Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Ecology Initiative

Our vision is of a "new generation" food and agricultural system that meets the challenges of the 21st century with more productive and profitable farms, ecologically resilient landscapes and healthy rural communities.

What we do: We support research, demonstration and outreach projects and research teams favoring the development and adoption of 'ecologically friendly' production systems.

FUNDING PHILOSOPHY: Our work generally falls in one of two categories: doing it better, or doing it differently. We prefer a combination of the two, researching how to do agriculture differently AND better. ‘Differently, and better’ is where we think sustainability starts. It begins to create the "new generation" in our vision statement. More about the initiative [PDF of powerpoint presentation/notes]

OF IncrEASING INTEREST are two topics: soil health and agricultural and ecological diversity.

The bottom line is Leopold's Land Ethic: We refer to the writings and observations of our namesake, Aldo Leopold, for both inspiration and arbitration! Learn more

Our competitive grant program:

Initiative leader: Jeri Neal, (515) 294-5610, wink@iastate.edu

people visiting research plotsResearch on strips

Research on a new conservation practice at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge continues to attract visitors and interest of others who want to try it on their land. Here's a new four-page publication for general audiences about the project.. Listen to a podcast about the project. More about the Leopold Center's support of this research team.

 

Latest News from this Initiative

September 23, 2014
AMES, Iowa -- The 14h Annual Iowa Organic Conference will be held Nov. 16-17 on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City, as a joint effort between Iowa State University and the UI Office of Sustainability. Producers and experts from across the country will share tips for transitioning into...

September 18, 2014
AMES, Iowa – New research suggests that conventional corn-soybean systems, managed with synthetic fertilizer alone, do not produce enough plant material to sustain soil organic matter levels, reducing crop yield in the long term.

July 9, 2014
Workshops featuring grazing consultant Jim Gerrish will be held in different locations across Iowa August 18-22.  Each day will include classroom discussions and pasture walks at local farms. Topics will include maintaining plan diversity to increase production and environmental benefits,...