State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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August 31, 2004, Fargo

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Minutes – August 31, 2004
Peace Garden Room, NDSU Memorial Union – Fargo, ND

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met in the Peace Garden Room at the NDSU Memorial Union beginning at 10:00 a.m. on August 31, 2004.  Members present were:  Ole Aarsvold, Tom Archbold, Bob Bahm, Keith Bjerke (for Joseph Chapman), Randy Christmann, Jerry Doan, Jerry Effertz, Ed Goerger, Carol Goodman, Ken Grafton, Duane Hauck, Rodney Howe, Patricia Jensen, and Jeff Weispfenning (for Roger Johnson).

Minutes of the June 29 meeting were approved as distributed.

Patricia Jensen talked about her plans to retire as Vice President and Dean of Agriculture on December 31, and announced that she intends to continue work with NDSU food safety/food security programs after December.

Jerry Doan acknowledged Jensen for her commitment to the success of SBARE, indicating she spent many hours and worked through many challenges over the years to help with the establishment and success of the board.

Ken Grafton shared copies of a strategic planning summary, discussed the recent news article about charges for research fees at NDSU, provided a report of expenditures/receipts for North Dakota commodities, indicated an OMB budget hearing will be held sometime in September, and stated that he and Duane Hauck have visited with many legislators and commodity representatives statewide over the past months to promote the needs-based budget and talk about importance of research and extension.

Duane Hauck provided a summary of the extension strategic plan and shared information available on the NDSU Extension website relative to coping with late and frost-damaged crops.

Grafton told SBARE that he needed their approval to distribute operating funds from the biotechnology and livestock systems initiatives.  Ed Goerger moved to approve distribution of funds as appropriate.  Randy Christmann seconded the motion, which passed.

Tom Archbold distributed copies of potential organizational changes for NDSU Agriculture and indicated that President Chapman has a strong interest in agriculture and wants to maintain its strong presence across the state.  Archbold added that with Vice President Jensen’s retirement announcement, President Chapman plans to review the current organizational structure.

Board members discussed the proposed structures and comments included:

Effertz:  Note the importance of joint assignment between research, teaching and extension.
Doan:  Consider importance of the relationship the Vice President currently has with the academic piece.
Howe:  Concern about creating competition between research and extension.
Bjerke:  Remember that President Chapman has no mandate for change.
Bahm:  Allow for growth in extension to meet changing needs across the state.
Bjerke:  Consider increasing activities of continuing education and the advantages to rural North Dakota.
Goodman:  Include input from the state’s producers and commodity leaders.
Grafton:  Discussions have taken place with department chairs, research extension directors, and extension leadership team, but no discussions there have been no talks with commodity groups to date.
Doan:  No matter was the structure is, it is important for agriculture to stay strong.
Christmann:  ND Stockmen’s Association has contacted him and expressed an interest in the process.  Elimination of a position would increase the workload for directors and may become unmanageable.
Howe:  Questions SBARE’s involvement in the decision making process and is interested in the scope of board responsibilities.
Effertz:  Believes the state wants a strong presence of agriculture in North Dakota.

Following a lunch break, the board reconvened and continued discussions on organizational structure within NDSU Agriculture.  Archbold asked others, including meeting attendees, to comment on the potential organizational structures.

Dave Lambert, chair of agribusiness and applied economics, spoke on behalf of department chairs and said that overall they favored the first option where the dean’s responsibilities are moved from vice president for agriculture to NDAES director.  He added that a vice president needs to have time to move agriculture forward, focusing on the big picture.  Al Schneiter added that it is important to maintain a vice president and not to diminish the importance of agriculture.

Jim Venette, associate dean for academic programs, talked about the importance of the academic component and suggested the best model would be a separate dean and director.  He indicated the academic piece is critical and creates a tremendous workload alone.

Les Backer, chair of agricultural and biosystems engineering, stated that people need to be considered to be an investment and it is critical to continue to support a vice president for agriculture.

Patricia Berglund, director of the Northern Crops Institute, stressed the need to have agriculture represented at higher levels.

Vice President Patricia Jensen indicated it is very difficult to serve as both vice president and dean because there are so many responsibilities and events to attend.

Becky Koch, director of agriculture communication, asked the board to look at all of university outreach and consider the opportunity to make progressive changes.

Paul Nyren, director of the Central Grasslands Research Extension Center, stated the need for a clear understanding of what the structure means and added that some center directors had heard the Montana model (option 2) did not work well.

Blaine Schatz, director of the Carrington Research Extension Center, noted that there needs to be a clear channel of reporting, with clarity of responsibilities and resource flow.

Tim Faller, director of the Hettinger Research Extension Center, said there needs to be a structure that will stand the test of time with a mix of personalities.

Ken Odde, chair of animal and range sciences, indicated a vice president is needed to ensure that NDSU agriculture stays strong and he feels the current structure is the best. 

Ken Odde updated SBARE on the Beef Systems Center of Excellence, stating goals of creating economic development, strengthening research and providing education.  He told board members the group continues to work on fund raising and needs to establish a private partner.  He added there is still more work to do, but progress is being made.

Bill Wilson, professor of agribusiness and applied economics and co-director for the Center of Excellence for Agribiotech, provided SBARE with a presentation on the status of the center, stating the main objective is to facilitate longer term development of agricultural biotechnology in North Dakota.

Ken Grafton announced that nine proposals from agriculture were submitted for consideration for the Governor Hoeven’s Centers of Excellence initiative.

Organizational structure discussions continued and for purposes of moving forward, Jerry Doan made a motion to drop options 2, 3, and 4 from consideration.  Ed Goerger seconded the motion and following a brief discussion, the motion passed.

Board members discussed ag administrative position responsibilities and workloads, after which Rodney Howe made a motion that SBARE go on record in support of option 1 of the proposed agriculture organizational charts and suggests additional consideration be given for a separate dean if responsibilities are too great for a single dean and director.  Jerry Effertz seconded the motion which passed, with Tom Archbold opposed.

The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.


Recorded by Margaret Olson

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