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Governor Branstad Saves Leopold Center, But Cuts Funding

Branstad and the Leopold Center  051617

It looks like The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture will survive, but without money from the state. Governor Terry Branstad used his veto authority Friday to save the agricultural research center, even though majority of state lawmakers voted to dismantle it.  The center's future remains uncertain.

About $1.5 million dollars in state funds previously went to the Leopold Center at Iowa State University, and that amounts to nearly three-quarters of the Center's total operating budget.  It will be shifted to ISU's Nutrient Research Center.  Speaking at his weekly press conference yesterday, Governor Branstad said he didn’t think it was right to shut down the center.



“They do have some alternative sources of money, and consequently, I’ll leave it to the Leopold Center what to do. I had the choice, do I eliminate them, or do I permit them to continue to exist.  And I choose to veto the portion of the bill that would have elmiminated the Leopold Center.”

Branstad said lawmakers were forced to make some drastic budget cuts because of lower than expected revenues in Iowa.  He said the legislature decided to shift money away from the Leopold Center.

Governor Branstad talks about why the decision to defund the center was a difficult one for him and lawmakers, and how the money will be used now.



“And with the resources they had, they chose instead to direct that particular tax revenue to the College of Agriculture and Sustainable Development at Iowa State University.”

Branstad said the center has other sources of funding.  The Leopold Center’s director says the center’s board will meet next month to talk about funding and collaboration with the ISU College of Agriculture. The Leopold Center recently celebrated its 30th anniversary

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