ISU Agriculture Pavilion Project Receives Jump-Start from Walter Gift

October 16th, 2009

AMES, Iowa — 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.

"The agriculture pavilion will provide us with a much-needed facility to hold indoor courses in a high-quality learning environment," said Wendy Wintersteen, Iowa State's Endowed 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."

"My family and I are pleased to lend support for this very important initiative," Marv Walter said. "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 animal science graduate of Iowa State, Marv Walter also holds a master's degree in animal science from the university. He is the president and owner of Dayton Road Development Corporation and founded Carriage House Meat and Provision Co. Inc., W and G Marketing, Ames Processed Foods, Webster City Custom Meats, Walter and Associates and other agriculture-related small businesses.

A past member of the ISU Foundation Board of Directors, Marv is an ISU Foundation Governor and a past president of the ISU Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is the recipient of both the Alumni Medal and the Alumni Merit Award from the ISU Alumni Association and the Floyd Andre Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Walters have a lifetime of involvement with Iowa State and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Janice spent a number of years working in the office of then Dean Floyd Andre in the College of Agriculture. It was during this time that she and Marv met and were married. Janice has been an active volunteer in many organizations in Ames. The Walters have two daughters, Allyson and Stacy, who are Iowa State graduates.

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 Campaign Iowa State.


Wendy Wintersteen, Agriculture and Life Sciences Administration, (515) 294-2518,

Ray Klein, Agriculture and Life Sciences Development, (515) 294-3303,

Brian Meyer, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, (515) 294-5616,

Dave Gieseke, ISU Foundation Communications, (515) 294-7263,