Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Records

The Special Collections and University Archives Department is excited to announce that RS 9/1/5 Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture records have been processed and are open to researchers. The collection contains the administrative records from the Leopold Center including grant applications and reports from the center’s thirty year history. Types of materials include photographs, correspondence, grant reports and applications, annual reports, meeting minutes and agendas, notes, newsletters, and electronic media.

The Leopold Center, named after environmentalist Aldo Leopold, was established at Iowa State University in 1987 by the State of Iowa’s Groundwater Protection Act. The Leopold Center was originally charged with researching the negative impacts of Iowa’s agricultural practices, assisting in the development of alternative practices, and informing the public, in cooperation with ISU Extension, on the results of Leopold Center research. According to its 2002 vision statement, the Leopold Center “…explores and cultivates alternatives that secure healthier people and landscapes in Iowa and the nation.” The Center’s goals “are to identify and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources as well as reducing negative environmental and social impacts.” In accordance with this new direction, the Leopold Center focused its research initiatives into three distinct areas: marketing and food systems, ecology, and policy. During its 30 year history, the Leopold Center also funded grant projects to help further the center’s research mission.

In 2017, the Iowa Legislature voted to de-fund and close the Leopold Center. Governor Terry Branstad used a line item veto to allow the center to remain open although it lost its primary funding source.  Following a listening tour and discussion with an advisory board, the Center shifted their mission to focus on the education and research of alternative approaches and practices to promote resilient rural communities across Iowa.

To learn more about these materials, visit the finding aid or contact archives staff. 


SCUA Visits Vet Med

This semester, members of the SCUA staff have been visiting different parts of campus in order to see other types of repositories and libraries at Iowa State. As a new SCUA staff member, this has also been a good opportunity for me to learn my way around campus and about Iowa State.

A few weeks ago, Rosalie and I toured the College of Veterinary Medicine. Our tour guide, a second year student, showed us around the school and the animal hospital. Part of the tour included visiting their library and seeing the R. Allen Packer Heritage Room. A former faculty member helped create the exhibit, which displays the history of veterinary medicine. It was interesting to see the different advancements and to try to guess how some of the instruments were used. The library has two separate study spaces, one side of the library is reserved for quiet studying and the other side is for group study. This summer the Vet Med Library will undergo renovations as the school expands the women’s locker rooms, which will take over a portion of the library space. The locker rooms are being expanded because the school has outgrown the space as women’s enrollment has increased.

Inside one of the classrooms at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Photograph courtesy of Kahlee Leingang.

One thing that struck me throughout the tour was the support provided to the vet students and the different classroom spaces they had. When showing us the student lockers and mailboxes, our tour guide mentioned that on big test days the administration puts candy in their mailboxes. There is also an on-site administration and financial aid office. All of the classes are filmed so that students can go back and watch lectures as needed. Another highlight was walking through the anatomy lab while a class was in session and getting to see specimens like an inflated section of a cow’s stomach. For privacy reasons, we could not take photographs in the labs or in the animal hospital. Additionally, the Clinical Skills Laboratory allowed students to practice their sutures using different material that resembled animal skin and organs. Also in the lab is a life-size Holstein dystocia simulator, named Frosty, to help students learn how to deliver calves. There was also a life-size calf replica, named Snowflake. Snowflake was laying on a table and we were able to lift her head in order to judge how heavy a new calf is. It surprised me how heavy her head was!

Touring the College of Veterinary Medicine was a nice opportunity to see a part of campus that we normally do not get to see. If you get the opportunity, I would highly recommend taking a tour.

For information about Vet Med, visit their about page or read their news releases. The archives also has information from Vet Med in the RS 14/1 and in the RS 22 collections.  


A Welcome to Kahlee Leingang, a Processing Archivist

Photo courtesy of Kahlee

Kahlee Leingang joined the SCUA team as a Processing Archivist on January 22, 2019.  She is originally from the Chicago suburbs, but called North Carolina home for the past four years while she completed her graduate education. Kahlee earned a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in Public History from North Carolina State University.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, and visiting local museums.