North Central Regional Association


State Agriculture Experiment Station Directors


190th Meeting

April 4-6, 2011

Embassy Suites Downtown, Indianapolis, IN


FINAL AGENDA and MINUTES (last edited 04/19/2011)



Agenda Item



Monday, April 4:

3:00 – 5:00 pm

MRC Meeting

David Benfield, 2011 MRC Chair

5:30 pm

Hotel Manager’s Reception - Atrium

Tuesday, April 5:

8:00 am


Call to Order

Doug Buhler, 2011 NCRA Chair



Approval of September 2010 Minutes (sept2010.htm) Approved




Adoption of the Agenda Approved




Interim Actions of the Chair


8:10 am


Executive Director’s Report

5.1 Science Roadmap Matrix

5.2 Regional Organics Meeting

5.3 New NCRA website update (draft/test site:

5.4 Mississippi River Sustainability Meeting, March 26.

Arlen Leholm


Steve Slack

Chris Hamilton


Jozef Kokini

8:40 am


ARS Report

JL Willett

8:55 am


NIFA Update (canceled) Deborah Sheely

9:20 am


1994 Report

Gary Halvorson

9:40 am


MRC Report

David Benfield



9.1 New/Renewal NC Projects




9.2 Midterm Reviews




9.3 NRSP Report/Discussion (NRSP6 Report)

Abel Ponce de Leon



9.4 Other MRC Business (NC7 2012 budget, NCDC Proposal Update, Multistate Research Award)

David Benfield, All

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

11:10 am


IPM Center Update

Bill Ravlin

11:30 am


Executive Session

NCRA Executive Committee

12:00 noon


1:30 pm


Research and Extension Collaborations Across State Lines

Doug Buhler, All
2:00 pm 16.0 Highlights from the NC Battelle Study

(IP Managers will join meeting at this time)

Simon Tripp


3:00 pm


3:30 pm 17.0 State Reports

(IP Managers and Chris will meet separately from 3:30 to 5 pm)

4:50 pm 18.0 Future Meetings (
  • NCRA Spring Meeting April 2-4, 2012. The Embassy Suites Downtown, Indianapolis, IN was chosen again as our location.
  • 2011 Mini-Land Grant Meeting, Dearborn, MI
  • 2011 Fall ESS/AES/ARD Workshop, The Historic Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO
Doug Buhler, All

5:00 pm

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



Wednesday, April 6

8:00 am 19.0 IP Panel and Discussion, featuring NC IP managers, Elanco, Cultivan Ventures, and Maple Leaf Concepts

For access to the IP files and presentations, please contact for a Dropbox invitation.

All (including IP managers)

12 noon - 1:00 pm

Adjourn (Lunch Provided)




Item 5.0: Science Roadmap comparing the Seven ESS Grand Challenges with USDA Goals

Presenters: Steve Slack, Arlen Leholm


I have created the below matrix that cross-references our 7 ESS Grand Challenges with the 12 USDA REE goals.  I think that the intersect between

the ESS Roadmap and the USDA Roadmap is consistent and strong.  Others may want to edit further.


We use "science gaps" and "research needs and priorities" to provide detail to the Grand Challenges whereas the USDA uses "strategies and actions"; the

net effect is similar.  I used a double-plus (++) to indicate direct linkage expressed in both plans and a single-plus (+) to indicate linkage expressed

in one plan or the other.


You can decide on whether or not to use the matrix approach to respond to the system but it seems to me to be a very direct, positive way to link the

two plans and the science objectives.  I would urge us to use some format like this along with a written statement for the April 19-20 meeting in

Washington in order to be sure the ESS Roadmap does not get lost in discussions; a lot of time, energy and talent went into the document.










USDA Roadmap

REE Goals

Challenge 1

Enhance sustainability competitiveness and profitability of U.S. food and agricultural systems

Challenge 2

Adapt to and mitigate impacts of climate change

Challenge 3

Support energy security and bioeconomy from renewable resources

Challenge 4

Provide global leadership for safe, secure, abundant food supply

Challenge 5

Improve human health, nutrition and wellness

Challenge 6

Heighten environmental stewardship through sustainable management practices

Challenge 7

Strengthen individual family and community development and resilience

1.       Education and Science Literacy


University Academic/Outreach

University Academic/Outreach

University Academic/Outreach

University Academic/Outreach


University Academic/Outreach

University Academic/Outreach

University Academic/Outreach

2.        Rural Prosperity









3.        Biofuels










4.       Climate Change









5.       Water Availability and Quality









6.       Landscape-Scale Conserve/Mgt.












7.       Food Security-Local to Global














8.       Linking Ag Production/Trade











9.       Food Safety












10.    Nutrition and Childhood Obesity











11.    Crop and Livestock Production














12.    USDA Science is Recognized and Used


















Action Requested: As soon as possible, please send any comments, changes, or questions to Steve Slack for inclusion in a written report for the April 19-20 meeting in Washington, DC.


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Item 5.4: Mississippi River Sustainability Meeting (March 26, 2011)

Presenter: Jozef Kokini


(Below summary created by Dr. Robin Shepard, NCCEA)


Meeting Report: 

The Upper Mississippi River Sustainability

Multi-State Initiative Planning Meeting

Saturday, March 26, 2011 – Alton, IL [National Great Rivers Research Center]


This meeting was held at the newly completed National Great Rivers Research and Education Center on the Mississippi River near Alton, Illinois.  The meeting was organized as a discussion about potential initiatives that might be of interest to the multiple universities/colleges/institutions in our region.  The meeting was designed to focus primarily on the upper Mississippi and the major rivers feeding into it (for example: the Minnesota, Ohio, Wabash, and Wisconsin). 


Goals of the Meeting

·         To share water related resources in the seven states along the upper Mississippi River.

·         To identify synergies among the water programs of the institutions.

·         To explore interest in planning and developing regional/national initiatives to address the sustainability of the Mississippi River system.



Bob Hauser, Dean, University of Illinois, College of Agriculture

Dale Chapman, President, Lewis and Clark Community College

Gary Role, Executive Director, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center

Jozef Kokini, Associate Dean of Research and Director Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station



The National Great River Research and Education Center is located near Alton, Illinois.  It is near the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois Rivers.  At the heart of the facility is a partnership between Lewis and Clark Community College, the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability (formerly the Illinois Natural History Survey).  The Center is located adjacent to the Mississippi River, just south of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam.  It is a very impressive facility, constructed in the past 3-4 years and is an example of green construction and LEED certification.


Agenda (abbreviated)

·         The partnership between University of Illinois and Lewis & Clark Community College.

·         An overview of programs at the National Great Rivers Research Center.

·         Sharing by each state – descriptions of what is occurring within the state addressing water resource issues, with attention to the Mississippi River system.

·         Tour of the facility.

·         Identifying possible regional and multistate initiatives.


A “partial” listing of participants:

Ø      University of Illinois:  Denny Campion, Bob Hauser, Jozef Kokini and Mike Gray

Ø      Iowa State University:  Jerry Miller, Joe Colletti, and Louis Wright Morton

Ø      The Ohio State University:  Steve Slack

Ø      Purdue University: Ron Turco

Ø      Southern Illinois University:  Karen Jones

Ø      University of Minnesota: Fay Sleeper and Abel Ponce de Leon

Ø      University of Missouri: Marc Linit and Dan Downing

Ø      University of Wisconsin: Dick Straub, Anders Andren, and Tom Blewett


State Presentations

Each state took 10-20 minutes to provide an overview of some of the initiatives they are currently  involved in that are most relevant to Mississippi River sustainability and protection.  In the interest of being brief, some of those included:



·         The on-farm research and demonstration of Discovery Farms.

