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

September 10, 2019

AMES, Iowa – Junior and senior undergraduates at Iowa four-year colleges and universities are invited to submit proposals to a new sustainability scholarship program sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.  


August 21, 2019

The Leopold Center, with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, supports research into cover crops that protect soil and water quality. But a recent Iowa State study found they also offer valuable livestock feed. Iowa-based information assesses the value and viability of cover crop feedstock for Iowa’s cattle industry, which represents an estimated $4 to $6 billion of economic activity in the state. More


Of Interest

The story, Iowa chestnut growers combine past and future for new crop on KGLO News.com, Sept. 5, 2019, features comments by LCSA Director Mark Rasmussen and Jeff Jensen, president of the Iowa Nut Growers Association

A story in Feedstuffs online highlighted findings of a Iowa Beef Center study comparing sustainable cattle production systems, a project originally funded by the center.

Farm, Food and Enterprise Development is the new name for extension's former Local Foods and Value Added Agriculture programs, which arose out of a Leopold Center program. Program manager Craig Chase and staff are housed at the ISU Research Park.