Another Gift For New ISU Ag Student Learning Center

Another Gift For New ISU Ag Student Learning Center

Farm Credit Services of America gives $200,000 to use for construction of a new Agriculture Student Learning Center at Iowa State University.

Farm Credit Services of America has provided a $200,000 gift to help establish the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center at Iowa State University. "We are extremely grateful to the Farm Credit Services of America," says Wendy Wintersteen, dean of ISU's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "This commitment represents an investment in the future agricultural leaders we are preparing at Iowa State."

Farm Credit Services of America last week donated $200,000 to help establish the new Agriculture Student Learning Center at Iowa State University, to be named for Jeff and Deb Hansen.

"The educational focus of the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center perfectly aligns with Farm Credit Services of America's interest in promoting agricultural education and supporting young and beginning farmers," says Jim Knuth, senior vice president of Farm Credit Services of America. "We're proud to be able to support this new facility at Iowa State."

Ground was broken September 1 for the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center, which will be located on land south of campus currently used by the ISU Department of Animal Science's equine program. Plans for the facility include an indoor 125-foot-by-250-foot arena with seating for 1,000 people, a set of classrooms and a conference room. The center will be a versatile, multipurpose resource for courses, labs, training programs, student club and judging team activities and public events.

Construction of the $7 million center is being funded by private donations

Construction of the $7 million center is funded through private gifts, including a $2 million gift announced by Jeff and Deb Hansen last spring. The $2 million pledge made in May 2012 by the Hansens, who are the owners and founders of Iowa Select Farms, a major player in contract hog production in Iowa, was the key step initially needed for construction to get started on the new learning center for students at ISU.

Jeff and Deb Hansen pledged $2 million to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for the project. The Board of Regents of the State of Iowa approved a request by ISU to name the facility in honor of the Hansens.

About Farm Credit Services of America: Farm Credit Services of America is proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers. With more than $17 billion in assets, FCSAmerica is one of the region's leading providers of credit and insurance services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Learn more at www.fcsamerica.com.

Two ISU professors are presented Kolmer awards for applied research

In other news announced by ISU last week, two Iowa State University professors, Helen Jensen and Nick Christians, were presented the Dean Lee R. Kolmer Award for 2012. The award is for excellence in applied research and it was presented to Jensen and Christians on September 4 by the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Jensen, a professor of economics, was recognized for her work in applying economics to nutrition and food policy. "Helen Jensen's research has expanded knowledge in areas important to Iowa consumers and food markets. She's studied diets and food security, effectiveness of food assistance programs, food safety and the effect of promotional and informational messages on consumers' food choices," says John Schroeter, interim chair of the Department of Economics.

Jensen joined ISU in 1986 and is head of the Food and Nutrition Policy Division at ISU's Center for Agricultural and Rural Development. She earned a bachelor's degree in economics at Carleton College, a master's in agricultural and applied economics at University of Minnesota and a doctorate in ag economics at the University of Wisconsin.

Award named for former ISU Dean of Agriculture Lee Kolmer, who died in 2010

Christians, a professor of horticulture, was recognized for his research on turfgrass, including a discovery of the herbicide properties of corn gluten meal, which was patented and is used for preemergence weed control. In 1996, Christians won an R&D 100 Award in a competition that honors the year's top 100 products of technological significance. "If you've grown a turfgrass plant in Iowa, for business or pleasure, then you've been positively impacted by the work of Nick Christians. He's helped countless businesses become more profitable and assisted legions of additional clients become more efficient landscape managers and better stewards of the land," says Jeff Iles, chair of ISU's Department of Horticulture.

Christians joined ISU in 1979. He earned a bachelor's degree in outdoor recreation and forestry from Colorado State University and master's and doctorate degrees in agronomy at Ohio State University. 

The award, made possible by a gift from Lee and Jean Kolmer, recognizes faculty and staff within the ISU ag college who have made significant contributions to improving the welfare of the people of Iowa through applied research. It was presented to Jensen and Christians at the college convocation. The award is named for former ISU Dean of Agriculture Lee Kolmer, who died in January 2010. Kolmer began his 14-year tenure as dean in 1972. Under his leadership, the college launched a successful effort to increase public investment in agricultural research.

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