State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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February 24, 2004, Fargo

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Minutes - February 24, 2004
Loftsgard Hall, NDSU - Fargo, ND

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met in Loftsgard Hall, NDSU campus, on February 24, 2004 beginning at 9:00 a.m. Members present were Ole Aarsvold, Tom Archbold, Randel Christmann, Jerry Doan, Jerry Effertz, Ed Goerger, Carol Goodman, Ken Grafton, Duane Hauck, Patricia Jensen, Burdell Johnson and Vern Mayer.

Chairman Tom Archbold called the meeting to order and asked for approval of the minutes from the January 27 meeting. Ken Grafton requested his update be changed to read "a seven-acre permanent easement will be provided at the Agronomy Seed Farm...", clarifying that the land will not be sold. With that correction, Grafton made a motion to approve the minutes. Ed Goerger seconded the motion, which passed.

Archbold announced that Vern Mayer will resign from SBARE. Mayer told members he accepted a full-time job, intends to continue with his farm operation and regretfully will not have the necessary time to serve with SBARE. Archbold and others expressed thanks to Mayer and congratulated him on his new position.

Chairman Archbold asked Randel Christmann if he had any information that would warrant action on a motion tabled at the last meeting relative to the pay lag for NDSU agriculture employees. Christmann said no new information is available.

Ken Grafton and Duane Hauck reviewed the 2003-05 budget and summarized the impact of the reductions.

Following up on discussion from the last meeting, SBARE members talked about the capital improvement budget and were reminded by Bruce Bollinger that NDSU Agriculture is only allowed to submit two project requests to the State Board of Higher Education. Most discussion focused on the greenhouse complex and the Central Grasslands Research Extension Center headquarters building. Ken Grafton noted that because of the significant costs associated with upgrading the greenhouses, conversations were ongoing with potential partners. Randy Christmann expressed concern about related operating costs, but Patricia Jensen assured board members that President Chapman is very supportive of new campus greenhouses and she anticipates the costs would be considered in the institutional priorities.

Ken Odde talked about the status of the Beef Center of Excellence (partially funded during the last legislative session) and the need to acquire matching funds. Some board members asked how the Beef Center for Excellence fits in the priority list. Odde explained that the center is the first project of several that will be managed/facilitated through the new Ag Innovation Center and he reminded board members that the project budget is separate from general fund requests for other capital improvement projects. Understanding the difference in funding sources, Christmann stressed the importance of communicating that the Beef Center of Excellence is significant and work on the project will continue.

Tom Archbold told board members that during a legislative budget tour on campus last fall, President Chapman pointed out the poor condition of the current greenhouses and stressed the need for a new complex. Aarsvold added that he talked with several legislators after that tour and they, too, were concerned about the condition of the greenhouses.

Jerry Doan indicated that he strongly supports the Streeter headquarters addition, noting that they should be given an opportunity to grow and move ahead as the other centers have.

Ole Aarsvold commented on the need for updated and safer seed handling facilities at the North Central Research Extension Center.

Jerry Effertz stated that deferred maintenance should be a high priority and Ken Grafton responded that some maintenance requests may be addressed in the needs-based budget.

Grafton told board members that he has talked with the research extension center directors and they support the greenhouse complex and Streeter headquarters project as first and second priorities.

Tim Faller said that most of the research extension centers have grown with their communities, creating additional needs. He asked if it might work to present a "package request" as the second priority, requesting funds for Hettinger, Minot and Carrington, along with Streeter.

Paul Nyren reminded the board that to make changes and grow, facilities need to be accommodate the growth and provide opportunities.

Jerry Effertz questioned how the new facility would be used and whether there was a real need in that area of the state, but Burdell Johnson indicated it is needed because Streeter does not have other facilities in the area. Ken Grafton added that if there is a goal of meeting the needs of agriculture into the twenty-first century, Streeter must be considered for renovation.

Tom Archbold asked if all board members were comfortable with the recommended prioritization - greenhouse complex being number one and Streeter number two, or would the preference be to combine needs of other centers with Streeter request?

Tim Faller proposed that he and the directors discuss packaging the number two request and return a recommendation to SBARE.

Ed Goerger made a motion to rank the greenhouse complex as the #1 capital project request and to combine the center additions at Streeter, Carrington, Minot, and Hettinger together as #2, with Streeter topping that list. Carol Goodman seconded the motion, but before a vote was taken, Jerry Effertz suggested waiting until after lunch to vote, allowing the center directors time to discuss and react to the motion.

Following a lunch break, the board reconvened and began needs-based budget planning. Jerry Doan reminded board members that it is important to include input from stakeholders. Patricia Jensen suggested that a summary of current recommendations could be sent to constituents with an invitation for reaction and/or response.

Tim Faller told SBARE that he, Jay Fisher, Paul Nyren, and Blaine Schatz met during the break and support submitting a "package" request. He added that each center would provide a $50,000 match if the State Board of Higher Education funds such a request. The order of priority within the package request would be Streeter, Hettinger, Carrington, and Minot.

SBARE members, joined by research extension center directors, extension leadership team, and college department chairs, separated into working groups to review and discuss priorities.

Following the working group discussions, board members agreed to take the information gathered from the day's discussions, study for a few weeks, and continue discussions with subcommittees prior to the next full board meeting, which will be March 30-31 in Bismarck.

Duane Hauck reminded SBARE members that information technology costs have increased dramatically during times when associated funding is decreasing. Patricia Jensen suggested that SBARE save time at a future board meeting to talk about the expenses related to information technology.

The meeting adjourned at 4 p.m.

Recorded by Margaret Olson

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