·         The role of UWEX River Basin Educators.

·         The Regional Great Lakes Water Quality Team (Section 406 Regional Project successes).

·         Joint efforts with Wisconsin (state) Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

·         Regional priority setting by CES with its program logic models.

·         The Water Resource Center and Seagrant efforts in soliciting stakeholder input on Great Lakes Issues.

·         The need for a Water Portal, that identifies and provides access to programs and projects.



·         An overview of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.

·         Efforts involving the Lake Pepin and implementation of TMDLs.

·         Statewide Ecological Ranking of CRP lands.

·         The Green Lands, Blue Waters Initiative.

·         Minnesota’s Water Sustainability Framework.



·         The Missouri Watershed Initiative.

·         Funding and support from the state’s parks and soils tax.

·         Collaboration with ARS in the Mark Twain Watershed.

·         A clearinghouse/document of university courses related to water resources.

·         Work by Southeast Missouri State University and the Delta Research Facility.



·         The Heartland Water Quality Team (Section 406 Regional Project successes).

·         NCRA/multi-state committees related to the Mississippi.

·         Integrated projects on:  cropping systems, drainage, placement of perennial vegetation, end of pipe (drainage) technology, and risk management.

·         A comparison of biofuels systems and drainage.

·         Soil and Water Conservation Education.

·         Buffer management.

·         Urban Natural Resources Research (e.g., Ames and Cedar Rapids).

·         Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

·         Work with ARS on bioenergy via the bioreactor.

·         The concept of a regional nutrient and runoff center.



Purdue University:

·         An overview of the Purdue Water Community that links 54 faculty and 27 staff working on water related issues.

·         An overview of projects associated with: Great Lakes, River Ecology, Climate Change, Water Supply, Sustainable Water Systems, Water Infrastructure, Public Health, and the intersection of ag and water.

·         An overview of the Wabash River, and how that has been a rallying point for the Purdue Water Community.



·         An overview of an NSF project on drinking water and water purification.

·         An overview of the work of the Illinois State Water Survey.  Various projects address: atmosphere, watershed, groundwater, chemistry and technology, and atmospheric deposition.

·         Southern Illinois University’s work on manure waste management, soil and water quality, watershed rehabilitation and health, riparian buffers and invasive.



·         Work on hypoxia.

·         Work on algal blooms (especially that occurring in the Grand Lakes – St. Mary’s area).

·         A description of the importance of the ESCOP Science Roadmap.

·         Collaboration with ODNR and Ohio Department of Agriculture.

·         An overview of the Olentangy Research Center and work on wetlands.

·         Other project overviews touched on Nutrient trading, watershed protection and drainage.



A Few Meeting Outcomes


·         A small group was identified to work on a short overview description/paper of the potential for greater institutional collaboration on research and programs effecting the Mississippi River.


·         A follow up meeting will likely occur that will help prioritize potential areas of collaboration and joint work among the seven (plus) states in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.  


·         Further exploration of Mississippi River priorities would evolve into a Multi-State North Central Development Committee.


·         Additionally some discussions also merit follow-up regarding a consortium like entity, similar to the North Central Bioeconomy Consortium (NCBC).


(Summary by R. Shepard, NCCEA 3/28/11)

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Item 6.0: ARS Report

Presenter: JL Willett


USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Report to NCRA State Agriculture Experiment Station Directors


April 2011

Area Leadership


Northern Plains Area

            Area Director:  Will Blackburn

            Associate Area Director:  Michael (Mickey) McGuire

            Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana


Midwest Area

            Area Director:  Larry Chandler

            Associate Area Director:  Vacant (Harry Danforth retired April 1)

            Assistant Area Director:  J. L. Willett

            Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin



FY 2010 Appropriation

·    ARS Salaries and Expenses:  $1,179,639,000


FY 2012 President’s Budget Proposal

·    ARS  Salaries and Expenses:  $1,137,690,000

·    Program Initiatives:  + $55,723,000

o       Food Safety

o       Crop Breeding and Protection

o       Child and Human Nutrition

o       Animal Breeding and Protection

o       Bioenergy/Biomass

o       Plant, Animal and Microbial Collections

o       Production Systems for Sustainable Agriculture

o       Global Climate Change

o       National Agricultural Library

·    Elimination of Earmarks (- $41,889,000)

·    Termination of Extramural Research (-$20,122,000)

·    Laboratory/Location Closures (- $38,661,000)

·    Buildings and Facilities  (- $223,749,000)


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 FY2012 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.


New Leadership and Vacancies


Midwest Area (MWA)

·         Illinois

o       National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (Peoria)

§         Bacterial Food-borne Pathogens Research Unit, New Research Leader Todd Ward

§         Bio-Oils Research Unit (Mike Cotta, Acting RL)

§         Crop Bioprotection Research Unit, New Research Leader Alex Rooney

§         Plant Polymer Research Unit (Sean Liu, Acting RL)

·         Indiana

o       Crop Production and Pest Control Research Unit (Christie Williams, Acting RL)

·         Iowa

o       National Animal Disease Center (Ames)

§         Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research Unit, New Research Leader Eduardo Casas (effective June 2011)

·         Wisconsin

o       Dairy Forage Research Center (Madison)

§         Dairy Forage and Aquaculture Research Unit (Richard Muck, Acting RL)


Northern Plains Area

 ·         North  Dakota

o       Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory (Mandan)

§         Natural Resources Management Research Unit, New Research Leader, Matt Sanderson. 

·         South Dakota

o       North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory (Brookings)

§          Integrated Cropping Systems Research Unit, New Research Leader Sharon Papiernik

·         Kansas

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

§         Arthropod Borne Animal Disease Research Unit was moved to Manhattan and completed in August 2010.  New Research Leader Scott McVey

 ·         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, E. John Pollak

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Item 9.0: MRC Review Table 2011 (New and Renewal Project Reviews)

