North Central Regional Association


State Agriculture Experiment Station Directors

193rd Meeting

April 2-4, 2012

Embassy Suites Downtown, Indianapolis, IN

Final Agenda/Draft Minutes


Agenda Item



Monday, April 2:

3:00 –5:00 pm

Multistate Research Committee (MRC) Meeting (for MRC members only, although others are welcome to attend if interested)

Joe Kokini, 2012 MRC Chair

5:30 pm

Hotel Manager’s Reception - Atrium

Tuesday, April 3:

8:00 am


Call to Order

Marc Linit, 2012 NCRA Chair



Approval of September 2011 Minutes: (



Adoption of the Agenda: Approved



Interim Actions of the Chair


8:10 am


Executive Director’s Report (2012 Office Accomplishments)

5.1 LEAD21 update

5.2 NC regional collaborations

5.3 NCRDC Update

5.4 Winning Teams/Winning Grants Workshop

Arlen Leholm

Steve Pueppke
Marc Linit, Ernie Minton, Dave Benfield

8:40 am


ARS Report

JL Willett/Bryan Kaphammer

9:00 am


NIFA Update

Deborah Sheely

9:20 am


1994 Report

Gary Halvorson

9:40 am


MRC Report

Joe Kokini


9.1 New/Renewal NC Projects


9.2 Midterm Reviews


9.3 NRSP Report/Discussion

NRSP6 Written Update

Abel Ponce de Leon


9.4 Other MRC Business

·         Multistate Research Award

·         Elimination of impact statement requirement for NCCCs and NCERAs

·         How can we encourage more NCACs to complete multistate project reviews?

Steve Slack, All

10:15 am


10:35 am


Nominations Committee

Ernie Minton

10:40 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


Discuss NC/NE Joint Meeting

·         Comments on Agenda

·         Interest in Breakout topics

Marc Linit, All

11:30 am


Executive Session

NCRA Executive Committee

12:00 noon


1:30 pm


Opportunities to advance the use of biobased products and biodiesel at experiment station farms, facilities, campuses and neighboring communities

Karen Coble Edwards, KCE Public Affairs;Chris Case, Facility Manager, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, National Park Service, Munsing, Michigan

1:50 pm


Committee on Legislation and Policy Update

Steve Pueppke

2:00 pm


ESCOP Budget and Legislation Committee Update

Steve Slack, Ernie Minton, Karen Plaut

2:20 pm


Suspected Insect Resistance to Bt Corn

Steve Pueppke, All

2:40 pm


Other business


3:00 pm


3:30 pm


State Reports (continued on Wednesday, 4/4 as needed)


4:55 pm


Future Meetings:

Marc Linit, All

5:00 pm

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

Wednesday, April 4

8:00 am

State Reports, continued as needed


9:00 am

Development of a North Central institute to enhance regional competitiveness
(Break/networking as needed, coffee and snacks available at 10 am)

Battelle Technology Partnership Practice

Battelle Powerpoint

Institute Discussion Notes

Simon Tripp, Ron Meesuen, John Oliver, Emily Wee, Vicky Montenegro, All

12 noon

Adjourn (Lunch)


Item 5.0: Executive Director’s Report, 2012 Accomplishments
Presenters: Arlen Leholm, Chris Hamilton

Arlen Leholm & Chris Hamilton

NCRA Executive Director Update

April 2012

Accomplishments in the Past Year

Leadership Roles

·         This past year I chaired the Board of LEAD 21, a transformative year for the program.  The long-time home for Lead 21 had been the Fanning Institute. A great deal of conflict involving the Fanning Institute required changing the home institution. An audit of the LEAD21 Fanning Institute financial records revealed an over $108,000 short-fall. The University of Minnesota provided interim leadership for one year. A search for a permanent home was conducted with three universities competing for the host institution for LEAD21. The University of Georgia, College of Agriculture, was selected as the new host site.

The U of Georgia made significant financial commitments to the program and the $108,000 loan from APLU to LEAD21 will be repaid in the next few years. LEAD21 has a large incoming class of 80 participants. This crisis year involved a great deal of my time and required a wide range of skills to navigate toward a great outcome.  LEAD 21 will emerge stronger and its leadership programs improved as a result of several board members’ efforts.

