State Board of Agricultural Research and Education

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September 30, 2002, Bismarck

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Minutes - September 30, 2002
Best Western Doublewood Inn, Bismarck, ND

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met in Bismarck, North Dakota at the Best Western Doublewood Inn on September 30, 2002 beginning at 8:00 a.m. Members present were: Sharon Anderson, Keith Bjerke (for Joseph Chapman), Jerry Doan, Patrice Eblen (for Roger Johnson), Neal Fisher, Ed Goerger, Carol Goodman, Jody Hauge, Patricia Jensen, Burdell Johnson, Vern Mayer and Ken Solberg.

Chairman Doan called the meeting to order. He introduced and welcomed Ed Goerger and Vern Mayer to their first SBARE meeting.

Minutes of the May 30, 2002 meeting were approved as distributed.

Patricia Jensen shared information on NDSU agriculture activities:

  • The Veterinary Diagnostic Lab has received funding from the ND State Health Department for conversion to biosafety level three. Funds for upgraded equipment were received from the Center for Disease Control.
  • The "four deans" project (North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming) has received federal funding to work on value-added ruminant animal programs in the region.
  • The Center for Agricultural Policy and Trade Studies and the Great Plains Institute for Food Safety are jointly organizing a two-day conference, "Bioterrorism and Food Security: Issues and Challenges," at the Ramada Plaza Suites in Fargo October 28-29, 2002.
  • The meat lab proposal, presented to SBARE at the May 30 meeting, is still developing. The concept has changed slightly to more of a demonstration packing plant.
  • NDSU will provide a report to the state auditor's office in early October relative to the audit of the main station sheep farm. Farm unit guidelines are being prepared to assure consistent practices at all AES farms. Jensen noted that the Agricultural Experiment Station Director will become more involved with the main station farm and she plans to create an animal health committee (outside of the Animal and Range Sciences Department).
  • Two candidates for director of the equine studies program are scheduled for interviews on campus in October.
  • Jim Venette will chair a committee to review the structure and organization of the Cereal and Food Sciences Department.

Sharon Anderson provided the following update:

  • The use of seven high-level microscopes piloted out in the state has worked well and provided quick analysis by the Plant Diagnostic Lab.
  • The Extension Service has cooperated with the State Health Department on the West Nile Virus.
  • The annual "Clover Classic" golf tournament raised $9,000 for the North Dakota 4-H Foundation.
  • George Flaskerud has prepared a "Marketing Club Performance" document summarizing the status of the marketing clubs, following the mandate from the State Legislature.
  • The Extension Service will have an informational booth at the North Dakota Association of Counties annual meeting in Bismarck this week, providing an opportunity to interact with colleagues in county government.
  • A $10,000 check was received during the National 4-H Council Board of Trustees meeting recently. The funds are to be used to establish the Lynn Luckow Learning Award that will help North Dakota youth participate in leadership development opportunities.
  • The Extension Service continues to work with counties in videoconferencing efforts.
  • North Dakota hosted the "Change Agent States for Diversity" project meeting in Bismarck with leadership from Karen Zotz and Sandra Holbrook.
  • The Extension Service continues to work closely with the Natural Resource Conservation Service on educational efforts and training.

Bruce Bollinger, Agriculture Budget Director, reported to SBARE that the budget section of the Legislative Council approved an increase of $10,000 in the authorization for the Carrington feedmill project allowing construction to proceed, with a projected completion date of approximately January 1, 2003.

Jensen noted that there is a committee in place to review the proposed greenhouse project and the USDA Agricultural Research Service is included in the planning.

Sharon Anderson stated that Marie Hvidsten has been hired for the rural leadership position. She will work to develop a new and innovative statewide program that focuses on needs of existing and new and emerging leaders. The position is part of the extension engagement effort and is funded through the NDSU president's office.

The board discussed the status of the donated Nestle durum mill and learned that it is currently being stored at NDSU in shipping containers. It is anticipated to take up to a million dollars to get it together and in working order. Some members questioned how the mill fits with SBARE priorities and with the future of the Cereal and Food Sciences Department. The board also discussed selling the mill.

