Livestock Handling Expert Temple Grandin is Heuermann Lecturer Jan. 15 - UNL CropWatch, Jan. 2013

Livestock Handling Expert Temple Grandin is Heuermann Lecturer Jan. 15 - UNL CropWatch, Jan. 2013

January 2, 2013

Temple Grandin, a world leader in understanding livestock behavior and designing livestock handling facilities, is the Heuermann Lecturer at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, in the Hardin Hall auditorium on UNL's East Campus, 33rd and Holdrege.

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin

Her topic is "Improving Animal Welfare and Communication with the Public." A short reception follows the lecture.

Born autistic, at age 2 Grandin had no speech and showed all signs of severe autism. While doctors advised institutionalization, Grandin's mother disagreed. Through many hours of speech therapy and intensive teaching, Grandin learned speech.

She also over time learned that she thinks in pictures, while many people do not. She said it is the ability to think in pictures that helps her help animals and their handlers using low-stress, behavior-based livestock handling techniques and facilities she has developed.

An animal sciences professor at Colorado State University, Grandin has had a major impact on the meat and livestock industries worldwide through design of animal handling facilities, industry consulting, research, media exposure for the livestock industry concerning animal care, and various means of outreach.

It is important the public know about the many improvements made in handling animals, Grandin said, adding, "in my communication with the public, I have found that many people are curious and just want to know. The industry needs to do a better job of communicating."

She has published several hundred industry publications, book chapters and technical papers on animal handling, plus 63 refereed journal articles and 10 books. Her book "Animals in Translation" was a New York Times bestseller, while "Livestock Handling and Transport" is in its third edition.

Among her other books are "Thinking in Pictures; Animals Make us Human; Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach," and "The Way I See It."

"Temple Grandin is the world's foremost authority on livestock handling systems and is well known for being an avid communicator on the critical importance of attention to animal stewardship and care throughout the entire animal agriculture supply chain," said Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska vice president and Harlan vice chancellor, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UNL. "It is a tremendous opportunity to have her with us as a Heuermann Lecturer to discuss and reflect on America's high standards and dedication to animal stewardship by our farmers and ranchers in the production of the highest quality and safest products in the world."

Among Grandin's many awards are the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Livestock Conservation Institute and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. In 2010 she was named to Time magazine's list of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World." In 2011 she was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and in 2012 into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame.

A movie about her early life and career with the livestock industry received seven Emmy awards, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody Award.

Grandin is a past member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America and lectures throughout the U.S. on her experience with autism.

Interviews with Grandin have appeared in the New York Times, People, Time, and on National Public Radio, 20/20, The View and the BBC.

Heuermann Lectures in IANR focus on providing and sustaining enough food, natural resources and renewable energy for the world's people, and on securing the sustainability of rural communities where the vital work of producing food and renewable energy occurs. They're made possible by a gift from B. Keith and Norma Heuermann of Phillips, long-time university supporters with a strong commitment to Nebraska's production agriculture, natural resources, rural areas and people.

Heuermann Lectures stream live at, and are archived at the site shortly after the lecture. They are broadcast on NET2 World at a date following the lecture.