Temple Grandin, autism activist and champion of humane livestock handling practices, will deliver the keynote address at the Farm to Table International (www.f2t-int.com) conference in New Orleans Aug. 9.
The conference explores cultivation, consumption and distribution practices for food and drink. Speakers include leaders in the farm-to-table movement and topics range from urban farming methods to sourcing local foods and enhancing sustainability.
Grandin, who is autistic, has worked as a consultant to the livestock industry, where she promotes humane livestock handling processes. Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and is considered an expert on the behavior of cattle; she says her interest stems from her own experiences of feeling anxious and threatened by her surroundings. After studying cattle behavior — watching how animals reacted and moved when prompted by ranchers and their responses to objects and light — Grandin designed curved cattle corrals, intended to reduce stress and panic in the animals when they are being led to slaughter. Grandin's designs are used in cattle facilities across the U.S. and she consults for food giants such as Burger King and McDonald's.
The conference runs Aug. 8-10 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Grandin speaks at 3:30 p.m. Aug 9.