Not everyone has had the opportunity to hear Dr. Temple Grandin speak about the livestock industry, and for the first three-and-a-half years of her life, nobody heard her speak at all.
With the help of early speech therapy and a science teacher who offered her much-needed encouragement, Grandin became a prominent author and speaker both on autism and animal behavior.
Fair-goers to the Delaware County Fair Thursday, July 11, can listen to Grandin present her story at 6 p.m. with paid admission to the fair.
According to her biography at templegrandin.com, Grandin was considered “weird” when she was young and was teased and bullied in high school. She found that the only places she had friends were activities where there was a shared interest such as horses, electronics or model rockets.
With science teacher William Carlock acting as her mentor, Grandin learned that with a new goal of becoming a scientist, she had a reason for studying.
Grandin obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin Pierce College (now University) in Ringe, N.H., her Master of Science degree in animal science from Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., and she holds a doctorate in animal science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
She currently teaches courses on livestock behavior and facility design at Colorado State University in Fort Collings, Colo., and consults with the livestock industry on facility design, livestock handling and animal welfare.
Grandin developed an objective scoring system for assessing handling of cattle and pigs at meat plants, and has conducted research in numerous other areas involving the treatment of livestock. According to the website, half the cattle in the United States today are handled in facilities she designed.