Presenter: Dave Benfield, 2011 MRC Chair

Item Proj Type Proj Rvwr Current Proj # (Temp #) Title NCRA AA MRC Comments
1.00 New/Renewal Projects
1.01 Schmitt NC1026 (NC_temp1026) Weeds as Phytometers in a Changing Environment Buhler (MI) NC_TEMP1026 is a very intriguing proposal that creatively uses weeds to assess climate change in North Central states.  The justification and literature citations in this proposal are very thorough and focused.  And, the issue is one that is a high priority as stated by numerous research agencies and organizations.  It was encouraging to read that a listed objective of the proposal is to seek extramural funding.  It was also very positive to see a common set of research protocol for all the participating states—my only question would be is whether this common protocol should include some weed shift indicators.  While the outreach activities of this proposal are numerous in their listing, it is a rather passive set of outlets that may not have much impact.  It would be beneficial if some actual outcomes (behavior and/or knowledge indicators) were listed.  Overall, a very good proposal. Recommend approval deferred until revisons are made in NIMSS, due June 1, 2011 (Will become NC1191 upon final approval of revisions.)
1.02 Minton NC1027 (NC_temp1027) An integrated approach to control of bovine respiratory diseases  Hamernik (NE) This project is focused on the problem of bovine respiratory disease. This is a high consequence disease of newly transported and mixed cattle primarily at or destined for feedlots.  The AA enthusiastically supports approval of the project and I concur with the recommendations of the AA.  The project outline contains clearly focused objectives, although it would be helpful for the knowledge gaps identified in the write-up to more closely align with the activities identified in the Methods section. The project is clearly multistate and multidisciplinary. The project participants detail extensive interaction with stakeholders at all levels including feedlot veterinarians and producers. The project outline suggests that many of these researchers are funded through AFRI (suggesting alignment with NIFA goals) and it is the AFRI funding that, in fact, leverages their ability to interact across this multistate effort. A criticism of the outline is that the Methods section details interaction among individuals at experiment stations that are not listed in the Appendix E. States that evidently have pledged involvement that I do not find in the Appendix E are VA, CO, NADC, SD, KS, NE, IA, WY, and MS.  There may be others. These locations and individuals will need to be added to the Appendix E. Recommend approval with minor revisions (Appendix E additions) due by June 1. Will renew as NC1192 upon final approval.
1.03 Leholm NC1028 (NC_temp1028) Assessing and addressing individual and environmental factors that influence eating behavior of young adults Savaino (IN) The previous five years of this multi-state research have been devoted to building community relationships with young adults using principles of community-based participatory research. The results of this work have led to the identification of environmental and behavioral barriers and facilitators, and to the development of instruments for assessing environmental and individual factors associated with health outcomes such as body weight. The purpose of this renewal is to refine and validate these instruments and to define the relationship between environmental and behavioral factors with a goal of quantifying these to create a Healthy Campus Index. Good progress was made in the past five years. The purpose identified in this renewal is timely and deals with an issue of national significance from both a health and economic perspective. The NCRA approves this proposal.  Will renew as NC1193 on 10/1/2011.
1.03 Benfield NC1029 (NC_temp1029) Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare Minton (KS) This is an important NC project that has two goals related to the development and evaluation of objective methods to measure animal behavior, comfort and response to pain.  The project addresses multiple food animal species and poultry.  Results from this project will provide the animal agriculture industry with information that will improve animal welfare and objective measures for how changes in animal housing and husbandry methods favored by consumers impact the welfare of animals.  The NCRA approves this proposal. Will retain NC1029 designation.
1.04 Kokini NC1030 (NC_temp1030) Family Firms and Policy in Times of Disruption Leholm (NCRA) This proposal is well written and is focused on family owned businesses and their impact on the economy of the Midwest and South, especially in rural areas where most farms tend to be family operated. The project recognizes that small businesses failure is often attributed to poor business management but personal and family reasons account for 2/3's of business closure. The project builds on the earlier NC103 project. In this project, significant business predictors of disaster recovery have been identified. The role of family factors, in civil society and post disaster decisions, have been studied and it was shown that changes in the overall economic health of the region before and after a natural disaster are likely to influence both recovery and new starts. The current objectives focus on determining the factors that continue to sustain small businesses assess the effect of management change, and determine the factors that contribute the sustainability after destruction. The methods offered in this proposal are dependent upon previous data collection efforts and a new data collection effort sponsored by the National Science Foundation, NSF. Publications are underway from 2007 panel data. A second study assesses the effect of county wide federal assistance on family businesses using the data panel and a third study focuses on single disaster study and was funded by NSF. The study has a good outreach plan in the form of publishing the findings of the work in relevant journals. What might be missing is the incorporation of small business development centers and economic development authorities of the various states in the organization. The project brings together faculty from 12 states and clearly meets the criteria of the multistate project. The NCRA approves this proposal.  Will retain NC1030 designation.
1.05 Benfield NC1031 (NC_temp1031) Nanotechnology and Biosensors Bralts (IN) The proposal presents five objectives on the application of nanotechnology to enhance disease diagnosis in plants and animals, to develop and characterize nanomaterials, to determine the economic, environmental, safety and health aspects of nanotechnology in agriculture and to develop educational and outreach programs related to nanotechnology.  This is a unique and important committee devoted to the use of nanotechnology in various applied and basic biological process in plants and animals.  The committee have been very productive in the development of nanomaterials for use in agriculture and presents a very ambitious 5-year plan.  The objectives should be rewritten as they are word for word the same as the last 5-year project.  The outreach and educational program is targeted towards development of undergraduate curriculum and use of social media YouTube to educate the public of the discipline and value of nanotechnology.  Overall an excellent proposal and recommend approval following minor revsion.  Revisions due in NIMSS by June 1.  Will renew as NC1194 pending final approval.
1.06 Schmitt NC1032 (NC_temp1032) Enhancing nitrogen utilization in corn based cropping systems to increase yield, inprove profitability and minimize environmental impacts  Blodgett (SD) NC_TEMP1032 is the continuation of a long-standing regional committee working on nitrogen management in cropping systems.  The proposal is very well-written and truly describes the challenges of an issue whose context has changed considerable in the past several decades as N management is the true balancing of agronomic, economic and environmental risks.  This proposal has two very distinct qualities that merit praise.  First, the common protocol approach has been used in the past and is responsible for the great advancement in the credibility of N recommendations throughout the North Central Region.  Second, the outreach plan is an exceptional complement to the quality research proposal.  Kudos are in order to this team’s proposal efforts.  The NCRA approves this proposal. Will renew as NC1195.
1.07 Kokini NC1033 (NC_temp1033) Food systems, health, and well-being: understanding complex relationships and dynamics of change Wang (SD) This project builds on previous work with NC1001 and NC1033. The current project builds on the vast efforts of the previous work focused on food deserts. This project will examine how families make food decisions in order to deal with issues of access. The earlier approach emphasizes structural barriers to food, including local foods. This project will tie these barriers to food decision making to both families and the retail and food assistant sectors of the local food systems. The work during the last 5 years paid particular attention to rural areas examining ways in which rural residents cope with food availability issues the project also looked at efforts by communities, school systems and Universities to localize their food system. Two of the participating states conducted of focused group research in order to determine access to local food. Some projects also looked at family food decision making. The project has shown that both parents work experiences influence children’s intake of energy from fat and their risk of obesity. In addition, father’s use of fast food has a greater influence on children’s intake of this food then mothers do. The group landed 6 million dollars through seven grants and project members produced 41 journal articles, 14 book chapters and one book. The current project focuses on identifying, assessing and analyzing key determinants of health and well being within the context of food systems. The analysis will focus on family decision making and the food system in various community context with an emphasis on the relationships between family and community food systems and the implications of these for health. The team will use focus groups and surveys of local populations. The project will further draw upon research from consumer research from how families make purchasing decisions. Input from communities themselves will be utilized using the participatory Action Research (PAR) and Collaborative Engaged Research (CER) the project will collect data from communities in North Eastern, Midwestern, South Western and West Coast states that will enable comparisons about similarities and differences. The multistate project will also attempt to capture food insecure populations contrasting them with the more traditional food assistant recipients. They have an excellent outreach plan and the project has participation from 16 Land-Grant Institutions. This is a good project with a strong track record of accomplishments with a team that is working well and should lead to excellent outcomes.  The NCRA approves this proposal. Will renew as NC1196.
1.08 Leholm NC1034 (NC_temp1034) Impact Analyses and Decision Strategies for Agricultural Research (NC1003) Martin (IN) Continued efforts to improve our estimates of returns to agriculture research are timely given the new austere environment in congress. We must be able to have facts to communicate the value of agriculture research. The NCRA approves this proposal. Will retain NC1034 designation.  
