North Central Regional Association


State Agriculture Experiment Station Directors


187th Meeting

April 5-7, 2010

Embassy Suites Downtown, Lincoln, NE





Agenda Item



Monday, April 5: Director's Boardroom

3:00 – 5:00 pm

MRC Meeting - Director's Boardroom

Marc Linit, 2010 MRC Chair

5:30 pm

Hotel Manager’s Reception - Atrium

Tuesday, April 6: Alumni Room

8:00 am


Call to Order

Doug Buhler, 2010 NCRA Chair



Approval of September 2009 Minutes ( - Seconded and approved




Adoption of the Agenda - Seconded and approved




Interim Actions of the Chair


8:10 am


Executive Director’s Report

Arlen Leholm

8:40 am


ARS Report

JL Willett

8:55 am


NIFA Update

Meryl Broussard

9:10 am


1994 Report

Gary Halvorson

9:25 am


MRC Report

Marc Linit



9.1 New/Renewal NC Projects




9.2 Midterm Reviews




9.3 NRSP Report/Discussion (more time available on 5/7 if necessary)

John Kirby, Marshall Martin (see item 19.0 for NRSP-1 NIFA Update)



9.4 Other MRC Business


 Marc Linit, Arlen Leholm

10:15 am


10:35 am


Nominations Committee

Sarah Greening, Doug Buhler

10:45 am


ESCOP Science & Tech Committee Update

Bill Ravlin, Jozef Kokini, Abel Ponce de Leon

10:55 am


ESCOP Communications & Marketing Committee

Bill Ravlin, Arlen Leholm

11:15 am


NCBC Update

Joe Colletti

11:30 am


Executive Session and Evaluations of Arlen Leholm and Chris Hamilton

Doug Buhler, Bill Ravlin (Past-Chair), John Kirby (Chair-Elect), Marc Linit (MRC Chair)

12:00 noon

Lunch - Party Deck

1:30 pm


Venture Capital Discussion, Mid Point Ventures

Ron Meeusen, All

3:00 pm


3:20 pm


Regional IP Update and Interactions with university IP working committee chairs

IP Chairs, All

5:00 pm

End for the day. Manager’s Reception (5:30 pm) and dinner on your own



Wednesday, April 7: Alumni Room

8:00 am


Resolutions - Approved

Marc Linit

8.05 am


State Reports


10:05 am


10:30 am


REEPort Implementation and What It Means to NIFA’s Partners Bob MacDonald, NIFA (via phone)

11:15 am


2011 Spring NCRA Meeting -

Week of April 4, 2011 in Indianapolis, IN (Chris will book Embassy Suites).  Joint meeting with Southern Region suggested for 2012.


11:20 am


Other Business




20.1 Merging of Ag Engineering Advisory Committees across regions (NCAC16 and SAC05) - Approved, see minutes for details

20.2 Comments/Recommendations on NRSP projects and budgets for FY2011

20.3 Battelle Study Proposal on R&E Value

Arlen Leholm for Dick Straub (AA to NCAC16)




Arlen Leholm, Steve Slack

12:00 noon

Adjourn (Lunch Provided: Party Deck)




Item 6.0: ARS Report

Presenter: JL Willett, ARS


USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Report to

NCRA State Agriculture Experiment Station Directors


April 6, 2010

Lincoln, NE


Research Priorities and Initiatives

ARS research continues to address priorities in the following program area: Animal Production and Protection, Crop Production and Protection, Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems, and Nutrition, Food Safety and Quality.

Future program initiatives addressed in the FY2011 President’s Budget include animal and crop breeding and protection, production systems to support sustainable agriculture, food safety, reducing world hunger, human nutrition, bioenergy, global climate change, and other critical areas.  These initiatives support Administration and Department priorities.

Budget Status

The President’s proposed FY2011 budget was presented to Congress on February 1, 2010.  Subject to review, possible modification, and approval by Congress, the FY2010 budget proposes a budget of $1.20 billion, an increase of roughly $20 million above current funding.  The budget requests for ARS includes $61.5 million for new and expanded research initiatives listed above.   Much of the proposed funding increase will be financed through the reduction of $53.3 million of ongoing programs and projects including prior-year Congressionally-added earmarks.

Midwest Area (MWA)


Director: Laurence Chandler

Associate Director: Harry Danforth

Assistant Director: J.L. Willett (entered 11/23/2009)

·         Illinois

o       National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (Peoria)

§         Bacterial Food-borne Pathogens Research Unit (C. Skory, Acting RL); vacancy announcement closes June 11, 2010

§         Bio-Oils Research Unit (V. Finkenstadt, Acting RL); vacancy announcement closes April 23, 2010

§         Crop Bioprotection Research Unit (P. Dowd, Acting RL); vacancy announcement closes May 24, 2010

§         Plant Polymer Research Unit (A. Rooney, Acting RL); vacancy announcement expected in April, 2010


·         Iowa

o       National Animal Disease Center (Ames)

§         Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research Unit (T. Reinhardt, Acting RL); vacancy announcement expected in May, 2010

Northern Plains Area



Director:  Will Blackburn

Associate Director:  Michael (Mickey) McGuire


·         North  Dakota

o       Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center (Fargo)

§         Animal Metabolism Agricultural Chemical Research Unit, New Research Leader, David Smith.

o       Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center (Grand Forks)

§         Micronutrient Absorption and Metabolism Research Unit, New Research Leader, Matthew Picklo.

o       Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (Mandan)

§         Natural Resources Management Research Unit, Acting RL, David Archer. 

§         Vacancy announcement closes April 16, 2010


·         South Dakota

o       North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory (Brookings)

§          Integrated Cropping Systems Research Unit, Acting Research Leader, Walter Riedell.

§         Vacancy announcement expected in April, 2010.

·         Kansas

o       New Center Name: Center for Grain and Animal Health Research (Manhattan)

§         Arthropod Borne Animal Disease Research Unit (Laramie, WY).  Program and all Personnel moving to Manhattan, KS.  Move will be complete end of July. 

§         The Research Leader Vacancy announcement closes March 30, 2010.


·         Nebraska

o       Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research (Clay Center) 

§         New Center Director, E. John Pollak. 

·         Animal Health Research Unit, Acting Research Leader, Michael Clawson. 

·         Environmental Management Research Unit, New Research Leader, David Parker. 

·         Nutrition Research Unit, New Research Leader, Harvey Freetly. 

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Item 8.0:  1994 Report/Update

Presenter: Gary Halvorson


Turtle Mountain Community College:

White Earth Tribal and Community College:


Action requested:  None; for information only.

