Colorado State students hear Temple Grandin’s perspective on cattle handling

Collegian Staff

Video by CTV Reporter Karsen Buschjost

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Temple Grandin spoke this past weekend at the Beef Quality Assurance Stockmanship and Stewardship Tour in northern Fort Collins. The tour brought a variety of expositions and taught ranchers how to humanely handle their cattle.

Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin presents her keynote speech on cattle handling and beef quality assurance Friday. (Photo credit: Cisco Mora)

Temple Grandin, animal scientist, autistic activist and Colorado State professor, taught CSU students about animal handling at the Beef Quality Assurance Stockmanship & Stewardship Tour Friday and Saturday.

CSU’s Department of Animal Sciences and Colorado Beef Quality Assurance hosted the event at the Agricultural Research Development and Educational Center in Fort Collins.

Grandin spoke Friday, and beef cattle handling expert Curt Pate hosted a cattle handling clinic, training sessions and beef quality assurance certification Saturday.

Grandin’s keynote speech focused on proper animal handling, insight into reducing their stress and tips on improving animal performance.

She discussed the importance of community attendance at the event.

“There is the opportunity for the public to find out about research at CSU and our programs,” Grandin said. “People can learn, and people can network at these workshops.”

Several CSU animal science majors attended Grandin’s speech Friday.

“I like hearing Temple talk, because she always points out things that are overlooked in handling,” said Valene Lickley, an animal science and civil engineering major at CSU.

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Many of the CSU students also attended Saturday’s sessions to expand their knowledge on cattle handling.

“I work at ARDEC,” said Sarah McGinniss, a CSU animal science major. “I came to this event because it’s a great option to further my skills in animal handling. It’s good experience for vet school, and I’m able to help my bosses.”

Lickley also said that the sessions were helpful.

“I grew up in ranching, and this offers different perspective in handling cattle humanely and improving facilities,” Lickley said.

The two-day event included a focus on beef quality assurance.

Katy Lippolis, the BQA coordinator for Colorado, explained how beef quality assurance directly affects consumers.

“Beef quality assurance aims to improve the consumers’ quality of beef,” Lippolis said. “The goal of this event is to educate producers in the area about humane ways to raise cattle. The way you treat animals will affect the quality of the beef you’re eating.”

Dr. Jason Ahola, a teaching research faculty member for beef cattle production systems, also touched on beef quality assurance.

“We are assuring consumers that we are doing the right thing when we raise cattle … We want them to feel better about the beef they’re eating,” said Ahola.

Ahola credits interest in beef quality assurance to CSU because of its animal sciences program.

“Animal sciences is the fourth largest (major) on campus, and is fastest growing in interest,” Ahola said.

Collegian Reporter Clarissa Davies can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @DaviesClarissa.