State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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December 17, 2014, Fargo

State Board of Agricultural Research and Education
Minutes - December 17, 2014
Fargo, ND

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met at the NDSU Greenhouse conference room, Fargo, ND. Board members in attendance were Mike Beltz, Mark Birdsall, Chris Boerboom, Ken Grafton, Lance Gulleson, Rodney Howe, Jerry Klein, Brian Leier, Keith Peltier, JoAnn Rodenbiker, Richard (Dick) Roland, and Lyle Warner. Absent: Leland (Judge) Barth, Tracy Boe, Dean Bresciani, and Doug Goehring.

Chairman Mike Beltz called the meeting to order at 9:05 am, and noting a quorum, welcomed everyone present to make introductions. Chairman Beltz asked for additions or corrections to the agenda. One addition to the agenda was requested, adding Dr. Kris Ringwall to give a brief update related to the Dickinson Research Extension Center immediately following the lunch break. Board members approved this addition and the agenda was accepted as amended. No additions or corrections were made to the minutes from the October 8, 2014 meeting. Jerry Klein moved to approve the minutes and JoAnn Rodenbiker seconded it; motion carried.

Administrative Update from Mike Beltz

Chairman Beltz shared that recent meetings with local legislators have gone well. The Governor’s budget looks positive. The new legislative session will soon be starting, and on January 14, 2015 presentations will be given at the Capitol to the appropriations committee for Education and Environment.

Administrative Report from Dr. Grafton

A new faculty hire in the School of Natural Resource Sciences is Torre Hovick, assistant professor of range science. The Department of Animal Sciences begins interviews soon for an epigenetics position. The Department of Plant Sciences hired Xuehui Li as a statistical genomicist, who begins late December. Building projects at the Research Extension Centers are going forward smoothly and still on track.

Dr. Grafton recently attended meetings with research partners in Australia and toured the AgriBio labs in Melbourne.  The 80,000 square foot center is a joint initiative between educational, governmental, and private industry collaborators. There are unique capabilities there and NDSU is one of several research partners.

Administrative Report from Dr. Boerboom

Lynette Flage is now the Director for the Center for Community Vitality, which leaves a new vacancy in her former position as Director of the Northeast District of the Extension Service. Recruitment for that position is under way. Meredith Gilroy was hired as the new Executive Director of the North Dakota 4-H Foundation. Interviews are taking place to fill the Livestock Stewardship Specialist and Dickinson Research Extension Center Agronomist positions; recruitment is ongoing to fill Extension agent positions in Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Agents-in-Training. Extension is working on challenges related to salary, especially in the western part of the state. Dr. Boerboom shared a special note about SBARE member Brian Leier and the Leier Family. They were recently named by the ND 4-H Foundation as one of the North Dakota 4-H Century Families.

Governor’s Budget Update

Drs. Grafton and Boerboom shared handouts outlining how current budget recommendations compared to the initiatives brought forth by SBARE. Valid questions were raised on what was not recommended, but overall, the recommendations were very good and the board was pleased. It was agreed on by the board that the initiatives list has integrity and that SBARE not deviate from the list as it heads into legislative discussion.

Unmanned Aerial Systems in North Dakota update

Dr. Sreekala Bajwa, Department Chair for NDSU Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, presented the board with an overview of 2014 projects and partnerships related to research work conducted with unmanned aerial systems. John Nowatzki, NDSU Ag Machine Systems specialist, shared examples of the types of data that have been gathered through these flights and ways the data assist Ag research as well as Ag producers in North Dakota. He offered suggestions for increased efficiencies going into the future. Dennis Anderson, Associate Vice President for Industry Relations in NDSU Research and Creative Activities, gave the board an overview of the North Dakota UAS Pathfinder Initiative. He noted it is a cooperative project between various parties to develop a coalition of expertise and facilitate safe, compliant use of UAS for agricultural purposes. Possible platforms and a timeline are being considered. 

Soil remediation efforts update

While the board began lunch, Dr. Frank Casey, NDSU Director of the School of Natural Resource Sciences introduced Dr. Tom DeSutter, Associate Professor in the Department of Soil Science, and Kevin Sedivec, Professor and Extension Specialist of Rangeland Management. Drs. DeSutter and Sedivec shared information with SBARE related to soil remediation efforts and monitoring taking place in North Dakota.

Foundation Seedstocks update

Dr. Dale Williams, Director of the NDSU Foundation Seedstocks Project, gave an update on the seedstocks program and Dr. Rich Horsley, Head of the Department of Plant Sciences, shared the ways in which the seedstocks program and Plant Sciences work cooperatively.

Dickinson land purchase update

Dr. Kris Ringwall shared some specifics on a potential land purchase for research use by the Dickinson Research Extension Center.

Extension Agents in Training and Internship program update

Angie Johnson spoke highly of her experience as an Extension Intern, and expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the program. In December she graduates from NDSU with an Animal Science major and an Extension Education minor, and soon transitions to a full time Extension agent position in Steele County.

‘Nourishing Boomers and Beyond’ program update

Dr. Julie Garden-Robinson reviewed this program and how it is helping address disease and other health concerns for aging North Dakota adults. The program targets rural populations and seeks to develop community partnerships to deliver nutritional education. She also shared some highlights of program materials such as how nutrition affects brain function.

‘Marketing Hometown America’ program update

Jodi Bruns, Area Extension Specialist with the Center for Community Vitality, presented materials and video related to this pilot program and reviewed how it has progressed. This program is conducted in North Dakota through a cooperative Extension effort with the Nebraska and South Dakota Extension Services.

Herbicide resistant weeds update

Dr. Tom Peters, Extension Sugarbeet Agronomist, talked about North Dakota herbicide resistant weeds and the need to develop timely, community-based control plans to stay ahead of problems. He is exploring ways to create programming to address weed control and avenues for educational outreach via community partners. 

Chairman Beltz asked members if there was any other business that needed to be addressed. Hearing none, Jerry Klein motioned to adjourn the meeting with Dick Roland seconding the motion. All were in favor and the meeting adjourned at 2:13 p.m.

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