Dr. Temple Grandin will be making an appearance in Big Spring as part of the Howard College Foundation Speaker Series, a free event for the public Thursday.
Grandin is well known, not only as an individual with autism, but also for her research and extensive work on the design of handling facilities for the cattle industry. Thanks in large part to a persistent mother, mentoring by her high school science teacher and encouragement from her aunt on a ranch in Arizona, Grandin was motivated to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer, defying the advice of doctors early in her life.
“We are absolutely thrilled to host an individual with the impressive credentials of Dr. Grandin, but also with a story of triumph and perseverance,” said Dr. Cheryl T. Sparks, Howard College president. “We are thankful to our event sponsor, Wells Fargo Bank as well as the Howard College Foundation for bringing this special event to Howard College and Big Spring.”
Grandin obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College in 1970, her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University in 1975 and her Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989. She has worked as the Livestock Editor for the Arizona Farmer Ranchman and has also worked for Corral Industries on equipment design. In addition to her work on the design of handling facilities for the cattle industry, she has developed animal welfare guidelines for the meat industry and has consulted with McDonalds, Wendy’s International, Burger King, and other companies on animal welfare.
Her list of publications and awards are extensive and include the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Livestock Conservation Institute, past member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America, and an honorary doctorate from McGill University, University of Illinois, and Duke University. She has published numerous books that have landed on the New York Times best seller list that include “Animals in Translation,” “Livestock Handling an Transport,” “Thinking in Pictures, Emergence Labeled Autistic” and “The Way I See It,” just to name a few.
“Her story is so appropriate not only for our agriculture industry here in the area, but also for individuals who are battling autism on a daily basis,” said Sparks. “I know her presentation will appeal to a wide audience and is certain to both educate and entertain us all.”
The industry has handed out many prestigious awards to Grandin, including the Richard L. Knowlton Award from Meat Marketing and Technology Magazine and the Industry Advancement Award from the American Meat Institute. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association gave her the Lifetime Achievement Award as well.
HBO recently premiered a move about Temple’s early life and career with the livestock industry. The movie received seven Emmy awards, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody Award. In 2011, Temple was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
Currently, Dr. Grandin is a professor at Colorado State University.
Thursday's event will be held in the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum on the Big Spring campus of Howard College at 7 p.m. It is free to the public and considered family friendly.
For additional information on Howard College or the speaker series, visit www.howardcollege.edu .