·         I'm the ED assigned to the System Communication and Marketing Committee (SCMC).

ESS is completing the fourth year of this effort. Because of game changing elections in 2010 and the federal budget austerity environment in congress, the approach to the marketing effort now includes a new component on social media/marketing. A new marketing firm, kglobal, was selected to replace the Podesta group this year.

ECOP was so impressed with the changes involving kglobal that ECOP voted to rejoin the marketing efforts.  The new cost of the joint effort will be $400,000 and split evenly between ECOP and ESCOP. ESCOP will have their assessment reduced by $100,000. The changes in the marketing effort also required a major time commitment this past year and marketing will require a significant effort from me over the next year. SCMC holds monthly coordination calls. Close coordination among Cornerstone, kglobal, and now Extension, will be necessary.

·         I worked closely with Simon Tripp in facilitating completion of the Battelle Study and coordinated with kglobal and Cornerstone in marketing the Battelle Study to key decision makers.

·         I continue to work closely with our federal advocacy firm, Cornerstone. Most closely with Hunt Shipman in the interface between marketing and advocacy roles.

·         I serve as executive Chair to the NRSP Review Committee that Abel Ponce de Leon chairs and I also serve on the Board of Sun Grant.

·         Serve as AA to NC 1030 and as facilitator to the Climate & Energy Science Roadmap teams and as AA to the new NCDC for IP Managers.

·         Key role for me in all of these collaboration efforts is to serve as the catalyst for action

·         BioEnergy Collaboration

o   John Oliver, former president of Dow Agrosciences Canadian operations and VP of Eli Lilly Canada, Inc., introduced me to senior executives at Elanco at their headquarters in Indiana in 2009.  Elanco was interested in the DOE project in Wisconsin and Michigan State and a specific commercial application.  I facilitated a meeting in Wisconsin with Irwin Goldman, Steve Pueppke, Elanco executives, and researchers. Elanco is now partnering with U. of Wisconsin, Michigan State, Purdue, plus other enzyme researchers in our region on this effort. Because the results of this collaboration are very promising, Elanco purchased an enzyme company, ChemGen, to ramp up their new products that improve animal feed efficiency. My facilitation of this collaboration has helped produce major results.

·         Climate Variability Collaboration

o   The potential impacts associated with climate variability on agriculture surfaced over the past three years as a major issue. Our Canadian neighbors share many of the same concerns. As a result of efforts provided by John Oliver and Arlen Leholm, joint work products have emerged ranging from Winter Canola in New York to advancement of Brassica carinata in North and South Dakota, Montana, Florida, Mississippi, and Hawaii. A collaboration with Sun Grant, a Canadian company called Agrisoma, and NDSU, SDSU, and Montana State has been launched. I made trips to ND, SD and Minneapolis to help facilitate these collaborations. Jet fuel and an animal feed are the potential products. Venture capitalist and investment bankers are involved in this effort.

o   I helped organize two major workshops on Climate Variability in March in 2010, one in Winnipeg and the other in Kansas City . The success of these two workshops resulted in my helping develop an Eastern USA/Canada Climate workshop in August 2010 at Syracuse , New York . Top leadership of USDA and Ag Canada are meeting in April 2012 to see how they can help encourage additional collaborations between the two countries.

·         Intellectual Property Coordination in the NC States

o   This effort was advanced at the Mini Land-Grant meeting in St. Louis in the summer of 2008. The IP working group met by phone during summer AUTM meetings and in person in November of 20011. I serve as AA to the IP Managers and Chris is working closely with the IP managers.  Simon Tripp's Institute proposal involves IP Managers and a continuation of coordination efforts now in its fourth year.

·         Winning Teams/Winning Grant Training Piloted

o   Mike Harrington, Robin Shepard and I piloted a new training effort called "Winning Teams/Winning Grants". Conducted since November of 2011 at the University of Alaska and in Washington DC, for the southern region. The expressed need is that most faculty are not prepared for the type of extensive collaboration efforts it takes to succeed in major grant proposals. A portion of the training includes how to develop multistate collaborations that could involve the private sector. One key value proposition is the private sector will likely be the growth market for new research funding. New interpersonal and collaboration skill sets will be required for success.

o   This training includes Extension on Integrated Grant Proposals. Robin Shepard has served on several Integrated USDA panels and laments the poor quality of these integrated proposals. The NCRA agenda has a detailed pilot effort proposed for the North Central Region. David Benfield, Ernie Minton and Karen Plaut have worked with me on draft training designs. Extension will partner with research on this effort.

