A woman who was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2011 and who was profiled recently in an HBO cable movie is coming to Red Deer next month.
Temple Grandin will present the Fred Pearce Memorial lecture at the 31st Horse Breeders and Owners Conference, which runs from Jan. 11 to 13 at Sheraton Red Deer Hotel.
She’ll speak on understanding horse behaviour and how people working with horses and other animals need to think more about how the animals perceive the situations they are being put in.
She is one of at least 14 speakers scheduled at the event.
Grandin’s achievements are said to be remarkable, particularly since she grew up as a child with autism, a disorder of neural development.
At age two, she had no speech and had all the signs of severe autism.
Her mother defied the advice of doctors, kept her out of an institution and devoted many hours instead to speech therapy and intensive teaching.
As a teen, through mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona, Temple was motivated to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.
Grandin would later get her PhD in animal science from the University of Illinois in 1989.
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development reports that half the cattle in the U.S. and Canada are handled in equipment she has designed for meat plants.
She’s a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, where she continues her research while teaching courses on livestock handling and facility design.
Her book Animals in Translation was a New York Times bestseller and she’s written six other books, including Animals Make Us Human. HBO recently premiered a moved about Temple’s early life and career with the livestock industry.
The Red Deer conference features 16 internationally recognized speakers.
Tickets are $105 per person, $90 for additional registrants from the same farm with pre-registration.
For more information, visit the Horse Industry Association of Alberta website, www.albertahorseindustry.ca