State Board of Agricultural Research and Education


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February 26, 2020, Bismarck, ND

The State Board of Agricultural Research and Education met for a regular meeting on February 26, 2020 at the North Dakota Heritage Center, Bismarck ND.

Members in Attendance:  Jim Bahm, Doug Bichler, Tracy Boe, Mark Birdsall, Lance Gulleson, Larry Hoffmann, Jerry Klein, Greg Lardy, Brian Leier, Sarah Lovas, Dick Roland, Dean Wehri, and Julie Zikmund.  Tom Bodine attended on behalf of Doug Goehring.  Absent:  Dean Bresciani.

Chairman Birdsall called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.  He welcomed members and guests, and invited everyone in attendance to make introductions. 

January 23, 2020 minutes were reviewed for approval.  MOTION:  Larry Hoffmann moved to approve the minutes as presented; seconded by Jim Bahm.  Motion carried.

Administrative Updates, Greg Lardy, Vice President for Agricultural Affairs

Dr. Lardy reported on the number of searches initiated for administrative positions.  Offers have been made for two of the positions, other searches are in progress or just starting the process.  He also reported on progress in regards to funding for various initiatives received during the last legislative session.

Comments from Mark Birdsall, SBARE Chair

Chair Birdsall reviewed upcoming events and their respective dates.

Preliminary Initiative Bundles

Dr. Lardy provided some additional comments in regards to the Extension bundling.  A request was made of Charles Stoltenow, Associate Director, Extension, Agriculture and Natural Resources to provide information regarding OnFarm.

Discussion was held regarding the Agriculture and Environmental Health and Safety bundle, which includes Farm Safety Specialist, Mental Health/Stress Specialist, and Operating.

MOTION:  Dean Wehri made a motion to move Farm Financial Specialist under the grouping Agriculture and Environmental Health and Safety; 4-H Entrepreneurship Specialist to be moved under 4-H grouping.  Jerry Klein seconded the motion.  Motion carried. 

In regards to Farm safety specialist, it would be helpful moving forward, to have data and any statistics in regards to the number of people that have reached out for assistance.

The subject of sustainability was discussed; certain contracts with farmers are now based on sustainability.  It was suggested that it would be best to be proactive, come up with a plan rather than allow companies to determine sustainability for farmers. 

Vice Chair Lovas distributed a draft of an SBARE Resolution in support of compensation package enhancements for State employees, to include the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and NDSU Extension.  Discussion followed.

MOTION:  Dick Roland made a motion to move forward with the development of the resolution; seconded by Larry Hoffmann. 

Discussion followed in regards to whether the Resolution would replace the line item Employee Retention, or be provided as supporting documentation.

AMENDMENT:  Sarah Lovas moved that the motion be amended by removing Employee Retention from the preliminary initiative bundle and including the Resolution as a separate item.  Larry Hoffman seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

MOTION:  Chair Birdsall presented the original motion made by Dick Roland; seconded by Larry Hoffmann.  There was no further discussion; all in favor.  Motion carried.

MOTION: Sarah Lovas moved to add a plant virologist and technician to the Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) bundle identified as Plants; seconded by Jim Bahm.  Motion carried.

Capital requests were reviewed and discussed. Waldron Hall remains a top priority.  Members were reminded of the difference between Waldron Hall and the new Agricultural Development Center, and the importance of identifying these differences.

Discussion was held regarding land base for Carrington Research Extension Center (CREC). 

MOTION:  Sarah Lovas moved to approve the list of Capital initiatives, to include housing for Central Grasslands Research Extension Center (CGREC) be moved to its own line item, not under one-time requests.  Dick Roland seconded the motion.

AMENDMENT:  Sarah Lovas amended her motion to include the removal of Land Base CREC from the Capital Initiatives.  Dick Roland seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

MOTION:  Chair Birdsall presented the original motion made by Sarah Lovas in regards to Capital Initiatives; seconded by Dick Roland.  Motion carried.

An informal preliminary vote was taken for each section of the initiative bundles (Extension, Agricultural Experiment Station, and Capital).  Dave Ruhland presented the preliminary rankings; members requested the results be also provided to them via email.

Office of the Agriculture Commissioner Updates             

Deputy Commissioner Tom Bodine provided updates to the Board.  He also discussed sustainability and past efforts made by the Office of the Agriculture Commissioner.  He will share with the Commissioner the interest in future conversations regarding sustainability.

It was announced the next SBARE meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 13 at the NDSU-AES Greenhouse Complex in Fargo ND.

MOTION:  Sarah Lovas moved to adjourn the meeting; seconded by Jim Bahm.  Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 12:35 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Wendy Breitbach

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