Item 9.0:  MRC Report

Presenter: Marc Linit, 2010 MRC Chair


Proj Type Proj Rvwr Current Proj # (Temp #) Title NCRA AA MRC Comments
New Projects
Linit NC205 (NC_temp205) Ecology and Management of European Corn Borer and Other Lepidopteran Pests of Corn Pueppke Will retain NC205 designation as requested. This is an outstanding project that promises to continue as such.  This longstanding project addresses issues related to a major crop in the region.  The committee is active and includes representation from the land-grants, ARS and participation by industry.  The committee meets regularly with NCCC 46 and should be encouraged to continue this collaborative effort.    The meetings are well attended and committee’s activities and outputs help advance the management of this important insect pest. Recommend approval.
Schmitt NC1022 (NC_temp1022) The Chemical and Physical Nature of Particulate Matter Affecting Air, Water and Soil Quality.  Turco NC_Temp1022 is a continuation of some strong previous committees’ efforts.  This proposal does an excellent job in its justification for the new project.  Minor revisions are recommended in the objectives to provide clearer connection to the expected outcomes.  At the same time, there is a need to better connect the linkages within the committee to the work being accomplished—where is this effort benefiting from multistate efforts on a specific project/objective.  It is also hoped that a bit more attention can be included in the proposal regarding an outreach plan as part of an integrated project. Recommend approval following minor revisions due in NIMSS by June 1, 2010.  Will become NC1187 on 10/1/2010 following approval of revisions.
Kokini NC1023 (NC_temp1023) Improvement of Thermal and Alternative Processes for Foods (NC136) Kirby AA Review: Excellent group that has worked diligently to increase collaboration (as demonstrated by joint work products) over the past few years. The proposal development was an excellent example of collaboration and delegation to the appropriate individuals. This is a very large project that has discussed in great depth the pluses and minuses of splitting into several smaller committees and has decided correctly in my opinion to remain a single unified project. Important and high impact team of collaborators. NCAC Review: The renewal proposal is very well written and has addressed all the above-mentioned concerns. The objectives are well stated and the methods to achieve the objectives are clearly presented. The proposed renewal project will allow the current and new participants to build on the past success within an integrated and coordinated community to continue to contribute to the food process sector in a holistic and systematic fashion. Regarding Question II.-1c, it is not clear appropriate literature has been cited in the proposal. Recommend approval following minor revision due June 1, 2010.
Schmitt NC1025 (NC_temp1183) Mycotoxins:Biosecurity and Food Safety Durgan NC_Temp 1183 is a solid proposal with a well-defined justification and series of objectives.  This is a critical and well-timed project.  The past efforts of the committee are notable and set a good basis for the intended effort.  Some modifications in the proposal are requested, primarily in the alignment of the intended efforts and the proposed outcomes as there is currently not good alignment as one reads the proposal.  There is also a shortcoming in the proposal regarding a significant effort in the outreach plan.  Additional articulation of the planned outreach efforts are requestedt in the context of the planned impacts.  This is a broad and diverse issue and the focus this proposal shows is very impressive. Recommend approval following minor revisions due in NIMSS by June 1, 2010.  Will become NC1183 on 10/1/2010 following approval of revisions.
N/A NC1026 Characterize Weed Population Dynamics for Improved Long-Term Weed Management Decision Making Buher One-year extension approved; project will expire 9/30/2011, proposal due fall 2010.
Benfield NC1131 (NC_temp1184) Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Skeletal Muscle Growth and Differentiation Grant/Hamernik This committee has a productive history of research towards the understanding of the cellular and molecular processes related to signal transduction pathways that regulate skeletal muscle growth and differentiation; gene expression of skeletal muscle; and mechanism of muscle assembly and degradation.  The past project due to expire in September 2010 has produced 179 refereed papers, 11 book chapter/theses and 92 Abstracts.  The proposal is well-written but several portions of the current proposal, including the objectives and several paragraphs in the methods (detailed by one other reviewer) and the proposed Milestone are identical to that of the prior NC 1131 document.  Objectives can be repeated in new proposals but the committee must justify why sufficient progress was not made on these objectives during the previous 5-years.  Delineation of many of the basic cellular mechanisms of skeletal muscle growth, assembly and degradation are long-term projects, but the committee should either proposed new and more focused objectives that can be accomplished within the 5-year project period or provide more sufficient justification for why the objectives have not changed.  The symposium proposed in 2009 is again proposed in 2014, but no justification is provided for this repeat event.  Did the 2009 symposium occur?  The committee needs to re-evaluate and rewrite this proposal emphasizing the progress made on the objectives over the past three years, providing better evidence of interdependence (Objective 1 is purely single station projects, Objective 2 is better for interdependence), and providing a justification for why objectives were not achieved in the previous 5-years and why these objectives are not changed in the current proposal.  Recommend approval with the above major revisions due in NIMSS by June 1, 2010.
Schmitt NC_temp1186 (new project) Water Management and Quality for Ornamental Crop Production and Health Buhler NC_Temp1186 proposal provides an excellent justification and literature review.  The objectives are very well-written and clear while being rather ambitious.  It would be helpful in the “methods” section to articulate these methodologies across states—how will coordination occur or will everything be decentralized?  Who will be responsible for what?  In addition, how will this committee know when the outcomes/impacts are successful?  This project has great potential and the style of the proposal is very well done and appreciated.   The integrated nature of the research and outreach aspects of this proposal is noted and well-balanced. Recommend approval with minor revisions due in NIMSS by June 1, 2010.  Project will become NC1186 on 10/1/2010 following approval of revisions.
Schmitt NCCC31 (NC_temp31) Ecophysiological Aspects of Forage Management Buhler NC_Temp031 is a very strong proposal for the effort this committee is planning to conduct.   Their niche as a coordinating committee is very fitting and they listed very achievable goals.  The linkages this committee has among all aspects of the land grant mission are duly noted.  As this committee efforts progress, it is encouraged to include citations to appropriate literature and/or previous efforts of this group of scientists.  Recommend approval. Will retain NCCC31 designation as requested..
Leholm NCCC52 (NC_temp52) Family Economics Jasper This project addresses timely family economics issues that are currently impacting American society. These include soaring personal credit card debts, financial management, mortgage and housing issues, and health care. It also is concerned with educational efforts to alleviate and assist citizens with these issues.  There is also an Extension component designed to prepare Extension education programs. The objectives are well-thought out and do not duplicate efforts by other NCCC groups. The procedures and activities are clear and realistic in terms of achieving the objectives of the study. Expected outcomes and impacts will indeed contribute ultimately to the well-being and improvement of daily life for many citizens. Recommend approval. NCCC52 will retain its number designation.
Leholm NCCC134 (NC_temp134) Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management (NCDC-198 and NCR-134) Hallam There was no review submitted by the AA despite several reminders sent by the NCRA office.  Without AA reviews, it is very difficult to adequately gauge a committee's success and achievements. This coordinating committee provides a great forum for continued dialog on commodity price analysis and on a wide range of risk management issues. The benefits to the region are very high and its efforts should be continued.  NCAC12's review was also very favorable. Recommend approval.  Will retain NCCC134 designation as requested.
Schmitt NC_temp1185 (new project) Cover crops to improve environmental quality in crop and biofuel production systems in the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi basins Lamkey NC_Temp1185 is a new project that has some solid potential for success.   There is a need to make some revisions to the proposal to ensure this potential.  In the action steps of the proposed efforts, clearly defined actions between this committee and the MCCC are warranted.  It is also noted that the outcomes and impacts listed are primarily outputs and that the proposal needs to have actual outcomes proposed so that these can be the basis for evaluation with time.  It is also requested that some detail and comprehensiveness be given to the educational plan section as “standard channels” and “additional ways” is not very informative.  This proposal is very timely and hopefully will maintain commitment from the participating states.  Recommend approval with minor revisions due in NIMSS by June 1, 2010.  Project will become NCCC211 on 10/1/2010 following approval of revisions.
Kokini NCERA197 (NC_temp197) Agricultural Safety and Health Research and Extension Martin Will retain NCERA197 designation. AA review: Under the chairmanship of Dennis Murphy and the contribution of the majority of the committee members NC197 has been very productive and in addition to an annual face-to-face meeting has stayed in contact via email and conference phone calls. They have also participated and shared results at various professional meetings. My only concern at this time is that seven (7) universities that participated in NC197 have not completed Appendix E for NC_Temp197. A critical mass of dedicated faculty is essential for the committee to remain productive. NCAC summary: The project appears to have strong leadership and representative participation. The objectives of the project are clearly defined and the first objective is to  develop and support action groups for each of the 12 priority areas in the national agenda for action." The group has successfully addressed the first priority area selected, and began work on selecting the second priority area to address; if the time to address the first priority area is typical, it will take more than 50 years to address all 12 priority areas. It is somewhat difficult to interpret all of the annual meeting and reporting information because interim conference calls are recorded as annual meetings and minutes for those calls are recorded as annual reports, but it appears the group has met regularly and has met the requirements for meetings and reporting (the last annual meeting was a conference call). The third objective of the project, involving stakeholders, was well addressed. The second objective to develop assessment to measure effectiveness and impact was less well addressed than were the first and third objectives. The group appears to be well organized, to be addressing important issues, and to have a strong focus. Recommend approval with minor revision - encourage more participation/completion of NIMSS Appendix E forms by June 1, 2010.
Mid-Term Reviews
