Last fall when leaders of the Marias River Livestock Association heard that Temple Grandin could possibly be in Montana for spring 2014, they jumped at the chance to bring her to the Golden Triangle. Her appearance will be the cornerstone event of the Gentle Hand Livestock Conference, June 27 & 28, 2014, Shelby Montana.

Temple Grandin changed the packing industry with her designs for low-stress livestock handling equipment. A Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, Grandin is a popular author, speaker, and advocate for Autism awareness.

Temple Grandin, with her autism induced visual thinking, revolutionalized the packing industry with her low stress livestock handling equipment designs.   She is an international speaker, author of books and research articles and a professor at Colorado State University.   She is a Rock Star of livestock handling equipment design and Autism awareness.


The MRLA Board thought, “If we are going to bring people to town we might as well make it a really big time,” says organizer Maggie Nutter.   Grandin is one of the eight experts who will speak at the two-day conference, which will also include live demonstrations and a panel discussion.

Jude Capper, Ph.D., is a self-employed Sustainability Consultant and Affiliate Professor at MSU. Her presentatioin is titled "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics...Exposing the Myths About Beef Sustainability."

Jude Capper is originally from England but loved the beef industry so much that she settled down in Bozeman.   Capper loves to share the science that debunks many of the media myths about beef and other foods.  She also tells of how the livestock industry has done a great job of reducing its carbon foot print over the last 30 years and she does it all with a twist of humor.

When Curt Pate came on board for the Gentle Hand Convention it added the "Don’t just tell them SHOW them aspect."  Many people adsorb information better when shown.  In the past, Pate was well known for his colt and horse training clinics but has evolved into livestock handling and he finds it really satisfying to show people how to work cattle in a low stress manner.  Pate and Grandin will present a joint live cattle handling demonstration Friday afternoon at the Marias Fair Grounds in Shelby. Lunch - beef brisket prepared by Dick Kinyon - and a mini-trade show will also be there.

Then  Saturday the 28th there will be two programs running at once.  Jude Capper, Carrie Mess and Ryan Goodman will be sharing with teens how to “Share Their Passion via Social Media.”  Mess, aka "Dairy Carrie", writes a daily blog and speaks on the importance influence of social media in agriculture today.  One of her best-liked blogs was “Sometimes We Are Mean to Our Cows” which explains how sometimes undercover videos don’t give the whole truth.  Ryan Goodman is the Communications Manager for Montana Stockgrowers and also write the blog Agriculture Proud.

Carla Huston, DVM, gained first-hand experience in England during the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak. In this photo, she collects a sample for testing for chronic FMD in Vietnam.

Also on Saturday there will be a presentation of Emerging and Foreign Animal Diseases presented by Jeanne Rankin, DVM and Carla Huston, DVM.   Rankin is currently working with Montana State University Extension as the Agro-Emergency Projects Coordinator. Carla Huston, Mississippi State University, has trained at both the USDA/ARS Plum Island Animal Diagnostic Center and the DHS Center for Domestic Preparedness in the detection and prevention of foreign animal disease (FAD) and biological weapons of mass destruction (WMD) hazards. Huston has hands on experience in international level disease control, surveillance and national emergency preparedness and response. She responded to the 2001 Foot-and-Mouth outbreak in the United Kingdom, as well as the Exotic Newcastle Disease outbreak in Californian 2003. Most recently, she spent several months in Vietnam studying the persistence of Foot-and-Mouth disease in cattle.

Registration for the Gentle Hands Livestock Conference is open to members of the Marias River Livestock Association and to the general pubic.

For more Information, agenda and registration go to