State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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January 15, 2010, Fargo

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Approved Minutes – January 15, 2010
NDSU Alumni Center, Fargo, North Dakota

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met at the NDSU Alumni Center in Fargo, North Dakota beginning at 8 a.m. on January 15, 2010.  Members present were Bob Bahm, John Bollingberg, Tom Borgen, Bob Christman (for Doug Goehring), D.C. Coston, Jerry Effertz, Carol Goodman, Ken Grafton, Richard Hanson, Duane Hauck, Rodney Howe, Doyle Johannes, Jim Kerzman, Jerry Klein, Paul Langseth, and Doyle Lentz.

Chairman Rodney Howe called the meeting to order.  Following introductions, the minutes of the November SBARE meeting were approved as distributed.

Howe introduced Richard Hanson, NDSU interim president.  Hanson updated SBARE on current happenings and told board members that he is privileged to be at NDSU.  He added that he looks forward to positioning NDSU for the next surge. 

Howe indicated that by legislative statute, SBARE is required to advise the NDSU President on the performance of the Vice President for Agriculture and University Extension, the ND Agricultural Experiment Station Director and the NDSU Extension Director.  Provost Craig Schnell and Vice President D.C. Coston summarized the results of a recent evaluation done for NDAES Director/Dean Ken Grafton.  Board member Jerry Effertz served on Grafton’s evaluation committee and he suggested a less cumbersome process be considered.  Committee member Neal Fisher concurred, but added he was pleased with the positive outcome.

Duane Hauck reported that Chris Boerboom has joined the Extension Service as the Assistant Director/Program Leader for Ag and Natural Resources.

Hauck distributed a draft of a letter he would like sent to our federal delegation requesting their support for federal budgeting efforts and asking for an increase in Smith-Lever funds.  Following review of the letter and subsequent discussions, Carol Goodman made a motion that the letter be sent to North Dakota’s federal delegation on behalf of SBARE.  Jerry Klein seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Ken Grafton reported that Doug Freeman has resigned his position as chair of the Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, effective January 31, to assume the position of Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Saskatchewan.  Grafton added that Neal Dyer will serve as interim chair.

Grafton also reported that recent hires include: Maricelis Acevedo, cereal disease pathologist; Robert Bruggeman, barley pathologist; and David Newman, animal scientist.

Grafton told SBARE that Susie Thompson, NDSU potato breeder, recently released a new dual purpose potato variety, “Dakota Trailblazer,” that is disease resistant and efficient in use of nitrogen.

Grafton updated the board on two building projects, indicating that bids have been accepted for Phase II of the Beef Research Facility and Phase II of the greenhouse project.

D.C. Coston distributed copies of the 2009 initiative update, noting progress is being made as anticipated.

Jerry Effertz expressed concern about the budget situation at NDSU and administration’s plan to move funds to balance budgets.  Effertz reminded the board that by state statute, research and Extension funds cannot be comingled.

President Hanson told the board that he had no intention of moving any resources associated with the legislative mandate, adding that funds being considered are local funds and there is really no impact on agriculture or Extension.

Coston indicated that the Legislative Interim Agriculture Committee met on campus earlier this week and had the opportunity to tour the new greenhouse.

Rodney Howe reported that about a month ago he met with Chancellor Goetz  and expressed concern about the University System’s request that SBARE submit their budget needs by March 18.  Howe suggested to the Chancellor that he would like to pursue a later date.  Howe also noted that the University System Office has provided a percentage guideline in the past, but said the Chancellor prefers that the SBARE request be based on needs.

The following department chairs talked with SBARE about their department visions/needs:

  1. David Saxowsky, Agribusiness and Applied Economics
  2. Les Backer, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
  3. Greg Lardy, Animal Sciences
  4. Jack Rasmussen, Plant Pathology
  5. Dwain Meyer, Plant Sciences
  6. Deland Myers, School of Food Systems
  7. Don Kirby, School of Natural Resource Sciences
  8. Neil Dyer, Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences

Lt. Governor Jack Dalrymple joined SBARE and provided the group with background information regarding the formation and implementation of the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education.  He indicated that before SBARE, the legislative budget process was very chaotic and SBARE has grown to be a highly regarded and credible body.  He stressed the importance of research and Extension sticking together as they work through the budget process.  Dalrymple referred to the greenhouse project as an example of a premiere regional center in the Northern Plains, a payback that will provide great opportunities.

Effertz asked Lt. Governor Dalrymple how SBARE can do a better job and continue to be successful with the burdens of the budget development process and differences in philosophy with the University System Office.  Dalrymple responded that board members need to communicate about the good system, adding that if SBARE members know individual SBHE members, they should visit and educate them about the SBARE process.

The group adjourned for a tour of the new greenhouse.

The board reconvened at 1:25 p.m. and Kris Ringwall, director of the Dickinson Research Extension Center provided an update/briefing about the DREC.

