Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Working Groups & Research Teams

Many Leopold Center-supported projects are organized as either a working group or research team. A working group brings together stakeholders from different groups and/or backgrounds to collaborate on a common issue or need. Many working groups are organized as a community of practice that uses collective knowledge and expertise to explore unique solutions. A research team brings together scientists from different fields to work on a specific research question or set of closely related questions.

See information about previous working groups and research teams supported by the Leopold Center.

The Biomass Partnership Project (BPP) is planning and developing biorenewable fuel for the University of Iowa Main Power Plant, while seeking to improve environmental performance of Iowa lands and stimulate the local rural economy.
This group, initiated in 2011 as part of the Leopold Center's Policy Initiative, was established to increase discussion, networking and to facilitate additional research regarding the interplay of land tenure arrangements, public policy and the sustainability and resiliency of Iowa's agricultural system.
The purpose of this group is to provide an organization for advancing the science, practice and adoption of agroforestry by landowners and natural resource managers in the Midwest region of the U.S. The Leopold Center is among the founding partners of this group.
Green Lands, Blue Waters Partnership is a long-term comprehensive effort whose mission is to support development of, and transition to, a new generation of agricultural systems in the Mississippi River Basin that integrate more perennial plants and other continuous living cover into the agricultural landscape.
The Iowa Cover Crops Working Group is part of the Midwest Cover Crops Council, which is affiliated with the Green Lands, Blue Waters consortium. The mission of the MCCC is to significantly increase the amount of continuous living cover on the Upper Midwestern agricultural landscape.
This team of researchers, educators and extension specialists are conducting STRIPs, Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairies. They are conducting much of their work at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge on plots set up in 2008 as part of a Leopold Center competitive grant.
This research team explores approaches to the restoration of native grasslands and associated biodiversity within a working landscape. The target is a system based on grazing and recreational land use that is both ecologically and economically viable, as well as socially acceptable.
This interdisciplinary research team, begun in 2002, studies the agronomic, ecological and economic performance of two-, three- and four-year cropping systems. Adding small grains and forages into the conventional corn-soybean rotation can reduce requirements for purchased inputs and fossil fuels.
This group, initiated in 2010 as part of a Leopold Center competitive grant, is a statewide network of food and nutrition assistance program providers and health professionals focused on advancing regionally–based food systems that ameliorates hunger and improves the health of Iowans by increasing access to fresh and nutritious food. It now serves as a subunit within the Iowa Food Systems Council.
This group supports research, education and implementation of a variety of energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy practices from on-farm resources to meet the needs of Iowa’s small and mid-sized farms. It began in 2009 as part of a competitive Leopold Center grant to the Center for Energy & Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa, which coordinates the group's activities.
This group is comprised of geographically-based practitioners and community leaders with a goal to increase the investment in and support for local and regional food businesses in Iowa. There are 15 local groups that participate and jointly manage this group. The group was convened in 2003 by the Leopold Center Marketing and Food Systems Initiative.
The Hoop Group, supported by the Leopold Center from 1997-2002, compared hoop structures to conventional facilities for swine production, beef cattle production and other livestock. Mark Honeyman and James Kliebenstein from Iowa State University led the group. Special projects have continued with additional funds.
LTAR began in 1998 to study side-by-side comparisons of organic and conventional agriculture at ISU's Neely-Kinyon Research Farm near Greenfield. The research evaluates alternatives to the conventional corn-soybean rotation. The Leopold Center funded the group from 1998-2002; research continues with additional grant funding.
The Agroecology Research Team set up the Bear Creek Watershed Demonstration Project, a highly successful, award-winning program that worked with landowners to install riparian buffers to mitigate erosion, reduce nitrate runoff and improve wildlife habitat. The Leopold Center supported this team from 1991 to 2002; research continues on special projects with additional funds.