Animal handling and welfare authority Temple Grandin, professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, calls the recently opened hog holding facility at the Hormel Foods Corporation in Austin, MN, “as good as it gets.”

“This facility is at the top for the industry,” Grandin says. “I am super happy because everything is wonderful; it’s highly managed and perfectly maintained.”

Grandin conducts research and teaches courses on livestock handling and facility design and has worked with Hormel Foods for more than 10 years. The $6.2 million facility at Hormel Foods opened in 2008. It incorporates many of Grandin’s industry-leading animal handling practices including non-reversal movement, nonslip flooring and circular corrals.

“It was an honor to have Temple tour this facility now that construction is complete,” says Glee Goodner, corporate manager of animal welfare and handling at Hormel Foods. “We were excited to see her enthusiasm for how our animal care efforts continue to provide leadership for the industry through state-of-the-art building designs, maintenance schedules and employee training.”

Grandin was the recent subject of an HBO movie that delved into her perseverance and determination while battling autism. “Temple Grandin” was nominated for 15 Primetime Emmy Awards. She is also one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People for 2010.

Hormel Foods is based in Austin, MN, and was named one of “The 400 Best Big Companies in America” by Forbes magazine for 10 consecutive years.