Temple Grandin urges livestock owners to 'open up' to the public
» December 5, 2010 «
Renowned animal scientist Temple Grandin told livestock ranchers today to "open up the door" to the public, to show how ranchers care for their animals. Grandin, a professor at Colorado State University who has become famous for her animal welfare research and her personal history of autism, spoke to the California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Monterey.
Grandin described Americans as "hungry for information" about what happens on farms and ranches. She urged farmers and ranchers to fill that information gap, and to use the Internet as a tool for demonstrating their animal-care practices. For example, she commended a California egg farm that has begun streaming live video of its chickens online.
"Most of the public is just curious," Grandin said. "We need to be opening up the door and showing the things that we do."
That includes, she said, showing everyday farm activities such as dishing up feed or putting out bedding for dairy cows.
"What you would consider mundane, normal stuff, the public wants to look at that," Grandin said. "Put it up and show it. It doesn’t have to be some fancy thing. If you don’t know how to put it up on YouTube, your kids will know how to put it up."
Grandin has developed animal-welfare auditing programs for restaurants and food retailers including McDonald’s, Burger King and Whole Foods, and has created animal-handling systems designed from the animal’s point of view, to help them remain calm as they’re being moved to market.
"When I first started, I thought I could fix everything with engineering," she said. "What I’ve found is I can only fix half of things with engineering; the other half is management."
Grandin encouraged farmers and ranchers to observe their animals carefully, adding that "good stockmanship pays" in improved animal health, milk production and meat quality.
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 81,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.
Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.Top