Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University was created in 1987 as part of the Iowa Groundwater Protection Act. The goals of the Center have been to identify and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources as well as reducing negative environmental and social impacts. 

The Center is named for Aldo Leopold (1887-1948), a native of Burlington, Iowa, known internationally as a conservationist, ecologist, and educator. He saw the need for development of a land ethic, outlined in his 1949 book of essays, A Sand County Almanac.

Mark Rasmussen is the Leopold Center director.  A 17-member Advisory Board advises the director on policies, budget and program review.

 Completed Grants

Leopold Center News

February 24, 2020

The Special Collections and University Archives Department announced that records for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture from 1977-2018 have been processed and are open to researchers. The collection contains the Leopold Center's administrative records, including grant applications and reports from the center's first three decades. The Leopold Center also maintains an online archive of its ongoing work, along with past annual reports, research reports and other materials in the Iowa State University Digital Repository.

February 6, 2020

During an interview with Civil Eats at the Stone Barns Center's 2019 Young Farmers Conference in December, LCSA Distinguished Fellow Fred Kirshchenmann discussed hopes and fears related to the future of agriculture -- and farmers and authors from whom he gains inspiration.

January 21, 2020

Proposals from five undergraduates representing Iowa State University, Drake University, Grinnell College and the University of Northern Iowa have been awarded funding in the first round of a new scholarship program supported by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University.

December 18, 2019

Junior and senior undergraduates at Iowa four-year colleges and universities are invited to submit proposals to apply for the second round of the sustainability scholarship program sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.

Of Interest

In the article, "Leopold Center Helping Iowa," in Wallace's Farmer, Dec. 20, 2019, LCSA Director Mark Rasmussen discusses current activities of the center and ongoing work to fulfill its mission. 

New research shows integrated organic crop and livestock production systems can conform to food safety standards. In-kind support from the Leopold Center provided student assistance for the research, led by Kathleen Delate, professor of horticulture and agronomy at Iowa State, and Angela Shaw, associate professor of food science and huan nutrition at ISU. 

Findings of LCSA-supported research on the "effect of social cohesion and social networks on perceptions of food availability among low-income consumers" are published in the "Journal of Business Research" January 2020 issue, by Priyanka Jayashankara, assistant adjunct professor in Iowa State's Ivy College of Business and the Seed Science Center, and Sekar Raj, chair of the Ivy College of Business Department of Marketing.   

A story on Iowa chestnut growers on KGLO News.com, in September 2019, featured comments by LCSA Director Mark Rasmussen and Jeff Jensen, president of the Iowa Nut Growers Association