Kokini NC7 Conservation, Management, Enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources Wintersteen All materials submitted. NC7 provided an excellent mid-cycle report that greatly facilitated the review process.  AA Review: As stated in the report, key examples of linkages by project members are: ""requesting and suggesting organizational structure of information needed to determine project impact and provide accountability. This includes advice on useful formats for analyzing and evaluating the nature of distributions, who they benefit, and how benefits are realized, which are essential for determining the impact and value of the project "providing input from their respective AES Directors to curators, genebank and other administrators "providing guidance to increase the NCRPIS program s relevance to NCR stakeholders "providing technical expertise, particularly in the areas of diversity assessment and taxonomy". Also, As stated in the report: "Many of the NC-7 participants and scientists and curators of the NCRPIS have sought outside funding to facilitate germplasm evaluation and utilization and participate in investigations associated with NSF, NIH, DOE, AFRI, the Sun Grant Initiative, or USDA funded Crop Germplasm Evaluation or other grants." In addition, as stated in the letter shown in Appendix A, the NC7 members have requested the support of the NCRA directors for industry to support funding for the Plant Introduction Stations.  The NC7 project is a successful ARS/land grant university partnership that benefits scientists and stakeholders throughout the nation.  The NCAC review was equally favorable.  Recommend continuation.
Schmitt NC140 Improving Economic and Environmental Sustainability in Tree-Fruit Production Through Changes in Rootstock Use Randle All required reports were available.  The NCRA would like to encourage the AA to submit requested AA reviews.  It is helpful to have someone closely associated with the committee provide feedback on the group's accomplishments and progress.  NC140 is a very strong project whose strengths appear to be in the comprehensiveness of their team as well as their integration of research and outreach.  This rather large team has exhibited clear structure for their efforts that span states and countries.  These multi-state efforts are very strong based on numerous peer-reviewed publications as well as numerous end-user and industry educational materials being produced.  Excellent effort put forth in reporting outcomes and impacts for this committee’s efforts.   Synergy among individuals and states seems excellent. Recommend continuation.
Linit NC170 Personal Protective Technologies for Current and Emerging Occupational Hazards DeLong All required reports were available. This is an active committee that addresses personal protective technologies for occupational hazards such as firefighters.  The committee held annual meetings in 2008 and 2009 with good attendance and an impressive list of collaborative outputs including an interactive web site to “dress” firefighters and field testing of protective garments.  Numerous papers have been published by the participants and funding has been sought through member institutions, however; there is no evidence that the group has sought extramural support for collaborative efforts.  This should be encouraged.  The committee has an active international interaction with Korea, China and Vietnam. Recommend continuation.
Benfield NC1037 Genetic and Functional Genomic Approaches to Improve Production and Quality of Pork Stromberg Only the 2007 report was available, NC1037 did not meet in 2009, next meeting not until 1/2010. Without regular annual meetings and reports, it is difficult to assess the progress of the committee and therefore could result in early termination of the project. MRC review: This is an important project that links swine genomics to production traits such as meat quality, fat metabolism and disease resistance. Many of the best swine geneticists are involved in this project and important linkages between the genomic sequences and biological function are beginning to be recognized. The interdependence of the group probably occurs more frequently than the publication and progress reports indicate. The January 2010 meeting was held with the NRSP-8 committee members, this is a trend that should continue for future meetings. The group appears to have difficulty finding dates for a meeting, there was no meeting in 2009 and hence no progress report. The progress reports do not identify research, outreach or education linkages between the participants or to NRSP-8, this needs to be corrected in future progress reports. Also there is no data presented in the progress reports on funding. There is an NPB funded project through the PRRS Genomic Consortium but no other funding is mentioned in the annual reports, again this needs to be part of the annual report. The committee needs to be warned that it is difficult to make a recommendation to continue to project when the committee fails to execute an annual meeting and provide current information to review. 
Hamilton NC1038 Methods to Increase Reproductive Efficiency in Cattle Ravlin NC1038 has been making good progress towards its stated proposal objectives.  This committee meets annually with good participation among its members.  Annual reports have been submitted in a timely manner.  Numerous publications have resulted from this project and the committee has been fairly successful with acquiring external grant funding.  Although external funding was listed in the AA review, the MRC would like to see this listed with the annual reports as well, under the accomplishments section.  Recommend continuation/approval.
Kokini NC1039 N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and human health and disease Jackson All materials submitted (1/7/2010). This project needs to remember to submit annual reports on-time in the future (within 60 days of an annual meeting) or future meeting authorizations risk being cancelled. AA review: Project participants are a diverse group of basic researchers, applied researchers, and Extension professionals. They work well together, and are making significant and appropriate progress on their objectives. The planning and content development for an eXtension COI (initiated at their annual meeting) should help ensure their dissemination objective is met. NCAC Review: Too long to be included here, but also very favorable.  Recommend continuation.
Linit NC1040 Metabolic Relationships in Supply of Nutrients for Lactating Cows  Benfield All materials submitted. This is an active committee addressing metabolic relationships in lactating cows.  The committee met in 2008 and 2009 with good participation.  Excellent progress against stated objectives was document and outputs included refereed publications and papers in conference proceedings.  Extramural grants awards to support collaborative research exceeded $2M in 2008.  There are a number of collaborative projects among the represented states.  Additionally, the committee has produced extension publication and a course has been developed to provide training for international students. Recommend continuation.
Benfield NC1041 Enteric Diseases of Swine and Cattle: Prevention, Control and Food Safety Stromberg All materials submitted (2009 report still in Draft format as of 2/10/2010).  This committee is focused on emerging and current bacterial, viral and parasitic enteric infections of domestic cattle and swine. There are 10 states participating in this project and the committee has been seeking to increase the number of participating states by contacting colleagues with similar research interests. Review of accomplishments is based on review of annual reports from 2007, 2008 and 2009. The members of this committee are outstanding investigators and each report details a number of publications and impacts. Most of the publications are from individual stations, and the project suffers from lack of more interdependent research and outreach interactions. The only shared publications and projects are those between SD and NE and WA and AZ. Research impacts are significant, publications numerous, and there is collaboration between the states on an International Animal Production, Disease and Surveillance and Public Health Course. It is difficult to determine the impact of the committee on the education of producers, cooperative extension, veterinarians and diagnostic laboratories. Suggest the committee consider modeling after NC228 PRRS committee and publish special editions in journals focused on enteric diseases. Committee needs to include in each annual report a summary of funding leverage, there is no doubt external grant dollars are supporting the projects but there is no mention of this in the annual reports. The project is making good progress and should continue. Recommend continuation.
Linit NC1042 Management Systems to Improve the Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Dairy Enterprises Benfield All reports available.   This is an active and productive committee addressing management systems of dairy enterprises including feed components, database development, lameness, and management models.  The group met in 2008 and 2009 and the annual reports reflect good participation and numerous outputs including refereed publications and technical reports of practical use to the industry.  The committee leveraged $3.4M in 2007-08 and $2.4M in 2008-09 to underwrite research.  There is good evidence of collaborative efforts among the participating states.  The committee interacts with industry at each meeting by visiting at least four dairy operations in the host state providing committee members an opportunity to interaction with local producers. Recommend continuation.
Schmitt NC1168 Regulation of Photosynthetic Processes Goldman All reports available. NC1168 is obviously a collection of very talented scientists.  Their level of scientific discovery and advancement in the area of photosynthetic processes is beyond reproach.  The reported research forms the basic underpinnings of numerous downstream research projects.  The level of funding success is also very noteworthy as reports of over $10M in leveraged funding are significant.  However, the clarity of how the committee is creating synergies in research objectives is not clear as it seems that the annual reports are collections of individual contributions toward a set of objectives.   It is hoped that this committee will be better able to articulate the synergies of its members in upcoming reports.  Recommend continuation with the request that annual reports be submitted on-time or meeting authorizations may be cancelled. The MRC recommends that NC1168 consider renewing as an NCCC at the next scheduled renewal.
Hamilton NCCC84 Potato Breeding and Genetics Technical Committee Grafton All reports up-to-date, but current impact statement not available.  Please submit this document to the NCRA no later than June 1, 2010. No AA review available; the MRC would like the AA to complete reviews as assigned.  Without AA input, the NCRA has difficulty assessing committee progress. Recommend continuation.
Hamilton NCCC204 The Interface of Molecular and Quantitative Genetics in Plant and Animal Breeding Hamernik All materials up-to-date. Recommend continuation.
Hamilton NCERA103 Specialized Soil Amendments and Products, Growth Stimulants and Soil Fertility Management Programs Nater All reports up-to-date.Project AA should complete NCRA assigned reviews in the future.  Without AA input, the NCRA has difficulty assessing committee progress. Recommend continuation.
Hamilton NCERA184 Management of Small Grain Diseases Lamkey All reports up-to-date. Project AA should complete NCRA assigned reviews in the future.  Without AA input, the NCRA has difficulty assessing committee progress. Recommend continuation.
Hamilton NCERA193 IPM Strategies for Arthropod Pests and Diseases in Nurseries and Landscapes Payne All materials up-to-date.  Committee has been proactive in trying to increase meeting attendance.  NCAC1 recommends presenting a committee-wide summary of project accomplishments and objectives, rather than just by individual state reports.  The individual reports were hard to wade through.  Please also continue to list publications in annual reports; this was available in 2008, but not 2009.  Overall, a well-functioning group.  Recommend continuation.
NRSP Proposals/Budgets
Please review NRSP packet sent to directors and send any comments/questions to NRSP Review Committee via John Kirby (NCRA rep).  Further discussion, if needed, will occur during summer NCRA meeting in July.
Other funding decisions
NC7 (Placeholder for July meeting and budget/business plan approval.)
NC1100 - will expire 9/30/2010.  A replacement proposal for OTT funding for MSU is being submitted and will be reviewed in advance of the July NCRA meeting.  Budget and business plan due June 1, 2010.
Other MRC Issues
Decide on NC multistate research award nominee (NC1030, NCCC42, NC1028, or NC1038).  See April NCRA meeting agenda for links to project applications.  
Discuss requiring NC-type projects to include external funding/leverage in annual reports.  Discuss options for best disseminating this requirement if approved.  



