Autism Southwest Kansas To Host Livestock Expert Grandin

Renowned autistic activist and animal scientists will speak on livestock handling, living with autism.

Published on: Jul 15, 2013

Renowned autistic activist and animal scientist Temple Grandin will be in Dodge City for a two-day conference July 23 and 24 sponsored by the Dodge City Community College and Puzzle Piece Ranch – Autism Southwest Kansas.

Grandin, a professor at Colorado State University, is a bestselling author and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. She has also spent a lifetime of coping with being autistic.

A 2010 biographical documentary about her life and work, Temple Grandin, was wide acclaim and help propel her to listing among the 100 most influential people in the world in the "Heroes" category.

Grandin has been featured on major media programs, such as Lisa Davis's, It's Your Health, ABC's Primetime Live, the Today Show, and Larry King Live, the NPR show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and written up in Time magazine, People magazine, Discover magazine, Forbes and The New York Times.  In 2012, Grandin was interviewed on Thriving Canine Radio to discuss "A Different Perspective on Animal Behavior."

Temple Grandin is a professor at Colorado State University, a bestselling author and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior, and has spent her life coping with autism.
Temple Grandin is a professor at Colorado State University, a bestselling author and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior, and has spent her life coping with autism.

Grandin has had a significant influence on livestock handling

"Temple Grandin changed the culture and all aspects of livestock handling," said Dr. Don Woodburn, President of Dodge City Community College. "I heard Temple Grandin climbed into a cattle trailer and rode with the cattle, all the way from Louisiana to Greeley, Colorado to see how they reacted to such a long ride.  After intense studies of livestock behavior, she designed a new trailer configuration for more humane cattle handling.  It is now the standard today," added Dr. Woodburn.

In 2012, when the American beef industry was struggling with public perception of its use and sale of pink slime, Grandin spoke out in support of the food product.  She said, "It should be on the market.  It should be labeled.  We should not be throwing away that much beef."

"I can't tell you how lucky we are to have Temple Grandin coming to Dodge City," said Jeanie Zortman, founder of Autism Southwest Kansas. "My daughter, Mikeala, and I have sold lots of cinnamon rolls and eggs to raise money to bring Temple here; she is the pinnacle of what our children can become."

The conference will be at the Magourik Conference Center in Dodge City.

The first day will begin at 11:30 AM with a cattlemen's workshop luncheon. In addition to Grandin, Dan Thompson, Kansas State University Beef Institute Director will be speaking.  Woodburn will be introducing future plans for an Agricultural Learning Center for Dodge City Community College.

The second day, Wednesday, July 24th will be an Autism Conference beginning with registration at 7:30 a.m.  Lunch will be provided at noon. Grandin will be the featured speaker along with John Ketron, Clark County Sheriff, and Lee Stickle, Director of TASN.  The conference will conclude with Jeff Hiers facilitating a parent round table discussion.

For information on the conference, registering or helping sponsor the events please contact the Dodge City Community College Foundation at 620-227-9249.