State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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May 30, 2002, Fargo

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Minutes - May 30, 2002
Loftsgard Hall, NDSU, Fargo, ND

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met in Loftsgard Hall on the NDSU campus in Fargo, ND on May 30, 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, Patrice Eblen (for Roger Johnson), Neal Fisher, Carol Goodman, Jody Hauge, Maynard Helgaas, George Heller, Patricia Jensen, Burdell Johnson, Phillip Mueller, Ken Solberg, and Jim Venette.

Chairman Doan called the meeting to order and the minutes of the April 29, 2002 meeting were approved as distributed.

Lori Capouch, administrator for the Agricultural Research Fund, requested approval of changes in the ARF Soybean Granting Committee. After reviewing the requested personnel changes, Ryan Brooks made a motion to approve the committee makeup as presented. Phillip Mueller seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Doan read a note from the North Dakota Barley Council stating their strong support for the western North Dakota malting barley initiative. The message also requested continued support for the barley growers of western North Dakota.

Paul Berg, faculty member in the NDSU Animal and Range Sciences Department, presented a proposal for enhanced research on meat studies to benefit the North Dakota livestock industry. Ken Solberg complimented Berg on the proposal and stated that the cutting edge research is something that has been needed for a long time. Berg indicated his group is looking for support from SBARE and will also seek financial assistance from other sources, including federal agencies.

Patricia Jensen indicated she hopes to make a decision regarding the agricultural experiment station director by July 1, but will take as much time as needed to get a good result.

Jim Venette reported that a committee has met to work on a GMO policy for NDSU. The sessions have been positive and he hopes to present a draft in the next few months.

Sharon Anderson told board members that the extension service has extended an offer for the cereal crops agronomist position and the candidate will begin work September 1. She also reported that Tim Petry has now transitioned to 100% time as the extension livestock marketing specialist and interviews have just been completed with two great candidates for a 4-H youth development specialist.

Anderson stated that a unique opportunity arose recently, when both Adams County and Hettinger County had vacant agent positions. Working with the commissioners in those two counties, a shared full-time agent position was established.

Patricia Jensen distributed copies of the special audit of NDSU's main station sheep farm and discussed the implications. After responding to questions about the report, she was commended by Senator Solberg for handling the audit process very well.

Phillip Mueller noted the importance of getting positive information to the media as a follow-up to all of the negative news reports and articles that have come from the audit and scrapie-related issues.

Jerry Doan reported that the SBARE budget subcommittee continues to work toward consideration of needs, based on program/concept area.

Maynard Helgaas expressed concern about the continued loss of agricultural research funding in North Dakota and asked if anyone had ideas or suggestions for a better way to approach the State Legislature. Representative Mueller noted it becomes more and more difficult to increase funding since most agencies now use lobbyists. Senator Solberg agreed that the financial situation is difficult and North Dakota may have too much of everything, but when consolidation or cutbacks are discussed, constituents become very actively involved in protecting their interests. Solberg supports the priority setting budget process that allows for reallocation.

George Heller suggested better marketing may help to educate people about the importance of ag research in North Dakota. Some legislators and legislative candidates were invited to, and attended, the field day at the North Central Research Extension Center in Minot last year and it helped them to get a better understanding of the work done at the center.

Board members discussed the impact of the Ag Research Fund and how they could direct more dollars toward that research effort. Seeking tax on red fuel and fertilizer were suggested options for consideration. Senator Solberg agreed to check with the Legislative Council to see how much money is generated by ½ cent and 1 cent tax.

Board members talked about working with the Ag Coalition in seeking legislative support for agricultural research.

The board separated into working groups (livestock, crops, and engagement) to discuss budget recommendations presented by ag administrators. Following the small group discussions the board reconvened and collectively reviewed suggested changes to the budget plans presented.

Maynard Helgaas made a motion to approve the modified extension budget plan. Carol Goodman seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Tom Archbold made a motion to approve the modified agricultural experiment station budget plan. Neal Fisher seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

NDSU ag administrators will continue to work with the budget plans to prepare a final budget recommendation for presentation to the State Board of Higher Education by July 1.

The meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.

Recorded by Margaret Olson

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