Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Useful Links

Major Partners  -  Iowa Resources  -  Resources with Iowa State University  -  Sustainable Ag Resources  - ISU Live Green!

Major partnersbean seedlings

Agriculture of the Middle - This national initiative seeks to renew America's disappearing mid-sized farms. Leopold Center Distinguished Fellow Fred Kirschenmann was among the organizers in 2003.
The group also helped form The Food Commons, designed to finance and assist development of regional food systems.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences - The Leopold Center is based at Iowa State University and works with numerous faculty in this College.

Henry A. Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture - Established in 1997 to promote the philosophical and practical ideas of Iowa farmer and politician Henry A. Wallace. This office also hosts the Pesek Colloquium on Sustainable Agriculture which is held annually with support from the Leopold Center.

Iowa Learning Farms - This education and outreach project began in 2004 to improve Iowa's water quality by promoting active learning and increased use of conservation practices among Iowans who operate midsized to large farms.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach - The Leopold Center works with ISU Extension to report our findings.

ISU Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture - Interdisciplinary M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in sustainable agriculture.

Iowa Water Center - Part of a nationwide network of university-based water centers created to encourage interdisciplinary water research and the outreach needed to ensure research results are applied to real world problems.

Practical Farmers of Iowa - This organization supports healthy foods, diverse farms and vibrant communities. Since 1999 the Leopold Center has supported their on-farm research demonstrations and events.

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture - A non-profit farm and education center located 25 miles north of Manhattan in New York. Fred Kirschenmann splits his time as Stone Barns president and Leopold Center Distinguished Fellow.

Whiterock Conservancy - The Leopold Center is one of the supporting organizations for the property located near Coon Rapids. 

Women, Land and Legacy - This outreach project helps empower Iowa women working in agriculture to act on their landscape and within their communities.

Also see our page of various working groups and research teams, where partnership is central to their efforts.


Iowa resourceslamb

Agricultural Marketing Resource Center - This is a national resource center for value added products based at Iowa State University.

Center for Energy & Environmental Education - Based at the University of Northern Iowa, CEEE hosts the Northern Iowa Food and Farm Partnership and other sustainable programs.

Center for Prairie Studies - Located at Grinnell College, this interdisciplinary program seeks to increase awareness, appreciation and understanding of the North American Prairie.

Farmer Veteran Coalition of Iowa - This group was formed to help veterans succeed in Iowa agriculture by connecting them to resources and opportunities.

Iowa Conservation Education Coalition - Formed in 1958, this organization empowers Iowa's formal and nonformal educators to promote environmental literacy in Iowa.

Iowa Environmental Council - This is a nonprofit alliance of organizations and individuals working together to protect Iowa's natural environment.

Iowa Farm to School - This website shares what's happening at the Farm to School chapters in Iowa.

Iowa - Natural Resources Conservation Service - NRCS is a program of the USDA that provides leadership and technical assistance to help people conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment.

Iowa Organic Association - An Iowa-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing organic opportunities through education, research, promotion and market development and policy.

Iowa Place-Based Foods - Learn the stories behind several Iowa food brands. The website was created as part of a Leopold Center grant project.

Iowa SARE - State-level information about the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program

National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment - A federal laboratory on the ISU campus that researches soil, water, air and agroecosystems.

Plant. Grow. Fly. - The Leopold Center is one of more than 30 partners encouraging others to plant pollinator habitat through the Blank Park Zoo program.

Southern Iowa Oak Savanna Alliance - NGO formed to preserve and conserve Iowa’s oak savanna, oak woodland and prairie ecosystem

Tallgrass Prairie Center - At the University of Northern Iowa, this restores native vegetation for the benefit of society and environment through research, education, and technology. TPC maintains the Plant Iowa Native website.

USGS Iowa Water Science Center - Information and real-time data about streamflow, groundwater, floods, precipitation, water quality and more.

Wallace Centers of Iowa -- Two historic sites for Henry Wallace family, in Des Moines and Orient, operate educational programs with a goal to build community and provide services related to "civility and sustainable agriculture."

Women Caring for the Land -- This is a program designed for women landowners who are interested in learning more about conservation. The website also serves as a virtual learning circle where women landowners and conservation experts can create a profile, post photos and links, and share their experiences and resources.

Women, Food and Agriculture Network - A community of women interested in food systems, sustainable communities, and environmental integrity. 


Resources associated with Iowa State University

Beginning Farmer Center  -  Created by the Iowa Legislature in 1994 to match beginning farmers with existing farmers who want to transition their farm businesses to the next generation.

Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods - CSRL in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences envisions a developing world in which rural people have access to sufficient food, sustainable incomes, good health and wellbeing.

Egg Industry Center - This center facilitates research and learning for egg producers, processors and consumers through national and international collaboration.

Food Safety - A website with information for consumers, producers and processors

Iowa Beef Center - This center supports the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry

Iowa Nutrient Research Center - Established in 2013 as part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy

IowaProduce.org - A website for commercial fruit and vegetable growers

Iowa Pork Industry Center - This center coordinates efforts to help make Iowa hog operations efficient and profitable

IowaVegetables - A blog on vegetable production for researchers, students, growers, extension staff, and folks interested in vegetable production.

ISU Small Farm Sustainability Program - ISU Extension and Outreach website for Iowans who live on small farms or acreages.

