State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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June 30, 2003, Fargo

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Minutes - June 30, 2003
Ramada Plaza Suites, Fargo, ND

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met in Fargo, North Dakota at the Ramada Plaza Suites on June 30, 2003 at 9:00 a.m. Members present: Sharon Anderson, Keith Bjerke (for Joseph Chapman) Tim Bryan, Randy Christmann, Jerry Doan, Neal Fisher, Ed Goerger, Carol Goodman, Ken Grafton, Jody Hauge, Maynard Helgaas, Patricia Jensen, Burdell Johnson, Roger Johnson, Vern Mayer and Phil Mueller.

Chairman Doan welcomed Senator Randy Christmann to his first meeting. Doan indicated he received notice from the Legislative Council that Representative Phillip Mueller will rotate off SBARE and Representative Ole Aarsvold will join the board as a legislative appointee.

Doan announced the State Board of Higher Education appointed Tom Borgen, Langdon, ND, and Jerry Effertz, Velva, ND, to SBARE terms effective July 1, 2003. He also noted that the North Dakota Stockmen's Association research committee has appointed Ken Solberg to serve as liaison between their group and SBARE.

Vern Mayer made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 24, 2003 meeting. Maynard Helgaas seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.

Chairman Doan told board members that after the legislative session, he asked Tom Archbold, Tim Bryan and Neal Fisher to work on responses to SBARE issues that were discussed throughout the session. Archbold, Bryan and Fisher put together some thoughts and recommendations relative to the request and Bryan distributed copies of those thoughts to the full board for their consideration.

Bryan highlighted the following points from their report:

  • The group recommends a succession plan for board chair. They suggest Jerry Doan continue as chair one more year, with Tom Archbold assuming role of vice-chair. After the year, Archbold would assume the chair position. They also recommend that the past, current, and vice-chair form an executive committee.
  • A meeting schedule should be developed based on the biennial budget cycle with sufficient advance notice. The agenda for each meeting should be time-slotted and descriptive, as well as adhered to, in order to improve meeting efficiency. A mandatory meeting policy should be implemented whereby members missing three consecutive meetings or four cumulative meetings annually would be disqualified from the board.
  • Continue use of SBARE subcommittees - encourage groups to broaden focus.
  • Initiate discussions with the NDSU President's Office to define the role of SBARE. Encourage direct agriculture representation by allowing Vice President for Agriculture to vote.
  • SBARE public relations is a challenge, but members should have consistent "talking point" information available so public statements are accurate, informative and consistent.
  • Two four-year terms recommended for members.
  • Regarding the member selection process, it is recommended that the Ag Coalition share information about each candidate with Coalition members prior to selection of a new board member. The multi-county process needs a balance of the roles of experiment station, extension service, producers and stakeholders of the region represented. Multi-county selection committee make-up should be reviewed.

Phil Mueller complimented the group on outstanding work, noting it is absolutely important to see where SBARE fits in and where NDSU wants this group to be. He indicated the board needs to know what NDSU administration wants to happen so there is not a repeat of issues, as in the last legislative session.

Keith Bjerke stated that he sits on SBARE as the ears of the president, who supports and takes the lead from the Vice President for Agriculture. He continued by saying that even though agriculture and the university have separate budgets, President Chapman wants to provide one face. Bjerke indicated that the President plans to attend many of the field days this summer and rural outreach is a high priority for him.

Carol Goodman said she has been very concerned about the transition of SBARE membership and the recommendations provide an orderly way to move individuals into leadership positions.

Jody Hauge stated that the report is outstanding and addresses some questions she has had.

Chairman Doan told board members to review the committee's report and it will be included on the agenda for the next meeting.

Patricia Jensen noted the following:

  • Agriculture provided average 2% salary increases for faculty and staff, with no new money from the general fund.
  • Sharon Anderson has announced her retirement from the NDSU Extension Service effective December 31, 2003.
  • Lisa Nolan and Michael Robinson, professors in the Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences will be leaving NDSU for other positions August 1, 2003.
  • The search for a chair in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering is underway. In the interim Les Backer has agreed to provide leadership for the department.
  • NDSU agriculture has been awarded federal earmarks of over seven million dollars.

Burdell Johnson stated that the livestock subcommittee had a meeting to discuss the Beef Center of Excellence. Dr. Ken Odde, chair for the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, attended the meeting and plans to work with the group as the project moves ahead. Johnson thanked Jody Hauge for her work with the legislature and for testifying on behalf of the beef center project.

Jerry Doan also expressed thanks to board members for their support and participation throughout the legislative session.

Sharon Anderson and Ken Grafton distributed copies of the budget book and reviewed the ag budget.

