State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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July 21, 1997, Carrington

State Board of Agricultural Research
Minutes - July 21, 1997
Carrington, North Dakota


The first meeting of the State Board of Agricultural Research was held July 21, 1997 in Carrington, North Dakota at the Research Extension Center beginning at 8 a.m. Blaine Schatz, director of the center welcomed the group to the Carrington facility and invited the members to tour the grounds following the business meeting.

Members present were: Sharon Anderson, Ryan Brooks, Tim Bryan, Sylvia Daws, Jerry Doan, Jody Hauge, George Heller, Pat Jensen, Burdell Johnson, Roger Johnson, Bob Nowatzki, Tom Plough, Dale Reimers, Robert Todd, and Mark Weber. Tom Archbold and Shirley Meyer were absent.

Others attending the meeting were: Ken Bertsch, Lance Gaebe, Debby Johnson, Rick Johnson, Alan Lee, Mel Maier, Kathy McDonald, John Mittleider, Mark Osman, Richard Schlosser and Mike Weiss.

Tom Plough addressed the group indicating this was an historic session - being the first meeting of the legislatively mandated State Board of Agricultural Research. The board will be a mechanism for positive context between NDSU agricultural leadership and commodity leaders from across the state. Plough alluded to a number of challenges noted in a survey distributed to NDSU faculty, commodity groups and members of the board:

  • most problems require multidisciplinary efforts
  • there are no fast fixes
  • a minor crop today may be a major crop tomorrow
  • importance of North Dakota and non-North Dakota funds
  • ag crises tend to be local

Plough introduced Pat Jensen, Vice President and Dean for Agricultural Affairs at NDSU. Jensen talked about experiences during her first weeks at NDSU - research extension center field days provided her a great opportunity to meet outstate staff, as well as constituents in attendance at the field days. She indicated she had received a lot of positive support and willingness from NDSU employees to help the State Board of Agricultural Research succeed. Jensen suggested that North Dakota, with the inception of the State Board of Agricultural Research, has a chance to be a model for research and extension nationally.

Rick Johnson, NDSU General Counsel, provided an overview of the legal obligations of the State Board, as well as legal responsibilities of individual board members.

Policy and rules of procedure for the board were discussed (a draft was distributed earlier for discussion). Board members were informed of procedures to be used for compensation and expense reimbursement.

Mark Weber opened discussion relating to duties of the board. Remarks included:

  • determine strategic directions and top priorities and let management carry forward
  • board should not be involved in personnel issues
  • conduct an extensive review of programs to lay groundwork for priority setting
  • expect to lobby and testify before the legislature
  • be advocates

Individuals discussed ways they, as members of the board, could become more knowledgeable about programs for priority setting. There was some talk of assignment of individuals to various programs allowing more expertise in specific areas. The discussion was tabled until more consideration was given to suggestions.

The group talked about procedures for selection of new members and the legislative timeline before moving on to discussion of the survey results collected. After discussion of the shared survey results, the board agreed to establish a list of perceived problems. The list will be determined based on personal contacts with bankers, elevator operators, county agents, implement dealers, etc. NDSU administrators could work with researchers to get input. Each board member agreed to make 4-5 contacts.

Sharon Anderson gave an extension update and said she would like any ideas from the board. She distributed and extension publication, which noted progress of extension programs in the last months.

Representative Jack Dalrymple addressed the board, reviewing intent of the legislature in establishing the State Board of Agricultural Research. Highlights of his discussion included:

  • this is a landmark development in the history of ND - responsibility and opportunity not seen before in the history of ND
  • board members have a responsibility to deliver to the taxpayers as a whole, being the policymakers for ag research in ND
  • top administrators from NDSU on the board are considered equals
  • primary goal is to be responsive to producers of ND - they need a chance to make their wishes known

Robert Todd presented an overview of the experiment station organization and operation and discussed budget preparation and other timelines.

Mark Weber called for nominations for chair of the board. Burdell Johnson made a motion to nominate Jerry Doan, seconded by George Heller. Ryan Brooks moved that nominations cease. Anderson, Brooks, Bryan, Daws, Hauge, Heller, Jensen, B. Johnson, R. Johnson, Nowatzki, Plough, Reimers, Todd and Weber voted aye. The motion carried.

Jerry Doan thanked the board for their support and thanked Mark Weber for his service as chair of the Agriculture Consultation Board during the past year.

The board discussed meeting arrangements and tentatively agreed to meet the fourth Monday of every month at various locations around the state. The next meeting will be September 22 in Dickinson. Proposed meeting dates will be:


September 22, 1997 Dickinson, North Dakota
October 27, 1997 Fargo, North Dakota
November 24, 1997 To be determined
December 22, 1997 To be determined
January 26, 1998 To be determined
February 23, 1998 To be determined
March 23, 1998 To be determined
April 27, 1998 To be determined

The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.

Recorded by Margaret Olson


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