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June 29, 2004, Fargo

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Minutes – June 29, 2004
Ramada
Plaza Suites – Fargo, ND


The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met in the Bach Room at the Ramada Plaza Suites in Fargo on June 29, 2004 beginning at 8:00 a.m.  Members present were Tom Archbold, Keith Bjerke (for Joseph Chapman), Tom Borgen, Jerry Effertz, Neal Fisher, Ed Goerger, Carol Goodman, Ken Grafton, Duane Hauck, Maynard Helgaas, Patricia Jensen, Burdell Johnson, and Jeff Weispfenning (for Roger Johnson).

Chair Tom Archbold called the meeting to order and introduced Dr. Kenneth Martin, candidate for the position of director of the NDSU Extension Service.  Martin talked about his background and relevant experience and offered to respond to questions.

The minutes of the May 25 SBARE meeting were approved as distributed.

Patricia Jensen reported on the following:

  1. Jensen recently traveled to Washington, DC to join Jim Broten, North Dakota Barley Council chairman, at a meeting with members of the congressional delegation to discuss funding for barley research.
  2. The biosurveillance initiative continues to grow.
  3. There have been meetings with USDA to discuss possibilities for a new food safety building and campus greenhouses.

Neal Fisher told SBARE that he recently attended a meeting in Fargo and a milling specialist talked positively about the potential for the Nestle mill at NDSU.

Before discussions began on long-range/strategic planning, Jensen stressed the importance of understanding the missions of NDSU, as well as the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources.  She added that she has asked Dr. Gary Brewer, chair of entomology, to review all departmental missions, look at those of NDSU and the college and consider how they fit together.

Duane Hauck, interim director of the NDSU Extension Service, and Ken Grafton, director of the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station, presented their reports on purpose, mission, and future plans for Extension and Experiment Station.  (Copies of the presentations are available on request.)

Following the presentations, Archbold asked for comments or questions and Jerry Effertz stressed the importance of sustaining agriculture in North Dakota and the need to prioritize programs and enhancements to contribute to the changing rural communities.

Hauck stated that Extension is trying to accommodate and focus on community vitality and rural leadership, but said maybe more needs to be done.

Maynard Helgaas agreed with Effertz and said that North Dakotans need to get on the same page and cooperate to save small communities.   He asked SBARE to send a resolution to the Agricultural Products Utilization Commission in support of development of the vegetable industry in the state as a way to help save small towns.

Effertz asked how to convince county commissioners, commodity groups, and others of the need to change focus and address community needs.

Keith Bjerke stated that NDSU is doing a poor job of telling about the good things happening.  He said there is a campaign plan being unveiled at NDSU this fall to better tell the story around the state, country and world.  He emphasized that many great things are going on at NDSU and he said many people don’t know about the successes.  He added that there is a need to sell North Dakota and that NDSU needs to be seen as a unit across the state.  He stated the marketing campaign will help to develop pride in NDSU and North Dakota, indicating there is a need to grow into an attitude that cares and brands a unified entity, which trumpets success.

Carol Goodman suggested there are many signs that things are changing across the state – economic development programs are working and turning out opportunities, with developers responding.  She added that the challenge is to change people’s thinking.  She stressed the need to save mid-level communities and noted that partnerships with larger communities are critical.

Chairman Archbold told board members his thought was that these issues did not fit in the duties of SBARE as stated in the legislative language.

Burdell Johnson suggested the NDSU campaign include NDSU as a land-grant institution and the importance of agriculture.

Maynard Helgaas made a motion that SBARE request the Agricultural Products Utilization Commission continue to support new and emerging markets for value-added and high-value crops in North Dakota.  Ed Goerger seconded the motion.

Archbold expressed concern with the motion, asking what happens if other areas/constituents request the same type of support.

Tom Borgen responded that each request could be evaluated for merit.

Jeff Weisfpenning participates with APUC and indicated that support letters are helpful as funding decisions are considered by the board.

The motion passed with Tom Archbold, Neal Fisher and Burdell Johnson opposed.

Jerry Effertz made a motion to commend research and extension on efforts to provide strategic plans.  Maynard Helgaas seconded the motion.

Jeff Weisfpenning noted that the Department of Agriculture absolutely works very closely and is very supportive of the agriculture (research and extension) efforts at NDSU.

Burdell Johnson agreed the presentations were commendable, but said he did not necessarily endorse the entire plans.

Ken Grafton reminded everyone that the plan that he presented is a work-in-progress and he welcomes comments and suggestions.  He added that he hopes SBARE will take the two plans presented and work on a strategy for the future.

Duane Hauck said the next step should be to develop a succinct written statement that articulates the direction of North Dakota agriculture to carry to the legislature.

Following the discussion, the motion to commend the work passed.

Prior to adjournment at 12:15 p.m., it was noted that Ed Goerger and Neal Fisher will attend the Ag Coalition meeting July 22.

Recorded by Margaret Olson


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