1.09 Schmitt NC1035 (NC_temp1035) Practical Management of Nematodes on Corn, Soybeans and Other Crops of Regional Importance Pueppke (MI) NC_TEMP1035 is a very strong regional project that is very focused on the issue of nematodes, especially SCN.  The justification of the issue and the background of previous work were very commendable.  It was nice to see how the new proposal evolved to take into consideration newer related issues.  The plan of work for the overall project was somewhat piecemeal, recognizing that this sometimes happens with regional committee efforts.  It would be encouraged that one small thread of a common indicator be developed for all states if possible in the future.  More concern was found in reading the outreach plan for this effort.  With all the great effort in the collection of the research information and the determinations/best practices, the one paragraph outreach plan was extremely passive and did not have any outcomes tied to them.  It is strongly urged that outcomes are more diligently determined (note that the outcomes listed are not truly outcomes from an outreach model perspective) and that a proactive outreach plan is considered.  Recommend approval deferred until revisions are made in NIMSS, due June 1, 2011. (Would renew as NC1197 after final approval.)
1.11 Minton NC_temp1189 (new project) Understanding the Ecological and Social Constraints to Achieving Sustainable Fisheries Resource Policy and Management Buhler (MI) This project seeks to improve understanding of effects of climate change, invasive species, and land use, and the associated effects on the production and resilience of fisheries and aquatic communities, along with other related objectives. The area is relevant to national research priorities. As noted by the administrative advisor, the project write-up appears to be a collection of research topics taking place in individual states by individual investigators. The write-up could certainly be improved and streamlined. However, the administrative advisor is committed to encouraging enhanced interdependence among the group as the project gets going. This will be important to clearly demonstrate that the proposed work justifies a multistate research project as opposed to a NCCC-type committee. I would support approval as an NCCC or NC, as written, and trust the experience of the AA to guide the group in the appropriate direction. The NCRA approves this committee.
1.12 Benfield NC_temp1190 (new project) Catalysts for Water Resources Protection and Restoration: Applied Social Science Research Colletti (IA) The purpose of this project is to identify key elements that drive social and ecological events related to water resources.  The project includes investigators involved in projects on various local, state and national (Mississippi River and Chesapeake Bay) water sheds.  Using various case studies from these ongoing studies, participants desire to identify social and ecological events that lead to changes in conservation behaviors and management decisions.  These collective findings will then be translated in models to develop adaptive management strategies that result in behavioral and/or policy changes that improve conservation practices related to watersheds and water resources.   The proposal is well-written, strictly a social science approach, uses ongoing and funded case studies.  Difficult to determine how the states are interacting in this proposal, it is suggested that the proposal be revised to indicate how states will interact on each of the five objectives.  Outreach plan is very good and involves appropriate government, agricultural and local watershed groups.  Recommend that the project be approved with minor revisions.  Revisions due in NIMSS by June 1.  Will renew as NC1190 pending final approval.
1.13 Schmitt NCCC22 (NCCC_temp22) Small Fruit and Viticulture Research Perry (MI) NCCC-TEMP022 addresses an issue that many states are facing—limited resource programs that are significant to a narrow audience of a state; in this case small fruits.  The collaborations among states are critical in providing a critical mass to address key scientific issues.  Thus, the goals/objectives of this proposed committee’s efforts are very clear to understand.  It might be suggested that additional value for this proposal could be gained by better defining how the objects/outputs/outcomes would be achieved.  It was also disappointing to read the outreach plan that essentially simply says that some members have Extension appointments--that is not a plan. Please provide a stronger, more definitive outreach plan. Defer approval until revisions are made.  Revisions due in NIMSS by June 1, 2011.  Will renew as NCCC212 pending final approval.
1.14 Minton NCCC46 (NCCC_temp46) Development, Optimization, and Delivery of Management Strategies for Corn Rootworms and Other Below-ground Insect Pests of Maize Pueppke (MI) NCCC_TEMP046 is a committee with a cumulative life of extending across more than four decades. Their focus is around control and management of northern and western corn rootworm, pests that put significant acres of the nations corn crop at risk. Since the group’s inception, the chemical and biotechnological control of this pest has changed dramatically. In recent years, rootworms have developed strategies for evading a variety of control measures. In the current renewal, the group proposes to evaluate the efficacy of registered and experimental transgenic corn for managing rootworms and to conduct new research focused on the biology of rootworms. This group appears to represent the nations brain trust around corn rootworms. Because their work addresses a significant pest of a critically important food and fuel crop, their work has obvious relevance to significant challenges of food security and renewable energy priorities of NIFA. The NCRA approves this proposal. Will retain NCCC46 designation.
1.15 Kokini NCCC65 (NCCC_temp65) Indicators of Social Change in the Marketplace: Producers, Retailers and Consumers Delong (MN) This project examines economic technological, social and environmental factors that create changes in the marketplace that impact producers, retailers and consumers. The committee will focus its efforts on enhancing complex data analysis to study the rural marketplace and market for products with agricultural components. Critical to development starter for rural economic growth is the awareness of economic changes but also of the uncertainties and resistance to change that frequently characterize rural communities. Rural consumers are also highly varied and continued rehearsal will help rural planners and distances prepare for the future. Understanding the new older population is essential previous behavioral and attitudinal patterns among rural older persons will not all likely persist particularly in relation to use of technology. Over the next 5 years the committee will identify research direction related to social change in the market place, offer training programs to increase rigor of research methods and analysis techniques foster skill and grantsmanship and to provide opportunities to build partnerships share and critique new ideas and research results. This committee is largely about organizing conferences and visiting relevant agencies in Washington DC and developing workshops. It is comprehensive in its approach to develop communication and networking tools for the group. The NCRA approves this proposal. Will retain NCCC65 designation.
1.16 Benfield NCCC167 (NCCC_temp167) Corn Breeding Research Tracy (WI) This is a continuation of the original NCR 167 committee that has been important in coordinating information in the U.S. and Canada on germlines and genetics of maize.  This group coordinates through multistate interactions recommendations on the performance of various corn hybrids in each growing zone.  The committee also serves as to develop standard protocols for phenotypic and genotypic analysis including identification of genetic markers.  This group also seeks to promote the discipline of plant breeding and provides a community for students interested in corn breeding.  Germplasm releases are published in the J. Plant Registrations.  Considering the need to increase corn production for both food and biofuel this committee continues to provide a needed focus for coordination of corn breeding information.  Recommend that this coordinating committee project be approved.  Encourage the group to develop a national website if one does not currently exist, none was mentioned in project, and consider coordinating with support from private industry, a multistate course for students in corn breeding as many stations will not be able to continue breeder positions in all plant species. The NCRA approves this proposal. Will retain NCCC167 designation.
1.17 Leholm NCCC170 (NCCC_temp170) Research Advances in Agricultural Statistics Boyer (KS) One of the purposes of this project is stated as: Collaboration of statisticians and scientists allows land grant institutions to perform their agricultural research missions more effectively and efficiently than would otherwise be possible. This project enhances research in all knowledge areas. The NCRA approves this proposal. Will retain NCCC170 designation.
1.18 Hamilton NCERA13 (NCERA_temp13) Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Grafton (ND) The MRC agrees with the favorable review submitted by the committee AA (see NIMSS) and further agrees that the proposed new website will greatly enhance the dissemination of soil testing information.  More information on the planned website development with a time-line would be useful.  Furthermore, to increase collaborations and communications, we recommend the committee encourage more membership from federal agencies (specifically USDA, ARS, and the EPA) and representatives from commercial testing laboratories.  Please contact the NCRA office for information on adding non-Land Grant members to this multistate project.  Overall, this is a well-functioning, integrated ERA that meets regularly and submits annuals reports as required.  Recommend approval with minor revision (App E additions and website development time-line). Will retain NCERA13 designation pending final approval.
1.19 Hamilton NCERA59 (NCERA_temp59) Soil Organic Matter: Formation, Function and Management Miller (IA) This is a high-functioning ERA committee that has been meeting regularly and submits on-time and thorough annual reports.  The renewal proposal is well laid out with focused objectives and good, appropriate participation from across the nation.  The NCERA59 grant-writing subcommittee is to be commended for its efforts and may benefit further by looking into the new NCDC-Proposal option created by the NCRA in 2010.  Please contact the NCRA office if you'd like more information on this unique grant-writing committee option.  The NCRA approves this proposal. Will retain NCERA59 designation.
1.20 Minton NCERA87 (NCERA_temp87) Beef-Cow-Calf Nutrition and Management Committee Linn (MN) Prior reviews of this committee have been very positive and I agree with that assessment. The group is working on issues that have obvious relevance to the profitability and sustainability of beef cattle production in the US. The only minor issue I noted was that some stations listed in the project were not listed in the appendix E.  The MRC recommends these stations complete Appendix E forms in NIMSS for this project as soon as possible. The NCRA approves this proposal. Will renew as NCERA218.
