Dr. Temple Grandin to Deliver Keynote at 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

                    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  May 31, 2013

Contact: Darcy Minter, 775.340.4240
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Dr. Temple Grandin to Deliver Keynote
at 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Elko, NV — The Western Folklife Center is pleased to announce that Dr. Temple Grandin, renowned animal welfare advocate, professor and author, will deliver the keynote address at the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, which takes place January 27 to February 1, 2014 in Elko, Nevada. Dr. Grandin will speak on Thursday, January 30, at 10:00 am in the Elko Convention Center Auditorium. Admission is free with the purchase of a 3-Day Deluxe Pass ($60 before December 20 and $75 after that date) or a single Day Pass ($25).

Dr. Grandin is best known for her work in developing animal welfare guidelines and designing humane livestock handling facilities that reduce stress for livestock. Half the cattle in the U.S. and Canada are handled in equipment she has designed for meat plants. Dr. Grandin’s achievements are remarkable because she was an autistic child. At age two she had no speech and all the signs of severe autism. Fortunately, her mother defied the advice of the doctors and kept her out of an institution. Many hours of speech therapy, and intensive teaching enabled her to learn speech. Mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona motivated Grandin to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.

After receiving a B.A. at Franklin Pierce College, Grandin earned her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University, and was awarded her Ph.D in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989. She currently is a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University where she continues her research while teaching courses on livestock handling and facility design. Her book, Animals in Translation was a New York Times best seller and her book Livestock Handling and Transport, now has a third edition which was published in 2007. Other popular books authored by Dr. Grandin are Thinking in Pictures, Emergence: Labeled Autistic, Animals Make us Human, Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach, The Way I See It, and The Autistic Brain.

Dr. Grandin has received numerous awards and received honorary doctorates from McGill University, University of Illinois, and Duke University. HBO produced a movie about Dr. Grandin’s early life and career with the livestock industry. The movie starred Claire Danes and received seven Emmy awards, a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. In 2011, Dr. Grandin was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. She is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Autism Society of America, and gives lectures to parents and teachers throughout the U.S. on her experiences with autism. Articles and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, People, Time, National Public Radio, 20/20, The View, and the BBC. She was also honored in Time Magazine’s 2010 “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.” In 2012, Grandin was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is the nation’s greatest celebration of the American West, its people, culture and traditions. The Gathering features performances of poetry and music from the cowboy and ranching occupation, but also presents exhibitions, films, workshops, dances and discussions—all centered on land-based culture in the American West, its traditional arts and the challenges it faces in the 21st century. Tickets to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and to see Temple Grandin will be available starting September 3 to Western Folklife Center members and on October 3 to the general public. For more information, visit www.westernfolklife.org, call 775-738-7508, or toll-free 888-880-5885.

Dr. Grandin’s participation in the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is presented in partnership with Nevada Humanities and Great Basin College.

The Western Folklife Center is dedicated to exploring, presenting and preserving the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage of the American West. We celebrate the wisdom, artistry and ingenuity of western folkways through exhibitions, educational programs, national radio and television programs, research and preservation projects, our website, and our premier event, The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. We nurture connections among rural and ranching cultures globally, exploring universal themes in working traditions and artistic expression, which we believe are vital links to the past, present and future of the American West.