State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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June 25, 2010, Langdon

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Approved Minutes – June 25, 2010
Langdon, North Dakota

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met at the Langdon Research Extension Center beginning at 8:45 a.m. on June 25, 2010.  Members present were Bob Bahm, John Bollingberg, Tom Borgen, Dean Bresciani, D.C. Coston, Jerry Effertz, Doug Goehring, Carol Goodman, Ken Grafton, Duane Hauck, Rodney Howe, Doyle Johannes, Paul Langseth, and Larry Lee.

SBARE chair Rodney Howe called the meeting to order and thanked Randy Mehlhoff and the staff for hosting the meeting.  Following introductions of those in attendance, Howe introduced NDSU’s president, Dean Bresciani.  President Bresciani told SBARE he was pleased to attend the meeting on his tenth day of employment at NDSU.  He indicated that he was deeply committed to SBARE, appreciates its value and plans to be accessible and supportive.

The minutes of the March 5 and March 26 SBARE meetings were approved as distributed.

Howe reported that he met with the State Board of Higher Education to brief them on SBARE’s budget plans.  Howe said that although no vote was taken, both the chancellor and SBHE members suggested SBARE was headed in the right direction.

Howe also told SBARE that Lori Capouch had earlier requested a change to the Agricultural Research Fund policy to allow more flexibility.  After reviewing and checking the current policy, she agrees no changes are necessary.

Assistant AES Director Tim Faller reported on a partnership planning session held recently in Mandan.  Faller said that he is working on a collaborative project with NDSU/USDA/Sitting Bull College/SDSU to share ideas on range, cattle production and other related issues.  Faller stressed it is time to work together and important to respect each other’s cultures.

Chairman Howe indicated that he received a letter from the North Dakota University System Office addressing a potential change in policy relative to SBARE’s reporting responsibility.  Howe indicated that he has sought advice from individuals who suggest the policy change is not a problem, but that it is redundant, noting there is already a significant level of bureaucracy.  D.C. Coston told SBARE that he would follow up and report back to SBARE when he receives more information and clarification on the potential policy change.

Howe distributed a copy of an email from Les Backer thanking the board for their efforts over the years and indicating his plans to retire effective June 30, 2010.  Doug Goehring made a motion that SBARE go on record in support of Les Backer and express appreciation for his efforts as chair of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at NDSU.  Carol Goodman seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Howe reported that the Ag Coalition will meet on July 22 and the SBARE needs list will be discussed.

D.C. Coston provided SBARE members with the latest initiative update sheet.  He reported that he continues to be active in the Farm Bill/USDA programs, and hearings have begun for the 2012 Farm Bill.  Coston also distributed copies of a paper he prepared on his views of issues that are affecting North Dakota agriculture.

It was moved by Jerry Effertz, seconded by Tom Borgen, to compliment ag administration for the very useful initiative update sheet that has been provided at each SBARE meeting, adding that it is a significant document that provides accountability.  The motion passed unanimously.

Ken Grafton updated the board as follows:

  1. Jim Venette will serve as interim chair in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.
  2. Stan Herren is serving as interim chair in Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
  3. Rich Horsley has agreed to a term appointment of up to two years as head of Plant Sciences.
  4. Dwain Meyer plans to retire around November 1.
  5. Reid Redden has been hired by the Animal Sciences Department to work on sheep research.
  6. Michael Wunsch has joined the staff at Carrington Research Extension Center as plant pathologist.
  7. Maricelis Acevedo, cereal disease pathologist in Plant Pathology, recently won the Jeannie Borlaug Laube Inaugural Award.
  8. Julie Hochhalter has been named manager of the AES Greenhouse Complex and phase I is near completion, with the second phase moving ahead rapidly.
  9. Weather has delayed the work at the Beef Research Facility, but completion is expected early 2011.
  10. Margaret Khaitsa, associate professor of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, has been awarded a $14.5 million grant to work with zoonotic diseases.

Duane Hauck reported:

  1. Carl Dahlen has joined the Extension Service as a beef specialist.
  2. Glen Muske will serve as rural agribusiness development specialist housed in Bismarck.
  3. Katie Tyler has joined the Extension Service as a 4-H specialist and she is located in Minot.
  4. Miley Lavold has been hired as development director for the North Dakota 4-H Foundation.
  5. Emily Steckler joined Sheridan County as Extension agent.
  6. The Extension gardening program activities have spurred significant interest with over 3500 participants statewide.

