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

December 12, 2018

The Leopold Center's Advisory Board developed a mission statement to provide a new direction after state funding was eliminated in 2017. Director Mark Rasmussen consulted with an external committee, consisting of academic professionals familiar with the center's work and state agricultural needs, to revise the mission statement. Leopold Mission Statement


November 28, 2018

The Leopold Center Advisory Board will meet at 10 a.m. Dec. 5 in the Ensminger Room, 1204 Kildee Hall, 806 Stange Rd. on the Iowa State University campus. Advisory Board agenda


Of Interest

Cover crops and manure. An article in the May 2018 newsletter of the Allamakee County Soil and Water Conservation District highlights a soil health project supported by the Leopold Center. Read more

'Leopold Center Still Working for Iowa Farmers': An op-ed written by Daniel E. Lee, the Marian Taft Cannon Professor in the Humanities and director of the Augustana Center for the Study of Ethics, Augustana College, appeared in the May 3 edition of the Rock Island Dispatch-Argus. Read more