1.21 Benfield NCERA89 (NCERA_temp89) Swine Production Management to Enhance Animal Welfare Stromberg (MN) This committee has a history of productivity related to swine management and welfare.   The main purpose of this committee is to correlate information across multiple states using an experimental model that allows various state or regional projects to provide data that can be correlated between each project into a collective set of data.  This committee has produced several important outreach and educational tools such as PorkBridge, SowBridge, National Swine Nutritional Guide, and various fact sheets on swine nutrition, facility design, ventilation, animal care and management protocols.  The reduction in the number of swine extension specialists supports the continued need for this committee to correlate research and outreach results from various states.  It is noted that industry representatives are not part of the committee.  It is recommended that the project be approved but that the committee and administrative advisor collaborate to involve representative from private industry and the National Pork Board on this committee.  Public-private partnerships will be critical to the sustainability of the pork industry in the U.S. The NCRA approves this proposal. Will renew as NCERA219.
1.22 Kokini NCERA101 (NCERA_temp101) Controlled Environment Technology and Use Kanwar (IA) This multistate project is focused on studying various aspects of plant growth and development in controlled environments. The complexity of such controlled environmental systems can increase demands for precision and accuracy by researchers and growers. Sustaining dialogue among scientists, engineers and industrial users of controlled environmental technology is needed in order to ensure appropriate usage and continued development. A number of pioneering commercial ventures that have attempted to grow vegetable crops in complete controlled environment were located in the North Central region but none have been able to operate profitably for long durations. Rural production is a multi-million dollar industry that is very dependent on technology developed by the committee. The committee consists of 9 states in the North Central Region and 19 other states in the nation. It also involves NIFA, NASA facilities and several members of major growth chamber manufacturing crops. The committee maintains guidelines for use of analytical instruments and the collection of analytical instruments are used to calibrate instruments in member laboratories.  The objectives of the project are focused on advancing the technology of controlled environments and greenhouses making technologies available to manufactures, managers and users and to develop quality assurance procedure for environmental control and develop and update guidelines publish research and exchange info, organize national and international symposium and conferences. The project is well designed and the expected outcomes are appropriate. The team is truly extensive and will be able to accomplish the goals of the project. This is an outstanding multistate project that someone should have nominated for an award because it brings together 28 states, manufacturers of equipment, government agencies has already had tremendous impact and will continue to have huge impact. The NCRA approves this proposal pending minor revision (does the literature section cite latest works?).  Revisions due in NIMSS by June 1. Will retain the NCERA101 designation pending final approval.
1.23 Minton NCERA125 (NCERA_temp125) Biological Control of Arthropods and Weeds Yaninek (IN) NCERA_TEMP125 proposes to continue their efforts in extension/outreach and collaborative research around biological control of regionally important pests. Virtually without exception, the review in Appendix J2 gives the work of this committee glowing remarks. I concur with that evaluation and see no reason to recommend discontinuance of the work of this group.  The group appears to have developed a number of unique educational and outreach activities that support graduate training, research professionals and extension educators.  The research work of the group is targeted to significant regional pests and the biological focus of control as an important dimension of management of these pests.  The work of the group has obvious relevance to significant challenges of food security priority of NIFA. Renewal is recommended for this committee. The NCRA approves this proposal. Will renew as NCERA220.
1.24 Kokini NCERA180 (NCERA_temp180) Precision Agriculture Technologies for Food, Fiber, and Energy Production Kelley (SD) NCERA 180 members and participants represent crop, soy and wheat sciences, entomology, planamtolgy, agricultural engineering applied economics, special statistics and rural sociology. NCERA 180 provides a critical linkage for multi-disciplinary communication and interaction among the scientists conducting research, education and extension activities. The objectives of the new project are to facilitate cross disciplinary academic industry research partnerships, build experiential learning opportunities in precision agriculture applications and to provide human expertise in a comprehensive body of resources material to test and validate group expertise across cropping systems and regions. The expected outcomes and impacts are well thought out. The primary expected outcome is an improvement in precision agricultural management to trans-disciplinary and multistate research and technology transfer. The group is broadening its focus beyond food and fiber to also include bioenergy crops consistent with national USDA priorities. Priorities will continue to include topics such as precision management for improved fertilizer efficacy.  Publications will remain a high priority for improved comm. A website has been created by the group which consists of faculty from more than 20 states including the USDA/ARS in Colorado. There is no report on funding received to date beyond resources that are available to the group. The topic is clearly of great importance to agriculture in the U.S. and around the world the team is well coordinated and information sharing appears to happen readily. This is a good project and should be approved pending revisions (please report on funding to date in NIMSS by June 1). Will retain NCERA180 designation pending final approval.
1.25 Schmitt NCERA192 (NCERA_temp192) Turfgrass and the Environment Stier (WI) NCERA_Temp192 is an on-going ‘turfgrass and the environment’ committee that has much momentum and energy.  The proposed effort is very well justified and explained such that the process is clear as to deliverables.  The multi-state linkages are clear and the outreach plan is very comprehensive and forward-thinking as it uses technology-enhanced systems to create outcomes.  The “whole” of this project is much greater than its “parts.” The NCRA kindly requests that NCERA_temp192 please submit all future reports and renewal proposals on-time, based on NCRA guidelines.  Please contact the NCRA office if there are questions about these deadlines.  The NCRA approves this proposal. Will renew as NCERA221.
1.26 Minton NCERA199   Hogberg (IA) one year extension.  Renewal proposal due fall 2011.
1.27 Schmitt NCERA200 (NCERA_temp200) Management Strategies to Control Major Soybean Virus Diseases in the North Central Region Slack (OH) NCERA_TEMP200 provides a comprehensive view of the several viruses affecting soybean.  The proposal is very clear and succinct in its writing.  It would have been advantageous if the proposal had a bit more depth of how the member states’ worked collaboratively in meeting the objectives (or outputs) of the project.  The only limitation of the proposal appears to be in the educational plan presented by the committee—a combination of publications (from web or warehouse), in-person meetings, and field days are not very effective educational means with today’s more technologically savvy audiences.  Also, the mention of an impact survey is nice, but the funding issue makes this unlikely, especially without a plan to gain funding. Recommend approval deferred until revisions are completed in NIMSS, due June 1, 2011.  Will retain NCERA200 designation pending final approval.
1.28 Kokini NCERA201 (NCERA_temp201) Integrated Pest Management Wintersteen (IA) Since 2005, the committee has achieved numerous accomplishments. The changing landscape at USDA continues to provide new opportunities and challenges for IPM research and extension programs. The recent announcement of the elimination of the IPM Centers will require a renewed commitment by states to achieve the necessary coordination of programs so that states can continue to collaborate and share efficiencies in integrated pest management programming. The committee was primarily focused on identifying major IPM challenges and developing appropriate action plans, in 2006. Under Dr. Mike Brewer’s leadership, the committee prepared and approved a position paper, “IPM Implementation through USDA Conservation Programs: A Proposed Partnership in Education and Financial Incentives.” This paper has been used by various states to aid in their work with locals NRCS programs, Another outcome was the establishment of the NRCS/IPM Working Group by the NCR IPM Center in 2009. This group funded projects in Indiana, Iowa and Ohio. The grants helped fund meetings and activities that strengthen the working relationship between NRCS and University IPM specialists. The Committee will  continue to emphasize multistate programming that results in the sharing of curriculum, educational materials and establishes joint extension/research teams to address critical needs. The objectives are to prioritize IPM research and extension needs; develop a white paper that addresses one of these issues; present the white paper at the International IPM Symposium in 2012 and other appropriate venues; engage IPM faculty and staff at each respective state within the region to address the issue described in the white paper; facilitate multistate programming that result in the sharing of curriculum and educational materials. The expected Outcomes and Impacts include to communicate IPM priorities to experiments station directors, extension directors and the NC IPM Center (assuming that the Center will exist.) The white paper will be widely distributed and will inform scientists and policy makers about a critical IPM issue. Regional opportunities for collaboration will be promoted and successes will be shared in annual reports. Faculty and staff will document accountability for use of federal funds through USDA Performance and Planning Reporting System. The project is very important. Numerous states are involved and the proposed strategies have the potential to be very effective. The NCRA approves this proposal. Will renew as NCERA222. **Note: there are no participants listed on this committee in NIMSS.  We cannot approve until participants join.
1.29 Schmitt NCERA208 (NCERA_temp208) Response to Emerging Threat: Soybean Rust Slack (OH) NCERA_TEMP 208 addresses the relatively new threat to American soybean production—soybean rust.  This issue is very well-defined and can be easily understood as it is relatively new (since 2004 in the U.S.).  The outputs and outcomes are clear to understand and monitor progress.  The greatest challenge with this proposal is understanding the synergy of the multistate project versus the individual state efforts that can be collected and reported.  It is difficult in reading this proposal to see what would not get done (except the annual meeting to talk about the issue) if this multistate project were not operating?   This clarity will be appreciated.  Recommend approval deferred until revisions are made in NIMSS, due June 1, 2011.  Will retain NCERA208 number designation after final approval.
1.30 Benfield NC_temp1188 Building Capacity in Issues Management in the Land Grant System Boone (KS) This project addresses issues management in land-grant universities.  The goal is to create a culture of strategic issues management within institutions, link current research into the development of best communication management practices and enhance institutional communication capacity to address problems through an issues management approach at land grant institutions.  The project did not present specific research methodologies or discuss why this needs to be a multistate research project.  Details on specific research methodologies, results and impacts are lacking. The first two objectives in the new project plan are the same as those in the prior 5-year plan.  One objective on enhancing communication capacities and the capacity to address issues has been added.  Much of the proposed outcomes and impacts are similar to what many land grant universities have developed within leadership courses or workshops.  How would this project enhance the multistate system? Defer approval pending revisions due in NIMSS by June 1.  Would become NCERA223 pending approval.
