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Leopold Center Seeks Research Ideas For 2016

10 Sep 2023

imageThe Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is looking for innovative ideas for research and projects as part of its long-running competitive grants program. Of particular interest this year is work that focuses on soil health, farming options to create a more diverse landscape, ways to increase adoption of conservation practices, challenges to beginning farmers and development of food hubs and food distribution businesses.

Specifics are outlined in the Leopold Center’s Summer 2015 Request for Pre-proposals (RFP). The deadline for submitting ideas, in the form of a 2-3 page concept paper, is July 7, 2015.

Leopold Center Director Mark Rasmussen said the RFP process is designed to encourage participation and address current issues in agriculture. Key to the work will be whether the project can help Iowa’s agriculture become more resilient -- the ability of a system to absorb a disturbance (such as extreme weather) yet remain productive.

“We will give priority to pre-proposals that can contribute to increased resilience on Iowa landscapes and demonstrate a broad approach to a problem,” he said.

In addition to the focus areas, innovative research and project ideas will be accepted in any of the 10 subjects defined in the RFP: Water, Soil, Landscape, Crops, Integrated Farming Systems, Energy, Livestock Systems, Policy, Social and Marketing and Food Systems.

The Center will accept pre-proposals from investigators representing any Iowa nonprofit organization/agency and/or educational institution, including soil and water conservation districts, schools and colleges, and regional development groups. Farmers, landowners and farm-based businesses are invited to participate in the pre-proposal process but they must be associated with a nonprofit organization.

The RFP can be downloaded from the Center’s website at:

Hard copies can be obtained from the Center office by calling (515) 294-3711 or emailing

Established by the 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection Act, the Leopold Center supports the development of profitable farming systems that conserve natural resources with its education and research programs.


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