Animal behavioral scientist Dr. Temple Grandin is a strong advocate for more humane livestock handling, and has designed numerous innovations at such facilities that help to reduce stress in animals during their final minutes. She has devoted her career to improving conditions at the large processing plants that slaughter some of the 40 billion pounds of cattle and pigs for human consumption every year in the United States.
Grandin is an animal science professor at Colorado State University where she conducts ongoing research on animal handling systems and teaches courses on livestock handling and facility design. Grandin also shares animal handling and animal welfare expertise with Colorado ranchers and farmers. She regularly consults with large feedlots, commercial meat packers, organic and natural livestock producers, ranches, and major corporations including Wendy’s International, Burger King, Whole Foods, Chipotle and McDonald’s Corporation.
Grandin has published several hundred industry publications, book chapters and technical papers on animal handling, 45 refereed journal articles, and seven books including New York Times best seller Animals in Translation. She has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, and been featured in several magazines. In 2010 she was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people.
She has received numerous awards including the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Livestock Conservation Institute, the Richard L. Knowlton Award from Meat Marketing and Technology Magazine, the Industry Advancement Award from the American Meat Institute and the Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
At age two Grandin had no speech and showed signs of severe autism. Her mother defied the advice of the doctors and kept her out of an institution. Many hours of speech therapy and intensive teaching helped Grandin learn to talk. Despite a childhood of constant teasing, Grandin persevered. Her high school science teacher and experiences on her aunt’s Arizona ranch motivated Grandin to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.
Grandin holds a B.A. from Fanklin Pierce College (1970), an M.S. in Animal Science from Arizona State University (1975), and a Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Illinois (1989).
In 2010, HBO premiered a movie about Grandin’s early life and career with the livestock industry. The movie received seven Emmy awards including Best Actress in a Drama for Claire Danes.
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