Dr Temple Grandin shares insights at exclusive Meat Business Women event
Around 80 industry professionals, made up the audience with Dr Grandin, as she shared insights about her remarkable life and her work on the pioneering livestock handling systems that are used across the globe. The audience was also provided the chance to pose their questions to her personally.
A professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, Dr Grandin is the leading consultant for the livestock industry on facility design, handling and welfare. She has authored a number of best-selling books and over 400 articles on animal handling, welfare and facility design. The systems that she pioneered are used across the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand amongst others, and have been instrumental in improving livestock welfare and productivity.
During the event, Dr Grandin shared her views on the future of livestock breeding, speaking on specific challenges such as focus on emphasis on the output of livestock over investing in the confirmation of the animal, which can result in poorer welfare, longevity and lameness. To this point, Dr Grandin said “we mustn’t invest all the money into the economy and none into the infrastructure, otherwise it’ll collapse.”
Elsewhere in her work, Dr Grandin is a passionate advocate for Autism. She spoke about the need for a range of minds and thinkers throughout not just the food industry but many other practical industries, such as engineering and manufacturing. Attendees were curious to know more about Dr Grandin’s life, and she spoke passionately about how she managed to carve out her career in a non-conventional way, seeing opportunity where others did not.
“There is opportunity everywhere, a lot of people just don’t always see it. Look for the door of opportunity like I did, and you have got to have the guts to go through that door.”
Laura Ryan, Global Chair of Meat Business Women says “As soon as we heard that we had the chance to host Dr Temple Grandin again, we jumped at the opportunity. This is the second time that Dr Grandin has addressed members of the Meat Business Women community, and with the continued growth of the network globally, it’s fantastic to hear from a woman who has such an inspirational story to tell and has made a huge impact globally. Our members left the room feeling totally inspired by her.”
Dr. Grandin has shaped her career around the research and understanding of animal behaviour and stress through the lens of her own experiences navigating life with autism. In 2010, she delivered a TED lecture titled ‘The World Needs ALL Kinds of Minds’ and her life story has also been made into an HBO movie which won seven Emmy awards and a Golden Globe. In 2017 she was inducted into The Women’s Hall of Fame.
The event was organised by Meat Business Women in partnership with AHDB and is part of a wider tour of the UK.
Dr Grandin will be visiting one of AHDB’s monitor farms to record a go-to video resource for both beef and cattle farmers who are wanting to re-design their cattle handling system. The video will be available in August from AHDB’s YouTube channel.