McDonald’s Corp. has provided the lead gift to establish the fully endowed fund, called the Dr. Temple Grandin Scholarship in Animal Behavior and Welfare. Other contributors are Colorado Beef Council, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Dairy Farmers, Colorado Livestock Association, JBS, Leprino Foods and the National Western Stock Show.
“Dr. Grandin has brought a sea change to how animals are treated in our industry. It’s awesome,” said Bob Langert, vice president for corporate social responsibility, McDonald’s Corp. “She’s put animal welfare on the map at a much higher level.”
Langert will be among the speakers at the event, which will be held for CSU students, faculty, staff and invited guests. The campus celebration, which will be hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences, will include displays, a tribute video and a question-and-answer session with Grandin. The evening will highlight the influence Grandin has through her teaching at CSU; three of her protégées will speak.
Grandin has built her now legendary career over more than 20 years teaching and conducting research in CSU’s Department of Animal Sciences. Yet the past year has been remarkable, Craig Beyrouty, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, said.
In 2010, HBO released a biographical feature film titled “Temple Grandin” based on the CSU professor’s early life; the movie won seven Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. Grandin also earned a spot last year on TIME magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
These accomplishments have helped catapult Grandin to widespread fame.
Grandin, who has autism, is an eminent animal scientist who specializes in livestock behavior and has pioneered the field of farm-animal welfare. Her innovations in humane handling equipment and auditing systems have changed the livestock industry, both improving producer profitability and assuring consumers about the integrity of the food system.
“Today, humane animal welfare is standard operating procedure for all of our suppliers around the world,” Langert said. “Can you imagine one person, by herself, having that kind of impact?”
JBS, the world’s leading food-animal processor, has worked closely with Grandin to design livestock handling facilities and to monitor humane handling practices at its plants, including its large and well-known facility in Greeley.
“I don’t think anyone in the industry would consider a major design change or improvement without consulting with Temple,” said Leonard Huskey, director of animal welfare and handling for JBS.
Throughout her career, Grandin has also been heralded as a champion for people with autism and their families. as well as being a hero to many in the autism community.