Fred Kirschenmann Removed as Director of Leopold Center

I’m sure that many readers know Fred Kirschenmann and/or the work being done by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.

I received the following email late today.


Last week, Fred Kirschenmann was given 48 hours to resign as director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and to accept a position as the “Distinguished Fellow” of the center. A new director was appointed before Fred was given notice. Over the past five years, Fred has worked tirelessly and with great dedication to the vision and work of the center. He has been highly respected by the Center’s staff.

The reason for Fred’s removal from the directorship of the Center seems clear. Fred had not placated agribusiness. They’ve been ferociously lobbying the dean’s office for the past year and a half to get him to stop his work on Ag in the Middle and other projects that benefit farmers and the land.


The acting dean (Wendy Wintersteen) has caved in to the demands of powerful corporate interests instead of standing for a clear vision for the future and the best interests of Iowa.

Some think that Ms. Wintersteen fired Fred in exchange for the Farm Bureau et. al.’s support for her becoming the next Dean.

Letters can be sent to:

Benjamin J. Allen
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Iowa State University
Office of the Provost, 1550 Beardshear Hall, Ames,
Iowa 50011-2021
Phone 515-294-9591, provost@iastate.edu

Gregory L. Geoffroy
President, Iowa State University
1750 Beardshear Hall
515) 294-2042


xxx xxxxxxx

I have corroborated the information as “accurate” with someone close to the Leopold Center. I am working to obtain more information.

4 Responses to “Fred Kirschenmann Removed as Director of Leopold Center”

  1. The Rural Populist: Rural News and Views » More on Kirschenmann
    October 31st, 2005 22:06

    […] nder: Agriculture Politics — Brian Depew @ 10:06 pm

    Following up on the previous post. Iowa State University released a Fr […]

  2. DrewMiller.net
    October 31st, 2005 22:13

    Big Agribusiness Messing with ISU?

    The Rural Populist has heard an interesting rumor. I don’t know the first thing about the Leopold center though, so I’ll leave it up to the papers to figure this one out. Actually, I do know the first thing -…

  3. The Rural Populist: Rural News and Views » Former-Former Director Speaks Out
    November 5th, 2005 14:55

    […] or of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Iowa State University The very first email about this matter named the Farm Bureau as a g […]

  4. Lenny Tischler
    November 29th, 2008 00:22

    Fred Kirschenmann was my teaher at Yankton College in the middle 1960’s No single person has had more of a positive impact on my understanding of and purpose in this world than Fred. That not only goes for me but many others. I am heartened that he continues his work and the agri-business titans who demanded his resignation from the Leopold Foundation will whither away and be forgotten. Fred and his good work will endure through he lives of his students and their students and on and on. Thank you Fred.

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