Item 9.3:  NRSP6 AGENDA BRIEF -- Regional Spring meetings, 2010 (Written brief, for information only)

 NRSP6 is up for renewal.  A project proposal has been submitted with Executive Summary copied below.  The external review was overwhelmingly positive:  of 60 ratings (5 individuals scoring 12 areas) there were 58 “excellent” scores and 2 “good” scores.  A few key comments from the report are quoted below.  The full proposal, review, and all related NRSP-6 documents are posted on the genebank website:

 Quotes from the NRSP6 External Review

 ·         The proposal is relevant, consistent with the mission of an NRSP, and supports several national priorities. Specifically, it addresses 6 of the 7 challenges identified in the Science Roadmap established by ESCOP.

 ·         Team members observe that the amount requested, $150,000, is a very small investment, compared to the value received, for a national collection of international renown.

 ·         Continued public support is appropriate.  Funding through a state/federal partnership, as at present, provides the states with a role in project management

 ·         Team members point out that the concept of transferring core project costs to an alternative [soft] funding source  is not applicable to a gene bank/germplasm collection.

 ·         The Peer Review Team is excited about the value of recent NRSP6 work on nutritional value and other societal values for potato, especially in light of the high levels of potato consumption in all areas of the U.S.


NRSP6 project proposal FY11-15 Executive Summary


As the most consumed and most valuable US vegetable, potato substantially influences the farm economy and environment in many states.  High value-added processing and high and regular consumption gives potato significant impact in all states with respect to the food economy and citizens’ health.  For these reasons, and because potato has more useful exotic germplasm than any other crop, there is much activity in federal and state breeding and research programs.  NRSP6 is the only program in the nation responsible for providing potato genebank services.  NRSP6 is the premier potato genebank in the world.  Requests for NRSP6 germplasm were strong and were promptly filled.  We not only preserved the materials, but conducted R&D that showed ways to make genebank techniques more efficient.  We also discovered and characterized novel mutants/traits that will help users better exploit potato germplasm.  We propose that the new project will place an increased emphasis on consumer-oriented traits, particularly nutritional ones.  With some estimating that 1/3 of GDP will be spent on healthcare in the future, there is hardly a more important problem before society, and there are many unexplored opportunities for use of NRSP6 germplasm to address it.  Recent restrictions on international germplasm collecting and sharing make what we already have at NRSP6 even more precious. While NRSPs are to transition to other funding sources, inputs from other partners have declined.  Thus, we are asking for continuation of $150K per year in MRF funding.  This proposed continuation of longstanding flat MRF funding represents a loss of buying power that will necessitate further streamlining/reduction of staff and germplasm evaluation projects and more efficient management unless we can backfill with grants.  Virtually all crop germplasm in the National Plant Germplasm System is genebanked in partnership with SAES.  We believe that NRSP6 is a particularly good investment for MRF.  It leverages about an 8-fold contribution of ARS, APHIS, UW and grant dollars by partner programs.  NRSP6 gives SAES ownership of a renowned genebank for one of the nation’s main food crops.


Item 9.4:  Other MRC Business

Multistate Research Award Nomination Applications:


To view nomination packets, please visit the following:


Action Requested:

  1. Approval of the MRC's project recommendations
  2. Approval of the MRC's North Central Regional multistate research award nominee


Action Taken:

  1. All project/MRC recommendations approved

  2. NC award nominee (NC170) approved

  3. It was requested that starting next year, the MRC members share their award nominations/rankings to the MRC no later than 48 hours before the conference call to decide regional nomination.

  4. Chris sent request for addition of extramural funding section on NIMSS SAES-422 forms to ESCOP NIMSS Oversight Committee on 4/18/2010.

  5. An NCDC and NCCC for Climate Change have been approved.  Chris will put these together in NIMSS when support letters for the NCDC and proposal materials for the NCCC are received.  Both projects will commence on 10/1/2010, although the NCDC can start as soon as the two letters of director support are received.


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Item 10.0: Nominations Committee Report

Presenters:  Sarah Greening and Doug Buhler


Susan Fritz and Jozef Kokini will serve as the new AES representatives to the NCRDC.


Ernie Minton has kindly agreed to join the MRC, effective 10/1/2010.


