Thirty-two years. That’s how far back I went into our archived copies to find the first contributed column from Temple Grandin in what was then known as Meat Industry (before the magazine was purchased by Sosland Publishing and the name changed to Meat&Poultry). The theme of that column was “How to stun cattle correctly,” and it included several pages of copy flanked by many black-and-white photos of cattle being stunned in a variety of plants. I shared this dusty article with Grandin this past month and it triggered a proud smirk from her and a quick recollection of the names of people in the photos and the name of the plant where the photos were taken.
We discussed how, some of the same challenges in animal handling back in the 80s still linger more than 30 years later. And despite the tremendous progress that has been made in developing animal handling guidelines and implementing effective programs throughout the industry, some of the same buttons remain as hot as ever. “That’s why I have to keep writing about it,” Grandin told me. Indeed, the topics addressed in that 1980 column (the importance of well-designed restrainers, properly maintaining stunners and standing where cattle don’t balk before stunning) are still issues 30-plus years later. Despite technology advances that make the design of equipment and handling systems easier and afford processors to more easily monitor their programs, some of the fundamental messages seemingly slip through the cracks unless they are constantly harped on by industry leaders and pushed to the forefront by pioneers like Grandin.
The timing seemed especially appropriate then, for us to rollout the first video series on www.meatpoultry.com based on a multi-part exclusive interview with Grandin. Earlier this month we debuted “Meat&Poultry Perspectives,” which leads off with a series of interviews where Grandin covers everything from Autism, to animal handling trends to being the subject of the Emmy Aaward-winning HBO Movie, “Temple Grandin.”
Beyond the Grandin series, we have regularly scheduled interviews with other industry icons and influential from the processing industry, which will be posted and added to the “Meat&Poultry Perspectives” video archive. We are honored to kickoff this new project with Temple Grandin, one of the industry’s best-known names and someone who has been a part of the success of Meat&Poultry for the past 30 years and for many years to come. While technology facilitates efficiencies in the processing industry, we also realize its value in delivering information to readers, whether in print or electronically. I welcome your feedback on this newest offering and look forward to bringing our readers the information that only Meat&Poultry can.