Iowa State Students to Build a Sukup Safe T Home® on Campus on Nov. 5

November 1st, 2018

AMES, Iowa – Student volunteers are building a Sukup Safe T Home® in the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center* at Iowa State University to kick-off Agricultural Entrepreneurship Week from 2-5 p.m. on Nov. 5.

The Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative (AgEI) has organized a week of activities across campus Nov. 5-9. The initiative was founded in 2005 and is a leading program for nurturing agricultural entrepreneurs worldwide.

“We appreciate this partnership with Sukup Manufacturing in creating an important experience for students,” said Kevin Kimle, Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative director. “Being entrepreneurial can apply to endeavors outside of startups and businesses and can be about making a social and community impact.”

The Safe T Home® is an example of social entrepreneurship developed by Sukup Manufacturing Co. after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The metal, grain bin homes can be built quickly using inexpensive materials to provide shelter and safety for families in need.

“Entrepreneurship is part of my grandpa Eugene’s legacy, so we are thrilled to participate in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Ag Entrepreneurship Week,” said Emily Schmitt, Sukup Manufacturing general counsel. “The Safe T Home® is a very special project to the company and my family and we can’t wait to see it built on central campus at Iowa State – a university that means so much to us.”

The homes are easy to construct and can be built in one day with hand tools, which makes them ideal for emergency situations. Since 2011, more than 300 homes have been built across the world in countries like Haiti and Uganda. In 2016, the 200 homes built in Haiti withstood a Category 4 hurricane with minimal damage.

Agricultural entrepreneurship activities from Nov. 5-9 on campus include:

  • A “90 seconds for $900” elevator pitch competition on central campus at noon on Nov. 6
  • An Unconference at the ISU Research Park on Nov. 8
  • An entrepreneurial showcase and panel discussion on Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union
  • An industry tour of Summit Ag Group and Iowa Select Farms on Nov. 9

To learn more about the AgEI and the Ag Entrepreneurship Week events visit To learn more about Sukup Manufacturing and the Safe T Home® project, visit

*The Safe T Home® build has been moved to the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center due to rain.


Kevin Kimle, Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative, 515-294-1803,

Rachel Geilenfeld, Sukup Manufacturing Co, 641-892-4222,

Barb McBreen, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, 515-294-0707,