Ribbon cutting for animal science center

Present for the ribbon cutting ceremony at Huntington University’s Don Strauss Animal Science Center on Monday, Nov. 16, were (from left) 2018 HU graduate Madison Riggle, University President Dr. Sherilyn Emberton,  Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture,  Marty Songer, executive director of AVIS Foundation, Inc, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, president and chief executive officer of Lake City Bank David Findlay, chief executive officer of MPS Egg Farms Bob Krouse and managing director of the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies Nate Perry.
Present for the ribbon cutting ceremony at Huntington University’s Don Strauss Animal Science Center on Monday, Nov. 16, were (from left) 2018 HU graduate Madison Riggle, University President Dr. Sherilyn Emberton, Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Marty Songer, executive director of AVIS Foundation, Inc, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, president and chief executive officer of Lake City Bank David Findlay, chief executive officer of MPS Egg Farms Bob Krouse and managing director of the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies Nate Perry. Photo by Katelynn Farley.

Huntington University held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Don Strauss Animal Science Center on Monday, Nov. 16, hosting a select number of community members, family members of Don Strauss, Huntington University staff, donors and officials at the ceremony.

Among the crowd were speakers Bob Krouse, chief executive officer of MPS Egg Farms, Marty Songer, executive director of AVIS Foundation, Inc, David Findley, president and chief executive officer of Lake City Bank, Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Richard Strick, mayor of Huntington and 2011 HU graduate, Maddison Riggle, field sales representative, DEKALB Asgrow and 2018 graduate, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Nate Perry, managing director of the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies, and Dr. Sherilyn Emberton, president of Huntington University.

Dr. Emberton kicked off the ceremony with a speech about the re-opening of the campus and the progress made on the building.

“We prepared for our students to return, we prepared our campus for their return, and we prayed for them to return. And we are so thankful that Governor Holcomb, and our staff and community health officials worked with us to allow a safe return for our students, “ Emberton said. “And return they did.”

According to Emberton, this year was a record-breaker in terms of enrollment, with 1,402 students enrolled for the 2020-21 school year. Part of that new number included the largest freshman class ever for the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies.

The University was able to break ground in early spring this year on the animal science center.

“Months ago, we took a leap of faith and we actually set a date for this event, “Emberton said. “We didn’t know if the building would be ready or not, but we trusted that God would come through for us. And [God] always does. God provided.”

With a few minor exceptions, such as décor in the classrooms, the building is complete and ready for students and animals to use.

Other speakers mentioned the importance of agriculture to our economy, the rich history of agriculture within Indiana, the impact that Huntington University has had on its community and the legacy that Don Strauss left be hind.

Bob Krouse, Don Strauss’ son-in-law, and chief executive officer of MPS Egg Farms, discussed the legacy of Don Strauss and what his life in agriculture looked like.

“Don did not plan his legacy. He didn’t think much about the past or the future. Don was actually focused on tomorrow,” Krouse said. “As far as I know, Don never wrote down or explained his core beliefs. But when you looked over his life as a whole, it was clear to see what they were. Don lived and worked every day to honor and support his family, his business, his country and his church.”

Strauss got his start in agriculture at a young age, gaining experience after his time in the Navy. After coming home from World War II, Strauss joined his father in their family business. This experience led him to set the goal of applying “tomorrow’s best technology, science and business methods to move forward boldly. Not in halting incremental steps, but boldly.” T

his desire helped Strauss build his small family store-front and feed mill on Main Street in North Manchester, into multiple family-run agribusinesses. That being said, Krouse says that Don’s legacy isn’t actually about the businesses at all.

“Don’s true legacy can be best understood by looking at the loving family that he raised and led,” Krouse said. “We’re blessed to be here today at the ribbon-cutting for the Don Strauss Animal Science Education Center . . . however, Don’s legacy is not the name on a building . . . but what he did for us. Don’s legacy is moving forward in the hearts and lives of this and future generations, inspired by his kindness, insight, integrity and generosity, all focused on tomorrow.”

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb spoke on the “impressive reputation” of Huntington University and the importance and impact that agriculture makes in the state of Indiana.

“To think about, in a time like this, to have record enrollment, it is a true testimony to folks finding value and knowing where value is in a very comprehensive way . . . knowing just how important the ag sector is to, not just to our state economy, but I think maybe even more importantly to each and every individual community throughout the whole state of Indiana

“No matter how small or how large that community is, what students are bringing out into the world having gained it here and being ambassadors for the University and being ambassadors for Indiana. It really does put our best foot forward and is just a proud day for all Hoosiers.”

Following everyone’s remarks, Governor Holcomb cut the ribbon for the animal science center. Those present at the ceremony were given the opportunity to take a tour of the completed building, which measures to be nearly 10,000 square feet and includes housing for farm animals as well as classrooms for agriculture students to start getting the hands-on experience that they need for their degrees while staying on campus.