sedimentation, and waterfowl production) across three focal land uses in the region (i.e. native prairie grasslands, lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve Programs (CRP/WRP), and cropland). This study finds that CRP/WRP lands cannot mitigate (1 for 1) the loss of native prairie from a social welfare standpoint. Furthermore, land use scenarios in which native prairie loss was minimized and CRP/WRP lands were increased provided the most societal benefit. The scenario modeling projected native prairie conversion results in a social welfare loss valued at over $2.5 billion over the policy period, when considering the study' s three ecosystem services, and a net loss of $1,888,237,567 when reductions in commodity production is accounted for. By quantifying ecosystem and economic tradeoffs of future land use scenarios, this thesis aims to help policy makers and natural resource managers make more knowledgeable, efficient, and defensible decisions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Three essays on horizontal regulation limiting alcohol sales
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Palardy, Nathan, author; Costanigro, Marco, advisor; Cannon, Joe, committee member; Berning, Josh, committee member; Bayham, Jude, committee member
    This dissertation considers the impact of loosening horizontal regulations that limit competition among alcohol retailers on producers, retailers, and consumers. A recent trend towards the liberalization of alcohol retail has led many states, including Washington, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Utah, Kansas, and Colorado, to relax horizontal restrictions and allow for the sale of alcohol at grocery and convenience stores. Prior to the law changes, the sale of almost all alcoholic beverages was restricted to liquor stores. The new retail channels have created opportunities and challenges for alcohol producers and traditional retailers while creating more choices for consumers. The first chapter provides a brief overview of the alcohol industry and regulation in the U.S. The second chapter examines how the legalization of full-strength beer sales in grocery and convenience stores impacted craft brewers in Colorado, a core region for craft beer production. A statewide survey of the marketing strategies of craft breweries revealed that the new retail channels brought limited change to how craft breweries sell beer. Large breweries appear able to leverage their scale and brand recognition to gain access to the grocery stores, while smaller breweries face significant logistical and distribution barriers. Grocery stores captured a substantial share of craft beer sales at the expense of liquor stores. Sales of craft beer in convenience stores remain negligible. The third chapter investigates the effect of liberalized beer sales on Colorado liquor stores. While prior research has examined the effects of alcohol liberalization on liquor stores at the state-level, the impact may vary between rural and urban communities. I exploit a novel dataset containing firm-level foot traffic patterns from SafeGraph Inc. to investigate the impact of liberalizing beer sales on liquor store foot traffic using two empirical approaches: interrupted time series analysis and state space forecasting. The policy change caused liquor store foot traffic to substantially decline in urban counties, but had no impact in rural counties, suggesting that rural liquor store shoppers did not substantially change shopping behavior. I discuss the implications for alcohol retailers, producers, and consumers. In my final chapter, I broaden my analysis of the effect of liberalized alcohol sales on liquor stores to include two additional states: Oklahoma and Kansas. I exploit heterogeneity in state policy to determine whether different levels of alcohol liberalization (e.g. legalizing beer and wine sales outside of liquor stores vs legalizing beer sales only) impacts the magnitude of the effect on consumers' decision to shop at liquor stores. I estimate the effect in each state using firm-level foot traffic data from SafeGraph Inc. and a novel difference-in-differences estimator. I find that alcohol liberalization had a substantial negative impact on liquor store foot traffic in all states, however, my ability to differentiate the impact of different levels of alcohol liberalization was limited. Results can help policy makers weigh the costs to liquor stores against the benefit to consumers.