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 13, 2019

report coverThe center marked "a year of introspection and re-evaluation" in 2018, according to Director Mark Rasmussen. Its activities and accomplishments are detailed in this annual report (12MB PDF).


February 6, 2019

Pre-registrations are due Feb. 15 for a series of Cow Systems meetings led by the Iowa Beef Center. The Leopold Center is a sponsor of the meetings that begin Feb. 20 at five locations. More


Of Interest

The Leopold Center has supported the Nahant Marsh Education Center, which is holding its 2019 Oberholtzer Awards ceremony Feb. 23. The event will recognize champions of conservation from the Quad Cities. It is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S Gaines St., Davenport, IA 52802. More

The Leopold Center sends condolences to family and friends of John Miller, a retired Cedar Falls area farmer who was one of the original farmer members of the center’s advisory board. Miller died Jan. 21 at the age of 81. He made “conservation practices a priority on his farm implementing the usage of waterways, terraces and tiling,” according to his obituary in the Waterloo Courier. In 1990, Miller spoke at the center’s first conference about the economic benefits of sustainable agriculture to farmers in Butler County. More