2.00 Mid-Term Reviews
2.01 Schmitt NC213 Marketing and Delivery of Quality Grains and BioProcess Coproducts Ravlin (OH) NC213 is a very active project with a rather clear sense of where they want to go with their efforts.  Initial accomplishments for this team seem very solid although there is some real challenge to the reader/reviewer in finding the efforts because the reports are written in a piecemeal fashion.  The correlation between the listed objectives and the outputs/outcomes are not very connected and the outreach plan is not clearly reported on although it is occurring.  The industry connection with this project keeps strong relevance to the work.  The NCRA approves continuation of this committee.
2.02 Kokini NC1169 EFNEP Related Research and Outreach EFNEP Related Research, Program Evaluation and Outreach  Hamernik (NE) Currently program impact is determined by changes in dietary intake and selected food related behaviors. Trained EFNEP paraprofessionals conduct 24-hour dietary recalls as part of pre/post assessments. The method is considered valid for estimating the food and nutrient intakes of large groups but is generally not sufficient for understanding an individual's intake. Participation in the EFNEP, for both educators and participants, also leads to reported changes beyond improvements in diet and nutrition, including pursuing additional education, enhanced employment or health status and greater community involvement. A continuing strength of EFNEP is its delivery by paraprofessionals, hired not for their subject matter knowledge but for their life experiences and their ability to relate to participants. The effect of the paraprofessional with the EFNEP participant and the family's Quality of Life (QOL) has been anecdotally noted as a benefit of the program. Many years of accumulated dietary intake and behavioral checklist data are accessible to the multistate research team which consists of experts in the EFNEP programming and/or research as well as research colleagues with expertise in evaluation, dietary assessment, biological assessments, qualitative research methodology and data mining. This project will provide updated valid, reliable methods for measuring dietary quality in the EFNEP population. In addition, we will determine which of these methods are most specific and sensitive to change, and least burdensome for EFNEP participants. Burden may pertain not only to time required for completing the instruments, but also to issues of format, clarity, complexity, cultural appropriateness and literacy level. These methods will not only document program performance, but also provide valuable needs assessment data to inform future program planning and implementation. Participation in EFNEP should result in 1.) Improved diets and nutritional welfare for the total family; 2.) increased knowledge of the essentials of human nutrition; 3.) increased ability to select and buy food that satisfies nutritional needs; 4.) Improved practices in food production, preparation, storage, safety and sanitation, and 5.) increased ability to manage food budgets and related resources such as food stamps. The NCRA approves continuation of this committee.
2.03 Benfield NC1170 Advanced Technologies for the Genetic Improvement of Poultry (was NC-168) Saif (OH) Progress reports were available through 2010. The next meeting was scheduled for January 2011 but no progress report or minutes were yet available for review. However, the committee continues to make progress on the chicken and turkey genome characterization through a number of individual state efforts, there is little evidence of multistate activity. The committee is also using the genome information to enhance the understanding of host-viral interactions with a variety of viral diseases, especially Mareks Disease. The committee is productive and the project should be continued. The committee is encouraged to document and highlight cooperative studies with more than one state.
2.04 Leholm NC1171 Interactions of individual, family, community, and policy contexts on the mental and physical health of diverse rural low-income families (NC223) Shirer (MN) NC1171 is a very good national effort.  Their reports are timely and the impact of their work is significant.  Their mid term progress closely matches their original proposal objectives. The NCRA approves continuation of this committee.
2.05 Schmitt NC1172 The Complex Nature of Saving: Psychological and Economic Factors (NCT191) Minton (KS) NC1172 committee has identified a very key societal issue (savings) and has done a very comprehensive job at justifying and providing literature reviews to describe the situation.  But the actual work plan and accomplishments of the committee seem a bit sketchy and incomplete.  It appears the focus of the committee’s efforts is on one national survey.  It is unclear as to how the survey will be implemented and to whom (low and moderate income families is a large pool).  The milestones and outputs/outcomes for this project are quite nebulous as there does not appear to be a way to know if they are being met or not.  It does not seem like most of the past year’s efforts had been achieved.    Likewise the outreach plan is rather passive in details so as to not being able to evaluate progress in this area. It is hoped that the accountability will be increased as this project continues.  There will be some high expectations of this committee to rebound and meet some of the project’s goals in the next couple years. MRC recommends this project continue, but will re-evaluate progress and activities next year.
2.06 Hamilton NCCC207 Biochemistry and Genetics of Plant-Fungal Interactions Bollero (IL) NCCC207 seems to be a highly functioning committee, holding regular, well-attended meetings with thorough, nicely laid-out annual reports.  All required reports and an impact statement were submitted as well.  This committee suffered in the past from a lack of strong AA leadership and went through three AAs in as many years.  With Dr. German Bollero now serving as AA, the NCRA hopes that this committee will continue to thrive.  We look forward to continued positive interactions between our office, the AA, and committee members. Please don't hesitate to contact the NCRA office if you have any questions. The NCRA approves continuation of this committee.
2.07 Hamilton NCCC208 Nutrition and Management of Feedlot Cattle to Optimize Performance, Carcass Value and Environmental Compatibility (NCT192) Lawrence (IA) NCCC208 appears to be a highly functioning committee.  The group holds regular, well-attended meetings and has submitted all required annual reports.  The reports are thorough and the group is working well towards meeting their stated objectives. All required reports and current impact statement were submitted on-time, although the AA review has not yet been completed (as of 12/17, due 12/15). Recommend continuation, but NCRA encourages the AA to please complete requested NIMSS reviews on-time in the future. The NCRA approves continuation of this committee.
2.08 Hamilton NCCC209 Agricultural Bioethics  Benfield (OH) NCCC209 appears to be a highly functioning committee. The group holds regular, well-attended meetings and has submitted all required annual reports. The reports are thorough and the group is working well towards meeting their stated objectives. The AA review was favorable and all required reports and current impact statement were submitted on-time. The committee is very proactive and responsive to inquiries by the NCRA office. The NCRA approves continuation of this committee.
2.09 Hamilton NCERA210 Improving the management and effectiveness of cooperatively owned business organizations  Lovejoy (MI) NCERA210 appears to be a highly functioning committee. The group holds regular, well-attended meetings and has submitted all required annual reports. The reports are thorough and the group is working well towards meeting their stated objectives. The AA review was favorable, but concerned about reduced meeting attendance in 2009 and committee leadership.  The committee may wish to conduct conference calls if budgetary constraints continue to cause reduced meeting attendance. Finally, all required reports and current impact statement were submitted on-time and the group does a nice job of maintaining a project website in addition to the required NIMSS pages at  The NCRA approves continuation of this committee.
2.10 Hamilton NCERA211 Potato Research and Extension Program (was NCT-190) Grafton (ND) Although NCERA211 meets regularly and appears to be a highly functioning committee, the group does not involve the project AA in the meeting planning and as such, he is often unable to attend and be as involved as the he and the NCRA would like.  In addition, the committee chronically submits required reports very late and often requires extensive prodding by the AA.  We recommend the members of NCERA211 work to reverse these issue in advance of the next renewal cycle or they risk not being approved for another five years.  Please feel free to contact the NCRA office if there are any questions or problems with the meeting and reporting system.  We'll be happy to help solve these issues.  Recommend approval contingent on the group's good-faith effort to involve the AA more in meetings and submit all annual reports no later than 60 days after each meeting.  The NCRA MRC and project AA will re-evaluate this committee's performance next year prior to deciding on an action plan.
3.00 NRSP Proposals/Budgets
3.01   NRSP_temp1 National Information Management and Support System, (NIMSS), 2011-2016    Renewal proposal and budget request: (NCRA approved)
3.02   NRSP3 The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP), 2009-2014    2012 Budget request: (NCRA approved)
3.03   NRSP4 Enabling Pesticide Registrations for Specialty Crops and Minor Uses, 2010-2015    2012 Budget Request: (NCRA approved)
3.04   NRSP6 The US Potato Genebank: Acquisition, Classification, Preservation, Evaluation and Distribution of Potato (Solanum) Germplasm, 2010-2015    2012 Budget Request: (NCRA approved)
3.05   NRSP7 A National Agricultural Program for Minor Use Animal Drugs, 2009-2014    2012 Budget Request: (NCRA approved)
3.06   NRSP8 National Animal Genome Research Program, 2008-2013    2012 Budget Request: (NCRA approved)
3.06   NRSP9 National Animal Nutrition Program, 2010-2015    2012 Budget Request: (NCRA approved)
4.00 Other funding decisions
4.01   NC7 Conservation, Management, Enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources Wintersteen Review annual report and approve 2012 off-the-top budget request. (NCRA approved)
4.02   NC1100 Enhancing Rural Development Technology Assessment and Adoption Through Land Grant Partnerships Lovejoy Defer review of annual report and budget until summer NCRA meeting.
5.00 Other MRC Issues
5.01 Discuss NCDC-Proposal committee framework Seems to be working well.  National grant training project fits well.
5.02 NC Multistate Research Award nominee:  NC1030 ((view nomination form at: )  Nomination approved.
5.03 Discuss termination of NCCC84.  Annual reports are consistently many months late and the committee does not communicate with AA.  Will be up for renewal this fall, so they may not even submit.  AA feels that a renewal should not be approved if they do submit.  The NCRA office will contact this group if and when they submit a renewal proposal regarding contingencies to renewal.
5.04 Other MRC business


