Meat industry 'giant' Marvin Walter dies

by Bryan Salvage
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AMES, Iowa – Marvin (Marv) J. Walter of Ames, Iowa, a well-known industry leader who served the US meat industry for decades, died June 1 following an eight-year battle with multiple myeloma.

Walter was born on Aug. 22, 1940. He was raised on a farm near Watkins, Iowa and graduated from high school in Blairstown in 1958. He is a 1964 Iowa State Univ. graduate with BS and MS degrees in animal science. He was an ISU instructor of animal science for two years and was later named to the Animal Science Hall of Fame.

He joined AMI after graduating from ISU working in public relations. He was appointed to assistant to the AMI president, which he served for two years. He purchased membership and became a commodity broker on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

After returning to Iowa, Walter became the founder and former owner of Ames Processed Foods Co. Inc., Carriage House Meat & Provision Company and Webster City Custom Meats Co. Inc. Interests in those companies were sold in 1995.

Walter’s industry service included: director, president and chairman of the National Association of Meat Purveyors; director of the US Meat Export Federation; director of the American Meat Institute; and director and executive committee member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, just to mention a few.

Walter was also an active member of the community, serving on many boards and in organizations He was also involved in many Iowa State activities. He was on the Board of Governors and received the Order of the Knoll award for Distinguished Service. He also received the Floyd Andre award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture. He served as president of the ISU Alumni Association. Having a special interest in young people, Walter supported 4-H programs.

Walter also won many local, state and national awards during his career, including the prestigious 1993 NAMP Angus Award (its highest award); 1993 AMI Edward D. Jones award for community and industry service; 2003 NCBA Vision Award; and was elected to the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Hal of Fame in 2004.

“Marv was very active member of NAMP and contributed in many ways to various NAMP activities, including various revisions of NAMP'S Meat Buyers Guide and, for several years, as NAMP's industry liaison with the National Live Stock and Meat Board and then on with the transition to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association,” recalled Deven Scott, former NAMP executive director. “Both Marv and his wife, Janice, have a lifetime of involvement in community affairs, especially with Iowa State Univ. In October 2009, Marv and Janice pledged a gift of $1.5 million toward the construction of a new $7 million state-of-the-art agriculture pavilion for Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Speaking from a personal point of view, Marv was a very dear friend of mine who always stood ready to provide me with encouragement and advice,” Scott added. “Not only was he a gentleman, but also a gentle man. He gave so much to his community, ISU and to the meat industry, which he so dearly loved. There simply are not enough words to describe Marv's good deeds and accomplishments that benefitted so many people. He was a giant in the meat industry and his community and he will be sorely missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him, including family, friends and business associates everywhere. I will miss him dearly.”

Walter and his wife have two daughters, Allyson (David Sprague) Walter, Jewell, Iowa and Stacy (Bill) Woodward, of Ames. He is also survived by three grandsons, Rob Doud, Billy Woodward and Grant Woodward.; to step-grandchildren, Samantha Sprague and Jacob Sprague; a brother, Russell (Sharon) Walter, Norway, Iowa; sisters, Patricia (David) Jansma, Waco, Texas, and Kathy (Jim) Flemister, Plant City, Fla., as well as, several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held on Monday, June 6, from 3 to 7 pm at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 2210 Lincoln Way, Ames with a 7 pm vigil service. A mass of Christian burial will be 10:30 am Tuesday, June at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Ag Pavilion Project/ISU Foundation or to Bliss Cancer Center at McFarland Clinic, 1111 Duff Ave., Ames.

Online condolences may be made to www.grandonfuneralandcreamationcare.com.
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