Ruth Woiwode

Ruth Woiwode

Assistant Professor
Animal Behavior & Well-Being


  • Postdoctoral Research: Livestock Behavior, Handling, and Welfare 2015 - 2016
    New Mexico State University Clayton Livestock Research Center Clayton, NM
    • Investigated the relationship between cattle handling, performance, and welfare
    • Served as interim superintendent. Managed research station personnel in daily operations of the research station, including research and maintenance projects.
  • Ph.D., Animal Science: Livestock Behavior, Handling, and Welfare August 2015
    Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO
    Dissertation: “Validation of the Beef Quality Assurance feedyard assessment for cattle handling, assessment of feedyard compliance with BQA guidelines for cattle handling, and influence of handling practices on behavior and performance of feedlot cattle”
  • M.S., Animal Science: Livestock Behavior, Handling, and Welfare May 2013
    Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO
    Thesis: “Survey of lameness, body condition score, hygiene, and hock lesions of Colorado dairy cows housed in outdoor dirt lots or free stalls with outdoor access”
  • B.S., Animal Science December 2010
    Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO
  • A.A.S., Business Administration: Emphasis Applied Management May 2002
    National American University Rapid City, SD


Food Safety Net Services – Certification & Audit, LLC 2016 – Present
  • Manager of Livestock Audit Services San Antonio, TX
  • Led the development of Livestock Audit Services, an allied industry service provider
  • Identified key business opportunities and established strong working relationships with industry leaders
  • Oversee a highly qualified team that continues the tradition of superior service to industry
  • Highly effective in communicating critical information up the chain of command to facilitate rapid growth of a company providing service to an industry at a critical time
  • Earned trust of producers, allied industry groups, veterinarians, academics, and corporations through honest, open communication, understanding the needs of the industry, and working to provide solutions under high pressure

Colorado Cattlemen’s Association - Gunnison, CO - October 2015
Presentation given as part of a series of practicums as part of the Colorado Ranching Legacy leadership development program. Behavioral principles of cattle handling, including the economic impact of handling practices.

Yuma County Fair - Yuma, CO - 2007 – 2014
Assisted superintendent with coordination of the annual Round Robin Showmanship competition, including announcing, results tabulation, and tracking past winners and scholarship recipients.

Pork Academy - Fort Collins, CO - 2012
Invited presentation that included a lecture providing the biological basis for swine behavior, with a live demonstration of principles of swine behavior and low stress handling at a youth and producer education event hosted by Colorado State University Extension Service in collaboration with Colorado Pork Council.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association - Centennial, CO - 2014
Collaborated with NCBA’s Director of Producer Education, Dr. Temple Grandin, and producers, extension specialists, and industry experts, in the planning and execution of a cattle handling video project.

American Sheep Industry Council - Englewood, CO - 2011 – 2015
Provide critical review of the Sheep Care Guide, including making necessary changes that reflect advancements in research and technology specific to practices for managing sheep. Collaborated with ASI administrative staff and board members, Dr. Temple Grandin, producers, and media specialists in the development of a sheep handling video for producers. Assisted with script writing and editing, facilitated producer participation for filming, and assisted with direction of filming.

National Western Stock Show - Denver, CO - 2010 – 2015
Assisted livestock superintendents with stalling and tie out assignments for all cattle stalled in the barns, checked in exhibitors for every major breed entered in registered breed shows, cooperated with breed association staff, and assisted with resolving stalling issues at a highly visible, national livestock show.

Consultant, Self – Employed 1996 – present
− Experienced with livestock handling and management from ranch to packing plant
− Provide guidance to producers interested in implementing plans of continuous improvement for managing animal welfare through management practices and facility design

New Mexico State University - Clayton Livestock Research Center - 2015 – 2016
Postdoctoral Research Scientist and Interim Superintendent
− Investigated the relationship between cattle handling, welfare, and performance
− Responsible for cattle management, mill operation, bunk management, and feed delivery
− Managed employee scheduling and managed staffing for project and maintenance needs
− Wrote and implemented protocols for equipment operation and cattle handling
− Ensured employees were trained in humane euthanasia procedure