Following the budget discussion, Maynard Helgaas made a motion to approve the distribution of the $1.24 million restoration. Neal Fisher seconded the motion. Following discussion, the motion was amended to include board approval of allocation of $20,000 to branch stations in support of IVN expenses and reinstatement of the revolving equipment pool. The motion passed unanimously.

Grafton and Anderson both emphasized that the impact of the 95% budget cuts and the costs to continue.

Randy Christmann recommended that someone attend the information technology interim committee meeting to explain the dramatic impact of the reduction in information technology funding.

Grafton distributed a report on western malting barley, scab research update, fusarium head blight research, and a summary of NDAES expenditures by fund source.

Grafton indicated that operating funds will be distributed as in past - $6,600 per SY. He asked for flexibility from the board to distribute $320,000 enhancement money by priority need.

Sharon Anderson provided the following activity summary:

  • Regarding her retirement, her goal has always been to leave her position when things are going well and she can come to work with energy; that is the case now and she said this seems like the right time.
  • Extension is working hard to secure grant funds to supplement their budget and has been quite successful with funding in areas of biosurveillance, emergency management, drought education, youth at risk, helping youth and adults work together, and food security.
  • Marie Hvidsten is moving ahead with the Rural Leadership Program, with an application deadline of July 15.
  • Monday, July 21 is the 4-H Picnic at the North Dakota State Fair.
  • Wally Eide, director of Institute for Business and Industry Development, plans to retire January 31, 2004.

Ken Grafton explained to SBARE that following the audit of the main station sheep unit last year, a number of recommendations have been implemented. Bruce Bollinger indicated that a physical count was done recently and the state auditor was pleased with the result. Both agreed that overall the auditor is satisfied with all that has been done and approves of the direction NDSU is going.

Grafton informed SBARE that he has asked Dr. Ken Odde to chair a committee with research center directors to create a long-range plan for animal agriculture needs.

Dr. Odde reminded SBARE that many issues and concerns have been addressed in the Farm Unit Operations Manual, recently developed by the animal and range sciences department.

Patricia Jensen talked with the board about changes in the department of Cereal and Food Sciences and explained her response to a letter received from the graduate students (copies sent to all SBARE members).

Jim Venette shared information about the sale of the pilot mill that had been donated to NDSU, stating it was sold to an individual from Hope, North Dakota.

Ken Odde provided an update on the status of the Beef Center for Excellence proposal, noting that efforts to raise matching funds are in progress.

Patricia Jensen told SBARE that she plans to meet with various groups and key individuals about the replacement for the NDSU Extension Service Director. Karen Zotz and Duane Hauck have agreed to help with the search process and Jensen said she plans to have a committee of approximately twelve people named within the next few months.

Chairman Doan shared names of potential strategic planning facilitators that he found in the Bismarck area. He indicated that SBARE members would need to determine what they want to accomplish in a session before a facilitator could be selected. The dialogue indicated that some members felt it was important to focus on the actual operation of the board, while other members envisioned the session to concentrate on the future of agricultural research in North Dakota. Ken Grafton reminded board members that a committee is in place already to work on a long-range plan for NDSU agriculture.

Board members shared their thoughts about the type of strategic planning session that would be useful for the board.

Neal Fisher - Don't work on a plan that would conflict with the NDSU agriculture long-range plan that is a work in progress

Phil Mueller - Research is a moving target. The planning session should focus on the structure of the board and how it functions.

Vern Mayer - It has been said that the board lacks vision - how can it be accomplished?

Randy Christmann - When things are not going well, legislators know about it, and when things are going okay, it is quiet. Not supportive of consultants or strategic planning. Given time (a two-day meeting, for instance) SBARE could discuss issues and accomplish as much on its own.

Roger Johnson - SBARE needs a vision and a goal when deciding how to operate. A distinction must be maintained between the NDSU ag plan and the SBARE plan, but you can't have one without the other.

Sharon Anderson - Extension has done a number of reviews and the documents may be helpful with SBARE strategic planning.

Jody Hauge - It is important for the group to meet informally to generate ideas.

Carol Goodman - SBARE is at a crossroads, so we need to do this now - the challenge of a vision for SBARE needs to be addressed.

Maynard Helgaas - Before a facilitator is used, there is need for a plan to implement - it is a big commitment to carry out a strategic plan.

Patricia Jensen - A visit with Sharon Cobb, director of the Group Decision Center, will help to see if the center would be useful in any part of the planning session.

Prior to adjournment, Jerry Bergman updated the group on the progress of Nesson Valley Irrigated Research and Demonstration Project.

The meeting adjourned at 1:20 p.m and was followed by a service recognition luncheon honoring Tim Bryan, Jody Hauge, and Phil Mueller, whose terms expire June 30, 2003.

Recorded by Margaret Olson

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