Dr. Delong (MN) will be stepping down as AA to NC170 and NCCC52/NC_temp52 within the next year.  We’ll need replacements by fall 2010.


Action Requested:


  1. Approval of the above nominations to the NCRDC and MRC
  2. Nominations/volunteers to take over NC170 and NCCC52.
  3. Please review FY2011 NCRA Officer list and let us know if there are any changes or corrections to be made.  A final version will be approved during the summer NCRA meeting in MN.


Action Taken:

  1. All nominations approved.

  2. No volunteers found for NC170 and NCCC52 AA roles.  Will try to keep Dr. DeLong on as long as possible since both committees are very successful as is.

  3. Steve Slack selected as NC rep on the ESCOP Policy Board of Directors.







2011 Officers and Committee Members

(Fiscal Year 2011 begins October 1, 2010)



J. Kirby, SD, Chair (10-11) (


Executive Committee:

John Kirby, SD, Chair (11) (

M. Linit, MO, Chair-Elect (12) (

D. Buhler, MI, Past-Chair (10) (

D. Benfield, OH, MRC Chair (11) (

A. Leholm, NCRA, Exec. Vice Chair (Perm) (


Multistate Research Committee (3-year term):

D. Benfield, OH, Chair (11) (

J. Kokini, IL, (12) (

M. Schmitt, MN, (13) (

E. Minton, KS (14) (

 A. Leholm, Ex-Officio (


Resolutions Committee (3-year term):

M. Linit, MO, (09-11)


Nominating Committee (2-year term):

Sarah Greening, MN, (09-10) (

Doug Buhler, MI, (09-10) (


Committee on Legislation and Policy
S. Pueppke, NC Representative, MI (
A. Leholm, Ex officio, (


Rural Development Center Board (2-year term):

J. Baker, MI (perm, MSU rep), (

S. Fritz, NE, (10-12) (

J. Kokini, IL, (10-12) (


NRSP Review Committee Representative (NCRA):

J. Kirby, SD (4-year term; 2010-2014, according to NRSP Guidelines) (


ESCOP (3-year term):

John Kirby, SD, NCRA Chair (11) (

M. Linit, MO, NCRA Chair-Elect (12) (

D. Buhler, MI, NCRA Past Chair (10) (

A. Leholm, NCRA (Perm Alt) (


ESCOP Executive Committee:

D. Buhler, MI, NCRA Past Chair (10) (

A. Leholm, NCRA (Perm Alt) (


ESCOP Chair's Advisory Committee:

A. Leholm, NCRA (Perm Alt) (


ESCOP Budget and Legislative Committee:

S. Slack, OH (

J. Kirby, SD (


ESCOP Communications and Marketing Committee:

W. Wintersteen, IA (

W. Ravlin, IN (

A. Leholm, NCRA (Perm Alt) (


ESCOP Science and Technology Committee:

F.W. Ravlin, OH (

J. Kokini, IL (

A. Ponce de Leon, MN (


ESCOP Science and Technology Committee Social Science Sub-Committee:

C. Sigurdson, IN ( - Ag Communication

L. Nichols, SD ( - Human Sciences

F. Larry Leistritz, ND ( - Ag Econ

L. Busch, MI ( - Rural Sociology

R. Birkenholz, OH ( - Ag Education


ESCOP NIMSS Oversight Committee:

J. Colletti, IA (

F.W. Ravlin, OH (


North Central Bioeconomy Consortium

NCBEC Vice President, J. Colletti (


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Item 11.0:   ESCOP Science and Technology Committee

Presenter:  Bill Ravlin, Chair


Background Information:

1.      Committee Membership:

  • Chair
    • Bill Ravlin (NCRA)
  • Delegates
    • John Liu (SAAESD)
    • Nancy Cox (SAAESD)
    • Mike Hoffmann (NERA)
    • Tom Brady (NERA)
    • Steve Meredith (ARD) – Vice Chair
    • Ambrose Anoruo  (ARD)
    • Larry Curtis (WAAESD)
    • Jozef Kokini (NCRA)
    • Abel Ponce de Leon (NCRA)
  • Executive Vice-Chair
    • Dan Rossi (NERA, Executive Director)
  • NIFA Representative
    • Meryl Broussard 
  • ERS Representative
    • Terry Nelsen 
  • Social Science Subcommittee Representative
    • Travis Park
  • Pest Management Strategies Subcommittee Representative
    • Frank Zalom
  • Liaisons
    • Cliff Gabriel (Office of Science and Technology Policy)
    • Edwin Price (ICOP)

2.      Meetings

The Committee met by conference call on January 5, 2010 jointly with the Research ED’s.  The purpose of the conference call was to discuss plans for the development of the Science Roadmap.  The next formal committee meeting is scheduled for March 29-30, 2010 in Dallas, TX. 

3.      Multistate Research Award


The announcement for the next round of awards was sent out to directors and participants in the NIMSS System on December 11.  Nominations are due at offices of the Executive Directors on February 26.  The regional associations will review the nominations and forward their recommendations to the Committee by April 30.  The Committee will review the regional nominations and forward their recommendation for a national winner to the ESCOP Executive Committee by May 21.  The Executive Committee will forward their selection of the national winner to APLU by July 1 and the award will be made at the November APLU meeting.


4.      Science Roadmap


The Science Roadmap challenge area teams are being appointed.  Attached are the most recent list of team assignments and a summary document describing the Science Roadmap process. Approximately five science leaders plus representatives of the Science and Technology Committee and ED’s are assigned to each team.  The teams will frame the issue, assess current capacity and science gaps, refine research objectives, identify resource needs and describe expected outcomes for each of the challenge areas. They will prepare initial drafts of the challenge area sections by May.  A draft overall document will be prepared for the July 2010 ESCOP meeting and then revised for presentation and discussion at the September 2010 ESS workshop.  A final report will be prepared and forwarded to key audiences following the meeting.  The committee will work on an operational plan next year.


5.      Social Science Subcommittee


The Social Science Subcommittee met on February 2-3 in Washington, D.C.  Dan Rossi attended the meeting.  The Subcommittee heard presentations by Roger Beachy (NIFA Director), Diana Jerkins (Acting Director of Integrated Programs, AFRI), Dan Kugler (Transitional Leader, Institute of Youth, Family and Community), Howard Silver (Executive Director, Consortium of social Science Associations) and Sally Maggard (NPL, Rural Sociology).  There was a very good discussion of the Science Roadmap process and a number of constructive suggestions were made, particularly relative to potential participants for the challenge area teams and concerning the preamble to the final document.  The Subcommittee also discussed its own organization and possible changes in representation.


Assignments for the Science Roadmap for Food and Agriculture

February 15, 2010


Science Leaders

ESCOP Science & Technology Members/ ED’s

We must enhance the sustainability, competitiveness, and profitability of U. S. food and agricultural systems.

Steve Slack

Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center

The Ohio State University

1680 Research Services Building

Wooster, Ohio 44691

Phone: 330-263-3701

Fax:  330-263-3688


Philip Pardey

Director, International Science and Technology Practice and Policy (InSTePP) Center

218j Classroom Office Building
1994 Buford Avenue
St Paul, MN 55108

Phone: 612-625-2766


Casey Hoy

Kellogg Endowed Chair

Ohio State University


1680 Madison Avenue

Wooster, OH 44691

Phone: 330-263-3611


Steve Meredith

John Liu 

Jozef L. Kokini

Nancy Cox

ED – Mike Harrington

We must adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change on food, feed, fiber and fuel system in the U.S.

