State Board of Agricultural Research and Education

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April 28, 2017, Conference Call

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met by conference call originating on the NDSU Campus on April 28, 2017. Board members participating in the call were Mike Beltz, Mark Birdsall, Chris Boerboom, Dean Bresciani, Doug Goehring, Ken Grafton, Larry Hoffmann, Brian Leier, JoAnn Rodenbiker, Dick Roland, Lyle Warner, and Dean Wehri. Members absent were Tracy Boe, Lance Gulleson, Jerry Klein, and Keith Peltier. Quorum was met.

Chairman Beltz called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m., welcoming members.

Administrative Updates

Drs. Dean Bresciani and Ken Grafton noted that they had no updates other than the status of the budget, to be discussed later in the agenda. Dr. Chris Boerboom stated that the Extension Comprehensive Review Committee, requested by SBARE, is still ongoing with a few remaining meetings planned in the near future.
Mark Birdsall made a motion, seconded by Dick Roland, that SBARE formally approve the Williston Research Extension Center’s request to begin a fundraising effort to solicit donated and other funds to support their greenhouse. The motion carried.

Legislative Updates

Grafton noted that there was a great deal of discussion on the Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) and Extension budgets, with seven conference committee meetings in total. The AES general fund amount is $49,557,415, a 13.5% cut from the 2015 budget level. The previously discussed strategies to meet budget cuts will be implemented going forward. Authorization was also given to the Williston Research Extension Center to commence fundraising for a seed cleaning plant, amount totaling up to $1.5 million in donated and other funds.

Boerboom relayed that during the legislative session, some points of Extension discussion included the State Soil Conservation Committee funding, Junior Master Gardener program funding, and the review of the Extension Service. In all, the Extension general funds were cut an additional $300,000 in committee, for a final budget of $25,469,208. Efforts are under way to work out meeting the constraints of the budget cut.

Beltz stated that several notable issues that arose during this legislative session serve to highlight the need for further education on the process of supporting agriculture in the state. The AES and Extension funding is different from the rest of higher education; the confusion on this is an ongoing issue and more education is needed going forward.

The North Dakota Ag Coalition will be meeting July 20 to conduct elections and to recommend an appointee to SBARE. SBARE will likely meet in late July, at the Carrington Research Extension Center. SBARE elections will be carried out at that meeting and the positions of Chair and Vice Chair will be open. Beltz appointed JoAnn Rodenbiker to lead the nominating committee, and she accepted the appointment.

Chairman Beltz adjourned the meeting.

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