During a celebration of world-renowned animal scientist and autism advocate Temple Grandin, Colorado State University (CSU) on Tuesday announced the endowment of a scholarship fund to support the professorâ€™s graduate students.
McDonaldâ€™s Corp. contributed $100,000 to the Dr. Temple Grandin Scholarship in Animal Behavior and Welfare. Other contributors are: Colorado Beef Council, Colorado Cattlemenâ€™s Association, Colorado Dairy Farmers, Colorado Livestock Association, JBS, Leprino Foods and the National Western Stock Show.
â€śThis fund will allow Dr. Grandin to continue her remarkable work teaching our students about researching livestock behavior and humane handling practices for farm animals,â€ť says Craig Beyrouty, dean of CSUâ€™s College of Agricultural Sciences. â€śWe greatly appreciate the gifts from McDonaldâ€™s and other contributors, which highlight the revolutionary influence Dr. Grandin has had in animal welfare and our global food system.â€ť
The announcement came during A Celebration of Temple Grandin, a campus event that hailed Grandinâ€™s work after a remarkable year.
In 2010, HBO released a biographical feature film called â€śTemple Grandinâ€ť based on the CSU professorâ€™s early life; the movie won seven Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. Also last year, Grandin earned a spot on TIME magazineâ€™s list of â€ś100 Most Influential People in the World.â€ť
These developments 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.
â€śDr. Grandin has brought a sea of change to how animals are treated in our industry. Itâ€™s awesome,â€ť says Bob Langert, vice president for corporate social responsibility at McDonaldâ€™s Corp. and a speaker at Tuesdayâ€™s event. â€śSheâ€™s put animal welfare on the map at a much higher level.â€ť
Langert said he began working with Grandin in 1997. Their interaction led the global food retailer to adopt Grandinâ€™s welfare auditing system, which uses key indicators in livestock behavior to ensure that food animals are treated humanely during transportation and processing at meat-packing plants.
â€śToday humane animal welfare is standard operating procedure for all of our suppliers around the world,â€ť Langert says. â€śCan you imagine one person, by herself, having that kind of impact?â€ť
Grandin, a hero to people with autism and their families, has built her stellar career over more than two decades at CSU. She began work in CSUâ€™s Department of Animal Sciences in 1990.
The professor travels internationally to speak about autism and farm animal welfare, but she is always back on campus to teach her classes in livestock behavior and humane handling. Grandinâ€™s influence through her students was a highlight of the Tuesday celebration.
Beyrouty says the new scholarship fund will help support Grandinâ€™s applied research, and will help ensure that she continues to teach a new generation of animal scientists about foundational concepts in animal behavior and welfare.