The Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center was dedicated on Aug 29, 2014, with many donors, special guests, faculty, staff, and students in attendance. Below are excerpts from the various speakers at the event. 

“I want to thank everyone involved in making this project such a huge success. What’s really impressive to me is this facility was funded almost entirely by the generosity of our alumni, friends and partners. Private gifts from nearly 1,200 donors (1,191) helped make this a reality! That speaks volumes about the work being done in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Department of Animal Science, and the tremendous confidence our alumni and partners have in us to be good stewards of their generosity.

I’d like to begin by thanking the namesake of this building, Jeff and Deb Hansen and their family. Your commitment to Iowa State University has been tremendous and your impact on the agriculture industry is remarkable. With your support for scholarships, for the animal science judging endowment and for this great facility, you have helped to transform the educational experience for our students. We were so proud this spring to present Jeff and Deb with the Honorary Alumni Award at our Distinguished Awards Ceremony earlier this year. Thank you for your support!

Jan Walter and her late husband, Marv, provided the lead gift that launched the fundraising campaign in 2009. We are so grateful to you and your family for getting this project off the ground. The Walter family’s gift and the tremendous additional support of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity established the Marvin J. Walter - Alpha Gamma Rho Arena. … Thanks to all of you who contributed to honor Marv Walter, in partnership with the fraternity.

I would also like to thank the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Wendy Wintersteen, the Chair of the Department of Animal Science, Maynard Hogberg, and our student leaders.”

—Steven Leath, President, Iowa State University


Jeff and Deb Hansen didn’t attend Iowa State University, but the founders and owners of Iowa Select Farms have forged a unique and powerful partnership with the land-grant institution for the benefit of students, faculty and Iowa agriculture.                                                                                                                                                                   

“Today, that farmer and his wife are both deeply humbled and overwhelmingly grateful to be standing on this state’s most beautiful university campus in a building with their names on it, along with those who made it happen, as a testament of years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication because they realize they couldn’t have done it alone.

That Iowa-born farm couple is proud of this ag learning center and its purpose in forging young students who are passionate in reaching new heights of discovery and achievement in agriculture for generations to come.

That couple is proud of this vibrant university and its superb standards of excellence as well as its continuing growth and success in the advancement of agriculture. It’s important because we live here, we work here and we raise our families here.”

—Deb Hansen, speaking for the Hansen family


“It seems like yesterday that we were at Reiman Gardens attending the announcement of my family's lead gift to this project and now we are all standing in this beautiful building. The "pavillion" as it was known in the beginning was a vision and dream of both Iowa State University and my father, Marv Walter. Thank you to Deb and Jeff Hansen for their generous gift and all of the individuals and groups who contributed. Our family is proud to be a part of this wonderful project and look forward to the potential it has, thank you.”

—Stacy Woodward, daughter of Jan and Marv Walter


“If it wasn’t for Maynard (Hogberg, animal science chair), we wouldn’t be in this incredible facility today. Maynard’s vision for a new student educational facility began on the very first day he began his duties as department chair in 2003. And I’d say his vision probably had been germinating for years before that. He knew our students needed a state-of-the-art facility that would allow hands-on experiences with animals. He knew this great new space — with its classrooms and beautiful arena — would benefit not only his own animal science students, but students across the college and in every corner of campus.”

—Wendy Wintersteen, Endowed Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


“The Hansen Center fulfills the promise we had envisioned. Every season of the year, this place will be versatile, accessible and a showcase venue for animal agriculture — as well as many other disciplines and student activities. Our students are just thrilled. The excitement they feel when they come to the Hansen Center is infectious. Prospective students, too — this is a tremendous asset for recruitment, for the department, college and university. The Hansen Center truly is a welcoming place for the next generation of agricultural leaders.”

—Maynard Hogberg, Department of Animal Science Chair, 2003 - 2015


“Let me start out by saying that there is unlimited potential for the role that this building can play at Iowa State. I’m truly honored to be a part of this special day and help recognize the incredible impact that this new facility will have on our future. … I can speak from personal experience, and the experience of thousands of other students, that this facility has gone above and beyond, already blowing away all of our expectations."

—Matt Kerns, Animal Science, Senior



For a full list of donors who contributed to the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center, please visit our Donors page.