·         Four State Collaboration and Univ of Guelph with John Deere Company                                    

o   John Deere Company officials and Stan Johnson, CEO, National Center for Food and Agriculture visited about a collaboration that would involve a small number of states, including representation from Canada. John Deere chose to work with NE, OH, Purdue, MI, and the University of Guelph.

o   John Deere is seeking a collaboration involving advancement of uses of data collected from their equipment.  This effort would involve science experts in micro and aggregate level data as well as data standards. My role has been to help facilitate the collaboration.  I will lead a face to face facilitation with John Deere leadership, university faculty, Experiment Station Directors and Stan Johnson in May. This collaboration is in its early stages and has the potential to be significant. 

Chris Hamilton’s On-going Leadership Roles in NCRA

  • Chris works to reduce NCRA office spending whenever possible.  She often sets up calls for the NCRA and other committees using 

  • She has also successfully implemented the use of Adobe Connect through the NCRA office to help reduce the need for face-to-face meetings, whenever applicable.  She also offers virtual “hands-on” NIMSS training to AAs via Adobe Connect.  Using this software not only saves significantly in travel money, but also provides flexible and convenient “meetings”.  Please let her know if you or a committee is ever interested in setting up a meeting via webinar. We had great success using Adobe Connect for the LEAD21 interviews in Washington, DC in December.  Several attendees who could not make the trip were able to view the interviews and provide feedback remotely.

  • Chris regularly updates the NCRA website and keeps the NCRA in line with our ESCOP marketing firm’s (kglobal) social media presence by updating and sharing information via the NCRA Twitter account under “NCRegionalAssoc” (!/NCRegionalAssoc).  She works closely with as well, to make sure that all NC AES and Extension directors are included in the updates.

  • Chris Hamilton continues to provide excellent leadership in NCRA. Chris has outstanding skills and performs all her roles at a very high level of performance.

  • Chris continues to provide leadership for the Multi-State Review Committee (MRC) coordination including:
    • Coordination with many faculty and administrators in the region and working with MRC members to search for ways to streamline the NC review process.
    • Chris not only has the skill to perform the MRC function, she has a high level of patience with faculty and administrators in carrying out this function.
    • Finally, Chris again conducted several MRC reviews this year for NC, NCERA, and NCCC projects to help take the load off our MRC members.
  • Chris serves on the new NRSP1 committee that oversees NIMSS issues.  She also operates as the NC region’s NIMSS System Administrator and helps support multi-state project participants, AAs, and directors with NIMSS-related issues.
  • Chris carries out the financial management functions of NCRA, including registration fees, office budgeting, and NCRA assessment coordination.

GOALS for Next Year

  • Along with Chris Hamilton continue a smooth operating NCRA office.
  • Implement the key initiatives that the NCRA Directors chose to advance
    • e.g., Climate, energy, and IP Collaborations
    • Conduct NC regional and national Winning Teams/Winning Grants workshops
    • Provide guidance and support for new collaboration opportunities that are priorities for the NC Region
    • Advance the Battelle Institute Concept if directors chose to move ahead on this effort
  • Start new initiatives that the NCRA Directors chose to advance
  • Pay special attention to our national marketing effort to give it as great a chance of succeeding as possible. Very important role for me in the next year as Extension joins the efforts.
  • Continue timely priority communications to the NC Directors
  • Continue to provide leadership to existing initiatives.
  • Continue to provide assistance to new Experiment Station leaders in the region.

Action requested: None, for information only.

