Headshot of man in black shirt
February 16, 2024

Award-winning researcher, educator and author John Reganold, Regents Professor of Soil Science and Agroecology at the Washington State University, will present the 2024 Shivvers Lecture on March 18, at 7:30 p.m., in Room 2226 Bessey Hall, 2200 Osborn Drive, on the Iowa State University campus.

The Shivvers Memorial Lecture—focused on issues of sustainability, agriculture and the food system—has been presented by the LCSA at Iowa State University since 1969 in honor of John Shivvers, who farmed near Knoxville, Iowa, with support from the Shivvers Family.

Shorebirds in wetlands in farm landscape
August 18, 2023

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s invites you to review its new 2022 annual report, available online. 

July 20, 2023

AMES, Iowa — The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture requests nominations for the 2023 Spencer Award, which honors deserving Iowans working for a more environmentally sound agriculture. Nominations for the award are due by Aug. 25, 2023.

Young woman smiling, in black top with dark hair
March 21, 2023

AMES, Iowa — Author Hannah Lewis will present the 2023 Shivvers Memorial Lecture, Thursday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m., in the Iowa State University Memorial Union, room 3580. The event is free and open to the public.

Lewis, an Iowa State alumna, is the author of “Mini-Forest Revolution: Using the Miyawaki Method to Rapidly Rewild the World.” The 2022 book, with a foreword by well-known environmentalist Paul Hawken, promotes an international movement to restore biodiversity by transforming empty lots, backyards and degraded land into “mini-forests.”

View the recording from this event

Ames Reads Leopold event image
March 15, 2023

Join friends and neighbors, Sunday, March 19. 1:30-4:00 pm in the Farwell Auditorium at the Ames Public Library or online for this year’s Ames Reads Leopold event, with featured speaker Neil Hamilton, Former Director of the Drake Agricultural Law Center and Professor Emeritus of Law, will be a featured speaker. Additional readers will include local high school and Iowa State University students as well as community members.

Three men with coniferous tree.
December 02, 2022

A virtual field day will highlight saturated riparian forest buffer research at Iowa State University on Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. CST. The free event will feature a live discussion with Billy Beck, assistant professor and extension forestry specialist, Troy Heeren, agricultural specialist, Gabe Johnson, Ph.D. graduate research assistant in sustainable agriculture and agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Jonathan Notch, forestry undergraduate student. Attendees will have a chance to view the recently established saturated buffer forest buffer site funded by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Find more details and registration information at:

Young man with glasses outdoors standing in front of garden, field
September 22, 2022

Mark Quee on the Scattergood School
farm. Photo by Jennie Schmidt.

Monarch butterfly on blooming plant.
August 09, 2022

AMES, Iowa — The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s 2021 annual report, released this week, is available online to read or download at:

May 10, 2022

AMES, Iowa — The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is pleased to announce a request for nominations for the Spencer Award, which honors deserving Iowans working for a more environmentally sound agriculture.  The purpose of the Spencer Award is to recognize significant contributions to the advancement of ecological and economic practices that will make agriculture more sustainable and the family farm secure for the future. The Spencer family established the award in 2001 through an endowment, which will provide $2,000 in cash prize funding in 2022. Review the 2022 Spencer Award Nomination Form for additional details.

April 12, 2022

Join friends and neighbors at this year’s "Ames Reads Leopold" event on April 24, 2022, from 1:30-3:30 pm starting at the Hickory Shelter in Brookside Park.

headshot of Timothy A. Wise
March 03, 2022

AMES, Iowa — Author and agriculture policy researcher, Timothy A. Wise, presented the 2022 Shivvers Memorial Lecture, Eating Tomorrow: Climate Change and the Battle for the Future of Food, at 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 4, in the Sun Room of the Iowa State Memorial Union. He was also keynote speaker at the 2022 Sustainable Agriculture Symposium, sponsored by GPSA, on April 6. Find the recordings of both of Tim Wise's 2022 Iowa State presentations at the ISU Lectures website

Wise is the author of the 2019 book, “Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food.”

November 19, 2021

The public is invited to a special event in honor of the memory and legacy of Iowa conservation leader Paul W. Johnson. Presenters will include Senator Tom Harkin. 

Family, friends and colleagues of Paul W. Johnson (1941-2021) have come together to honor Paul and his work to advance a private land ethic as part of policy, practice, research and education. A private land ethic builds upon the work of Aldo Leopold and other environmentalists, with a specific focus upon the role of private lands directed to agriculture in supporting that ethic.

Register for the Paul W, Johnson Legacy Launch.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting.

Headshot of Stephen J. Dinsmore
June 18, 2021

Professor Stephen J. Dinsmore, chair of the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University, has been named interim director for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, effective July 1, 2021. He will take over when current director Mark Rasmussen retires June 30.

June 18, 2021

AMES, Iowa –  Iowa Learning Farms is “looking back to look ahead” through a webinar June 23 at noon that focuses on the history and progress of sustainability titled “Lessons Learned from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.” 

Read the related blog post by Iowa Learning Farms or listen to the webinar recording

Map of U.S. shows study locations in the Midwest Corn Belt.
June 15, 2021

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) has awarded a $2,044,214 grant to Iowa State University researchers led by associate professor Sotirios Archontoulis, agronomy, which will evaluate how maize breeding, field management and environment affect sustainable corn production. Additional support from partners including Iowa State University, Bayer Crop Science, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Purdue University and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center will bring the project to a total investment of $4,089,857. Read more

black cattle at automated feeder
June 01, 2021

 The automated C-Lock Super SmartFeed System arrived last year at the McNay Memorial Research Farm near Chariton in Lucas County and is being used to monitor cattle and calves’ feed intake in research trials. Support to purchase the feeder came from the Iowa Beef Council, the Illinois Beef Association Checkoff Division and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.  Read more

May 26, 2021

The Leopold Center's Advisory Board will meet June 2, 2020, starting at 10:00 a.m., 1493 297th Place, Woodward, Iowa. Minutes

LCSA Advisory Board Members List - 1987 to June 2021

shoreline with green algae in the water
April 15, 2021

In a blog for the Iowa Learning Farms and Conservation Learning Group blog, Mark Rasmussen discusses algae and water pollution. 

Woman taking water sample, cover photo, Story County Water Monitoring Report 2021-2030
April 05, 2021

AMES, Iowa — The Ames-based not-for-profit Prairie Rivers of Iowa along with staff from Story County and eight other organizations, including the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, have developed a first of its kind countywide comprehensive water quality monitoring plan for 2021 – 2

cover of Leopold Center 2020 annual report
February 26, 2021

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s 2020 annual report is now online. The 18-page report includes news of the Leopold Center's new conference table made from a historic tree, along with thoughts upon the retirement of Fred Kirschenmann, both from Fred and from Mark Honeyman, ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Associate Dean. The report also offers articles on Leopold Center-supported projects, research and students, and an update on Whiterock Conservancy, the center's long-time partner. 

Read or download the report.

Paul Johnson, seated, center, with LCSA Director Mark Rasmussen and Elaine Spencer.
February 18, 2021

Poster on The Role of Beef Cattle in Regenerative Agriculture
December 22, 2020

A new video on "The Role of Beef Cattle in Regenerative Agriculture," by Grace German, outlines the benefits of cattle raised on pasture and managed using regenerative farming practices.

November 11, 2020

The Leopold Center's Advisory Board will meet Nov. 18, 2020, starting at 9:00 a.m., online via Webex. Agenda.

Two men standing on either side of polished conference table
November 09, 2020

A new conference table has been delivered to its home in the office of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. The table may be new, but it has a notable past.


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