ISU Student Organic Farm - A campus club that operates a four-acre organic farm at ISU Horticulture Station and sells their harvest on campus

ISU Sustainable Vegetable Production Lab - This website was developed by the Department of Horticulture for information on commercial vegetable production and research, supported from a Leopold Center project

ISU Value Added Agriculture - This Extension and Outreach program provides science-based information to help establish or expand agricultural-related businesses in Iowa.

Visit Iowa Farms - A guide to educational agricultural experiences in Iowa.


Sustainable agriculture resourcespreying mantis

ATTRA, National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - The National Center for Appropriate Technology hosts this information service for sustainable agriculture resources.

Center for Rural Affairs - A national organization that advocates for policies that support rural communities, including sustainable agriculture practices. 

Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) - This research center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences was created in 1989 to learn how integrated farming systems can contribute to environmental, economic, social and intergenerational sustainability.

Farmer Veteran Coalition - Based in Davis, California, this group focuses in military transition and veteran employment in agriculture

Green Lands Blue Waters - A consortium of scientists, policy experts, farmers and community organizers who embrace perennial solutions for agricultural production and land use including cover crops, agroforestry, biofuel, perennial forages for livestock and perennial grains.

Growing Veterans - This NGO provides support for veterans and connections to opportunities in sustainable agriculture.

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy - Promotes resilient family farms, rural communities and ecosystems around the world through research, education and advocacy.

International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development - A four-year-assessment involving more than 400 scientists who summarized the state of global agriculture, its history and its future for the United Nations and the World Bank (see findings by topics here)

Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops - Located in the Kansas State University Department Biological and Agricultural Engineering, this center was created in 2000 to support small, family farms in Kansas.

Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture - This  non-profit educational foundation is located on the historic Kerr Ranch in southeastern Oklahoma.

Land Stewardship Project - The mission of this Minnesota organization is to foster an ethic of stewardship for farmland, promote sustainable agriculture and develop sustainable communities.

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute - A nonprofit Wisconsin institute that seeks to cultivate the ecological, social, economic and spirtual vitality of farming systems.

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) - MOSES serves farmers striving to produce high-quality, healthful food with organic and sustainable techniques.

Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA) - Housed on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, MISA brings together the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota, the Sustainers' Coalition and University of Minnesota Extension to develop and promote sustainable agriculture in Minnesota and beyond.

MOSES Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program - A program of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service that pairs experienced and transitioning organic farmers.

Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society - This is a grassroots member organization that supports rural communities and a healthy environment.

National Good Food Network - A program of Wallace Center at Winrock International that offers communication and resources for scaling up regional and local food systems. The program is committed to building a food system that offers healthy, green, fair, affordable food so that more producers benefit, more communities have access to good food, and a greater number of acres are managed through sustainable practices.

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - The National Center for Appropriate Technology hosts this information service for sustainable agriculture resources (also known as ATTRA). They also host a discussion forum, Farmer Knows Best  and publish a useful guide to federal resources in sustainable agriculture and conservation, Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition - A coalition of individuals and farm, food, rural, religious and conservation groups organized in 1988.

New Farmer Apprentice Program - A seven-month training program for aspiring farmers at the University of Vermont.

Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society - A grassroots organization based in North Dakota committed to the development of a sustainable society.

Organic Farming Research Foundation - Sponsors research in North America that will lead to the improvement and adoption of organic farming practices through a competitive grant program.

Rural Advantage - This nonprofit corporation based in Fairmont, Minnesota, promotes connections between agriculture, the environment and rural communities in order to improve ecological health, economic viability and rural vitality. This group also works to develop alternative crops through its Third Crop Initiatve.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) North Central Region - A USDA initiative formed in 1988 that sponsors competitive grants for sustainable agriculture research and education. North Central Region SARE serves 12 states in America's heartland.

Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota - This group supports the development and enhancement of sustainable farming systems through farmer-to-farmer networking, innovation, demonstration, and education.

The Land Institute - A nonprofit organization researching ways to develop an agricultural system that has the stability of prairie with the yield of annual crops.

The Land Connection - A nonprofit organization that preserves farmland from development, offers farming training and connects consumers with locally grown produce through its Farm Direct program.

USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass - This online resource includes stories, pictures and videos about USDA's support for local and regional food systems in all 50 states.

USDA-SARE Farm to Table: Building Local and Regional Food Systems - This new resource page, set up in 2014, outlines information available from the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program on local foods.

USDA Agricultural Research Service - The in-house research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA Climate Hubs Website - A portal for farmers, ranchers, forest landowners and others to find useful, practical information for coping with challenges caused by a changing climate including drought, fire risks, pests, diseases, climate variability and heat stress.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service - Works with landowners on private lands for conservation.

USDA National Agricultural Library - This website advances access to global information on agriculture, and includes information centers about alternative farming systems, food, invasive species, rural communities and water quality.

USDA National Organic Program - A USDA program that develops, implements, and administers national production, handling, and labeling standards. The USDA's Organic Agriculture Web Resource Center brings all resources together to a central website.

USDA Small and Mid-Sized Farmer Programs - This page, set up in 2014, brings together all USDA programs that help small and mid-sized farmers.

USDA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers -- This page, set up in 2014, bring together all USDA programs that help beginning farmers and ranchers.

Virtual Grange - An online information hub for beginning farmers operated by the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Winrock International - A nonprofit organization that works with people around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources.