Speaker Bios

Posted by Alberta Goat Association on Monday, October 23, 2017

2017 Key Note Speaker  --  Dr. Temple Grandin



     Temple Grandin is noted animal expert who has penned the books Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human.  Born on August 29, 1947, in Boston, Massachusetts, Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism as a child and her parents pursued every avenue of care for their child. 
     Despite her difficult childhood, Grandin achieved considerable academic success.  Earning graduate degrees in animal science from Arizona State and University of Illinois. 
Dr. Grandin is a designer of livestock handling facilities and a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. Facilities she has designed are located in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. In North America, almost half of the cattle are handled in a center track restrainer system that she designed for meat plants. Curved chute and race systems she has designed for cattle are used worldwide and her writings on the flight zone and other principles of grazing animal behavior have helped many people to reduce stress on their animals during handling.
She has also developed an objective scoring system for assessing handling of cattle and pigs at meat plants. This scoring system is being used by many large corporations to improve animal welfare. Other areas of research are: cattle temperament, environmental enrichment for pigs, reducing dark cutters and bruises, bull fertility, training procedures, and effective stunning methods for cattle and pigs at meat plants.
     In 2016 she received the Meritorious award from the OIE World Organization for Animal Health in Paris, France for her work on developing animal welfare guidelines. This same year she was also inducted into The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

     In the essay “Animals are not things” Grandin argues that while animals are technically property in our society, the law ultimately grants them certain key protections.  Her books including “Animals in Translation and “Animals make us Human, have garnered much critical acclaim.
      She is one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to publicly share insights from her personal experience of autism. She invented the "hug box" device to calm those on the autism spectrum. In the 2010 Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, she was named in the "Heroes" category

2017 Feature Speaker  --  Trent Loos


     Trent travels the country motivating and educating his audience on issues related to animal agriculture and food production.   His audiences vary in age, background, mission and profession, but they all come away enthused about bridging the gap between food producers and consumers. When addressing youth groups, Trent emphasizes the importance and pride associated with being involved in U.S. food production in the future.

     Trent was raised on a diversified farm near Quincy, IL. He entered the hog business at a young age and has been involved in livestock production ever since. He and his wife Kelli operate a purebred Limousin and Angus herd. They enjoy working cattle, training horses and raising their three daughters on their ranch in central Nebraska.


     Trent's presentation is titled "The Challenge of Farming in a World with increasing expectations"  This talk focuses on the issue of gaining and maintaining the social licence to operate for Agriculture.  Trent focuses on the gap between the food growers and the food buyers expectations and how we can communicate with each other in a clearer way.  Understanding what it means to be a food producer in the modern world and communicating that role effectively.

Speaker  --  Dr. Mary Smith, D.V.M., B.S.


     Dr. Mary Smith is currently Professor of Ambulatory and Production Medicine; College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.  She is also a member of the

American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners and has served as the editor of their Newsletter since 1985.

     Dr. Smith has spent much of her career studying small ruminants and is one of the leading veterinary experts in North America on the subject of the health of goats.


     Dr. Smith’s presentation at our convention on the subject of pregnancy and successful delivery of goat kids.  her presentation will concentrate on both pre and post natel care along with delivery care.

Speaker  --  Dr. Cordell Young, D.V.M.


     Cordell Young grew up on a mixed farm of grain and cattle near Yorkton, SK where he also raised sheep. His experience in sheep started as an ewe with triplets at the age of 9 years old, and grew to a 150 commercial ewe flock by the time he graduated high school. While it was mainly sheep for those years, there were also a handful of goats for a number of those years. During these years, Cordell also learned how to shear sheep and continued on that path during the summers between school, shearing 200 ewes in a day at his peak and approximately 3000 sheep in the summer run through Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This allowed him to see a plethora of operations and thousands of animals over the years, and in the case of shearing days, the ability to examine those animals quite closely.

     Essentially, it was his small ruminant experience that turned Cordell into Dr. Young as he went from high school in 2011 to the University of Saskatchewan and two years later into the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. While the curriculum is full and time for small ruminants is short, Cordell enjoyed continuing his work as a shepherd and shearer, especially being able to bring a more educated approach to his own sheep production as well as being able to educate shearing clients with more valuable information. During his last year in veterinary medicine, Dr. Young had the opportunity to spend time on an externship in the south island of New Zealand, which provided him a brief look the small ruminant industry, enough to see that intestinal parasites are a significant concern there as well.


     While Dr. Young's experience is mainly in sheep and has only been in veterinary practice for 3 months, he has visited many operations with both sheep and goats, enough to realize parasite control is a long-standing and frustrating issue, especially in the face of resistance to commercial anthelmintic products.

Speaker  --  Mr. Dave Horner, CAFA, CEF


     Dave Horner is a Business and Farm Planning Advisor.  Dave is a post secondary graduate with a degree in business.  He is a licensed financial  & estate planner, facilitator, Insurance professional, business trainer and member of the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors.

     Dave has spent his professional life helping farm families plan for a successful financial future.  He has helped businesses focus on the simple solutions to reorganization and planning their financial future. 


     Dave will be speaking to the conference on individual farm challenges as well as the importance of participating in a strong industry organization.