State Board of Agricultural Research and Education

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May 25, 2004, Fargo

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Minutes - May 25, 2004
NDSU Alumni Center - Fargo, ND


The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met in the Reimers Room at the NDSU Alumni Center on May 25, 2004 beginning at 9:30 a.m.  Members present were Ole Aarsvold, Tom Archbold, Keith Bjerke (for Joseph Chapman), Randel Christmann, Jerry Effertz, Ed Goerger, Carol Goodman, Ken Grafton, Duane Hauck, Maynard Helgaas, Patricia Jensen, Burdell Johnson, and Jeff Weispfenning (for Roger Johnson).  Tom Borgen participated by phone.

Chairman Tom Archbold called the meeting to order, welcomed the group and asked for introductions.  The minutes of the April 20 SBARE conference call were approved.

Patricia Jensen reported on the following:

  1. The search for director of the NDSU Extension Service is in progress and committee members are currently checking references on two candidates.
  2. The search for chair in agricultural and biosystems engineering is moving ahead.   There are many similar vacant jobs nationally, so the market is competitive.
  3. The search for chair in plant pathology will begin soon.
  4. The director of the equine studies program has resigned.
  5. Jensen will be traveling to Washington, D.C. to visit with Senator Dorgan’s office about barley efforts in North Dakota with North Dakota Barley Council representatives.
  6. NDSU agriculture will be partnering with the University of Minnesota on a “Green Land, Blue Waters” research project.
  7. Jensen has been meeting with the director of the Agricultural Research Service to discuss ways to enhance collaboration.

Ken Grafton provided the following research update:

  1. There are discussions taking place regarding royalty/research fees.  The NDSU Research Foundation is doing a good job of communicating needs.
  2. Monsanto’s decision to stop research on round-up ready wheat was disappointing for NDSU agriculture.  Negotiations were taking place with another company to do transgenic research, but that company decided not to continue at this time due to liability issues.
  3. A decision needs to be made about the Nestle mill soon.
  4. The experiment station strategic planning process continues and it is hoped that a draft will be ready to share with SBARE and stakeholders in the next month.
  5. An NDSU faculty member working as a dry bean pathologist has asked to switch his research emphasis to canola pathology.
  6. The dry bean breeder position is important to bean growers.  Grafton explained his involvement with bean breeding and stressed its importance to North Dakota and the region.  He stated he works closely with two post docs and a technician and hopes his bean work does not impact his work as director of the AES.
  7. There may be an opportunity to work out a collaborative research relationship with an 1890's university in Puerto Rico.
  8. NDSU agriculture has been approached to participate in a midwest dairy consortium.

Duane Hauck reported on the following extension activities:

  1. Three interviews are scheduled this month for an SBARE member to replace Vern Mayer, who resigned.
  2. Extension has recruited, screened or interviewed for 17 positions since January 1.
  3. In visiting with other extension directors across the country, the need to partner and collaborate seems to be a trend.
  4. The extension structure is unique across the country, being connected to a research base in land grants is different from outreach at other universities, with most growth coming from grants and contracts.
  5. In the report to the Legislative Council-Budget Section on April 13, extension planning efforts were noted.  Two areas will be highlighted in the year’s plan of work and Sean Brotherson and Roger Haugen reported on those areas - family/community and animal systems.

Mike Beltz, representing the North Dakota Dry Bean Council, asked to make the following points to SBARE:

  1. The bean growers strongly support research in dry beans.
  2. Be cautious about economic abandonment vs. economic development.

Ed Goerger reported that the SBARE Crops Subcommittee will meet to discuss the Nestle mill.  Goerger will contact Neal Fisher for background and advice.

Burdell Johnson reported that the SBARE Livestock Subcommittee met with representatives from the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association on May 14.  Johnson said that at the meeting Ken Odde presented a feedlot research program whereby a team from NDSU would go out and work with stakeholders, focusing more on the research than on the facility.  The group supported the program approach and the consensus was to move ahead with the plan.

Tim Faller reviewed the Hettinger Research Extension Center strategic plan and summarized general goals, noting work on a carbon sequestration project, a name change to more accurately reflect their work, and reallocation of resources to address regional needs.  SBARE members talked about the proposal and will continue discussions at a future meeting before making any decisions.

Following a lunch break, the board reconvened and Tom Archbold reminded members of a tabled motion (January 27, 2004) relative to the state employee paylag that will happen in July due to the implementation of new accounting software.  Ed Goerger made a motion, seconded by Maynard Helgaas, to remove the motion from the table.  Members voted to remove the motion and discussion followed.  Ole Aarsvold suggested sending a letter of dissatisfaction  from members of SBARE to the State Board of Higher Education and all agreed.

Chairman Archbold talked about the need to do a better job of follow-up with suggestions/recommendations discussed, or motions passed, at previous meetings.  Jerry Effertz agreed and it was decided that Effertz, Tom Archbold and Patricia Jensen would work together to review and suggest necessary follow-up from previous meeting minutes.

Board members discussed the preparation of a strategic/long-range plan as requested by the Legislature and members decided to meet June 29 to continue work on that project.

Kris Ringwall talked with SBARE about the best location for the new headquarters building proposed for the Dickinson Research Extension Center.  He shared several documents with members to give background and information to help them understand the impacts of locating the building on REC land or on land at Dickinson State University.

There was considerable discussion about the relationship between Dickinson faculty, staff and students and the research extension center.  Ringwall noted that the cooperation and collaboration go back many years and no matter where the building is located, there will be no independence of programs.

Some of the concerns about locating the building on Dickinson State property included limitations for future expansion/changes, maintaining identity, administrative issues, usage of space and enhancement of what is already located at the center.

Ole Aarsvold reminded board members that higher education will be the economics for a better future and it is important to maximize available resources.

Tom Archbold said he feared a perception that SBARE is not supportive or cooperative and suggested it may be best located on the Dickinson State campus.

Jerry Effertz noted that there would be more issues to work through if the building was built on land owned by Dickinson State and it may limit future growth.

Effertz made a motion that SBARE go on record to recommend that the new headquarters building be located on Dickinson Research Extension Center property.  Burdell Johnson seconded the motion.  On a 4-3 vote, the motion passed.  Ole Aarsvold, Tom Archbold and Ed Goerger were opposed.

Prior to adjournment at 2:25 p.m., Cal Thorsen from the ARS in Mandan, invited SBARE members to the 90th anniversary open house at the center on July 22.

Recorded by Margaret Olson


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