David Wolfe

Cornell University

Department of Horticulture

Plant Science Building, Room 117
Phone:  607-255-7888


Art DeGaetano

Cornell University

Associate Professor

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
1119 Bradfield 

Phone: 607-255-0385


Jim Jones

Biological Engineering

PO Box 110570

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL  32611-0570

Phone: 352-392-1864


Steve Pueppke, Michigan State Univ. [Note:  Agreed to serve as Reviewer]

Mike Hoffmann

F. Abel Ponce de León

Jozef L. Kokini

ED – Arlen Leholm

We must support energy security and the development of the bio-economy from renewable natural resources in the U.S.

Steve Pueppke

Director, Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station Assist. Vice-President for Research & Graduate Studies

Michigan State University

109 Agriculture Hall

East Lansing, MI 48824-1039

Phone: 517-355-0123

Fax: 517-353-5406


Shri Ramaswamy


Bioproducts/Biosystems Engr
UMN Twin Cities

Bioproducts/Biosystems Engr

Room 203 KaufL 6130

2004 Folwell Ave

St Paul, MN 55108

Phone: 612-624-8797

Fax: 612-625-6286


Tom Richard

Dept. of Ag. and Biological Engineering

Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-1909

phone: (814) 865-3722 direct

fax: (814) 863-103


Maria Gallo


University of Florida

Gainesville, FL 32611-0500

PO Box 110500

Phone: 352-392-1811

Mike Hoffmann

Ambrose Anoruo

ED – Arlen Leholm

         Mike Harrington


We must play a global leadership role to ensure a safe, secure and abundant food supply for the U.S. and the world.

Francisco Diez-Gonzalez

Associate Professor
Department of Food Science and Nutrition
Phone: (612) 624-9756
Fax: (612) 625-5272

Jacque Fletcher

Entomology & Plant Pathology

127 Noble Research Center

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK 74078

Phone: 405-744-9948


Jim Hill, UC Davis [Zalom]

John Liu

Frank Zalom

ED – Carolyn Brooks

We must improve human health, nutrition and wellness of the US population.

Melinda Manore

Professor and Extension Specialist

Dept. of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences/FCH

103 Milam Hall (Mail)

107D Milam (Office)

2520 SW Campus Way

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR 97331

Phone: 541-737-8701

Fax: 541-737-6914


Mindy S. Kurzer  

Professor, Director of Graduate Studies-Nutrition

Director of the University of Minnesota Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute

Department of Food Science and Nutrition

266 FScN

Phone: (612) 624-9789

Fax: (612) 625-5272



Jozef L. Kokini

Associate Dean of Research

Director, Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station

Bingham Professor of Food Engineering

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

211B Mumford Hall

1301 W Gregory Drive

Urbana, IL 61801

Phone:  217-333-0240

Fax:  217-333-5816


Steve Clinton, OSU [Curtis]

Larry Curtis

ED –  Dan Rossi

          Carolyn Brooks


We must heighten environmental stewardship through the development of sustainable management practices.

Nancy Creamer
Horticultural Science
Director Center For Environmental Farming Systems

Kilgore Hall, Box 7609
Raleigh, NC 27695

Phone: 919-515-9447


Laurie E Drinkwater

Cornell University

Department of Horticulture

Plant Science Building, Room 124

Phone:  607-255-9408


Dan Herms

Department of Entomology

The Ohio State University

Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center

1680 Madison Ave.

Wooster, OH 44691

Phone: 330-202-3506


James E. Kinder

Professor and Chair

Department of Animal Sciences

The Ohio State University

2029 Fyffe Road / Room 110B

Columbus OH 43210-1095

Phone:  614-292-3232

Fax:  614-292-2929


Mark Risse

Biological & Agricultural Engineering

University of Georgia
Driftmier Engineering Center, Rm 617
Athens, GA 30602-4435
Phone: 706-542-9067
Fax: 706-542-1886


Kate Scou, UC Davis [Zalom]

Steve Meredith

Ambrose Anoruo

Frank Zalom

Nancy Cox

ED – Eric Young

We must strengthen individual, family and community development and resilience.

B. Jan McCulloch

290D McNeal Hall

Mail Code 6140

290 McNeal Hall

1985 Buford Avenue

St Paul, MN 55108-6140

Phone:  612-624-1208


Bo Beaulieu

Director and Professor

Southern Rural Development Center

Box 9656

Mississippi State, MS  39762-9656

Phone: 662-325-3207 

Fax: 662-325-8915


Bruce Weber

Ext Spec-Community Resources Dept.

Agric & Resource Econ

240G Ballard Extension Hall

Corvallis, OR 97331 -3601

Ag / Resource Econ Ext

Phone: 541 737 1432 or 2942

Fax: 541 737 2563


Don Albrecht

Executive Director

Western Rural Development Center

8335 Old Main Hill

Logan, UT 84322-8335

Phone: 435-797-2798


Ann R. Tickamyer

Professor and Head

Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology

The Pennsylvania State University

103 Armsby Bldg.

University Park, PA 16802

phone: 814.865.5461

fax: 814.865.3746


Steven Taylor, Auburn Univ. [Anoruo]

Ed Osborne

ED – Dan Rossi

         Travis Park


Experiment Station Committee of Organization and Policy (ESCOP)

Developing a Science Roadmap for Food and Agriculture

Revised 1/8/10



The previous Science Roadmap for Agriculture was completed in 1998-99.  It was based on input from disciplinary experts within the Land Grant system.  The Roadmap was updated in 2006 and key challenges and objectives were reviewed again in 2008 based on input from deans and directors.   It is understood that the Roadmap provided critical guidance to decision makers in academia and in Federal agencies that fund agricultural research.  Given the rapid advances in science, changes in societal needs, and a changing budgetary environment, the comprehensive development of a new Science Roadmap is critical.

The audiences of the Roadmap include research administrators, funding agencies, legislators, stakeholders, and the private sector.  The goals of the Roadmap are to:

·         Chart the major directions of agricultural science over the next 5 – 10 years.

·         Define the needs and set the priorities for research.

·         Provide direction to decision makers in planning and investing resources to future program areas.

·         Support advocates of the food and agricultural research and education system.

·         Support marketing of the SAES system.

·         Facilitate the building of partnerships for a stronger coalition to solve problems.

In the winter of 2009, the ESCOP leadership decided to undertake a project to develop a new Roadmap and assigned the task to the Science and Technology Committee.  The Committee met jointly in March of 2009 with the Social Science Subcommittee and prepared a proposal to initiate development of the Roadmap through the use of the Delphi process for identifying and confirming grand challenge areas and respective research objectives.  The Delphi process gathers the ideas of experts and moves them and their ideas to consensus. The Science and Technology Committee received approval to engage Dr. Travis Park of Cornell to conduct survey process and analyze the data. 

ESCOP Chair Steve Pueppke sent a letter to Deans and Directors of Research, Extension and Academic Programs in the Land Grant system requesting their participation and the nomination of up to five researchers or Extension educators from their institutions to also participate in the process.  The researchers and educators were to have the perspective, experience, and expertise to provide quality input about identifying grand challenges and research priorities within each of the problems for the next 10 years. A total of 457 individuals were nominated from a broad array of disciplines. 

Participants were asked to complete four rounds of Delphi surveying regarding future directions for agricultural research over the next 5-10 years. Using information from the previous Science Roadmap as the starting point, participants were asked to identify new research priorities and amend current priorities. The first three rounds involved participants response to proposed research priorities in a summated rating scale format of (5) strongly agree to (1) strongly disagree. The final round consisted of a dichotomous yes-no format, answering the question as whether to not to include that particular research priority in the updated Roadmap.

