Centers and Institutes Directory

These ISU centers, institutes and programs serve producers, agribusinesses, rural communities, policymakers and educators and scientists across the nation and around the world.

Education-oriented Centers/Initiatives/Facilities

Susan Lamont, Director
ADVANCE seeks to enhance the recruitment, retention and advancement of women faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative (AGEI)
Kevin Kimle, Director
This initiative creates a broad understanding of entrepreneurship among faculty and students of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and its supporting components.
Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology Transfer
Michael Retallick, Interim Director
The Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology (BCAIT) is committed to serving the needs of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty and staff. This commitment includes providing the best technology and staff to assist the online teaching faculty with providing quality instruction and course content to students, regardless of geographical location, by combining the best methods with the latest teaching and technological innovations.

Extension-oriented Centers/Initiatives/Facilities

Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC)
Craig Chase, Director
This center provides independent producers and processors with critical information needed to build successful value-added agricultural enterprises.
Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension and Outreach (ANR)
Jay Harmon, Director
ANR Extension and Outreach plays an important role in providing research-based information and resources to educate Iowa’s farmers, producers and agribusinesses. Its programs impact all Iowans, whether they live in a rural or urban area, and have been developed to improve their quality of life.
Beginning Farmer Center
David Baker, Director
The center coordinates educational programs and services for beginning farmer efforts statewide. It assesses the needs of beginning and retiring farmers; develops, coordinates and delivers targeted education to beginning and retiring farm families; as well as provide programs and services that develop skills and knowledge in financial management and planning, legal issues, tax laws, technical production and management, leadership, sustainable agriculture, human health and the environment.
Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation (CALT)
Kristine Tidgren, Director
The center was created by the Iowa Board of Regents in 2006 to provide law and policy expertise to the citizens of Iowa and the nation.
Community Vitality Center (CVC)
Mark A. Edelman, Director
Its mission is to serve as a catalyst for innovative projects and initiatives designed to improve the vitality of Iowa communities. The center assesses and encourages best practices for stimulating entrepreneurship, philanthropy and rural-urban policy studies leading to actions that help stimulate the economic vitality of communities and rural areas. The center also facilitates networking among small and medium size rural communities, sponsors policy analyses, engages communities in dialog and fosters discussion among rural and urban interests.
Iowa Beef Center (IBC)
Dan Loy, Director
The center enhances the vitality, profitability and growth of the Iowa beef industry.
Iowa Grain Quality Initiative (IGQI)
Charles Hurburgh, Professor-in-charge
This interdisciplinary project performs the "rapid response function" at ISU for the grain industry. Through diverse expertise of affiliated faculty and the use of information technology, the project addresses grain production and processing topics quickly, giving producers and agribusinesses information to make business decisions. Challenges related to genetically modified grains have accelerated the use of alternative delivery systems.
Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium
Nicole Shimp, Program Specialist
The consortium is a community-led organization that seeks to enhance monarch butterfly reproduction and survival in Iowa through collaborative and coordinated efforts of farmers, private citizens and their organizations.
Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC)
Chris Rademacher, Interim Director
The center promotes efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintains Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthens rural development efforts.
Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute
Ruth MacDonald, Interim Director
Goals of the institute include conducting research to develop new cold-hardy grape varieties that can thrive in the Midwest; conducting wine & wine making research; developing a wine quality award program that will provide wine buyers a quality-assurance stamp of approval; establishing an outreach program to the industry; and partnering with community colleges to develop job-training programs specific to growing grapes and making wine.

Collaborations with other colleges

Antimicrobial Resistance Consortium
Paul Plummer, Director
The consortium was formed in 2015 to coordinate university-wide efforts to address the grand challenge of antimicrobial resistance. This research initiative has pulled together every Iowa State college, as well as USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, for a team of more than 60 investigators.
National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education
Paul Plummer, Executive Director
In July 2018, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges announced that the Antimicrobial Resistance Consortium, based at Iowa State, would lead the development of a new National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education.

