History and Function of the NCRA OfficeAdapted in part from www.waaesd.org
The NCRA is one of five regional associations with responsibility for facilitating cooperation of regional and national research. The research is supported in part by the Multistate Research Fund (MRF), which is a federal appropriation authorized by the Hatch Act. Additional support comes from other federal programs as well as state and private sources. The research program focuses on regional priorities that are identified and developed jointly by State Agricultural Experiment Station (SAES) Directors, Departmental Chairs and participating scientists. Our office serves the 12 Experiment Stations in the North Central region.
Early History of the Regional Offices
In October 1887, the United States established the Association of American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations, followed by the creation of the Experiment Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP; http://escop.ncsu.edu/) in 1905. The oldest of the â€śCOPsâ€ť, ESCOP originally consisted of six AES directors who monitored the system and developed administrative mechanisms to meet the need to plan and organize research and to make results accessible to our stakeholders.
In 1946, the Research and Marketing Act set aside 25% of Title 1, Section 9 (Hatch funds) for regional research. In 1947, the NCRA was established to assist with planning and management of research activities important to the region. The Congressional requirement that all agricultural experiment stations spend 25% of the Hatch formula fund allocation on regional research also contributed to the formation of the association. This regional commitment was redefined in the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 to â€śmultistate researchâ€ť, the multistate research fund (MRF) was created, and there were new requirements for integrated multistate research and extension activities.
In 2001, the NCRA partnered with the directors of cooperative extension and academic programs in the North Central region with a commitment to develop increased functional integration of multistate activities. The commitment has resulted in new multistate activities driven by Extension and/or Academic Programs as well as increased participation in other North Central region multistate projects by extension faculty.
Currently, the NCRA manages over 100 multistate projects. About half of these are â€śresearchâ€ť projects, supported by the MRF, which must meet a number of criteria including both regional and USDA approval. The remaining projects are Coordinating Committees (CCs) and integrated Extension/Education Research Activities (ERAs) which involve research, extension, and/or education.
The NCRA presently employs Dr. Jeff Jacobsen as Executive Director and Ms. Christina Hamilton as Assistant Director. Dr. Jacobsen is based at Michigan State University and Ms. Hamilton remains at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Together they manage the regionâ€™s portfolio of multistate projects and other functions. These duties include program management, regular needs assessments, facilitating project development and review, and assuring accountability. Moreover, the office serves as the principal liaison with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of USDA. The regional office is supported through a pro rata assessment of its members.
The regional Executive Directors have national responsibilities within the Experiment Station Section (ESS), and the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP), formed in 1905, which is the executive governing body for the ESS under the Board on Agriculture Assembly within the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) The Executive Directors provide crucial support to all ESCOP activities and to the national agenda with USDA and Congress.
Members of the NCRA:
NCRA Est. 1947 â€¨Dr. Jeff Jacobsen, Executive Director; â€¨Ms. Christina Hamilton, Assistant Director, http://ncra.info
ND, SD, NE, KS, MN, IA, MO, WI, IL, IN, OH, MI
Other Regional Organizations:
WAAESD Est. 1948 Dr. H. Michael Harrington, Executive Director; Ms. Sarah Lupis, Assistant Director: http://www.waaesd.org/
AK, CA, OR, ID, NV, UT, AZ, NM, HI, CO, WY, MT, WA, GU, NMI, FSM, AS
NERA Est. 1947 Dr. Dan Rossi, Executive Director; Ms. Rubie Mize, Admin. Assistant: http://nera.rutgers.edu
WV, MD, PA, NY, NJ, DE, DC, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, ME
SAAESD Est. 1946 Dr. Eric Young, Executive Director; Ms. Donna Pearce, Admin. Assistant: http://saaesd.ncsu.edu/
OK, TX, LA, MS, AL, AR, GA, FL, SC, NC, TN, KY, VA, PR, VI
ARD Est. 1972 Dr. Alton Thompson, Executive Director
Alabama A & M Univ., Alcorn State Univ., Central State Univ., Delaware State Univ., Florida A & M Univ., Fort Valley State Univ., Kentucky State Univ., Langston Univ., Lincoln Univ., North Carolina A & T State Univ., Prairie View A & M Univ., South Carolina State Univ., Southern University and A&M College, Tennessee State Univ., Tuskegee Univ., University of Arkansas â€“ Pine Bluff, University of Maryland â€“ Eastern Shore, Virginia State Univ., West Virginia State College