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Ross Kromminga

ENGL 150
Assignment 3 (Revised)
Samantha Futhey
May 1, 2016
Farming in the Future
The world around us is changing more and more every day. The push for cleaner and
more sustainable energy has captured spotlight in the media, and technology has exploded
recently with cleaner and more sustainable ways of travel. Electric cars are becoming more and
more of a reality as the years go on. Clean energy is becoming a more significant concern and
our total impact on our environment is becoming less and less as research and technology
continue to shape our future. Low environmental impact methods are shaping other areas,
specifically farming.
Food is something that we all share. We all need it, and it has to come from somewhere.
Agriculture is one of the reasons that our population has exploded in recent times. Food is being
produced on a massive scale and this has allowed our populations to grow exponentially. In
2050, our world population is expected to be almost 10 billion. To produce enough food for that
many people, fertile lands such as the Midwest here in the United States are being reaped of their
nutrients and topsoil. These nutrients take millions of years to replenish and yet we’re wreaking
havoc on them just to be able to produce enough for everyone. If we want to continue to be able
to use these lands to produce food and continue to allow our population to grow, farming
methods need to change… and they are. Thanks to scientists and researchers, cleaner farming is
becoming a reality. In fact, we have an organization here at Iowa State making a huge impact on
our farming right here in Iowa.

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is located in 209 Curtiss Hall. You’ve
probably walked by it if you’ve had a class on the second floor. I know I’ve walked by it many
times, unknowingly. If you don’t look closely you could easily mistake it for just another
classroom. But the Leopold Center has much more going on in it and makes a much greater
impact to the world around it than you would suspect from its simple and unsuspecting entrance.
The Leopold Center has made big impacts all over the world, but especially in the world
close around us as we live in a very agriculturally dominant state. I’m sure that you can tell by
the name that the center’s main goal is striving toward more sustainable forms of agriculture.
They’re doing this by obtaining many competitive grants which are used for development and
research toward more sustainable methods. They also provide funds to researchers and educators
at all Iowa colleges and universities. The Leopold Center had been awarded more than 500
competitive grants and continues to use them to make a meaningful impact to Iowa and the
world. The Leopold Center has shifted over 22,000 acres of land to more sustainable methods.
Providing funds for researchers and educators is only part of what the center does
however. The Leopold Center has four major initiatives that most of its own projects are
categorized in. These include the Ecology, Marketing and Food Systems, Policy, and Cross
Cutting initiatives. Some of the projects recently completed under the Ecology Initiative include
Suitability of Winter Canola (Brassica Napus) for Enhancing Summer Annual Crop Rotations in
Iowa, Determining Threshold Responses of Plant-Soil Feedbacks to Nitrogen, and Quantifying
the Effects of Alternative Surface Inlet Protection Strategies on Water Quality just to name a few.
The center completed a total of 11 projects under the Ecology Initiative in 2015 alone. With four
initiatives in total, you can begin to imagine the size of the impact being made.

The center was named after Aldo Leopold, an Iowa native who recognized the need for
smart usage of land and water resources. Unlike most others, Aldo saw the big picture. Farming
and agriculture is something that we need as a species to survive. Without it, we would not be
able to sustain our massive global population that is only getting bigger. According to the
center’s website, Aldo “devoted his life to planting seeds of thought about how farming should
be productive but not interfere with natural systems.” This is exactly what we need to be
thinking about if we want to have a sustainable future, and that’s what the center is all about.
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is doing amazing things for our global
environment, especially right here in Iowa. It’s important that we have an organization like this
to push forward our technology and methods when it comes to farming. Having a low
environmental impact is crucial for us and our future. Aldo Leopold once said, “A thing is right
when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong
when it tends otherwise.” (14) It’s important that we do the right thing when it comes to
producing food four our nation and the world. As long as there is a need for farming and
agriculture, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture will continue to make advancements
toward a cleaner and more sustainable future.

Works Cited
Leopold, Aldo. “The Land Ethic.” A Sand County Almanac. Ed. Charles W. Schwartz. New
York: Oxford University Press, 1949. Print.
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Iowa State University, 2016. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.