Louis Arnold, representing the North Dakota Barley Council, expressed concern to board members about the governor's request for a 95% budget from NDSU agriculture when the rest of the university submitted a hold-even budget. Bollinger explained that the university will need to self-fund their pay plan, potentially using tuition income, while agriculture will look to OMB to fund the increases.

A listing of the Agricultural Research Fund granting committees for 2002-03 was distributed for SBARE approval. Vern Mayer made a motion to approve the granting committee make-up, but following discussion and several questions, he withdrew the motion. The board decided to wait to discuss with Lori Capouch, ARF administrator (who was called to come to the meeting).

Sharon Anderson shared a summary of the NDSU Extension Service response to the drought/wet conditions in the state and discussed ongoing educational programs relating to the problems created by the extreme weather conditions this year.

Jerry Doan introduced Cal Thorson, Technical Information Specialist with the USDA ARS Northern Great Plains Research Lab in Mandan. He indicated that he is very interested in working collaboratively with SBARE in support of scientific research activities.

Lori Capouch joined the group to discuss procedures regarding technical support provided by NDSU researchers and AES director (or designee) on the Agricultural Research Fund granting committees. She stated that ARF committees use NDSU researchers for resource and they do not vote in proposal selection process. Jody Hauge made a motion that the AES director (or designee) also be a non-voting committee member. The motion was supported by Neal Fisher, and following discussion was unanimously approved.

Vern Mayer made a motion to approve the ARF committees as submitted with modifications discussed. Ed Goerger seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously.

Jocie Iszler, North Dakota Corn Growers, distributed information on the ethanol industry and talked about the importance and positive economic impact to the state.

Deb Johnson, North Dakota Soybean Council, noted that grants through the Agricultural Research Fund have been used to fund a biodiesel study and that the Soybean Council continues to promote and provide factual information regarding the economics and feasibility for use of biodiesel.

Doan indicated that SBARE supports their ideas in concept and that the board would like future updates on both biofuel and biodiesel efforts.

Following a lunch break, the board reconvened. Ryan Brooks, whose SBARE term ended July 1, told the board that it had been his pleasure and privilege to serve as a member of the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education since 1997. His advice to board members was to stay actively involved, to speak out, and to express opinions.

Duane Hauck, Extension Assistant Director for Ag and Natural Resources, distributed copies of a draft statement and policy on research and development of transgenic organisms for North Dakota. He indicated that the protocol provides an overall framework for NDSU agricultural research and extension work involving transgenic organisms. He noted that the draft is a "work in progress" and, for the most part, has been well received.

Hauck also stated that NDSU continues to work collaboratively with South Dakota, Minnesota and Monsanto, researching issues relating to the development and use of Roundup Ready wheat varieties. Another discussion session is planned for early November. NDSU administrators and researchers participating will report back to SBARE and look for guidance as the dialogue continues.

SBARE members discussed research grants and how they fit with SBARE priorities. Keith Bjerke told board members to keep things in perspective because grantors have a substantial say in sponsored research. SBARE members were told that a lot of thought and work goes into the grant writing process and that both the unit head and the respective director need to approve submitted projects.

In discussing the Agricultural Research Fund, Doan asked SBARE members how they felt about seeking additional funding. He asked if they felt there would be support for fees or taxes on fertilizers and/or special fuels. Senator Ken Solberg distributed information on farm fuel taxes and fertilizer fees summarizing amounts that could be generated by implementing additional tax. Jody Hauge suggested a message could go out from the Ag Coalition to float the idea.

Doan stated the need for revitalization of the SBARE long-rang planning committee to determine how SBARE fits in NDSU planning, assuring that agriculture interests are protected, while continuing to be progressive with the rest of the university.

Louis Arnold spoke to SBARE about the western malting barley initiative that was mandated in the last legislative session, stating that even though it was not the initiative that the Barley Council originally proposed, the research should continue. He said he hopes the council can move forward with the support of SBARE.

Before the meeting adjourned at 3:10 p.m., Sharon Anderson invited SBARE members to participate in any or all of the Extension Fall Conference being held October 15-18 in Fargo and Keith Bjerke reminded the board that President Chapman will present his state of the university address on October 17 at 12:30.

Recorded by Margaret Olson

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