The school is gearing up to host the 2017 Winter Conference on January 7-8. While primarily offered to veterinary professionals as continuing education, the conference also attracts ranchers and other animal-owning public attendees. An estimated 200 people are expected to attend in person this year with another 75 signed up for the webinar (only available live.)

Dr. Temple Grandin, renown for her work in animal welfare, will serve as the plenary speaker on Saturday at 1 pm. (Individuals must be registered in order to attend her talk.) Grandin, who is autistic and didn’t speak until she was three and a half years old, has become possibly the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. Through her books and speeches, she is a strong advocate of overcoming the diagnosis.

Her talk at UC Davis will focus on her current career as a livestock-handling equipment designer (one of very few in the world) and a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She has designed the facilities in which half of all cattle in the United States are handled, and has consulted for firms such as Burger King and McDonald’s. She is also consulting with the school on livestock facility plans for its future Veterinary Medical Center.

Topics to be covered by the Winter Conference will include:

Canine Medicine

Emergency Critical Care

Backyard Poultry

Livestock Medicine

Feline Dentistry Workshop

“We’re proud to offer such an array of topics for people to choose from and look forward to a weekend of learning and sharing knowledge to keep colleagues on the cutting edge of veterinary medicine,” says Karl Jandrey, director of the Continuing Education program.  

While Grandin was at UC Davis, she met with campus architect Bill Starr and Drs. Pam Hullinger and David Wilson to discuss the future Veterinary Medical Center (VMC). 

“She gave us very helpful feedback on the conceptual plans we had earlier developed with her input for livestock handling facilities and building characteristics (especially lighting and avoiding dark to light transitions),” Wilson said. “She also provided ideas regarding the type of engineering/fabrication company we will need to fabricate the handling facilities.”

The VMC team will incorporate Grandin’s input into the next phase of planning (i.e., design phase) and she has graciously offered to continue to consult with the school and provide insight as the project moves forward.