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ISU ag pavilion gets jump start from gift

By Staff | Oct 29, 2009

Above is an artists rendition of ISU’s new ag pavilion to be constructed on the south edge of the campus in Ames.

AMES – A state-of-the-art agriculture pavilion for Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has received a major gift from Marvin and Janice Walter of Ames.

The Ames couple have pledged $1.5 million toward the construction of a new $7 million facility. The pavilion will enhance animal interaction education and outreach in animal agriculture and is scheduled to be built south of campus on land currently used by the department of animal science’s equine program.

The agriculture pavilion will include a 125-by-250-foot arena with seating for 1,000 people. The arena will be an ideal location for students to gain valuable experience through interactions with animals, including courses, agricultural judging and skills competitions. The arena is also well suited for hosting short courses, training sessions, and livestock, dog and equestrian shows.

The all-weather heated pavilion, with its arena, classrooms and animal holding areas, will serve a broad array of multiple teaching and public events involving many different animal species.

Four energy-efficient classrooms accommodating up to 35 people each will be constructed beneath the arena seating area.

This is an artist’s concept of the 125-by-250-foot indoor arena at ISU’s new ag pavilion. The show ring will seat 1,000. Besides being a training facility, it can also host a number of livestock, equestrian and dog shows.

“The agriculture pavilion will provide us with a much-needed facility to hold indoor courses in a high-quality learning environment,” said Wendy Wintersteen, ISU’s dean of agriculture and life sciences. “The pavilion will also provide an inviting environment for recruiting young people who are interested in learning more about the diverse career opportunities in animal agriculture and related fields.

“It will allow us to showcase a diverse set of activities and events, especially those that make compelling statements about the promising future in animal agriculture and related fields.”

Marv Walter said his family is “pleased to lend support for this very important initiative. For far too many years, young Iowa State animal science students have needed a facility like this to further their hands-on skills with livestock.

“To be competitive with other land-grant institutions, a laboratory and classrooms of this quality are badly needed. We are glad to help kick off this effort and invite others to join us.”

A 1962 ISU animal science graduate, Walter also holds an ISU master’s degree in animal science. He is the president and owner of Dayton Road Development Corporation and founded Carriage House Meat & Provision Co. Inc., W and G Marketing, Ames Processed Foods, Webster City Custom Meats, Walter & Associates and other agriculture-related small businesses.

A past member of the ISU Foundation Board of Directors, Walters is an ISU Foundation Governor and a past president of the ISU Alumni Association Board of Directors.

This gift is part of Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose, the university’s $800 million fundraising effort. More than $715 million in gifts and future commitments for facilities and student, faculty and programmatic support have been made to the campaign.

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