Iowa State University


Tom Mitchell, ISU Foundation, (515) 294-4077
Dennis Keeney, Leopold Center, (515) 294-3711
Ron Cantrell, Agronomy, (515) 294-7636
Karen Bolluyt, Agricultural Information, (515) 294-3701
Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-6136


AMES, Iowa -- A $1 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and a $500,000 gift from the Wallace Genetic Foundation will establish the Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.

The endowment will provide perpetual funds for the faculty chair, research programs and other educational efforts in sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture is a concept that contains the multiple goals of improving environmental quality, farm-level profitability and viable rural communities.

Wallace, an Iowa State alumnus, was vice president of the United States during Franklin D. Roosevelt's third term, 1941 to 1945. He was one of Iowa's most influential citizens, ISU President Martin Jischke said.

"This endowed faculty chair was established to recognize Henry A. Wallace's long association with Iowa State University and to promote his philosophical and practical ideas," Jischke said. "Mr. Wallace's broad vision was years ahead of his time. He advocated the use of sound science and public policy for the conservation of farmland and natural resources and the alleviation of worldwide poverty and hunger.

"Clearly, Henry A. Wallace and the Wallace family have had a tremendous influence on Iowa and global agriculture," Jischke added.

The grants from the Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Mich., and the Wallace Genetic Foundation, Washington, D.C., will be supplemented with funds from ISU's College of Agriculture and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at ISU.

"The Wallace Genetic Foundation is enormously pleased and honored to be part of this important project," said Jean Wallace Douglas, director of the Wallace Genetic Foundation. "Sustainable agriculture is not only important to Iowa, but the nation and the world.

"The Wallace family has had a long-standing relationship with Iowa State. By endowing this chair, it will ensure this relationship will last into perpetuity," Douglas added.

"Were honored and very pleased to be a partner with the Wallace Genetic Foundation and help establish this chair," said Oran Hesterman, program director for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. "This chair will position Iowa State University to serve tomorrow's agriculture and take leadership for timely and appropriate changes towards more sustainable agriculture."

The Wallace chair will be a rotating position within ISU's College of Agriculture. The term of appointment will range from three to five years. Candidates will include scholars and scientists from institutions worldwide, including ISU. The search will begin immediately.

The chair holder will work closely with the staff at the Leopold Center and also will have an Extension appointment. The Leopold Center funds sustainable agriculture research projects and uses the results to educate farmers and other Iowans.

"This endowment is of singular importance to the Leopold Center, Iowa State University and Iowa agriculture," said Dennis Keeney, director of the Leopold Center. "It will allow ISU to serve Henry A. Wallace's legacy of keeping farm families working productively on the land. The Leopold Center will work closely with the chairholder to assure that sustainable agriculture is well served."

Wallace, a 1910 graduate of Iowa State, was a agriculturist, journalist, businessman and statesman. His connection to Iowa State began as a child when he spent six years on campus while his father, Henry C. (Harry) Wallace, was a student and instructor. It was during this time that he was introduced to plant life by an Iowa State graduate student, George Washington Carver. As a high school student, Wallace conducted a corn yield test and showed that the best looking ears did not always produce the best seed.

Upon graduation from Iowa State, Wallace became associate editor of Wallaces Farmer, the publication started by his father and grandfather. He became editor of the farm magazine in 1921. In 1926, Wallace founded Hi-Bred Corn Co., which became Pioneer Hi- Bred International Inc.

Wallace served in two cabinet posts. He was U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1933 to 1940 and was Secretary of Commerce from 1945 to 1946. In 1948, Wallace was the Progressive Party presidential candidate. In 1949, Wallace retired to his South Salem, N.Y., farm, where he continued to develop flowers, vegetables and poultry until his death in 1965.

ISU's Wallace Hall, a student residence building, is named in honor of Wallace.

The donations to the Wallace chair are part of Campaign Destiny: To Become the Best, the largest private fund-raising campaign in the history of Iowa State.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations. Its programming activities center around the common visions of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self, family, community, and societal well-being; and has the capacity to be productive, and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions, and healthy communities.



"On its lands and natural resources a nation will rise or fall. Our nation has come to a stage where conservation of our basic wealth is vital. Upon the conservation of what we have today, our civilization may project itself into the future with continual progress in democracy and high standards of living."

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace in a 1939 speech entitled "Soil Defense," presented at a meeting of the National Association of Land Grant Colleges and Universities.

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