ACTION ALERT: Legislature to Defund Leopold Center

AN URGENT LEGISLATIVE ALERT FROM OUR FRIENDS AT THE LEOPOLD CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE:

The Leopold Center has faced many challenges in its 30-year history.  Today we face another significant hurdle.  Late last night we learned that the Republican legislative budget proposal for next year would eliminate ALL state support for the Leopold Center.

The Leopold Center has sponsored the work of Iowans concerned about their water and soil resources through more than 600 research projects—on topics spanning water quality, manure management, livestock grazing, cover crops, alternative conservation practices, biomass production, soil health and local food systems development in Iowa.

Many of the practices now recommended in Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy (such as streamside buffers, erosion control measures, bioreactors) were first researched through the Leopold Center.

Iowa’s thriving local foods networks benefited from Leopold Center grants leveraged with nearly $1M in funds from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Wallace Foundation.

If you look at a list of six of the major projects funded by the Leopold Center since 1998 , you can see that:

  • For every dollar spent by the Leopold Center, an additional $4.60 was leveraged to complement or expand the work.
  • 22,500 acres were converted to more efficient conservation practices and structures to reduce nitrate runoff and soil erosion and to improve water quality and wildlife habitat.
  • More than 51,000 individuals participated in project activities, including 13,000 farmers and agricultural professionals.

See a full summary of funding impacts at http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/change.

We need you to contact your state senator and state representative TODAY to ask them to keep funding the important work being done by the Leopold Center. This is moving through the legislature today and tomorrow.  This bill is expected to move very quickly so it is imperative you reach out as soon as possible.

You can call your legislators at the Capitol.

You can also find your legislators and their emails at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/.

We especially need your phone calls to members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees:

Iowa Farmers Union
PO Box 1883 Ames, IA 50010-1883
info@iowafarmersunion.org