Temple Grandin, assistant professor in Colorado State University’s animal sciences department, received the Richard L. Knowlton Innovation Award this week. Grandin’s leadership in animal handling, including innovative designs and inventions to reduce animal stress in packing plants, is credited with impacting virtually every meat plant in North America.
The prestigious award, given annually by Meat Marketing and Technology Group, recognizes individuals whose ingenuity and leadership bring about positive change in the meat industry.
"Temple adds a unique dimension to our department," said Daryl Tatum, head of the Department of Animal Sciences. "There are few university animal science programs that have her level of expertise in animal handling and behavior. Temple is very well known and respected nationally and internationally, and her work has really made a difference in the livestock industry here and abroad. She is very deserving of this prestigious recognition."
Grandin developed auditing criteria for meat suppliers for the humane treatment of livestock, a process that was adopted by the top three fast-food chains in 1998. The USDA also audits meat suppliers across the nation based on Grandin’s criteria to ensure compliance with the Humane Slaughter Act. Her work is credited with helping to make significant improvements in animal handling in the meat industry.
Grandin is noted throughout the industry for her ability to overcome autism personally and professionally to channel an intuitive understanding of animal behavior through visualization to discover better, less frightening and more humane animal handling techniques.
Meat Marketing and Technology Group includes trade publications and Web sites in North America and Latin America. Grandin was selected by Meat Marketing and Technology Magazine editors for her work. Dan Murphy, editor, noted that Grandin has single-handedly made a positive change in the animal industry, citing her work during the past 25 years to streamline animal handling processes.