New Head Of Leopold Center At ISU

New Head Of Leopold Center At ISU

Iowa State University names a microbiologist from FDA as new director to lead the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

A microbiologist with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been named the next director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. Mark Rasmussen, supervisory microbiologist and director of the Division of Animal and Food Microbiology at the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine in Laurel, Maryland, will begin work no later than June 1.

"Dr. Rasmussen brings to us a broad-based background and exceptional scientific, agricultural and administrative strengths that will provide strong leadership for the Leopold Center and for Iowa agriculture," says Gregory Geoffroy, president of Iowa State University.

Mark Rasmussen has been named the next director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.

At the FDA, Rasmussen has provided technical guidance and research support for regulatory decisions on drugs, feed additives and contaminants in animal feeds. He also worked 18 years as a scientist and research leader at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Disease Center in Ames, including service as a collaborating faculty member in Iowa State University's animal science and biomedical sciences departments. He has held research positions in private companies and has farmed full-time in Nebraska.

Experience includes research leader at USDA National Animal Disease Center at Ames

Rasmussen was raised on a farm in northeastern Nebraska. He earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture and a master's degree in animal science from the University of Nebraska, a Ph.D. in dairy science from the University of Illinois and a master of business administration degree from Iowa State University.

His scientific expertise includes areas of microbiology, food safety, animal health, ruminant nutrition, veterinary medicine and antibiotic resistance. He holds two patents related to his research, including food safety technology used on an estimated 20 percent of the beef carcasses marketed in the United States.

For more about Rasmussen and to view his public presentation last month at ISU, go to

Iowa State University's Leopold Center for Sustainable Ag is a research and education center with statewide programs to develop sustainable agricultural practices that are both profitable and conserve natural resources. The center is named for Aldo Leopold, a Burlington, Iowa, native known internationally as a conservationist, ecologist and educator. The center was established under Iowa's Groundwater Protection Act of 1987 with a three-fold mission: to conduct research to identify and reduce negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts of agricultural practices; to research and assist in developing alternative practices consistent with a sustainable agriculture; and to work with ISU Extension to inform the agricultural community and the public of its findings.

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