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January 7, 2013, Conference Call

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Minutes – January 7, 2013
Conference Call


The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met via conference call on January 7, 2013.  Members participating in the call were Robert Bahm, Judge Barth, Mike Beltz, Chris Boerboom, John Bollingberg, Ken Grafton, Rodney Howe, Jerry Klein, Paul Langseth, Doyle Lentz, Doug Goehring, JoAnn Rodenbiker, and Dick Roland. Absent were Dean Bresciani, Keith Peltier, and Phillip Mueller.

Chairman Howe called the meeting to order at 10:03 a.m.

Howe discussed a letter received from Woody Barth, President of the North Dakota Farmers Union. The letter was a statement of continued support for The Center for Agricultural Policy and Trade Studies (CAPTS). A copy of the letter was made available to the SBARE members prior to the phone conference meeting.

Howe reported that he shared information, both written and verbal, with the NDUS chancellor and vice chair.  Through this communication SBARE received positive indications that they may submit all five initiatives.

Mike Beltz and Ag Coalition representatives will meet in Grand Forks later this afternoon with the President and Vice President of the State Board of Higher Education (SBHE), and the University System Chancellor.

Two calendar items were discussed. SBARE will present initiatives on January 16 at 9:45 a.m. at the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing in the Harvest Room of the state Capitol. SBARE will also be a part of the joint Ag Committee hearing at 8:30 a.m. on January 17 in Bismarck. SBARE members were encouraged to attend and show their support.

The 2013-15 budget request comparison spreadsheet was then discussed. A copy of the spreadsheet was made available to all Board members prior to the meeting. Dr. Grafton noted that the Governor’s budget recommendation is a starting point. He added that there is hope for an opportunity to increase the funding.

The Governor recommended funding for portions of NDAES SBARE initiative one (crop initiative- enhancing crop development and protection efforts) at $1,815,000, and NDAES SBARE initiative two (enhancing research capacities at REC’s) at $1,210,000. 

The Governor also recommended funding SBARE capital #1, agronomy labs, for CREC and HREC. In addition, the Governor recommended $400,000 (one time) for veterinary diagnostic lab equipment.

Chris Boerboom presented the Governor’s recommendations for the Extension SBARE initiatives. Extension SBARE initiative one (agents-in-training and summer internships program), was recommended to receive half of the requested funding: $250,000 for the summer internship portion. A suggestion was made to remove the word “summer” from summer internships to blend it with agents in training. The funds would be available on a 1:1 match basis.

In Extension SBARE initiative two (livestock development), 2.0 FTE area livestock specialists were proposed and one was included in the Governor’s budget.  Operating was included, bringing the total for SBARE initiative two to $370,000. Initiative three (crop protection), included funding in the amount of $410,000 for a coordinator position, and funding to replace lost federal dollars. Initiative four and five received no funding; however, Gearing up for Kindergarten (initiative four) was approved for funds in the amount of $190,000 in the DPI budget.

One time capital funding for the 4-H Camp in Washburn was recommended at $500,000; however, $950,000 was requested in the priority list. The Governor’s office would prefer to provide money for funding OSHA for 4-H camps but not new buildings.

Rodney Howe expressed his great appreciation towards what was recommended and what they could receive.

Rodney Howe explained that Governor Dalrymple was very hands-on with the budget. The budget recommendation was generous to North Dakota Agriculture. Discussion was opened for comments or clarification on the budget.

Doug Goehring asked for clarification regarding the operating budget for NDAES SBARE initiative two (enhancing research capacities at RECs).  Dr. Grafton explained that the operating dollars are completely separate. The money is going towards operating existing programs.  Operating money for enhancing breeding programs was provided in NDAES SBARE initiative one. In NDAES SBARE initiative two, all research should be more efficient in current activities. Overall, they are two completely different items/issues.

Discussion moved to Extension SBARE initiative three (crop protection), and it was agreed that if it becomes necessary at a later date to discern between the weed science and potato programs, that it can be done later.

Mike Beltz stated that he would like to see all four agronomy labs funded instead of just two funded.

Howe asked if there were any other comments from the Board. John Bollingberg thanked everyone for their time and commitment to the initiatives.

It was noted that Senator Jerry Klein had been reappointed to SBARE. Senator Klein thanked everyone.

Rodney Howe explained the need for clearer description to define the importance of proposed FTEs. Doyle Lentz agreed that a more detailed explanation of the positions (FTEs) would be helpful to those individuals on legislative committees who have little background in agriculture. This thought was reiterated by Senator Klein.

Dick Roland asked if there were any figures for the cost of living adjustment in western North Dakota. In August, it was made known that there would be a two tier solution; however, a definitive answer has not been given.

Discussion continued on funding in oil country. Robert Bahm wondered if this funding will find its way or if it would get lost. Rodney Howe indicated that it was line item legislation. Doug Goehring stated that it was an issue for several of entities and not tied to the SBHE.

The Board generally agreed that SBARE should continue to make state legislators aware of needs. The Board was in agreement that it would be wise to continue to identify SBARE needs without making waves; to stay on the side of clarity, and let Ag Coalition take point.

A question was again regarding the two unfunded agronomy laboratories (NDAES SBARE capital funding).  Dr. Grafton stated that at this point, the SBARE budget request is to be presented and promoted in its entirety as is.

Rodney encouraged everyone again to attend the January 16 and 17 meetings in Bismarck. A follow up reminder will be sent to the Board indicating the dates, times, and locations.

Meeting was adjourned at 11 a.m.

Respectfully submitted by Alisha Nord and Janelle Quam.

 

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