It's "A New Day" For Sustainable Agriculture In Iowa

It's "A New Day" For Sustainable Agriculture In Iowa

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture funds a variety of work in policy, ecology, marketing and food systems.

The annual report covering the events of fiscal year 2012 is now available from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture located at Iowa State University. This new 36-page publication showcases the wide variety of work done in the Center's research initiatives for policy, ecology, marketing and food systems, and cross-cutting (multidisciplinary) studies. Research, demonstration, outreach and education projects are part of the Center's competitive grants portfolio.

But there is much more in this "New Day" edition of the Center's annual report:

• Arrival of a new director for the Center sparks renewal of purpose.

NEW DAY: After two years without a permanent director, when the Leopold Center staff sometimes felt betwixt and between, the second search process yielded a new leader. Mark Rasmussen, a microbiologist with an extensive professional career in ruminant animal nutrition studies, was named the Center's director in January 2012. Read the Center's annual report for a look at his view of what's ahead for Iowa agriculture.

• The Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture was given jointly to a farmer and a researcher.

• Documentary on dirt—Symphony of the Soil—debuts in Ames.

• Iowa Learning Farms and Leopold Center send educational (and fun) Conservation Stations across the state on educational jaunts.

• Revamped website was launched here.

• Graduate students in ISU's Sustainable Agriculture Program studied bugs, algae and small-scale farming with Center support.

In addition, there are updates on a variety of ongoing programs to support the STRIPS project, investigate carbon cycling, and promote more sustainable farm leasing arrangements. The Center continues to provide funding for Iowa State's long-running organic crop trials and for low-external input crop production research exploring the potential for innovative crop rotations.

Copies of the Leopold Center's FY2012 annual report are available by calling (515) 294-3911. Or you can view the report the Leopold Center website.   

The Leopold Center was established by the Iowa Legislature as part of the Iowa Groundwater Protection Act of 1987. Its legislatively mandated goals are to identify and reduce negative environmental and socio-economic impacts of agricultural practices, contribute to the development of profitable farming systems that conserve natural resources, and cooperate with Iowa State University Extension to inform the public of new findings.

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