The first round was initiated on June 10 and 264 individuals participated.  More than 100 “research priorities” were suggested from respondents during the first three rounds.  The fourth and final round was completed on August 10 and included 246 participants.  A total of 13 grand challenge areas and 64 research priorities were identified. 

Recognizing the need to further focus the challenge areas, the ESCOP Science and Technology Committee analyzed the 13 challenges and performed a cross-walk of them with agricultural research challenge areas identified by other organizations and agencies.  As a result, a consensus was formed around the following seven grand challenges for food and agriculture:

1.      We must enhance the sustainability, competitiveness, and profitability of U. S. food and agricultural systems.

2.      We must adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change on food, feed, fiber and fuel systems in the U.S.

3.      We must support energy security and the development of the bio-economy from renewable natural resources in the U.S.

4.      We must play a global leadership role to ensure a safe, secure and abundant food supply for the U.S. and the world.

5.      We must improve human health, nutrition and wellness of the US population.

6.      We must heighten environmental stewardship through the development of sustainable management practices.

7.      We must strengthen individual, family and community development and resilience.


Next Steps

Given the seven challenge areas and associated research needs identified through the previously described inclusive process, it is now necessary to analyze these areas and to identify how science can contribute to them.  For each challenge area, we will need to describe its importance, the current capacity and gaps within the Land Grant system, specific research priorities, additional resource investment needs, and the expected outcomes of research investments.

We propose that teams of key scientists from the Land Grant system be assigned the task of preparing short (approximately five pages) white papers for each of the challenge areas.  These scientists should be leaders in their respective disciplines but also broad thinkers who understand the larger picture.  We are referring to the participants as science leaders.  We expect approximately five leaders be assigned to each of the challenge areas.  Each team will select a team leader.  One or two members of the ESCOP Science and Technology Committee will also participate on the teams to help provide coordination to the overall effort.   Finally, at least one regional research Executive Directors will also be assigned to each team to provide additional support and coordination.

We anticipate that the work of the teams will be primarily through electronic means with face-to-face meetings left up to the discretion of the team members.  However, we have no ready source of funding to support travel for such meetings.  The teams will work between January 2010 and May 2010 to complete draft reports for each challenge area.  The reports should address the following issues:

1.      Background and justification for the challenge

2.      Specific research priorities

3.      Current capacity and gaps in the Land Grant system

4.      Additional resources needed ($ and SY’s)

5.      Expected outcomes of the research investments


A general vision will be developed and combined with the seven challenge area reports to produce an overall report.  It will be a living document that allows for continuous input and reflects changes and needs. 

We further plan to utilize professional writers to develop a series of shorter versions of the Roadmap that will be tailored for specific audiences.  Operational strategies (structure and organization; personnel and expertise; infrastructure and facilities; and funding and support) will be addressed in another phase.

The proposed overall timetable is as follows:

·         January 2010 – science leaders identified and challenge area teams convened; team leaders selected; begin work on background, justification, current capacity, science gaps, research objectives; resources needs and expected outcomes

·         March 2010 – status reports from challenge areas teams presented and reviewed at convening of team leaders; mid-course adjustments made

·         May 2010 – preliminary drafts of challenge area sections reviewed and refined

·         June 2010 – preliminary draft of overall report completed and reviewed by team leaders

·         July 2010 – preliminary draft report reviewed at ESCOP meeting

·         August 2010 – draft report revised

·         September 2010 – draft report mailed to Experiment Station Section and discussed at the Section workshop

·         October 2010 – final report prepared

·         November – December 2010 – final report forwarded to key audiences; tailored versions of report prepared; operational plan initiated

Action Requested: None; For information only.


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Item 12.0:  ESCOP System Communication and Marketing Agenda Brief

Presenters: Bill Ravlin, Arlen Leholm


The System Communication and Marketing Committee met on Sunday February 21in Washington DC during the CARET meetings. Attending the meeting were Clarence Watson, Chair, Wendy Wintersteen, Al Levine, Gerald Arkin, John Scofield, Hunt Shipman, Arlen Leholm, Mike Harrington, Dan Rossi, and several members of CARET.


ESCOP met on February 22 and reviewed and voted on the recommendations of the System Committee.


The context for this meeting:  The February 21 meeting was a time for ESCOP to "reset its marketing efforts". The System Committee has functioned since January 2008. ESCOP voted in the fall of 2007 to assess itself $300,000 per year for three years. A contract with the Podesta Group and Cornerstone was put in place in April of 2008. Year three of this effort starts in April of 2010. 


ESCOP discussed how/where to focus its Marketing Strategy for the most impact and how to organize the System Committee for year three without Extensions involvement.


The core strategy for the first two years of the communication and marketing effort has included:

  • Regional and National “opinion editorial” placements
  • Targeted efforts with key congressional members, including state site visits
  • An electronic newsletter to congress


Recommendations from the System Communication and Marketing Committee:


  • Put the key focus on well placed “opinion editorials”, all with a budget message
    • It was agreed that “opinion editorials” have had the most impact
  • Continue targeted efforts with congressional members. [This has not been easy]
    • Develop a best practices approach with Cornerstone and the Podesta Group to ensure more state ownership in the process
    • New champions in congress have been developed as a result of past efforts.
  • Stop the electronic newsletter to congress
    • It was agreed that this effort was the least impactful
  • Involve other key stakeholders, such as key commodity and private sector interests who could leverage ESCOP’s communication and marketing efforts.
  • Monthly phone conferences with the new ESCOP System Communication and Marketing Committee, including all Executive Directors.


Restructuring Recommendations for System Committee


  • Reactivate the ESCOP Communication and Marketing Committee and add three members of AHS, invite one Extension Director, Ian Maw of APLU, and Executive Directors—Arlen Leholm, Carolyn Brooks and Mike Harrington.
    • AHS members include Wendy Wintersteen of Iowa State, Al Levine of the University of Minnesota, and Mark Hussey of Texas A & M.


On February 22, ESCOP approved the recommendations of the System Communication and Marketing Committee and, additionally:


  • Approved reactivating the ESCOP Communication and Marketing Committee and named the new committee, “The ESCOP System Communication and Marketing Committee”
  • Empowered the newly reactivated committee to:
    • Be chaired initially by Gerald Arkin
    • Revise operating procedures
    • Meet twice a year in person. During the CARET meeting in February and the Joint COPs meeting in July.
    • Develop a process and implement a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the Communications and Marketing efforts. Evaluation must be completed for presentation to ESCOP at the Joint COPs meeting in Seattle on July 21-22, 2010. ESS will vote on continuing the Communications and Marketing efforts at its annual meeting in Nashville, TN from September 27-30, 2010


Action requested:  None, for information only.


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Item 13.0 NCBC Agenda Brief April 2010

Presenter: Joe Colletti 

Commissioner Gene Hugoson of Minnesota will be inviting NCRA and NCCEA Executive Committee NCBC members and Robin Shepard and Arlen Leholm to their summer meeting for a 30 minute exchange with the Agriculture Directors; followed by conversation during a break. Not set yet but likely to be Sunday July 25.


Letter to the NCBC Executive Committee for Agriculture Commissioners

 Letter to Commissioner Gene Hugoson (Minnesota), Director Robert Boggs (Ohio), and Secretary Bill Northey (Iowa), (NCBC Executive Committee for Agriculture Commissioners) from Robin Shepard and Arlen Leholm February 2010.

We had hoped to speak with you while attending your recent NASDA meeting in Washington, DC.  However, weather prevented us from attending.  So please allow us to take a moment of your time with this letter to update you on the North Central BioEconomy Consortium (NCBC). 

