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The Leopold Center is a research and education center on the campus of Iowa State University created to identify and reduce negative environmental and social impacts of farming and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources. The Center's work is focused in these initiatives - ecological systems research, marketing and food systems research, policy research and cross-cutting research that bridges all areas (water, energy, soil and alternative farming systems).
The Leopold Center is a strong supporter of Iowa State's Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture (GPSA), which hosted its 11th Annual Spring Symposium April 22 on the ISU campus. Keynote speaker Joshua Farley from the University of Vermont talked about his ecological economics work in Brazil, followed by a poster session featuring GPSA student research. A number of the posters related to projects supported by Leopold Center research grants. More photos on Facebook
Above, Gabrielle Roesch-McNally, a Ph.D. candidate in Natural Resource Ecology and Management, listens to ideas posed by ISU assistant professor Ajay Nair, who works with produce growers to use cover crops in their operations. Last year Roesch-McNally conducted in-depth focus groups with Iowa grain farmers about cover crops. She found that those most willing to try cover crops approached their farms as a system, understood the benefits to soil health, and also had livestock. She said numerous challenges (lack of infrastructure, cost and timing of management) need to be addressed before there is widespread cover crop use in the state. Learn more about cover crops here.
April 26 to May 3 is National Soil and Water Conservation Week with the theme, "Local Heroes: Your Hardworking Pollinators." Read more.