Temple Grandin, an animal scientist who has drawn from her experiences as a person with autism to become one of the world’s leading designers of humane livestock-handling facilities, will speak in Auburn Thursday, March 31, as the spring 2011 E.T. York Distinguished Lecturer.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Auburn University Student Center ballroom.

Grandin’s revolutionary designs of livestock-handling equipment and facilities for meat-processing plants as well as ranches and feedlots reflect her expertise in animal behavior and her advocacy for humane livestock management, as each is developed to reduce fear and stress in cattle and other livestock through every phase of their lives.

Today, half the cattle in the U.S. and Canada are handled using a restrainer system she designed for meat processors.

The Colorado State University animal science professor and best-selling author also has developed an objective scoring system that meat-processing plants can use to assess their livestock handling facilities and practices and identify changes they can make to improve animal welfare.

She often serves as a consultant to the livestock industry on facility design, livestock handling and animal welfare, and at Colorado State, she conducts ongoing research on livestock behavior and handling systems that reduce stress and losses at the packing plant.