Action Requested: Approve above MRC review recommendations.

Action Taken:  All MRC recommendations approved.

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Item 9.3:  Further Details on Specific NRSP Projects


NRSP6 Agenda Brief

March 29, 2011 – Bamberg


Good progress has been made on several fronts.  From foreign genebanks, we acquired and increased 17 new accessions of S. microdontum, a species shown to be very rich in valuable traits.  We conducted a collecting expedition to Arizona finding 25 populations at never-before-documented sites, including at the lowest elevation ever reported for S. fendleri.  Over 400 clones of cultivated species were grown last summer in field plots for tuber samples.  An industry partner from the NCR tested these for satiety proteins, finding some with over four-fold the level of common potato.  Another NCR cooperator is screening these for unusual starch types.  Both of these efforts could lead to reduced obesity/diabetes.  With the help of a WR cooperator, a clone with phenomenal levels of phenolics was discovered, and we now have obtained a grant to test its ability to reduce lead toxicity in Peruvian children.  This year, we helped other WR cooperators discover or confirm elite germplasm with very high levels of thiamine, golden light-colored fries, and novel resistance to a devastating potato virus.  We used methods originally developed in the NER to discover exotic germplasm with remarkable resistance to tuber greening upon exposure to light.  Testing done with an SR cooperator has led to adapted hybrids with a potent anti-cancer compound not found in the common potato.   These activities reflect an increase in the mining of the germplasm resource, which parallels a near doubling of our annual germplasm orders over the past decade.  These activities demonstrate that the NRSP6 genebank provides a unique resource that underpins an interactive network of SAES, federal, and private germplasm users who are making breeding advances that are returning significant benefits with nation-wide impact.


Action Requested:  Recommend the ESCOP NRSP Review Committee approve NRSP6's FY2012 budget available at:


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FY 2011 NC-7 Budget Narrative:

The Agricultural Experiment Directors of the North Central Regional provide substantial Hatch funding to MultiState Project NC-7 ($522,980 in FY 2010) and Iowa State University provides additional, substantial in-kind and direct support. 


Personnel:  NC-7 Hatch funds provide a substantial portion of the personnel and operating expenses of the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, responsible for plant genetic resource and information management.  Nine ISU Agronomy Department personnel are dedicated to the NCRPIS and supported by Hatch and ISU resources: Larry Lockhart, Program Manager II; Kathleen Reitsma and Laura Marek, Curator III; David Brenner, Curator II; Cindy Clark, Sam Flomo, Trent Moore, Agricultural Research Specialists: Brian Buzzell, Farm Equipment Mechanic; Lloyd Crim, Farm Equipment Operator III.  Iowa State University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences provides the benefits for these, and retired ISU/NCRPIS personnel.  Additional Hatch resources are used to support short-term student hires, usually about a month while they are converted to Federal student positions.  Since FY 2006, vacant positions have not been refilled, and one support position eliminated (not extended) due to budgetary constraints.


Travel: Each Curator and the Program Manager are allocated travel funds for one professional meeting annually.  Additional travel expenditures are related to plant germplasm collection and regeneration plot care or data collection.


Equipment and Supplies:  Expenditures that cannot be covered using ARS funds.


Contract Services: Costs for FY 2011 will include metering costs for irrigation water, refuse and other services.


