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The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture (LCSA) was established by the Iowa Legislature as part of the Iowa Groundwater Protection Act of 1987. Its mission is to identify and reduce negative environmental and socio-economic impacts of agricultural practices, contribute to the development of profitable farming systems that conserve natural resources, and cooperate with Iowa State University Extension to inform the public of new findings.
The Leopold Center’s annual competitive grants program consists of two main categories:
For the LCSA RFP, these two main categories are divided into 10 subject portals (long-standing core interests) and five specific focus areas (varied by year). The LCSA will give priority to pre-proposals whose outcomes contribute to increased resilience on Iowa landscapes and demonstrate a systems approach to the identified problem or situation rather than investigating single-tactic solutions. Innovative research and project ideas are highly encouraged. Projects may be one to three years duration.
The Center encourages pre-proposals in these areas:
Who may submit a pre-proposal? Investigators representing any Iowa nonprofit organization, agency, and/or educational institution (i.e., soil and water conservation districts, schools and colleges, and regional development groups). Farmers, landowners, and farm-based businesses cannot apply independently, but are encouraged to partner with an eligible investigator in the pre-proposal process.
What to include in your pre-proposal? Please refer to the subject portal section (above) to find the appropriate fit for your pre-proposal. Prepare a two- or three-page concept paper with these required elements. (Note that letters of support are not a consideration at this pre-proposal stage.)
What criteria are used to assess each pre-proposal?
Sustainability/resilience. How does the project contribute to increased agricultural sustainability and/or increased resilience* on Iowa landscapes? How will this project help farms adapt to accelerating climate change?
*Resilience is the ability of a system to absorb a disturbance and yet retain its structure and function (Walker and Salt 2006).
Who should receive your pre-proposal? Based on your assessment of the subject portals and this year’s focus areas, please submit your pre-proposal to the appropriate manager (listed with each portal) and CC a copy to the Leopold Center director, Mark Rasmussen:
Craig Chase, 515-294-1854, email@example.com, Subject line: LCSA 2016 RFP; CC email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Malcolm Robertson, 515-294-1166, email@example.com, Subject line: LCSA 2016 RFP; CC email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Adams, 515-294-5832, email@example.com, Subject line: LCSA 2016 RFP; CC email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Rasmussen, 515-294-3711, email@example.com, Subject line: LCSA 2016 RFP
How to submit? An electronic copy (sent via e-mail or delivered on a CD) or one hard copy must be received by 5 p.m., July 7, 2015. No faxes, please. The electronic version should be a .doc, .docx, .txt file or PDF contained or attached with the e-mail. Be sure to combine all elements of your pre-proposal into one document. Send your copy to the appropriate manager listed in this RFP, who will acknowledge receipt of your pre-proposal. Also, CC the Leopold director with your submission.
Note to previous Leopold Center grantees: If you have a final report pending for a previously completed grant, it must be approved before we can consider a new pre-proposal from you. Please check with the appropriate manager if you have questions.
What happens after submission? Pre-proposals will be screened for adherence to requirements found in this RFP as well as economic, environmental, community/social sustainability and fit with the Leopold Center mission priorities. An invitation to submit a full proposal will be based upon review of all pre-proposals by the Leopold Center Advisory Board and staff. The Center will notify all applicants in September as to whether they will be invited to submit a full proposal. Full proposals will be due October 30 and funding decisions made by early January.
March 1, 2016