Volume No. 16 Issue No. 11 November 2019  

  World renowned animal behaviorist speaking in Colorado Springs

     Acclaimed author, speaker and professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, Dr. Temple Grandin, will be in Colorado Springs in December to speak on “Understanding Animal Behavior.” Her presentation will also cover dealing with different minds.
   Diagnosed with autism as a young child, Grandin has authored a number of books and many articles on autism.
   Grandin will present at both Falcon High School and Hotel Elegante Conference and Event Center in December.
   At Falcon High School, she will speak to students, 4H members and Future Farmers of America (it is a closed session); her focus will be on handling cattle and stock.
   “I teach about things that make the cattle stop and refuse to go through a chute, such as a coat on a fence, a hose on the ground or parking a shiny vehicle alongside a facility,” Grandin said. “I also talk about the importance of cattle temperament and weight gain.”
   On Dec. 14, at the Hotel Elegante Conference and Event Center presentation, which is open to the public, she will “do a more general animal behavior talk about dogs, cats and wildlife.” Grandin said she will also talk about how people’s minds are different in the area of visual, word and math thinkers.
   Her speeches also include her thoughts on hands-on training in the schools like wood working, car mechanics, cooking, sewing and theatre. Grandin said kids growing up today don’t always have a chance to use tools or do hands-on tasks, so they don’t know if they would want a skilled trade.
   “They think they can teach all of this with virtual reality, but they can’t,” Grandin said. “I am concerned that people with autism will be thought of as not capable. Many famous musicians, scientists, artists and politicians would probably be diagnosed with autism today. Look at Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs; what would happen to them in today’s school system?”
   The two Temple Grandin events were set up by Pamela Leland, owner of the Colorado Springs Dog Training Center. Leland said, “I’m trying to set up events, seminars and workshops regarding animals, and especially as a dog training center, that redirect the focus on Colorado Springs, rather than Denver or other cities up north. … Temple has a unique and rare insight into the behavior of animals, and I wanted to set up a forum where she could share that with us.”
   Grandin’s claim to fame is seeing things from the animal’s point of view, and she is a worldwide consultant on designing feed lots and slaughter houses, Leland said. “Grandin doesn’t say we shouldn’t eat meat, but believes when an animal goes to the end of its life, it should be humane and not unnecessarily stressful; and if we can do it better, then why not,” Leland said.
   Also, if there is less chaos and less stress on animals, Grandin said chances are the meat will be better.
   Grandin lived on a cattle ranch with her aunt when she was a young teenager, and spent hours observing how the cowboys handled the animals and the reaction of the animals to their handlers, Leland said. “She would get down on the ground in the middle of a herd of cows and try to see things from their point of view, and that’s how she has become this living legend of seeing things from the animal’s point of view,” she said.
   Leland has worked with all sorts of animals, but her focus today is on dogs. “I use very positive methods in training, which I think is really important,” she said. She has held animal CPR classes, reproduction and puppy intensive care classes; and, in February, she will have a weekend seminar on competitions.
   Students are excited to hear Grandin speak, Leland said. Dave Kranz, leader of FFA at Falcon High School, has invited other FFA students from Ellicott, Calhan, Limon and Miami-Yoder to join them. “It is really going to be something to hear Temple Grandin talk,” Leland said. “She is truly a living legend.”
   Visit http://templegrandin.com for more information.
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