State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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June 14, 2013, Fargo

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Minutes – June 14, 2013
NDSU Greenhouse Conference Room

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met at the NDSU Greenhouse conference room, NDSU campus on June 14. Board members in attendance were Leland (Judge) Barth, Mike Beltz, Tracy Boe, Chris Boerboom, John Bollingberg, Dean Bresciani, Ken Grafton, Rodney Howe, Jerry Klein, Paul Langseth, Doyle Lentz, Keith Peltier, JoAnn Rodenbiker, and Richard (Dick) Roland. Absent were Bob Bahm and Doug Goehring.

Chairman Howe called the meeting to order at 8:44 a.m., noted that there was a quorum, welcomed everyone and made introductions. He asked for additions or corrections to the agenda. Hearing none he requested the group consider adding a mini-tour of the greenhouse to view recent updates; this was approved. He asked for additions or corrections to the meeting minutes from the previous SBARE meeting. Hearing none, the meeting minutes for the February 23 – March 1 meeting were unanimously approved by the board.

Administrative Reports from Boerboom & Grafton  

Dr. Chris Boerboom – NDSU Extension Service update:

Dr. Boerboom referred to a spreadsheet handout. The agents-in-training and Internships are all either posted or filled. The position for livestock development was placed at the Central Grasslands Research Extension Center, and the search committee has started formulating the programming aspects for the position.

Crop Protection: $150,000 was approved for the potato program but dollars sought for IPM and water quality were lost in the House. The Burleigh County Junior Master Gardener internships are moving forward ($25,000 approved); one is hired, and one pending. The Soil Conservation Districts received their allocations; the video conferencing equipment was ordered for five counties and the Research Extension Centers (RECs) and campus, and will be paid for in the new fiscal year. The funding match tally for the 4H Camp in Washburn currently stands at $949,000. The Gearing Up For Kindergarten funding request was moved to DPI but then later removed; however, the base funding plus $50,000 was restored  by a Senate committee. While the funding increase wasn’t what was requested, it was enough to maintain the program. Federal funding: The sequestration will result in $250,000 in cuts. On a positive note, on June 13 the House committee passed their version, and Smith-Lever funding was restored to levels at FY12. Dr. Boerboom noted that there are some amendments in the Farm Bill being looked at which would reduce SNAP education funding or eliminate it. This is being watched carefully as the SNAP education funding is used to support agents in FNP/FCS in about half of the counties in North Dakota.

Dr. Ken Grafton – North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (NDAES) update:

The Crop Protection initiative dollars were reduced by the Governor and then funded without discussion. Operations money was received, as well as funding for a nematologist plus a technician position. The North Dakota Ag Weather Network funding was approved, and support was given for enhancing the Main Station, but the amount was reduced without discussion. In addition, three technician positions were funded instead of six. $140,000 was added back into the budget and the NDAES was allowed to put those funds toward an Animal Sciences position. Dr. Grafton discussed the capital project funding for the RECs. Determining how the dollars are spent for various building needs is often a drawn-out process involving architects, builders, and so on, and the SBARE process helps prioritize those needs and then carefully directs funding. It is hoped that the projects stay on budget; however, it is a concern in the western part of the state.

It was noted that the Dickinson REC was the only REC that had mineral rights but it has been discovered that Williston REC also has some on land that was sold in the 1950s.

The request for soil research funds introduced at the legislature did not come through SBARE but rather was outside of the process. The grape and wine group was approved for $80,000 from the general fund. Also pointed out, was the approval of the $30 million Heritage Fund. It was noted that SBARE should consider ways these dollars could work for the betterment of North Dakota agriculture. Mike Beltz reminded the Board that the requested Bioinformaticist position was not funded.

Discussion moved to recruitment difficulties in the western counties, particularly the challenges in recruitment and retention for the RECs and Extension. This issue was also discussed at the previous meeting. An attempt was made to increase the legislature’s underfunding of the salary adjustments that were previously requested. A discussion will be held with the Governor again regarding this issue and the cost of living adjustment (COLA) difficulties. At the end of the legislative session, it was made known that a pool of funds with specific language regarding meeting the needs of cost-of-living inequities would potentially be made available. The NDSU Extension Service and NDAES plan to request $288,000 from that pool in the hopes to offset inequities for staff. More discussion followed.

The Board discussed efforts of the North Dakota Ag Coalition for providing clarification on the process of putting forth initiatives for funding through SBARE. Members also discussed the Agricultural Research Fund. While the Ag Research Fund is very wisely used, the funds have dwindled, so it was increased recently. In the future, general funds may be requested to help sustain it and keep supporting research.

Discussion moved toward the fact that NDSU has many split full time equivalent (FTE) faculty and staff appointments comprised of teaching (College), research (NDAES), and Extension. According to the North Dakota Century Code, those budgets are required to be separate. The State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) discussed the possibility of melding the funds into one pot for salaries; however, Chairman Howe asked the SBHE for a motion to have the proposal removed.

Group Presentations/Tours: SBARE members proceeded to Van Es Hall for presentations by Dr. Charlene Wolf-Hall, Head of the Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences; and Dr. Neil Dyer, Director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.  The presentations were followed by a tour of each area.

Following lunch, SBARE members were then taken on a brief tour of the newer areas of the NDSU Greenhouse complex and Julie Hochhalter provided an update on how everything is progressing.

A presentation headed by Brad Cogdill was given to the Board regarding the Center for 4-H Youth Development.

At 1:30 p.m., SBARE gathered at Barry Hall (Downtown campus) for presentations by Dr. William Nganje, Chair of the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, and other Department faculty. SBARE members also had a chance to view the Commodity Trading Room.

SBARE reconvened in the Greenhouse conference room after the tour. Chairman Howe announced that Brian Leier and Lyle Warner would join the board effective July 1.  The Board expressed appreciation for outgoing members Bob Bahm and John Bollingberg; and noted Rodney Howe’s dedication in leading the Board as chair.

The nominating committee discussed the chair position and put forth Mike Beltz as a nominee for chair. Keith Peltier moved that nominations cease and that a unanimous ballot be cast. The motion was seconded by Jerry Klein. Mike Beltz was voted in by verbal unanimous ballot. Paul Langseth, on behalf of the nominating committee, named two nominees for vice chair: Judge Barth and Keith Peltier. Nominations ceased, paper ballots were distributed, and a vote was taken. Keith Peltier was voted in as vice chair.

Chairman Beltz was handed the gavel to close out the meeting. Having no other business, he asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Doyle Lentz made a motion to adjourn the meeting and JoAnne Rodenbiker seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Lorie Herbel.

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