The Iowa Legislature recently released a bill that would shut down the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.
The Leopold Center sponsors research and extension education on key issues in agriculture for Iowa and the nation. The center serves as the catalyst to research that eventually makes its way into everyday practice -- by farmers, businesses, and communities.
Over the past 30 years, the center has earned a national reputation for exploring innovative, profitable approaches to farming that conserve natural resources and stimulate local economies. Given these difficult times of low commodity prices, funding for the Leopold Center is crucial to the economic health of the state.
The Leopold Center has sponsored the work of Iowans concerned about their natural resources through more than 600 research projects on topics spanning water quality, nutrient management, soil health,livestock grazing, cover crops, andlocal food systems development.
The proposed shut down of the Leopold Center will remove the center's ability to fund research in these fields. Additionally, grants funded by the center in the last four years brought in nearly $20 million in added support (leveraging) for Iowa researchers and educators. Eliminating the Leopold Center would mean a loss of roughly $5 million a year to agricultural research initiatives.
The entire state would be impacted by the cuts as the Leopold Center provides demonstrations and field research in all 99 Iowa counties - epitomizing Iowa State's land-grant mission.
The legislation to defund the Leopold Center is moving very quickly. It is imperative that we make our voices heard as soon as possible. Please take a moment to
send a message to your legislators
urging them to restore funding for the Leopold Center.
Thank you in advance for your support of Iowa State University! We will provide additional updates on the legislative budget process as they become available.