SBARE members participated in a field/facilities tour of the Langdon Research Extension Center.

Following the tour, NDSU Provost Craig Schnell presented an overview of the NDSU Research Foundation and answered questions from board members about the Foundation.

Ron Beneda, Cavalier County Agent, reviewed the work that he is involved with and explained how he cooperates with the Langdon Research Extension Center.  Beneda’s update focused on the local area canola programs and research, as well as wind farm development in the area.  He reported that blackleg infections are showing up in area canola fields creating great concern.  Commissioner Goehring said that the Ag Department would be supportive and would help with addressing the blackleg concerns.

Susie Thompson, NDSU Plant Sciences, presented an overview of the potato research/breeding program and talked with SBARE about the importance of the relationship with the Langdon Research Extension Center.  Following her presentation, Ken Grafton told SBARE members that Thompson is an exceptional breeder with great enthusiasm and excitement for her work.

Board members participated in a luncheon honoring Carol Goodman and Larry Lee for their years of service to SBARE.  Their SBARE terms expire on June 30, 2010.

Peter Nygaard, NDSU Development Foundation, reported that greenhouse project fundraising efforts are going very well.

Chairman Howe asked SBARE members if they had questions about budgets that had been submitted and stressed the importance of continuing to work with legislators.  He added that in his earlier discussions with the Office of Management and Budget, he was told that a unified voice for NDSU research and Extension is very important.

Bob Bahm said he would like an executive session to discuss concerns with the capital improvement priority lists, questioning whether enough information had been gathered.  Chairman Howe responded that SBARE had a very thorough process and that they had listened to commodity representatives and other stakeholders.  He added that SBARE took the information gathered and presented an outline.  They then gathered additional input from REC directors and college department chairs/heads and prepared a draft of priorities, reviewing the materials at several meetings.  Howe suggested there was adequate time to discuss any concerns and no executive session should be needed.  Howe also reminded board members that a vote was taken on the final priority list and SBARE approved.  He indicated that if board members are asked about the priorities, they should stress the importance of following the list.

Carol Goodman indicated the priority list concept has worked well and has been voted on.  She added it is important for board members to build awareness of the research and Extension needs.

Paul Langseth stated that the list has been approved by SBARE and now it is time to move forward.  If the process needs to change, board members can meet later to discuss changes for the future.

Randy Mehlhoff, Langdon Research Extension Center Director, presented a summary of the work that is done at the center.   Mehlhoff also talked about the local economic development efforts and the importance of the relationships between the center and the EDC.  Carol Goodman explained how the EDC ties to the center and referred to the REC as a “star of the community,” adding it is a precious resource that provides the community a window to the world.

Rodney Howe thanked Randy and Carol for their work in hosting the SBARE meeting.

Howe indicated it was time for officer elections and called for nominations for SBARE vice chair.  Larry Lee nominated Paul Langseth.  It was moved by Carol Goodman, seconded by Bob Bahm to elect Paul Langseth.  All board members voted in favor and the motion was approved.

Howe relinquished the chair to Langseth who called for nominations for SBARE chair.  John Bollingberg nominated Rodney Howe.  It was moved by Larry Lee, seconded by Doug Goehring to elect Rodney Howe.  All board members voted in favor and the motion was approved.

Paul Langseth congratulated Howe on an exceptional job as SBARE chair during his first year and Howe responded with thanks for the help and support he has received.

Jerry Effertz again expressed concern regarding the State Board of Higher Education’s plan to implement an additional policy relating to SBARE’s annual reporting process.  Effertz stressed that SBARE has operated under guidelines of the Century Code and has been well served, adding it is unnecessary to incorporate new or additional policies.

John Bollingberg stated that he felt it is important to notify farm/commodity groups that SBARE members are available to visit with them about the research and Extension priority lists.  Langseth added that it is important to also thank those stakeholders for their input to the budget process.

Prior to adjournment at 2:20 p.m., Effertz again thanked Carol Goodman and Larry Lee for their service and commitment to SBARE over these past years.

Recorded by Margaret Olson


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