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Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

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Iowa State University
The Leopold Center is a research and education center with statewide programs to develop sustainable agricultural practices that are both profitable and conserve natural resources. . . . In general, sustainable agriculture addresses the ecological, economic and social aspects of agriculture. To be sustainable, agriculture can operate only when the environment, its caretakers and surrounding communities are healthy. Sustainable agriculture, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the 1990 Farm Bill: "...over the long term, satisfy human needs, enhance environmental quality and natural resource base, make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and integrate natural biological processes, sustain economic viability, and enhance quality of life." It was established under the Groundwater Protection Act of 1987 with a three-fold mission: to conduct research into the negative impacts of agricultural practices; to assist in developing alternative practices; and to work with ISU Extension to inform the public of Leopold Center findings. The Center is administered through the Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station at Iowa State University. "Sustainable" means many things to many people. The law that created the Leopold Center defines a sustainable agriculture as one that maintains "economic and social viability while preserving the high productivity and quality of Iowa's land."


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