Research-oriented Centers/Initiatives/Facilities

BioCentury Research Farm (BCRF)
Matt Darr, Administrative Leader
This farm was the first in the nation to provide research, development, demonstration and technology transfer facilities that enable the integration of biomass production, harvest, storage and conversion into a complete system while making Iowa State faculty competitive for external funding and internationally recognized as the home of cutting-edge bioeconomy science and engineering.
Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)
John Crespi, Director
Established in 1958, CARD is among the largest university-based agricultural policy research institutes in the United States. It conducts public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental and food issues. Researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food, and environmental groups; individual decision-makers; and international audiences.
Center for Crops Utilization Research (CCUR)
Zhiyou Wen, Interim Director
CCUR conducts basic and applied research and development, technology transfer and commercialization activities for new food, feed, biofuels and biobased products to add value to and increase the use of Midwestern-grown crops, increasing demand for crops and ultimately grower profitability and enhancing rural economic development.
Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL)
David Acker, Director
CSRL engages in the discovery and application of science-based and indigenous knowledge to promote resilient, sustainable rural livelihoods in developing countries. Staff initiate and support collaborative training and development activities that strengthen the capabilities of rural people and their institutions to: improve agricultural and natural resource management practices; build assets; diversify income sources; and achieve food security, nutrition and health. CSRL’s partners are indigenous nongovernmental organizations, universities and international research institutes.
Egg Industry Center (EIC)
Richard Gates, Director
This center seeks to add value to the egg industry by facilitating research and learning for egg producers, processors and consumers through national and international collaboration.
Iowa Nutrient Research Center
Matt Helmers, Director
The center was established by the Iowa Board of Regents in response to legislation passed by the Iowa Legislature in 2013. It pursues science-based approaches to areas that include evaluating the performance of current and emerging nutrient management practices and providing recommendations on implementing the practices and developing new ones.
Iowa Soybean Research Center
Greg Tylka, Director
The center promotes, establishes and coordinates highly collaborative and integrated private- and public-supported research, teaching and extension endeavors that directly and sustainably support short- and long-term soybean farmer needs and global market demands for soybeans.
Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex
Dirk Maier, Director
The new Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex will enhance ISU teaching programs related to feed technology, grain science and animal nutrition. Classes and short courses will be taught at the complex, research conducted and animal feed prepared. Students and industry trainees will use the complex to learn how to keep the food system secure and sustainable.
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture (LCSA)
Stephen Dinsmore, Interim Director
Named for Iowa-born conservationist Aldo Leopold, the center was established by the Iowa Legislature in 1987 to conduct research on the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of farming practices, to help develop profitable farming systems that preserve the productivity and quality of natural resources and the environment. It works with Extension and Outreach to share its findings with the agricultural community and the public.
Seed Science Center
Manjit Misra, Director
The center improves the production, quality assurance, marketing, utilization and regulatory environment of seed through research, testing, teaching, outreach and international programs.

Affiliated Institutes

Bioeconomy Institute (BEI)
Robert Brown, Director
BEI seeks to advance the use of biorenewable resources for the production of fuels, energy, chemicals and materials.
Center for Metabolic Biology (CMB)
Basil Nikolau, Director
The center facilitates, encourages and sponsors innovative and fundamental molecular research to develop a comprehensive understanding of metabolic networks and systems.
Iowa Water Center
Rick Cruse, Director
The center is part of a national network Congress created in 1964 through the Water Resources Research Act to form a comprehensive research-based structure that could join with state and local agencies in safeguarding the nation’s water resources.
Plant Sciences Institute
Patrick Schnable, Director
PSI's research focus is to understand the effects of genotype (genetic makeup) and environment on phenotypes (traits) sufficiently well that it will be able to predict the phenotype of a given genotype in a given environment.

Federal Collaborations

Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit
Thomas Sappington, Acting Research Leader
The mission of the unit is to increase crop productivity by basic and applied research on insects, cereals and legumes.
National Animal Disease Center (NADC)
Susan L. Brockmeier, DVM, PhD - Acting Director
The National Animal Disease Center is a federally funded research facility dedicated to investigating and producing technology related to eliminating infectious, genetic and metabolic diseases of livestock and poultry across the United States.
National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment (NLAE)
Thanos Papanicolaou, Director
The laboratory focuses on integrating the fundamental principles in soil, water and air into animal, cropping and watershed systems that lead to improved environmental quality, sustainability and enhanced agricultural system efficiency.
North Central Regional Aquaculture Center (NCRAC)
Joseph Morris, Director
One of five regional centers established to develop collaborative interstate research and cooperative extension programs for commercial aquaculture.
North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS)
David Peters, Research Leader
The station conserves genetically diverse crop germ plasm, such as seeds or tissues, and associated information, conducts germ plasm-related research and encourages the use of germ plasm for research, crop improvement and product development.
U.S. Geological Survey Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Robert Klaver, Unit Leader
The Cooperative Research Unit program was established in 1935 to enhance graduate education in fisheries and wildlife sciences and to facilitate research between natural resource agencies and universities on topics of mutual concern. There are 40 Cooperative Research Units in 38 states. Each unit is a partnership among the U.S. Geological Survey, a State natural resource agency, a host university and the Wildlife Management Institute.