Colorado State University - 2011 – 2015
Graduate Research Assistant
− Led research focused on identifying and mitigating stress during routine handling of cattle
− Conducted controlled handling experiments focused on understanding the impact of handling practices on the performance and welfare of cattle, and developed a novel method for assessing lameness of feedlot cattle in the field
− Acted as project manager for peer-led research, and organized and managed teams of undergraduate, graduate, and veterinarian student researchers
− Managed research budget, travel logistics, and research volunteers
− Established key working relationships with industry and industry organizations in a study focused on understanding the impact of zilpaterol hydrochloride on behavior and welfare of fed cattle
Provided transportation for undergraduate students to and from off-campus research sites
− Monitored animal status during research, to ensure compliance with IACUC protocols

Course Design
Livestock Behavior and Handling Methods/ ANEQ 381A3 (Fall 2013)
Led the development of a course designed to meet a need for hands-on learning. Designed a curriculum that included applied functional and comparative anatomy specific to prey species, and hands-on labs to increase student proficiency in handling livestock. Developed and taught the course with collaboration from experts in industry and academia. Planned and led lectures that prepared students for hands-on labs, and conducted labs with cattle, sheep, and pigs where students learned and applied techniques for handling and restraint of livestock. Created and implemented assessments of practical skills gained in labs.

Teaching Assistant and Guest Lectures
Topics in Animal Sciences-Livestock Handling/ANEQ 300A (Spring and Fall 2011 – 2015)
Advanced Issues in Agriculture/AGRI 300/500 (Fall 2015)
Swine Systems/ANEQ 474 (Spring 2015)
Sheep Systems/ANEQ 472 (Spring 2010 – Spring 2015)
Companion Animal Management/ANEQ 380A (Summer 2013)
Transfer Seminar/AGRI 292 (Fall 2012)
Topics in Animal Science/Livestock Behavior/ANEQ 300A (Fall 2012)
Field Necropsy/ANEQ 550 (Spring 2011)

Woiwode, R., Grandin, T., Kirch, B., and Paterson, J. 2016. Effects of initial handling practices following receiving on behavior and average daily gain of fed steers. Int J Liv Prod 7: 12-18.
Woiwode, R., Grandin, T., Kirch, B., and Paterson, J. 2016. Compliance of large feedyards in the northern high plains with the Beef Quality Assurance Feedyard Assessment. Prof Ani Sci 32(6):750-757.
Lima, M, Woiwode, R., Paro de Paz, C, and Grandin, T. Blocking the steer’s view of people during restraint in a squeeze chute results in calmer behavior. J Ani Sci 94 (supplement5):40.
Lima, M, Woiwode, R., Paro de Paz, C, and Grandin, T. Effect of different hydraulic squeeze chute and cattle breed on behavior of steer during restraining in feedyard facilities. J Ani Sci 94 (supplement5):41.
Woiwode, R. 2015. Increase in demand for hands-on instruction in animal science curriculum. J Ani Sci 94:851.
Woiwode, R. 2015. An evaluation of cattle handling categories in the Beef Quality Assurance Feedyard Assessment, compliance of large feedyards with these guidelines, and influence of handling practices on behavior and performance of feedlot cattle. PhD Dissertation, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.

Woiwode, R. Continuous Improvement: Animal Welfare Audits. FSNS News. December 13, 2016.
Woiwode, R. Five Things Accomplished by Animal Welfare Audits Conducted at the Farm Level. FSNS News. February 6, 2019.
Woiwode, R., and Grandin, T. 2014. Survey Shows Feedlots Dedicated To Calm Handling Of Cattle. Beef Magazine. January 8, 2014,
Woiwode, R. and Grandin, T. 2016. Field study on the effect of zilpaterol on the behavior and mobility of Brahman cross steers at a commercial feedlot. Final Report to National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Woiwode, R. 2019. Animal Welfare Assessments: A PAACO Auditor’s Perspective. Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest hosted by Colorado State University. November 22, 2019. Fort Collins, CO.
Woiwode, R. 2019. Networking & Career Opportunities. Pig Welfare Symposium. November 14, 2019. Minneapolis, MN.
Woiwode, R. 2019. Conversations Around the Table: Engaging Influencers. Animal Agriculture Alliance: Industry Stakeholder Summit. May 2019. Kansas City, MO.
Woiwode, R. 2016. Modern Agriculture: Why Sheep? Invited presentation given at Colorado State University for Sheep Systems. March 28, 2016. Fort Collins, CO.
Woiwode, R. 2015. Welfare of Feedlot Cattle: Current Handling Practices and Concerns. Invited presentation given at University of Arkansas for the 5th Annual Symposium: Current Issues and Advances in Animal Wellbeing. August 6, 2015. Fayetteville, AR.
Woiwode, R. 2015. Assessing Temperament of Feedlot Cattle as a Management Tool. Invited presentation given to the Youth Leadership Conference of the Hereford and Maine Anjou Associations. July 27, 2015. Fort Collins, CO.

