Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Pubs & Papers

Research can take many forms and lead to many different outcomes. The ultimate goal is sustainability – for the landscape, Iowa’s people and natural resources. Below is a list of intermediate outcomes of Leopold Center-supported projects, partnerships and activities. Included are extension publications, in-house research projects, informative presentations and other reports – all with some link to the Leopold Center.

All Pubs & Papers are PDFs, which require a free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click on the image or title to view the PDF.

Leopold Center Document These materials were written, reviewed or presented by Leopold Center staff. All other materials are related or based on projects supported by the Leopold Center.

Pub & Papers here are sorted by date with the newest at the top. You can filter the list by selecting a topic area below and clicking "Apply." To see all again you can select "<Any>" as the topic, or click here. There is also an alphabetical listing available.

This toolkit offers the business and financial elements of starting and coordinating a local foods organization in Iowa. It is applicable to farmers markets, advocacy groups, coalitions and multi-stakeholder groups, food hubs, educational and civic groups, food policy councils, farmer cooperatives and others. It is divided into three parts: A - Defining Your Organization's Focus and Leadership, B - Organizational Structure, and C - Funding Your Local Food Organization. These materials also are available at the ISU Extension Store (look for LF0008A, LF0008B and LF0008C).

October 2015
Leopold Center Document Iowa Local Food Organizational Toolkit: Structure, Management and Finance
Savanna Lyons, Graduate Research Assistant, and Alice Topaloff, ISU Extension and Outreach Local Foods Team

This is a step-by-step tutorial to accounting software that food hub managers can use when they need to have product traceability. It is based on the trademarked software, Quick Books Professional 2015, because it is the lowest-cost version that tracks inventory and purchase orders. This guide uses experience of the Iowa Food Hub, an aggregator-distributor based in northeast Iowa.

October 2015
Leopold Center Document Using Accounting Software for Food Hubs: Processing Traceable Orders
Savanna Lyons, Graduate Research Assistant, ISU Extension and Outreach

This summarizes information about 94 projects related to nutrient management and supported by the Leopold Center from 1988 through 2015. Titles, key words, investigators and abstracts are included for each project and issue team. More about the Leopold Center's work to manage nutrients.

September 2015
Leopold Center Document Nutrient Management: Completed Leopold Center Grants 1988-2015
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

This two-page color fact sheet discusses estimated costs to install, establish and maintain prairie conservation strips on row-cropped farms. The information is adapted from research conducted by the STRIPs Research Team at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. The estimates (in 2015 dollars) also take into account annual opportunity costs of foregone rent or revenue loss associated with land converted to perennial prairie.

August 2015
Leopold Center Document The Cost of Prairie Conservation Strips
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

People interested in hosting a farmer training program (incubator or other) will find the resources in this publication useful to teach a Beginning Farmer Training program. The curriculum in this manual is divided into three parts: production practices, post-harvest handling, and business planning/basic finances. Each module is organized by learning objectives and includes narrative, hands-on activities, and links to worksheets and additional resources. This also also can be found at the ISU Extension Store (ID is LF-0006).

July 2015
Leopold Center Document A Resource Guide for Beginning Farmers
Alice Topoloff and ISU Extension and Outreach local foods team

The Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit booklet is a resource for communities to learn about Agricultural Urbanism and 19 tactics used to develop local food systems. Goals, benefits, outcomes and best management practices are provided for each tactic. Information is based on Iowa communities that have partnered in the Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit design process funded by two Leopold Center grants. This publication also can be found in the ISU Extension Store (ID is LF-0007).

July 2015
Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit
Courtney Long, ISU Community Design Lab

For food hubs, or businesses that aggregate and distribute local food, limited funds can be a barrier to growth. This publication explains the idea of cash flow and how food hub managers can use it to their advantage, drawing on the real-world experiences of the Iowa Food Hub, which collaborated with the Leopold Center and ISU Extension and Outreach to compile this information. Also available at the ISU Extension Store. More about food hubs.

June 2015
Leopold Center Document Local Food System Toolkit #2: Managing Cash Flow for a Low-Capital Food Hub Start-up
Nick McCann, Savanna Lyons and Georgeanne Artz

This 16-page guide offers brief answers to common questions about the new prairie strips conservation practice that uses strategically-placed native prairie plantings in crop fields. The practice was developed and tested by the STRIPS (Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips) Research Team at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. More about the STRIPS Research Team.

May 2015
Leopold Center Document Prairie Strips on My Land: Frequently Asked Questions
Mary Harris, ISU Natural Resource Ecology and Management, and Jeri Neal, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

This directory lists 88 community supported agriculture (CSA) enterprises serving Iowa, shown by county and the 20 regions within ISU Extension and Outreach. The directory will be updated annually; to provide additions and modifications, please visit www.leopold.iastate.edu/csa. This publication also can be found at the ISU Extension Online Store.

April 2015
Leopold Center Document Iowa CSA Farms
Leopold Center and ISU Extension and Outreach PM 1693

This 25-page report is from the first coordinated study of food hub development in Iowa. Two surveys of food hub managers and local food coordinators identified 31 food hubs or centers of food hub-related activity that serve Iowa markets. Work was funded by a grant from Ag Ventures Alliance and the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program with support from the Leopold Center. Or read a two-page summary of findings [PDF]. Also, download the recommendations report on the next steps for strategically developing Iowa Food Hubs here [PDF]. Read a news release and newsletter article about this report. More about food hubs on this page.

February 2015
Leopold Center Document Food Hub Development in Iowa
Arlene Enderton and Corry Bregendahl, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture