Buckeye Farm News
Grandin, a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, is a specialist in livestock handling and animal facility design. Half the cattle in the United States and Canada are handled in facilities designed by Grandin, and she has offered animal welfare consultation to companies such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King.
Grandin’s remarkable achievements are underscored by an amazing success story. She was born a severely autistic child, and by the age of two could not speak. Years of speech therapy helped her to overcome her disabilities, and encouragement from a high school teacher led her to pursue a career in animal science.
Since conquering her autism, Grandin has become a leader in animal research.
The Animals For Life Summit will generate healthy discussion about the many facets of the human-animal bond. Other Summit discussions will highlight aspects of human-animal relationships that include the associations between human health and pet ownership and the special relationships that form between service dogs and owners.“Autistic savants are people who can naturally do things no normal human being can even be taught to do, no matter how hard he tries to learn or how much time he spends practicing,” Grandin says in her book Animals in Translation. “Animals are like autistic savants. Animals have special forms of genius normal people don’t, the same way some autistic savants have special forms of genius.”
The Animals for Life Foundation is a non-profit organization that celebrates the human-animal bond and the many ways animals bring quality to human life. It was established in 2009 and has granted more than $100,000 to programs that aim to improve the human-animal bond, including supporting a classroom therapy dog, a therapy dog program for children with autism, a local foods event and a career program for students interested in animal professions.