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Item 5.4: Winning Teams/Winning Grants Workshop
Presenters: Arlen Leholm, Steve Pueppke, Marc Linit, Ernie Minton, Dave Benfield

DATE:    February 27, 2012

TO:         North Central Region – NCCEA Executive Committee and NCRA Team/Grant Training Committee

FR:          Robin Shepard (NCCEA) and Arlen Leholm (NCRA)

Planning Committee Membership:

Michael Ouart, Rick Klemme, Cathann Kress, Charles Hibberd, Marc Linit, Karen Plaut, David Benfield, and Ernest Minton

SUBJ:     Update - Winning Teams & Winning Grants Workshop 

As you are aware we have been involved in developing the workshop called “Winning Teams & Winning Grants.” In the past three months we piloted this workshop for a small group with the University of Alaska, and a second time for a larger group from the Southern Region at a location in Washington D.C.  From these experiences we have learned a great deal and have subsequently modified our approach.   In particular, the pilot workshop with the southern region reinforced how important it is to encourage participation from groups that are in the early stage of team formation – they should come with a pre-identified reason for working together.  We’ve also determined that it will be more effective to offer the training in two-parts (phases) where: (1) we  focus on high performing teams, collaboration and the core principles of working together on integrated projects and grants; and (2) grant writing techniques. 

Benefits to Extension and Research Faculty in the Region from the Winning Teams & Winning Grants Workshop

·         The focus on the regional workshop will be on "how to achieve successful collaborations through high performing teams". Most workshops have focused only on grant writing. Achieving success takes far more than grant writing skills.

·         Experiences from  the best university and private sector collaborations will be used  to help faculty understand the keys to successful collaborations including: What the collaboration is trying to accomplish, Best implementation practices and Best rules of engagement.  Future funding opportunities will likely involve private sector or non-profit partners.

·         Faculty from the region who have been successful in funding, leading, and managing complex projects will be presenting their wisdom as part of the regional program. Directors, fiscal officers and others at universities who have been part of successful collaborations/teams will contribute their best practices for success.

·         The importance of interpersonal skills, including the role of emotional intelligence, in achieving successful teams and collaborations will be addressed in the regional workshop.

·         Key to successful integrated projects and proposals will be featured at the regional workshop. Each team should leave the regional workshop with a good start on what their team is trying to achieve including strategies to fund their efforts.

·         The workshop in Washington DC will focus on advanced grant writing skills and techniques. Team members who participate in this workshop should arrive with some clarity on what they are trying to accomplish.

·         The Washington DC workshop participants will have National Program Leaders or Grant Managers from the most relevant agency to interact with their teams.  Depending on the teams that emerge personnel from USDA, NSF, DOE, DOD, NIH or others will be approached to be part of this workshop.

·         Directors from Extension and Research who are on the planning committee for  the workshops have provided suggestions for potential topics where some regional teams may have already formed, including: Bioenergy and Bioproducts, Food Safety, Local Foods, Water Quality, Nutrient and Waste Management, Pest Management, Animal Welfare, and Commercial Agriculture and Farm Management. This is not a complete list of potential topics but provides a start for thinking about who from each state might benefit from the Winning Teams & Winning Grants Workshop.

·         Success comes to those who are prepared!

As we work toward holding the first workshop on Winning Teams and Winning Grants we need your help. 

1.       Please identify a few individuals that might be willing to help provide case study level success stories of integrated teams.  We are looking for additional state and multi-state examples that can be featured to show successful team collaboration.   We would like to utilize 3-6 such stories, with analysis, from those who have EITHER:   

·         managed large collaborative/integrated projects (i.e., multi-state and/or CAP type efforts.

·         support-roles for teams and/or contributed to a successful team efforts (i.e., understanding cross-functional team processes, dynamics, needs for coaching and evaluation, etc.).

·         We also see potential for a few of these individuals to possibly assist as potential co-presenters during the workshop.  Some of the individuals you identify may also be asked for assistance in on-going consultation to teams in areas such as project management, leadership coaching, problems solving and evaluation needs.   If you provide several names we’ll contact them and determine which may work best in the curriculum we have planned. 

2.       Please identify key regional issues that point to a need for team approaches.  The workshop is planned for groups of individuals in the early stage of team development.  Therefore,  please recommend key issues that you feel should be priorities for team responses.  As we move ahead with a recruiting process for teams (workshop participants), we want to reflect what you (within NCCEA and NCRA) see as issue priorities. 

