Skyler Rinker named holder of the James and Clare Frevert Ag450 Program Professorship

April 21st, 2021

AMES, Iowa – Skyler Rinker, an assistant teaching professor in the Iowa State University Department of Agricultural Education and Studies, has been named the James and Clare Frevert Ag450 Program Professor.

The professorship recognizes and provides support for the professor-in-charge of the Iowa State Ag 450 Farm, which is the only student-managed farm at a land-grant university in the nation and has been in operation nearly 75 years. The related AgEdS 450 Farm Operations and Management course serves as the capstone for agricultural studies majors.

Rinker was presented with the professorship at an April 19 medallion ceremony hosted by Daniel J. Robison, Endowed Dean’s Chair of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“The unique hands-on learning experiences provided by the Ag450 Farm embody our university motto of science with practice,” said Robison. “The practical knowledge and teamwork skills students gained while working with outstanding faculty like Dr. Rinker, prepare them well to serve as leaders in the agricultural sector, for industries and agencies, and on their own farms. Thanks to the Freverts’ generosity, this strong program will continue to grow and thrive under quality leadership for generations.”

Rinker’s areas of expertise include crop insurance, agronomy, agribusiness and farm management. He received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural studies from Iowa State University, his master’s degree in agribusiness from Kansas State University and his doctorate in agricultural and life sciences education from Iowa State. He joined the agricultural education and studies faculty at Iowa State in 2020. In addition to his work at Iowa State, he farms 550 acres of corn and soybeans and raises nearly 40 Angus-cross cow-calf pairs annually on his family’s Century Farm near Ogden.

As an Iowa State doctoral student, he served as a graduate assistant for the Iowa State Ag 450 Farm, a position made possible through the James and Clare Frevert Ag450 Program Professorship.

“I would not have been able to complete my doctoral work without the availability of these funds,” Rinker said. “Now, as holder of the professorship, I want to reciprocate the experiences I gained as an undergraduate and graduate student. I’m grateful for the opportunities the Freverts provided me as a student and extend to today’s students through this professorship.”

Rinker plans to use the funds to enhance student learning and provide new experiences related to farm management and operation in the classroom. His goal is to continue conducting research relating to the Ag450 farm and Iowa State’s agricultural studies students, and develop and modify the Ag450 course to meet the needs of today’s students and expectations of the agricultural industry. The funding will also go toward hiring undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants so they can learn about and work with the Ag450 course.

The endowed chair was made possible through a generous gift from James and Clare Frevert of Nevada, Iowa. Jim joined Hertz Farm Management Inc. in 1964 after receiving his bachelor's degree from Iowa State in farm operations in 1960, and as a student worked and learned on the Ag450 Farm. He helped build the business’ reputation as a personalized, hands-on service of dedicated professionals. He served as the president from 1988 to 2000 and retired in 2003.

The Freverts made their gift through the Iowa State University Foundation. The foundation is a private, nonprofit organization committed to securing and managing gifts that benefit Iowa State University. The Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, with a historic goal to raise $1.5 billion, will help support Iowa State in becoming the premier land-grant university for the 21st century and beyond.


Melea Reicks Licht, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, 515-294-8892,
Elaine Watkins-Miller, Iowa State University Foundation, 515-294-1005,