The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) has increased its support for a new student learning facility at Iowa State University. The association is providing a $400,000 gift commitment. Half of the contribution was announced last fall and the IPPA board approved the other half approved this spring. Together, it will help establish the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center on land south of campus.

The Hansen’s announced a $2-million gift in March; combined with IPPA’s and other contributions, a total of $6.6 million has been raised. Construction of the $7-million center will be funded entirely through private gifts. Iowa State expects to break ground on the project in the fall.

“The Iowa Pork Producers Association’s generous gift will help ensure our students have a high-quality facility for working with, caring for and learning about animals,” said Wendy Wintersteen, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “We appreciate the pork producers’ commitment and the many ways IPPA has led the way in strengthening Iowa State programs that provide education, research and Extension in support of animal agriculture in Iowa.”

“Iowa State University is integral to the success of Iowa’s hog farmers and the future of the industry, so we’re excited to give back and play a role in the completion of this important project,” said Bill Tentinger, IPPA president and a pork producer from Le Mars. “The Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center will be a tremendous addition to ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and greatly enhance the educational opportunities for students.”

That’s important, said Tentinger, because one of IPPA’s concerns is the declining number of young people returning to the farm after college. “IPPA leadership believes this donation is an investment in the future of pork production in Iowa,” he said.

The Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center will be located on land used by the Department of Animal Science’s equine program. The facility will 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.

IPPA also is a supporter of ISU’s Biorenewables Complex, a campus facility now under construction that will house the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. Last fall, the IPPA committed $200,000 to the project.

Source: Iowa Pork Producers Association