The following originally appeared in the Ames Tribune on March 7, 2018.
Don’t silence the Leopold Center
As we were searching for agricultural research programs across the United States, the Leopold Center drew us to Iowa, where we are now graduate students of Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.
We are not alone – other students in this program have similarly been drawn to Iowa by the Leopold Center. As students from a wide range of disciplines, we are passionate about developing sustainable solutions to modern agricultural challenges.
As a land grant institution, it is the responsibility of Iowa State University to represent and foster a wide array of agricultural systems, farmer interests, and research opportunities. The citizens of Iowa deserve research that reflects the growing diversity of agricultural systems and practices in the state. The Leopold Center met these needs in the past and funding should be refunded to continue this important work.
We have fallen in love with the state of Iowa. We want to stay here and put down roots working alongside the citizens of this state. A reimagined Leopold Center, with its focus on science-based, ecological agriculture, would continue to make this future possible.
Supporting a socially just, environmentally sound agricultural system goes beyond simply providing food, fiber, and fuels – it means revitalizing rural communities, and turning Iowa into a shining example of how a resilient, locally focused agricultural system can make a large difference in individual communities and throughout the world.
Please join us from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, March 9, at the Leopold Center Board Meeting in the Pioneer Room of the ISU Memorial Union. This is a public meeting, and we need to show ISU leaders and state legislators that we are serious about public funding for public agricultural science in Iowa.
The Leopold Center is not yet closed, and we refuse to let it be completely silenced.
Kristine Lang and Carly McAndrews, Ames