Duane Hauck asked several Extension representatives to talk with SBARE about their specific program visions/needs for the future:

  1. Margaret Tweten, NE District director
  2. Hans Kandel, Extension Agronomist-Plant Sciences
  3. Kevin Sedivec, Associate Professor-Range Sciences Department
  4. Deb Gebeke, Assistant Director of Family and Consumer Sciences
  5. Frayne Olson, Crops Economist/Marketing Specialist-Agribusiness and Applied Economics

Congressman Earl Pomeroy, on campus for other business, stopped by the meeting and talked with SBARE about the significant value of agricultural research, adding that the role of SBARE (producers) is critical to keep research on track.

Duane Hauck explained the importance of funds provided by Smith Lever and asked for Pomeroy’s support of the letter that SBARE will send per the morning’s discussion.

Extension representatives continued with their overview of program visions/needs:
1.         Sam Markell, Plant Pathologist – Plant Pathology
2.         Brad Cogdill, Chair in the Center for 4-H Youth Development

The board talked about the budgeting process and the timeline for submitting the final budget to the State Board of Higher Education and it resulted in the following resolution:

Whereas, SBARE is tasked by the ND Legislature to help develop the NDSU agriculture research and Extension budget; and

Whereas, as an essential part of the budgeting process, SBARE has just finished gathering stakeholder input, research and Extension specialist requests; and

Whereas, SBARE still has the extensive task of organizing the budget requests we have received, prioritizing the requests, shaping the results into specific research and Extension initiatives, and reprioritizing this final product; and

Whereas, this prioritized final list of initiatives is referred to the Agriculture Budget Office to incorporate costs; and

Whereas, this process has traditionally been completed in time to forward the proposed budget to the State Board of Higher Education by mid-May; and

Whereas, to significantly reduce the time allowed for SBARE, a citizen board to accomplish this legislatively mandated task cannot help but negatively impact this process.

Therefore be it resolved, the chairman of SBARE seek approval to submit the agriculture research and Extension budget to the State Board of Higher Education by May 15, 2010.

The resolution passed unanimously.

Chairman Howe asked board members for their thoughts regarding the input/information received so far.

Carol Goodman thanked everyone involved for their part in the SBARE process.  She reminded SBARE that two years ago a one page document, “SBARE Role Statement,” was prepared and she suggested board members review it as it defines the heart and soul for the future.  She indicated that she is excited listening to President Hanson’s thoughts about NDSU being positioned to become a leader.  She added that it will be very important to make sure that SBARE addresses the major issues that were talked about as input has been gathered over the past months.

Representative Jim Kerzman said the input sessions have been very informative and after listening to Lt. Governor Jack Dalrymple, he clearly understands why SBARE was needed.  He added that the board is a win-win for North Dakota and agriculture.  He suggested condensing the input to a synopsis with pros and cons listed.

Duane Hauck said the information can be condensed to an abbreviated list, but general board feedback is needed to be sure the same thing was heard by all.

Bob Christman noted that the makeup of the legislative appropriations committee will be different this year because of resignations and retirements.  He stressed the importance of cohesiveness when going into the legislative session.

Jerry Effertz agreed with Representative Kerzman, stating that a complete summary of what was presented be prepared with a succinct statement regarding each initiative.

John Bollingberg said it will be important to go back to commodity organizations when prioritization is finished so they have meaningful input and the opportunity to resolve any contention before presenting to the Legislature.

Doyle Johannes also requested a succinct list of input gathered for review.

Paul Langseth said the next step should be to get the complete list of input gathered, adding he struggles with integration or areas where there are already teams, questioning how to get to the next step.  Langseth suggests that by “packaging,” you don’t really choose a need, but a program.

Tom Borgen stated that the stakeholder input summary sheet that was already shared was well done and by adding pros/cons, it will provide a good briefing to share with Ag Coalition.

Bob Bahm stressed the importance of keeping the Ag Coalition in the loop because they provide a good representation of producers.  He said he would like to see a breakdown on the focus of research, asking what researchers need vs. what producers want/need.  He stressed the importance of being prepared if there is an emerging problem, such as sawfly infestation.

Doyle Lentz said the preliminary synopsis was helpful.  He said he  would like to prioritize the needs without attaching dollars and that it will be important to resolve any federal funding issues before the session.

Senator Jerry Klein suggested that with the changes in the Legislature, there may not be as many ag legislators so it will be important to reemphasize SBARE’s responsibilities. 

Rodney Howe would like a list of all the input gathered to date for board members to review prior to the next meeting when prioritization should be started.

Ken Grafton and Duane Hauck asked the board to let them know what went well with the process the last session and what did not work well.  They said it is important for them to know where to focus their efforts as they continue with the budget planning process.

D.C. Coston said that the summary that was provided with input received so far included broad topics.  He said ag administrators will compile a complete summary with the additional input and will include a short paragraph with each as was done during the last session. 

The meeting adjourned at 4:10 p.m.

Recorded by Margaret Olson


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