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

March 14, 2019

Tagtow portraitAngie Tagtow, a registered and licensed dietitian with more than 25 years of experience in public health and food policy, will deliver the Shivvers Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. March 25, in the Campanile Room of the Iowa State Memorial Union.


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).


Of Interest

Are Cattle Really Wrecking the Planet?

Mark Rasmussen, director of the Leopold Center, gives his opinion in an Iowa Learning Farms webinar. View the webinar