Jeff and Deb Hansen, founders and owners of Iowa Select Farms, recently received the Honorary Alumni Award from the Iowa State University Alumni Association. Iowa Select Farms, headquartered in Iowa Falls, employs nearly 1,000 Iowans in 46 counties and is both the state's largest pork producer and one of the most technologically and environmentally advanced producers in the nation.
The Honorary Alumni Award is the highest honor given by Iowa State University through the ISU Alumni Association to individuals who have made significant contributions to the university but are not graduates of Iowa State. "Although neither Jeff nor Deb Hansen graduated from Iowa State, they have served our institution as though it was their own," said ISU President Steven Leath as he presented the award to the Hansens on April 11 at the Alumni Association's Distinguished Awards Celebration.
Creating opportunities for ISU students, and ISU ag research
The Hansens are transforming the educational experience for Iowa State students, Leath added, through their gifts to the Jeff Hansen/Iowa Select Farms Pork Industry Scholarship, their Iowa Foundation for Agricultural Advancement scholarship, the Animal Science Judging Endowment Campaign and the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center, which was completed earlier this year.
Iowa State, Leath said, also has benefited from the Hansens' willingness to fund research, appear as guest speakers on campus and hire ISU graduates. He noted the Hansens were instrumental in re-establishment of Iowa Swine Day at ISU, plus they have opened up their farms for faculty to conduct research in state-of-the-art facilities.
"Deb and I are deeply honored to become honorary alumni of Iowa State University," Jeff Hansen said. "We will continue to support ISU's efforts to achieve its mission to create, share and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place."
Iowa Swine Day June 26 to tackle topics of interest to pork industry
Speaking of Swine Day which the Hansens helped resurrect several years ago at ISU, this year's topics and agenda were recently announced. Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity will be some of the pressing topics covered June 26 at the third annual Iowa Swine Day at Iowa State University.
Regional, national and international leaders in swine research, economics, veterinary medicine, production, animal welfare and the marketplace will address challenges facing the pork industry, animal science and the consuming public. The event is from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. at Benton Auditorium in the Scheman Building on the Ames campus. Speakers include Richard Raymond, former USDA undersecretary for food safety, and Justin Ransom, national director of supply chain management for McDonald's.
Iowa Swine Day is open to the public and especially targets pork producers, pork industry suppliers, extension personnel, consultants, researchers, veterinarians and students who are eligible for a discount on registration if they are currently enrolled in school. Cost of the meeting is $60 if registered by June 13. Fee includes coffee, snacks, pork lunch and a copy of the proceedings. Advanced registration is available online.