State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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April 21, 2011, Conference Call

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Approved Minutes – April 21, 2011
Conference Call


The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met via conference call on April 21, 2011, beginning at 1 p.m.  Members present were Mike Beltz, Tom Borgen, Dean Bresciani, D.C. Coston, Jerry Effertz, Doug Goehring, Ken Grafton, Duane Hauck, Rodney Howe, Doyle Johannes, Paul Langseth, Doyle Lentz, and JoAnn Rodenbiker.

Chairman Howe indicated it was his intent to update board members about SBARE budgets as the legislative session winds down.  Howe said that although there have been ups and downs during this session, he has been amazed at the support and respect there is for SBARE, adding his appreciation to previous SBARE chairs for opening doors for him to work with appropriate individuals on the budget process.

Howe told board members that as it currently stands research and Extension were treated well with both budgets increasing by over 6%.  He added the following:

  1. For various reasons late additions to the budget included funding for special assessments at the main station, funding for the Dickinson Research Extension Center through a permanent oil trust, and contingency funds available for Williston Research Extension Center director in case the agreement with Montana State is discontinued.
  2. There was an amendment considered during the session adding $200,000 for wine and grape research, but it was not included in the final recommendation.
  3. The Legislative Council is working to clarify some language in the research and Extension bill before it is voted on.
  4. Commodity groups were very supportive of the SBARE budget and Dr. Bresciani and NDSU ag administrators supported and helped the cause.
  5. The Office of Management and Budget was most gracious and informative throughout the budgeting process and especially cooperative were the University System Office and the chancellor.

Duane Hauck summarized what appears to be funded in the Extension budget.  He noted that “Gearing Up for Kindergarten” was dropped, but suggested that funds might be added in the Education budget.  He added that pass-through funds were included in the Extension budget for Soil Conservation Districts and support for the land tax model will be taken care of this biennium with resources provided by the ND Tax Department.

Ken Grafton reviewed the items supported in the research budget and talked about the impacts, noting the importance of support for the final phase of the Greenhouse project, which has been the number one capital improvement project in SBARE’s budget for several sessions.  Grafton also indicated the inclusion of funds in the recommendation for a canola breeder, special assessments, and contingency funds for Williston in case the partnership with Montana State is dissolved. 

Tom Borgen had questions about funding for the canola breeding effort and Grafton stated the Canola Growers may be asked to provide funding for technical support.

Duane Hauck told SBARE that Ron Beneda, Cavalier County Agent, recently underwent surgery and although the doctors are optimistic, there are discussions about how to cover his workload during his recovery period.

Grafton said that legislators agreed to work with SBARE to support using revenue from the oil trust for Dickinson Research Extension Center operating and he added that there is an effort underway to wean Dickinson from those dollars.  Chairman Howe stressed the importance of getting it resolved since revenues continue to decline and some legislators were unhappy about it.

Jerry Effertz asked for an explanation of the ND/MT agreement regarding directors at Williston and Sydney.  Ken Grafton responded that the ND Agricultural Experiment Station portion of the yearly contract is for 50% time and services, and if Montana decides to terminate their contract support, there would be a role change and establishment of a new director at Williston.  Grafton stressed that the contingency funds would only be available if needed and are not included in the base budget.

Rodney Howe told board members that he recently learned that South Dakota is being hugely impacted by budget reductions in Extension, and services to all areas of agriculture are being affected.  He noted the importance of maintaining unity and said he remains encouraged by Governor Dalrymple’s significant support for SBARE.

D.C. Coston updated board members on federal budget activities and indicated how NDSU research and Extension will be impacted by the outcome.

As the conference call was in progress, Chairman Howe received word that the ag and Extension bill had been passed by large majorities in both the House and the Senate.  Howe was thanked by Paul Langseth for his efforts in the successful outcome.  Jerry Effertz added his thanks for Howe’s work and Howe responded that the accomplishments were the result of a team effort.  President Bresciani also thanked Chairman Howe, noting his work was exceptional.  He said he appreciates the role of SBARE and suggested it is a good model for the university.

Howe told board members that he was planning to schedule the next SBARE meeting in Hettinger/Dickinson in July, which could allow board members to take in some of those field day events.

In closing, Howe challenged SBARE members to look forward at innovative stewardship for the land, livestock and people, suggesting they may come up with some unique ideas.  He added that Governor Dalrymple encourages consideration of anything related to biofuels.

The call concluded at 2 p.m.

Recorded by Margaret Olson


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