Woiwode, R. 2016. Greener Pastures: The Current State of Animal Welfare Certification Programs. Invited presentation and panel moderation in the policy track at the North American Meat Institute Foundation’s Animal Care and Handling Conference. October 14, 2016. Kansas City, MO.

Conference Participation
Woiwode, R., Grandin, T., Kirch, B., and Paterson, J. 2015. Effects of handling before and during processing on behavior and ADG of feedlot steers. Accepted for poster presentation at the 2015 ADSA-ASAS Joint Annual Meeting. 2015 July 12 – 16. Orlando, FL.
Woiwode, R., Grandin, T., Kirch, B., and Paterson, J. 2015. Validation of the Beef Quality Assurance Feedyard Assessment for cattle handling. Accepted for presentation at the 2015 Western Section ASAS 87th Annual Meeting. 2015 June 23 – 26. Ruidoso, NM.
Woiwode, R., Grandin, T., Kirch, B., and Paterson, J. 2015. Assessment of feedyard compliance with Beef Quality Assurance guidelines for cattle handling. Presentation given at the JBS/CSU Annual Symposium. May 18, 2015. Greeley, CO.
Woiwode, R., Grandin, T., and Kirch., B. 2014. Survey of BQA Cattle Handling Practices That Occurred During Processing Feedlot Cattle. Accepted for presentation at the 2014 ADSA-ASAS-CSAS Joint Annual Meeting. 2014 July 20 – 24. Kansas City, MO.
Woiwode, R., Grandin, T., and Kirch., B. 2014. BQA: Cattle Handling in the Feedlot. Accepted for presentation at the 4th International Beef Cattle Welfare Symposium Poster Competition. 2014 July 16 – 18. Iowa State University. Ames, IA.
Woiwode, R., Grandin, T., and Kirch., B. 2014. Beef Quality Assurance: Cattle Handling in the Feedlot. Accepted for presentation at the JBS-Colorado State University Joint Annual Symposium and Graduate Student Competition. 2014 May 19. Greeley, CO.
Woiwode, R., Grandin, T., and Engle, T. E. 2013. Influence of Head Gate Capture on Vocalization, Chute Exit Behavior, and Average Daily Gain in Feedlot Cattle. Accepted for presentation at the JBS-Colorado State University Joint Annual Symposium and Graduate Student Competition. 2013 May 20. Greeley, CO.
Woiwode, R., Grandin, T., and Roman-Muniz, I. 2012. Survey of lameness, body condition score, hygiene, and hock lesions of Colorado dairy cows housed in outdoor dirt lots or free stalls with outdoor access. Accepted for presentation at the 2012 ASDA-AMPA-ASAS-SAS-WSASAS Joint Annual Meeting. 2012 July 15-19. Phoenix, AZ.

Special Media Initiatives
Redditt Ask Me Anything Forum - Fort Collins, CO - April 2014
Assisted Dr. Grandin and University communications personnel plan and host the most popular Reddit session to date. This online forum was a highly successful means for Dr. Grandin to interact with individuals with questions about her research and her life with autism.

Land Grant Act Commemoration - Fort Collins, CO - June 2012
Morrill Land Grant Act: 150 Years and Still Moving Forward
Interview as part of a documentary chronicling the impact of the Land Grant Act on the development of students and advancement of research at Colorado State University.

