State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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March 7, 2008, Mandan

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Approved Minutes - March 7, 2008
Seven Seas, Mandan, ND

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met at the Seven Seas in Mandan, North Dakota, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on March 7, 2008.  Members present were Bob Bahm, D.C. Coston, Jerry Effertz, Carol Goodman, Ken Grafton, Duane Hauck, Rodney Howe, Doyle Johannes, Larry Lee, Doyle Lentz and Jeff Weispfenning for Roger Johnson.

Chairman Jerry Effertz called the meeting to order and minutes of the February 11 SBARE meeting were approved as distributed.

D.C. Coston reported that the federal appropriations process is ongoing and that the President’s budget includes dramatic reductions in research and extension programs.  He added that it is a critical time for the Farm Bill and there is a push to increase funding for agricultural research.  Coston encouraged board members to make contacts with the delegation, stressing the importance of constituent input.

Ken Grafton told SBARE that following the search for a pulse breeder at NDSU, an individual was offered the position and verbally accepted, but turned down the position when papers were to be signed.  Grafton indicated the position was reopened and application deadline was February 29, with hopes of having someone on board soon.  He added that there have been similar problems with recruitments in the Agribusiness Department and the Ag and Biosystems Department, noting that in most cases, money is the issue.

Grafton shared that he recently met with representatives of the Soybean Council and the Corn Utilization Commission and both groups encouraged support for technical positions with their respective programs.

Duane Hauck reported that county extension offices continue to host reporting sessions for local county commissioners and local legislators, adding that the sessions have been very positive and well received.

Hauck indicated that eXtension was launched nationally last week and encouraged SBARE members to take a look at the website:

Hauck also reported that the Joint Council of Extension will host the Public Issues Leadership Development Conference (PILD) in Washington, D.C. in April and Jerry Effertz will attend with several other extension staff.

Jerry Effertz reported that he, along with President Chapman and Vice President Coston, attended the State Board of Higher Education meeting in Mayville on February 21 and had the opportunity to visit about SBARE.

Ken Grafton introduced Greg Lardy, professor of animal sciences, who provided an update on the progress of the beef research facility in Fargo.  Lardy distributed plans and explained particulars of the design.  He reminded board members that construction costs have increased considerably since the original plans and cost estimates were prepared three years ago.

Lardy also updated SBARE members on the status of the Beef Systems Center of Excellence, indicating that the facility should be ready around May 1.

Duane Hauck and Ken Grafton reviewed the summary of ratings (submitted by members of SBARE) and talked about dollars it would cost to fund the rated programs.  Following the program initiative discussions, SBARE recessed for a lunch break and Effertz told board members to think about the possibility of rerating the programs based on the morning’s discussions.

The board reconvened at 1 p.m. and Ken Grafton distributed a list of capital improvement needs for SBARE review.  He told SBARE that ag administration would like to ask the Legislature for additional funds to complete the greenhouse project, funds to complete the beef research facility and funds to complete the headquarters renovations/additions that were carried over from the last session.  Other projects were mentioned, but Grafton indicated that these projects were considered to be the highest priorities by NDSU ag administration.

Following the discussion, Rodney Howe made a motion to approve and move forward with the priority list for capital projects as presented.  Larry Lee seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

At this time, the board continued discussions related to the proposed budget needs and some suggested modifications to the priority list were suggested.

Rodney Howe made a motion to bundle extension items AA (communications) and BB (technical support) together.  Doyle Lentz seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Duane Hauck suggested packaging the Salinity initiative with the Tillage initiative but following discussions about the two needs, board members agreed to present them separately.

Hauck also suggested there may be some merit to combining three technical positions to present as one initiative, but the board did not support doing so.

Following discussion regarding the relationship between the 4-H Camping and 4-H Leadership initiatives, Rodney Howe made a motion to combine the two and move to the higher position on the priority list.  Doyle Lentz seconded the motion, which passed with two dissenting votes.

Ken Grafton suggested to the board that bundling the Wheat Rust Pathologist, Plant Pathologist, and Crops Disease Management positions together would make a lot of sense.  Board members discussed and Doyle Lentz made a motion to package the three requests together and present as one initiative.  Rodney Howe seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Board members had considerable discussion about the need to increase the request for the Deferred Maintenance and Extraordinary Repairs initiative and agreed to leave the request as rated on the priority list, but to also submit a separate one-time funding request for an additional amount.

After board members discussed the option of submitting separate requests for one-time funding, Doyle Lentz moved that the Communications and IT Support initiatives also be removed from the priority list and submitted separately as a one-time funding request.  Larry Lee seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Rodney Howe talked about the number of North Dakota acres currently in forage and stressed the need for work in that area.  Jerry Doan agreed and added that now would be an opportune time to seriously consider requesting financial support for such research work.

Carol Goodman talked about the significance of the Institute of Agribusiness Development and stressed the importance of considering its value as board members move into final stages of prioritization.  She noted that the initiative encourages opportunities to tie many of the initiatives together.

Ole Aarsvold joined the group following another commitment and commented that he was sorry to see that so many of the people issues/programs were rated at the low end of the summary rating sheets.

Chairman Effertz talked about how to proceed with the priority process.  SBARE members discussed rerating the budget needs after the modifications are incorporated.

Larry Lee made a motion that SBARE members be sent a new ballot that includes the changes and an opportunity to rerate the program initiatives.  Bob Bahm seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.  Effertz added that the rating sheets should be returned to Margaret Olson by March 14 and will be summarized and discussed at the March 19 SBARE meeting in Bismarck.

Representative Aarsvold reported to SBARE members that after long and thoughtful consideration, he has decided not to seek reelection to the North Dakota Legislature.  He thanked everyone for support and stated that his participation with SBARE has been one of the highlights of his legislative career.  He noted that he will be sending a letter to the Legislative Council this week requesting they name a replacement for him on the board, providing a new legislative representative the opportunity to be involved in the priority setting process as soon as possible.  He reminded everyone that he plans to continue to work on behalf of SBARE throughout the remainder of his legislative term.

Jerry Effertz expressed appreciation to Aarsvold for his work with the board and Doyle Lentz made a motion that SBARE go on record thanking him for his dedication and service over the past years.  Larry Lee seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Bob Bahm suggested it would be a good idea to have some type of presentation/summary of what SBARE has supported and funded over the years.  Other board members agreed.

The meeting adjourned at 3:25 p.m.

Recorded by Margaret Olson


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