As you understand well, there are many opportunities for greater collaboration among the State Departments of Agriculture, the Cooperative Extension Service and the Land Grant University Experiment Stations.  The North Central BioEconomy Consortium (NCBC) is beginning a new phase with a streamlined leadership structure.    

You may recall, last summer the NCBC Charter [attached] was revised based on the following: 

  • NCBC no longer collects assessments for the Great Plains Institute.
  • NCBC is not a policy making body.
  • Individual members of the consortium may be uniquely positioned to assist in policy analysis (especially on a state-by-state level), but the consortium itself does not represent a policy making entity/body.
  • The new Executive Committee of NCBC consists of two directors from each of the three partner organizations and they serve an initial three year term. Terms would be staggered after year three. One point person is selected by the Executive Committee each year to be the person who would work most closely with NCBC staff to coordinate NCBC functions.
  • Meetings of the Executive Committee would occur two times per year.  Best joint times for meetings may be at the annual Mini Land Grant summer (July) meetings and at the national NASDA meeting in Washington DC (held in February).
  • Meetings of all 36 state partners from all 12 states and three agencies are unlikely.
  • Phone conference calls of the Executive Committee are established as necessary.
  • Since NCBC is not a policy making body, the Executive Committee does not have officers.  

Because of busy schedules, we hope we can be routine in connecting to you and the other agricultural Directors/Commissioners in our region.  At this point, we feel it might be beneficial to offer an update or at least host a small meeting of the NCBC Executive Committee that could coincide with the summer MASDA meeting.    Does this seem useful and appropriate?  Please let us know (perhaps through Jim Boreboom, Minnesota Department of Agriculture) how you feel communication and regular updates could be provided. 

One area of collaboration that we consider a priority for our region is addressing issues associated with climate variation.  We have attached a description of a meeting that we are sponsoring on March 9th in Kansas City, Missouri.  We anticipate a number staff from the state departments of agriculture in our region to attend.   Also, please consider this an official invitation to you if you would like to attend.  The agenda is attached, and additional information can be found at:

Again, we are excited about having you as a member of the NCBC Executive Committee.  If we can answer any additional questions, please feel free to contact us directly. 

Robin Shepard and Arlen Leholm





Official Designation:

The official designation of this multi-state agreement is the North Central Bioeconomy Consortium (NCBC). The NCBC consists of three partner organizations (1) State Departments of Agriculture, (2) University Cooperative Extension and (3) Land grant university research/experiment stations. Other organizations may be asked to participate based on invitations from NCBC.


Through this agreement, the three partner organizations will share information on the bioeconomy, identify joint interests among the partners, and may chose to form collaborations on specific issues, projects, or ventures. The main focus of NCBC is to communicate about and coordinate joint interests of the partner organization through a six person Executive Committee. NCBC is not a policy making body.



·         Expand the use of biomass in the Midwest to replace fossil fuels and the production of energy, fuels, and products.


·         Facilitate better information-sharing among the three consortium partners


·         Make recommendations for needed research and outreach on issues affecting the bioeconomy, including policy issues


·         NCBC is not be a policy making body/entity


o        Individual members of the consortium may be uniquely positioned to assist in policy analysis (especially on a state-by-state level), but the consortium itself does not represent a policy making entity/body.


·         Organize a coordinated regional approach for working with DOE, USDA, and other federal agencies.


·         Identify opportunities for regional collaboration on issues affecting the bioeconomy


·         Reach consensus of ways to collaborate on addressing issues affecting the bioeconomy




·         Departments of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, Land Grant University Research/Experiment Stations


·         Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin


Consortium Executive Committee Members Agree To The Following:

·         Participate in NCBC conference calls and meetings

·         Identify joint interests of all three partners and share information about relevant research, outreach and policy issues affecting the bioeconomy in the North Central Region.

·         Executive Committee members will inform their own organizations about NCBC issues and activities; including updates at their respective business meetings.

 Number and Frequency of Meetings:

·         The Executive Committee of NCBC will meet two times annually. At the annual July Mini Land Grant summer meetings and at the February national NASDA meeting in Washington DC.

·         Meetings of all 36 state partners from all 12 states and three agencies would not be organized on an annual basis. A meeting of all 36 members could be organized if there is a compelling need.

Executive Committee Selection:

·         Each of the three partner organization will select two Directors to serve on NCBC for a three year term. Each year, the Executive Committee will select one person from their committee to be the chair of the Executive Committee for a one year term.

·         Terms will be staggered after year three as appropriate and determined by the Executive Committee members.

·         The Chair of the Executive Committee will work closely with NCBC staff to coordinate NCBC functions.

Staff Support

·         The Executive Director of North Central Region Extension Directors (Dr. Robin Shepard); the Executive Director of the North Central Region Research Experiment Station Directors (Dr. Arlen Leholm); and a MASDA representative (To Be Determined).


Action requested: None, for information only


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Item 17.0:   Resolutions

Presenter:  Marc Linit, Chair


A Resolution of Appreciation to

Dr. Gary Cunningham

 Dean of the Agricultural Research Division and Director of the Agriculture Experiment Station at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln


WHEREAS, Gary Cunningham has recently retired from his position as Dean of the Agricultural Research Division and Director of the Agriculture Experiment Station at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and


WHEREAS, Gary has had a distinguished career and is recognized for his keen understanding and outstanding contributions to the Land Grant System including his service as Associate Administrator, Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), United States Department of Agriculture; and


WHEREAS, Dr. Cunningham has also served as Vice President for Research at New Mexico State University and as Associate Dean and Director, New Mexico Agriculture Experiment Station.  He also served as a Professor and Head of the Department of Biology at New Mexico State University; and


WHEREAS, Dr. Cunningham has published 33 journal articles and co-authored seven book chapters and 15 technical reports and research memoranda.  Gary regularly presented papers and organized symposia at national and international meetings of professional societies. He made many presentations to congressional committees, subcommittees, and staffers as USDA-CSREES Associate Administrator; and


WHEREAS, Gary’s research projects received continuous support from many agencies including the National Science Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Water Research and Technology, U.S. Geological Survey, and included funding from numerous New Mexico sources; and


WHEREAS, Gary is now enjoying retirement and he and his wife Jo Rittenhouse live in Placitas, New Mexico in a home with spectacular views of the mountains; and 


FURTHER, Gary displayed a witty sense of humor and spoke infrequently but when he did speak it was always with wisdom and great impact; and  


THEREFORE, the NCRA hereby expresses its appreciation, respect and sincere thanks to Gary Cunningham for his dedication, leadership, and his major impact on advancing all the Land Grant University missions.


Action Requested:  Acceptance of this resolution

Action Taken:  Resolution accepted.


Item 20.1:  Merging NCAC16 and SAC05

Presenter: Arlen Leholm for Dick Straub


Action requested: The members of NCAC16 and SAC05 would like to meet together and become one large review committee, due to overlapping members and similarities in activities.

Action taken:  Request approved based on the Southern Region's conditions: 

Arlen - I was going to email you today about that question.  We discussed this at our SAAESD session last Thursday morning and agreed that merging these two groups would be fine and beneficial in lots of ways.  We do have the following three conditions that I don't think anyone will have a problem with.
1. My office needs to have the chair's contact info and that person needs to be willing to send out any S, SCC, or SERA project proposals that come by email to the AC group for review, compile the responses, and send them back to Donna by the date requested.
2. Our region will continue to appoint an administrative advisor to the merged group to meet with them along with the NC advisor, similar to the way NRSPs are handled.
3. For our records we will designate this AC as "SAC-16 (joint with NCAC-16)".


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