The World Needs All Kinds of Minds - Fort Collins, CO - April 2012
Working with students and Dr. Grandin in class, and reflections on Dr. Grandin’s impact.
Temple Grandin: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds (Part 1 of 3) (Part 2 of 3) (Part 3 of 3)

The World Needs All Kinds of Minds: An Interview with Dr. Temple Grandin - April 2011
In conjunction with National Autism Awareness Month, I conducted a personal interview with Dr. Grandin that highlighted her contributions and challenges as a person with autism.

A Tribute to Temple Grandin - Fort Collins, CO - October 2011
Invited presentation at a recognition of Dr. Grandin’s accomplishments following the release of the HBO movie of her early life; highlighted Dr. Grandin’s impact on my education and career, and her influence on the student body at Colorado State University. Provided the opening narrative for a commemorative piece released by CSU subsequent to the wide popularity of the Emmy-winning HBO movie of Dr. Temple Grandin’s life.

CSU College of Agricultural Sciences – Office of the Dean - May 2010 – July 2011
Hired as an undergraduate student administrative assistant in a highly visible role. Managed Deans schedule and correspondence. Provided training for newly hired employees.

Business Administration and Management – Rapid City, SD 2001 - 2008
Applied my business education as a working professional during a break in my education to start a family.
− Served as executive assistant to the CEO of a multi-specialty medical clinic
− Managed professional licensure, renewals, and malpractice insurance coverage for 70 physicians and mid-level providers as a medical administrative assistant
− Highly effective and sought after for conflict resolution skills
− Directed business correspondence for high profile professionals
− Established and achieved goals for daily, weekly, and monthly performance
− Managed employees in the planning and execution of projects and goals

Women’s Coach, CSU Rodeo Team - Fort Collins, CO - Fall 2013 – spring 2014
Volunteer coach for barrel racing, goat tying, and breakaway roping

Student Volunteer - Fort Collins, CO - 2008 – 2015
Volunteered for numerous activities both in the Department of Animal Sciences and across the College of Agricultural Sciences

Assistant Soccer Coach - Fort Collins, CO - Spring 2010
Poudre School District. Assisted with coaching a boys U8 soccer team.

Creative Writing Aide - Fort Collins, CO - Spring 2009
Dunn Elementary School, Poudre School District. Led weekly creative writing workshops in a classroom of twenty-five first graders

Publicity Co-chair, Apartment Life - Fort Collins, CO - Spring 2009
Publicity Chair, International Children’s Committee. Responsible for publicity and advertising for an annual event that celebrates the diversity and unity of the nations of the world. Achieved record attendance as a result of effective networking with the local public school district.

Volunteer, Rocky Mountain Jr Beef Expo - Greeley, CO - 2007 - 2010
Helped organize and direct a junior cattle show hosted annually from 1998 – 2010. Managed entries, stalling and execution of a regional show hosting contestants and judges from across the United States.

Girl’s Coach, Rodeo Bible Camp - New Underwood, SD - Summer 2002
Served as rodeo coach and counselor to young women ages 12 to 18 with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes/Fellowship of Christian Cowboys.

Volunteer, Urban Nations - Brooklyn, NY - Spring 1999
Helped with recruiting efforts for an inner-city ESL program in Sheepshead Bay; Brooklyn, NY.


  • Editor, Sheep Care Guide
  • PAACO Feedlot Auditor Curriculum Committee
  • NAMI Animal Welfare Committee
  • NCFA Animal Welfare Advisory Committee
  • AAA Issues Management Committee
  • Gamma Sigma Delta, Member Since 2010
  • American Society of Animal Scientists, Member Since 2012
  • Colorado State University Animal Science Graduate Student Association
    • Served on Bylaws and Executive Committees
    • Served as Vice President and Secretary


  • Beef Quality Assurance and Beef Cattle Care Comprehensive Certification
  • Transportation Beef Quality Assurance Certification
  • Canadian Feedlot Animal Care Assessment eLearn Audit Training
  • PAACO Certified Meat Plant Welfare Auditor
  • PAACO Certified Poultry Welfare Auditor
  • PAACO Certified Swine Welfare Auditor
  • PAACO Certified Dairy Welfare Auditor
  • PAACO Certified Feedlot Welfare Auditor
  • FARM Certified Third Party Verifier and Trainer
Profile pic of Ruth Woiwode
Areas of Expertise
Animal Behavior & Well-Being
Beef Cattle
Dairy Cattle
Sheep and Goats