Repair and Maintenance:  The NCRPIS started FY 2011 with a planned carryover of funds from FY 2010 in order to recover Greenhouse #3, which is needed and overdue.  Working with ISU Facilities Planning and Management, Program Manager Larry Lockhart has received cost estimates for selected materials.  We are waiting for budget allocation clarity to determine whether to move this project forward to the contracting phase.  If that is not possible this fiscal year, we hope that resources will be sufficient to complete the project in FY 2012.  ARS funds are used to cover all R&M needs for those facilities covered by lease agreements and ARS equipment.


NC7 Project FY2012 Budget Request and Projections


Basic Budget

NC7 FY061

NC7 FY102

NC7 FY11 Proj3

NC7 FY12 Proj4






Personnel: salaried










Personnel: hourly






























Equipment and Supplies










Research Support Agreement










Specific Coop Agreements










Contracts and other Services










Repair & Maintenance










Other Indirect Research Costs










External Funding Sources








































Base Funds



522,980 ?

522,980 ?



2,293,586 ?













1 Reflects staffing 10 positions of 12 authorized; average 3% salary increase; addition of 1 student FTE; new irrigation H2O charges;

Reflects staffing of 9 positions of 12 authorized; 2% salary increase over FY10; $5800 offset from Marek/Knapp Helianthus biomass grant;

3,4 Reflects staffing of 9 of 12 authorized NC-7 funded positions; 3% salary increase for FY11, 0% for FY10; $23,675 offset from Marek/Knapp grant in 09, $7,250 in 2010, $10,900 in 2011;

5 FY10: PIRU CRIS base funds flat since FY04; 16 FTE student labor; Offsets - $15,000 Sclerotinia initiative; $44,300 NIH; $64,440 GRIN-Global via HQ; $185,000 GEM funds for students, sharing of utilities, IRC, etc;

6 FY11:  Maintain 16 FTE student labor; possible offsets include $32,450 GRIN-Global via HQ; $15,000 Sclerotinia initiative; leverage of GEM CRIS; not all project objectives achievable;

7 FY12: Reduction of student labor from 16 to 10 FTE; not all project objectives achievable with intact base funding.




Iowa State University Contributions to the NCRPIS









FY09 Estimated


















Facilities off-campus








Facilities on-campus








Farm residence
















1       Benefits amount lower than originally projected due to position vacancies.

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Item 10.0: NCRA Nominations Committee Agenda Brief

Presenter: Doug Buhler


NCRA Officer nominations needed for FY2012 (starting 10/1/2011):        

·                New MRC member, Dave Benfield rotating out to become NCRA Chair-Elect

·                Resolutions Committee (Marc will serve again, unless someone else would like this role)

·                Nominations Committee, 2 year term


Other nominations requested:

·                NC rep for ESCOP budget committee

·                New AA for NC1187 (The Chemical and Physical Nature of Particulate Matter Affecting Air, Water and Soil Quality; replacing Ron Turco)

·                Others



Action Requested:  Nominations/volunteers to fill these roles


Action Taken: Deb Hamernik will join the MRC, Karen Plaut will become the second NC rep to the ESCOP budget committee


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Item 11.0:  ESCOP Science and Technology Committee

Presenter:  William Ravlin/Daniel Rossi

Background Information:

1.      Committee Membership:

o       Muquarrab Qureshi

2.      Meetings

The Committee met on November 15, 2010 in Dallas, TX.  The next face-to-face meeting of the committee has not yet been scheduled. A conference call will be scheduled for May to review and recommend a 2011 Multistate Research Award winner. 

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 10, 2010.  Nominations are due at offices of the Executive Directors on February 26, 2011.  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.


ESCOP received an inquiry concerning the 2008 winner - NC-229, “Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Disease: Methods for the Integrated Control, Prevention and Elimination of PRRS in United States Swine Herds.”  This team received $5,000 for travel to the APLU meeting but not the full $15,000 award as did the 2009 and 2010 winners; ESS had not yet decided to provide financial awards at that time.  The proposed retroactive addition of $10,000 was brought to a vote during the February 28, 2011 ESCOP/CARET business meeting held in Washington, D.C.  The proposal was not supported.


4.      Science Roadmap


The Science Roadmap for Food and Agriculture report is now complete and has been distributed electronically as links to a print-ready pdf on the ESCOP <>, regional association and APLU websites.  A limited number of hard copies will be printed to stress the fact that the Roadmap should be a “living” document.  The leadership of the Science and Technology Committee is working with the Communications and Marketing Committee, John Scofield of Podesta, Hunt Shipman of Cornerstone and Simon Tripp of Battelle to develop a marketing strategy.  Elements of the marketing strategy under discussion include an article in Science; potential editorials; endorsements from the private sector; an executive summary; one-pagers for the overall document and each of the individual challenge areas; and coordination with NC-FAR to hold possible “Lunch~N~Learn’ Hill Seminars” around the challenge areas. 


Committee Chair Bill Ravlin and Executive Vice-Chair Dan Rossi also met with the ESCOP Social Science Subcommittee their involvement in marketing and the social science component of the seven challenges.  Members of the SSSC will review the entire document and identify opportunities for the social sciences.


We have received the final invoices for the editorial and design services used in the production of the Roadmap.  ESCOP originally approved $4,900 for those services.  However, the estimate was based on a 75-page document (Editorial services estimate - $4,900).  The final document ended up being 26 pages longer than estimated (Editorial services final - $6,599) and we will need to do a limited hardcopy edition (150 copies - $3,000) we requested an additional $4,700 to complete the Roadmap process.  The proposed addition of $4,700 was brought to a vote during the February 28, 2011 ESCOP/CARET business meeting held in Washington, D.C.  The proposal was approved.


Action requested: None, for information only.


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Item 20: ESCOP Communications and Marketing Committee Report

Presenters: Bill Ravlin and Arlen Leholm


The ESCOP Communications and Marketing Committee met on Sunday, February 27, from 4 to 6 PM in Washington, DC, as part of the CARET meetings. Given the projected austere federal budgets for Fiscal years 2011 and 2012, the focus of the meeting was on marketing strategies that would best meet the needs of ESCOP going forward, given the major change in Congress and its focus on deficit reduction.


The current focus on Op Ed articles has been successful with many key placements in the past year. The Communications and Marketing Committee recommended that some effort continue with placement of Op Ed articles. A discussion was held on the merits of using social media tools with carefully crafted messages as the new  primary focus to better meet the needs of the current fiscal environment in Congress. Key issues discussed at this meeting included:

·      A social media marketing strategy will take a coordinated effort from ESCOP, ECOP, and AHS.  Multiple marketing efforts can exist as long as there is a consistent message.

·      To help with consistent messaging, the ESCOP Communications and Marketing Committee will invite two Extension Directors to join the Committee as liaisons.

·      Closer coordination with university communication faculty.

·      Facilitate grassroots educational marketing campaigns with action outcomes.

·      Leverage Op Ed articles through social media outlets.

John Scofield of Podesta and Hunt Shipman of Cornerstone agreed to develop an implementation strategy document for a revised marketing effort. The draft strategy document will be shared with Jerry Arkin and Arlen Leholm and then the ESCOP Executive Directors. The strategy document will be reviewed by the ESCOP Communications and Marketing Committee on a conference call March 17.  The ESCOP Chairs Advisory Committee will act on the revised strategy document during their upcoming conference call. 

ESCOP approved this Communications and Marketing strategy/evaluation and development processes on February 28. 

 AHS members on the ESCOP Communications and Marketing committee discussed this new strategy at their AHS meeting on February 28 and concurred with the need for a revised  strategy.

Action requested:  None, for information only

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