Source: Emilie Fink, 785-532-7571, emilief@found.ksu.edu
Hometown connection: Reading, Kan.
News release prepared by: Andrew Zender, 785-532-7648, andrewz@found.ksu.edu

Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012

Rewarding excellence: Alumnus provides funds for new university Livestock Marketing and Learning Center

MANHATTAN -- From the animal husbandry group that emerged from the Kansas State University farming department in 1901, to its current form as one of the largest departments of its kind in the U.S., the department of animal sciences and industry has held fast to its commitment to excellence in teaching, research and extension -- and that's no bull.

With a gift from K-State alumnus Rich Porter, building on previous gifts from other alumni and friends, the department will begin construction of the expanded university Livestock Marketing and Learning Center.

The center, which is being expanded to become a multipurpose facility to support events and other programs in the university's College of Agriculture, will be named after the late Stanley Stout, well-known auctioneer and loyal K-Stater. It will serve as the home of the Legacy Sale, the annual cattle sale of the university's Purebred Beef Unit, and provide a location for numerous educational and industry events. The center will be located north of the Purebred Beef Unit across Kimball Avenue.

According to Ken Odde, head of the department of animal sciences and industry, the Livestock Marketing and Learning Center will allow the department to better serve Kansas State University students and the livestock industry.

"The center will be equipped with the latest technology and will be a great facility for our Legacy Sale, youth livestock education, conferences and other industry events," Odde said. "Additional funds remain to be raised to complete the technology needs, auction block, bleachers and other furnishings, but we're very excited about the great potential for the center and the impact it will have at Kansas State University."

Porter and his wife, Sarah, own Porter Cattle Company in Reading. He graduated from K-State in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and earned his master's degree in agribusiness from Kansas State University in 2004. A member of the Kansas State University Foundation's President's Club and 1863 Circle -- as well as a lifetime member of the Kansas State University Alumni Association -- Porter believes the time he spent at K-State was a strong factor in his professional development and inspired him to make gifts to the university.

"While at K-State -- in particular, pursuing my second degree -- I became well-acquainted with a number of faculty members who helped me learn a lot about how to better run my business," Porter said. "I wanted to do something that would make a real difference at Kansas State University and help it better serve the faculty and students there who are doing so much good for society. I'm very passionate about helping the university pursue its mission."

Philanthropic contributions to Kansas State University are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation staff works with university partners to build lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students through involvement and investment in the university.