State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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April 29, 2002, Fargo

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Minutes - April 29, 2002
Peace Garden Room, NDSU Memorial Union, Fargo, ND

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met at NDSU, Peace Garden Room, in Fargo, ND on April 29, 2002 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Members present were Sharon Anderson, Tom Archbold, Keith Bjerke (for Joseph Chapman), Ryan Brooks, Tim Bryan, Jerry Doan, Neal Fisher, Carol Goodman, Jody Hauge, Maynard Helgaas, George Heller, Patricia Jensen, Phillip Mueller, Jim Venette and Jeff Weispfenning (for Roger Johnson).

Vice-chair Tim Bryan called the meeting to order and Patricia Jensen gave an agriculture update, which included:

  • faculty/staff salaries continue to be a priority
  • NDSU is working with state veterinarians on the scrapie issue and the state auditor is preparing a report
  • another individual has expressed interest the Agricultural Experiment Station director position and the search committee chair will reconvene the committee if an application is received before a decision is made

Jensen called on Don Hanson, agriculture facilities director, to update the board on the proposed agriculture capital projects. He stated the list included greenhouses, Dickinson headquarters building, and the building for the Nestle durum mill. Hanson noted that Dick Rayl, NDSU Vice President for Business and Finance, reported that the Office of Management and Budget does not have money in their budget to conduct the requested greenhouse feasibility study. Hanson asked if NDSU ag administration could finance the study.

Following discussion, Tim Bryan made a motion stating if funds to do a greenhouse feasibility study are limited, SBARE supports the agricultural experiment station's use of up to $40,000 in discretionary dollars to complete the study. Neal Fisher seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Don Hanson and Blaine Schatz, director at the Carrington Research Extension Center, explained to the board that a state law prohibits negotiating the bid for the feedmill at Carrington and that the only options are to rebid the project or to find additional funds.

Board members discussed the options and expressed concern about what could be accomplished at the $300,000 level considering the other bids came in so much higher. Ryan Brooks and Maynard Helgaas strongly suggested that additional funds be sought to get a useful result. They expressed concern with costs associated with additional work on the mill later if only a portion of the project is completed at this time.

Don Hanson recommended working with people that have the unique expertise in the feedmill business to see what could be achieved for $300,000. Agreeing with Hanson, Ryan Brooks made a motion to request proposals (not bids) for a research feedmill not to exceed a cost of $300,000. Tim Bryan seconded the motion which passed unanimously.

Minutes of the March 25, 2002 minutes were approved as distributed.

Sharon Anderson told the board that the Extension Service is currently recruiting for a cereal crops agronomist, an extension forester and a 4-H specialist. She reminded board members that every year extension crop specialists participate in weekly conference calls for information sharing across the state during the growing season. Anderson also reported that seven locations in the state have recently purchased high-level microscopes, allowing them to send images to NDSU for quick analysis.

Jim Venette reported that he has been working with a writing committee on a policy for transgenics.

Lowell Disrud and Tom Christensen, representing the State Soil Conservation Committee, told SBARE that they work hard to leverage the funds they are allocated, but that it is becoming increasingly difficult to work within the budget. They noted, with appreciation, that the Extension Service subsidizes the SSC budget.

Lynn Wolfe, Dakota Resource Council, told SBARE that DRC is pleased that NDSU agriculture is moving forward with preparation of a GMO protocol.

Ryan Brooks reported that the livestock subcommittee met with the Carrington Research Extension Center Advisory Board and members of the ND Stockmen's Association research committee on April 17 in Carrington to discuss research conducted at the center. Brooks stated the meeting provided a great opportunity for communication between the groups.

Tom Archbold reported that the engagement subcommittee has supported recruitment of a leadership position and that effort will soon begin. Sharon Anderson will meet with NDSU college deans next week to continue to solicit support for extension participation in each of the colleges at NDSU.

Celeste Kubasta, financial analyst from OMB, stated that the state revenue forecast is not looking good and budgets will be very tight. She suggested that 95% budgets could materialize based on the current economy of the state.

Ryan Brooks and Neal Fisher both stated that funding for ag research needs to be protected and needs to grow. They encourage SBARE members to be strong and work hard to protect funding for agricultural research in North Dakota.

Phillip Mueller indicated North Dakotans want to hold government spending down and it is very difficult to convince taxpayers to dig deeper even though a 95% budget will be very difficult for people to live with.

Following a lunch break, the board reconvened at 1:15 p.m.

Jerry Doan stated that the gas tax fund has been decreasing and because the Ag Research Fund is a good system to fund new and innovative research, he suggests looking for other ways to support the research fund.

The meeting adjourned at 2 p.m. and the board divided into working groups to discuss proposed needs-based budgets and potential 95% budget.

Recorded by Margaret Olson

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