State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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March 26, 2010, Bismarck

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Minutes – March 26, 2010
Bismarck, North Dakota

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck, ND, beginning at 8 a.m. on March 26, 2010.  Members present were Bob Bahm, John Bollingberg, Tom Borgen, D.C. Coston, Jerry Effertz, Bob Christman (for Doug Goehring), Carol Goodman, Ken Grafton, Duane Hauck, Rodney Howe, Doyle Johannes, Jim Kerzman, Jerry Klein, Paul Langseth, Larry Lee, and Doyle Lentz.

Chairman Rodney Howe welcomed all to the meeting and called for introductions.

Howe discussed the proposed change to SBHE Policy 350.1, which relates to governance, suggesting the separateness of SBARE is misunderstood.  Board members suggested the proposed language change was redundant, noting it was addressed in the ND Century Code and SBHE should not supersede.

Howe also reported:

  • A letter was sent to the NDSU presidential search committee, on behalf of SBARE, encouraging them to consider the importance of the land grant mission in their deliberations.
  • The SBARE meeting with the Legislative Budget Committee went well.
  • OMB has indicated that the number 1 and 2 ranked initiatives should be: 1) costs to continue and 2) additional greenhouse utilities, but the Governor’s recommendation is yet to be announced.
  • The Vice President for Agriculture and University Extension’s evaluation process is proceeding well.
  • Animal rights issues were discussed at the March Ag Coalition meeting.

Larry Lee updated board members on the State Seed Department/NDSU Research Foundation relationship, indicating that an agreement has been reached for the current year and more work is needed on the system for the future.

Rodney Howe indicated that the Agricultural Research Fund administrator, Lori Capouch, has requested a review and some potential changes to the ARF bylaws.

Chairman Howe reported that the names of Mike Beltz, Hillsboro; JoAnn Rodenbiker, Rock Lake; and Doyle Lentz, Rolla, will be submitted to the SBHE for appointment to SBARE.  Howe expressed thanks to Larry Lee, whose term will expire on June 30, and acknowledged his straightforward approach to SBARE affairs.

D.C. Coston acknowledged Bruce Bollinger’s recent appointment as NDSU’s Vice President for Finance and Administration, indicating he has managed the ag programs well and has maintained high standards.  Coston added that Bollinger will continue to oversee the ag programs and provide mentorship to the Ag Budget Office staff.

Coston also noted that, on the national level, work will soon begin on reauthorization of the Farm Bill.

Ken Grafton told SBARE he has been invited to BASF in Germany to visit about a unique business model that may provide tremendous possibilities.

Duane Hauck thanked SBARE for sending the support letter to the congressional delegation, indicating the message has been heard.

Hauck distributed copies of the latest 4-H report; indicated he has a personal goal of visiting all counties in the state, and to support growth of the 4-H programs; and reported youth development is the theme for this spring’s Extension conference.

Rodney Howe indicated that he has heard from the Office of Management and Budget that the Governor’s budget guidelines will likely be very conservative this year.

Howe also stressed the importance of speaking with one voice and sticking together as the legislative session approaches.  Having said that, he entertained a motion to either approve the experiment station rankings as presented or work on reordering. 

Larry Lee made a motion to move ahead with the experiment station initiatives as ranked.  Jim Kerzman seconded the motion. 

Bob Bahm asked if there would still be a later opportunity to discuss position locations and Ken Grafton answered that if everything gets funded, there may be opportunities to manipulate positions that complement, and there may flexibility with joint appointments.

Following discussions, the motion was unanimously approved.

Doyle Lentz made a motion to approve the Extension budget request as ranked.  Carol Goodman seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Duane Hauck highlighted the proposed plans for the learning/conference center at Washburn and called on Brad Cogdill, director of the Center for 4-H, to explain details of the project.  Several SBARE members had questions and comments regarding ownership, potential donors, possibility of raising private funds, state support for the project, keeping people connected to and educated about agriculture, as well as the  separateness/uniqueness of the project and how it might affect other Extension initiatives.  Following the discussions, Jerry Effertz made a motion to include the  4-H building project (learning/conference center) in the Extension budget request.  John Bollingberg seconded the motion, which failed on a 6-5 vote.

Board members talked about requesting “special funds” for the 4-H camp project, after which John Bollingberg made a motion to recommend requesting 50% of the $3.7 million from the legislature with the remaining 50% coming from special funds.  Doyle Johannes seconded the motion.

Jerry Effertz suggested the need to maintain flexibility and suggested an amendment to the motion which will specify the request as $2.5 million from the legislature with the remainder from special funds.  Larry Lee seconded the amendment.  The board approved.

Hauck noted the additional one-time requests for Extension include:  interactive video equipment upgrades; updated software for land valuation tax model; and North Dakota State Soil Conservation Committee.  Jim Kerzman made a motion to support the list of additional one-time needs.  Larry Lee seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Bruce Bollinger talked about the extensive needs on the list presented for deferred maintenance and indicated he was not aware of what would be allowed by the State Board of Higher Education.  After review, Jerry Effertz made a motion that SBARE support 50% of the deferred maintenance projects listed.  John Bollingberg seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Ken Grafton discussed the Agricultural Experiment Station capital project list indicating that completing the final phase of the greenhouse project is the number one priority.  Upgrades and renovations to agronomy labs at Carrington, Hettinger, Langdon and Central Grasslands, as well as seed conditioning plants at Minot, Carrington, Williston, and Langdon are also priorities. 

Howe distributed copies of several letters received in support of a new seed cleaning facility at the North Central Research Extension Center in Minot.  Effertz acknowledged the interest and work of Del Gates, Mark Birdsall, Troy Kunze and Tim Bryan, indicating the data they gathered was helpful in SBARE’s deliberations.

Tom Borgen made a motion to approve the greenhouse as the first capital priority for the Agricultural Experiment Station.  Doyle Lentz seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.

Board members heard from research extension center directors about specific needs/reasons for including agronomy lab updates/renovations in the AES priority list.  John Bollingberg made a motion to recommend endorsement of this priority presented as a package with current dollar amounts included.  Jim Kerzman seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.

Chairman Howe prefaced the discussion regarding seed cleaning facilities, by stressing to SBARE that he is neutral and very much in favor of agriculture, but wants to end up with consensus and go forward.  He added that he has had numerous conversations with individuals about seed cleaning businesses and he wants to be sure that the projected estimates for the proposed facilities are reasonable.  Board members agreed that SBARE’s credibility is important and it is critical to be diligent in researching the project and costs.

Producers in attendance at the meeting testified in support of the new facilities, citing incidents that would indicate the need to update the current facilities at the research extension centers.

Following discussions, John Bollingberg made a motion that SBARE support the seed cleaning plants as the third priority at the level presented with due diligence.  Larry Lee seconded the motion.

Paul Langseth proposed an amendment that would support proceeding with the project with $2 million dollars at Carrington and $2 million at Minot.  Jim Kerzman seconded.

Jerry Effertz and John Bollingberg both warned the group not to reduce support to a level that would provide a substandard facility, and Jerry Klein stressed that too large a number could impact the lobbying effort.

The amendment failed and the motion passed.

Langseth updated SBARE on the NDSU presidential search.

Ken Grafton asked SBARE for advice on how they would like the proposed initiatives packaged.

Prior to adjournment, Neal Fisher, executive director of the North Dakota Wheat Commission, reminded SBARE not to be bashful in their budget request, indicating North Dakota stakeholders have the privilege of dividing money, most of which has been provided by the agriculture industry.  He encouraged SBARE to “celebrate the bounty.”

The meeting adjourned at 1 p.m.

Recorded by Margaret Olson


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