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

April 16, 2015
AMES, Iowa – Iowa-born conservationist Aldo Leopold developed his famous Land Ethic, which had as its foundation one of Iowa’s richest resources, the soil. In the same spirit, Mark Rasmussen, director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, encourages Iowans to follow advice...

March 31, 2015
AMES, Iowa – Summaries of five recently completed research projects are now available from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. Topics included the effects of biochar and nitrogen applications on perennial plant ecosystems, mob grazing of beef cattle,...

February 24, 2015
AMES, Iowa –  The eighth annual “Ames Reads Leopold” event will celebrate the conservation legacy of Iowa native Aldo Leopold with a screening of the Emmy award winning documentary Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time and with readings that characterize...