Jeff and Deb Hansen, founders and owners of Iowa Select Farms, recently received the Honorary Alumni Award from the Iowa State University Alumni Association.

Iowa Select Farms, headquartered in Iowa Falls, IA, employs nearly 1,000 Iowans in 46 counties and is not only the state’s largest pork producer, it is also one of the most technologically and environmentally advanced producers in the nation.

The Honorary Alumni Award is the highest honor given by Iowa State University through the ISU Alumni Association to individuals who have made significant contributions to the university but are not graduates of Iowa State. 

Steven Leath, the ISU President, and the individual who presented the Hansens with the award at the Alumni Association's Distinguished Celebration, held in April, noted that even though neither Jeff nor Deb graduated from Iowa State, they both serve the institution as though it was their own.

The Hansens are transforming the educational experience for Iowa State students, Leath added, through their gifts to the Jeff Hansen/Iowa Select Farms Pork Industry Scholarship, their Iowa Foundation for Agricultural Advancement scholarship, the Animal Science Judging Endowment Campaign and the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center, which was completed earlier this year.

Iowa State, Leath said, also has benefited from the Hansens’ willingness to fund research, appear as guest speakers on campus and hire Iowa State graduates. He also noted that the Hansens were instrumental in the re-establishment of Iowa Swine Days at ISU, plus they have opened up their farms for faculty to conduct research in state-of-the-art facilities.

Jeff Hansen said that he and his wife, Deb are deeply honored to become honorary alumni of Iowa State University.

He added that they will both continue to support the university's efforts to achieve its mission to create, share and apply knowledge to make not only Iowa, but the world a better place.