State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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June 1, 1998, Fargo

State Board of Agricultural Research
Minutes - June 1, 1998
Fargo, North Dakota


The State Board of Agricultural Research met June 1, 1998 in the Prairie Rose Room in the Memorial Union on the NDSU campus at 9:00 a.m. Members present were: Sharon Anderson, Tom Archbold, Ryan Brooks, Tim Bryan, Sylvia Daws, Jerry Doan, Cole Gustafson, Jody Hauge, George Heller, Pat Jensen, Burdell Johnson, Jeff Weispfenning (for Roger Johnson), Bob Nowatzki, Tom Plough, and Mark Weber.

Chair Jerry Doan welcomed guests and thanked them for their interest. He congratulated Cole Gustafson on his appointment as Associate Dean for Research, replacing Robert Todd, effective May 1. He also introduced Bruce Bollinger, who was recently named Ag Budget Director, replacing Mark Osman.

Minutes of the April 23 meeting were approved.

Announcements from the chair:

President Plough, Cole Gustafson and Jerry Doan attended the State Board of Higher Education meeting May 21 in Bismarck and presented the 95% budget recommendations, along with the economic impacts of those reductions.

Jerry Doan expressed concern over the current appointment process for replacing State Board of Agricultural Research members.

Pat Jensen is scheduled to appear at the Budget Section of the Legislative Council in Bismarck June 10 to present an update on the status of the Animal Research Facility. She indicated that private fund-raising strategy will be mapped out by Jim Miller, NDSU Development Foundation Director; Dick Rayl, NDSU Vice President for Business and Finance; Pat Jensen; and a person representing private medical facilities. Work is still being done with UDSA/ARS to get the building project in their budget and also with CSREES, to possibly transfer some federal funds.

The Commission on the Future of Agriculture will issue their final report on Friday, June 5, at a meeting in Bismarck.

Copies of correspondence received by chair Jerry Doan and Pat Jensen were distributed. The letters were supporting various programs included in the 95% budget reduction recommendations.

Cole Gustafson summarized the report on the economic impacts of the 95% budget cuts, explaining to the SBAR how the impacts were determined. The final report showed an impact of more than $30 million dollars to the state of North Dakota.

At this time Jerry Doan recognized an outgoing member, President Tom Plough, who needed to leave the meeting early. Doan expressed his thanks and support on behalf of the board, indicating that Dr. Plough's contributions will be missed. Plough, in turn, thanked the board for their tremendous efforts at understanding the issues and providing support for NDSU agriculture.

Chair Jerry Doan offered time for public testimony at this point in the meeting. A number of individuals spoke to the SBAR on behalf of their interests, suggesting the programs selected for elimination or reduction in the 95% budget plan would have enormous impacts on the producers in the state, as well as students attending NDSU. Following the testimony, Doan thanked the constituents for their comments and stated the importance of the SBAR understanding the feelings and hearing from the citizens of North Dakota.

Pat Berglund, Northern Crops Institute Director, indicated that even though the SBAR does not oversee her unit, there is a real interface with the researchers at NDSU and she would appreciate consideration and support of NCI programs in the budget deliberations.

After reviewing the economic impacts of the budget reduction recommendations, specifically, the impact of elimination of the sheep program/position, Burdell Johnson made a motion to replace that program cut with a statistics/genetics program/position, which would have much less of an overall impact. Bob Nowatzki seconded the motion which was unanimously approved by the board.

Rod Backman, North Dakota Office of Management and Budget, was in attendance at the meeting. He stated that from the discussions he heard, the SBAR was "on track" with what Governor Shafer requested. Preparing a shared prioritization and ranking of the proposed initiatives and 95% budget reductions together will provide a very useful summary.

The Ag Research Fund proposed policies and procedures were reviewed and discussed. During the talks, Pat Jensen suggested inviting Rick Johnson, university legal counsel, to the afternoon meeting to clarify some language questioned in the policy.

The board adjourned for a luncheon to recognize and thank outgoing members for their past year's service to the board. Individuals leaving the board included Shirley Meyer, Bob Nowatzki, Tom Plough and Robert Todd.

Following the luncheon, the board reconvened for a review of the initiatives proposed by the NDSU Extension Service in their needs-based budget request:

Expansion of community and leadership development work

Enhanced technology package

Increase in operating and staff for ND Soil Conservation Committee

Sharon Anderson also noted that the NDSU Extension Service was recently notified that they were selected to receive a USDA award for their flood work. Nine extension staff members will attend the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, June 10.

Jerry Doan shared Ag Research Fund committee recommendations from commodity and livestock categories (those not previously distributed) with SBAR members. Bob Nowatzki moved that all recommendations be approved, with the exception of the corn group since that submission was not yet complete. Ryan Brooks seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously.

Rick Johnson joined the group to discuss the Ag Research Fund policies and procedures and respond to concerns relating to "conflict of interest" of members serving on the granting committees. The board was in agreement that disclosure of any conflict is imperative, but also wanted to include language that would allow members of producer coops or other such entities, with interests of 5% or less, to vote on approval of research grants.

Tim Bryan made a motion that grants committee members must disclose any potential conflict of interest and that less than 5% equity ownership interest in any publicly held company or in any cooperative shall not be considered a conflict. A grant committee member with a conflict of interest must abstain from voting on a specific proposal unless all of the other members of the committee present unanimously approve allowing the member with a conflict to vote. The motion was seconded by Tom Archbold and unanimously approved.

Tim Bryan moved to adopt the Agricultural Research Fund Policies and Procedures with noted corrections. Sharon Anderson seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.

The SBAR discussed the Ag Research Fund committee make-up for new and emerging crops. Bob Nowatzki made a motion to appoint the following individuals to the committee (subject to their agreement): Ray Fegley, Berthold; Michael Young, Roseglen; John Cook, Mohall; Darrell Oech, Beach; Al Schneiter, NDSU; and John Gardner, Carrington. Sylvia Daws seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously.

Jerry Doan discussed the workload associated with administration of the Ag Research Fund and suggested hiring a person responsible for the program. SBAR members agreed to support a part-time person until the amount of time and work commitment is known. A position description will be drafted for board approval.

Members of the board were in agreement and will meet again to prepare a summary prioritizing the initiatives and budget reductions together. Members will be notified of a date in late June or early July.

The meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.

Recorded by Margaret Olson

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