Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University was created in 1987 at part of the Iowa Groundwater Protection Act. The goals of the Center have been to identify and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources as well as reducing negative environmental and social impacts. 

The Center is named for Aldo Leopold (1887-1948), a native of Burlington, Iowa, known internationally as a conservationist, ecologist, and educator. He saw the need for development of a land ethic, outlined in his 1949 book of essays, A Sand County Almanac.

Mark Rasmussen is the Leopold Center director.  A 17-member Advisory Board advises the director on policies, budget and program review.

 Completed Grants

Leopold Center News

July 17, 2017

The Drake University Agricultural Law Center, in cooperation with Farmland Stewardship Solutions, the Iowa Water Center, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and The Nature Conservancy is hosting a state-wide conference to help landowners share their experiences and learn how to protect their land, care for the soil and water, and develop the value of their farmland.


May 15, 2017

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed into legislation on May 12, 2017, Senate File 510, a bill that included language to “eliminate the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.” However, he vetoed this segment of the bill, sparing it from elimination. Although the Leopold Center remains, Gov. Branstad approved moving its funding to the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University.

The Leopold Center, named in honor of renowned Iowa-born naturalist Aldo Leopold, was created as part of the 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection Act, also signed by Governor Branstad.


April 7, 2017

AMES, Iowa— David D. Myrold, professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Science at Oregon State University, is the guest speaker for the 2017 William H. Pierre Memorial Lecture in Soil Science at Iowa State University (ISU).


March 7, 2017

AMES, Iowa — Three former Iowa legislators recall the 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection Act and establishment of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture for the Shivvers Memorial Lecture. “The Leopold Center at 30 and beyond” is the theme of this year’s lecture with guest speakers Paul Johnson, Ralph Rosenberg, and David Osterberg. They will share their thoughts on the past, present and future as the Center commemorates its 30th anniversary this year.


February 7, 2017

AMES, Iowa – The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture has awarded grants for 21 new research and demonstration projects to begin this year. The grants will aid in the advancement of sustainable agriculture while protecting Iowa’s soil and water and help Iowa citizens increase the availability of locally grown foods. The new grants, totaling $1.4 million, are awarded through the Leopold Center’s four research initiatives: Ecology, Marketing and Food Systems, Policy, and Cross-Cutting.


Of Interest

 

Field days a'plenty: Check out Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Day Guide