We have summarized (below) the current curriculum and teaching approaches that we are considering.  Scanning this information will lend perspective to our requests (above).   If you have additional questions or concerns please let us know as soon as possible so we can address your comments, while we move ahead with workshop planning.

 Curriculum Update: 

After pilot workshops for the southern and western region, we have modified the approach and curriculum of this workshop for the North Central Region.   The overall goal of the workshop remains focused on assisting research/extension teams in attaining higher levels of performance and to enhance the probability of successfully obtaining funding to support the team's goals.  The workshop objectives will be accomplished via a two phase program that will involves a session in the region and one in Washington D.C.    

Session #1  (team development) will deal with the principles of high performing teams and successful collaborations.  This initial workshop will be offered two times, once in the western part of the region and repeated a second time in an eastern location. 

Session #2  (grant-writing) will address finding resources, funding and good practices for securing grant funding.  This follow up workshop will be offered in Washington D.C.    

Both phases will offer interactive presentations, case studies and diagnostic activities that are designed to facilitate a deeper understanding of how teams work, as well has mobilizing the expertise of the team to find funding. 

As planned, we feel it is important for interdisciplinary groups of Extension and Experiment station professionals to come to the workshop, preferable in the early stage of team formation.  Meaning, we envision small groups of four-to-ten individuals (total participation 75 participants) who request to participate in this training.  We will not preclude individual investigators from participating; however, as designed the single investigators will likely find the second phase (grant writing) most useful. 

As part of an application process, we intend each group to identify initial members, and an issue and reason requiring a team approach.  Once selected the participant pre-workshop activities will include:

·         Identify compelling reasons for collaboration and the need for contributions for multiple participants.

·         Provide a summary of the broad issue they intend to address.

·         Provide tentative objectives.

·         Read Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and take online assessment.

 General Curriculum Outline:

         Session #1 (offered twice, in the North Central Region) 

                Day One (full day)

                       Morning Session

§  Introductions and Objectives – and why we are here

§  The Need for and the Art of Collaboration (Presented by a Director)

§  An overview of collaboration, teams and a framework for Experiment Stations and Extension

§  The role of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in successful collaborations

o   Why emotion intelligence matters

o   Understanding your own EQ

o   The importance of EQ in Team Success

o   Elements of trust and shared values

                        Afternoon Session

§  A Framework for Collaboration – applied exercise

o   What is collaboration trying to accomplish?

o   Applied example  from within the region on a successful project management and team processes (i.e., including examples from CAP Grants and large projects).

o   Best implementation practices

o   Best rules of engagement

o   Project management best practices

§  Case Situation Analysis, and a group exercise with reports

§  Opportunities for Integrated Team Proposals

o   Roles of our mission areas

o   Clarifying roles and expectations

o   The elements of successful integrated teams

o   The elements of successful outreach programs

§  Outline a Team Plan – developing goals and use of the logic model

                Day Two (half day)

                        Morning Session

§  Team Planning – group break outs will be organized, based on teams/groups

o   (From the Southern Region workshop we created a template that teams can use for questions to ask and processes to consider as they move ahead – this session will allow time for them to work through that template of important questions and considerations)

§  Diagnostics (Feedback Team Plans, approaches and problem solving)

§  Revisiting and Recapping the Importance of Teams

§  Next Steps – leaving with an action plan

          Session #2 (One day workshop (noon to noon) offered in Washington D.C.)

        *Team taught with Mike Harrington.


                        Afternoon Session

§  Show me the Money

o   Assessing information on funding sources

o   Understanding and working with foundations

o   Using

o   Community of Science – COS

o   Matching your idea to those of the agency or foundation

o   Assessing Institutional Support

§  USDA-NIFA National Program Leaders meet with priority groups (Teams)

o   NPLs are invited based on the teams (and their issues) that attend this workshop. 


                        Morning Session

§  The Components to Writing Winning Grants

o   Panel Dynamics and Avoiding Pitfalls

o   Finding Funding – a follow up

o   Key Elements of Proposals)                

§  Select National Program Manager

o   Invited based on teams (and their issues) that attend this workshop.  Examples:

¨       NIH

¨       NSF

¨       DOE

§  Developing a personal strategic plan and the ethics of grant writing.

o   Myths debunked

o   Campaigning your idea

o   Responsible conduct of research

o   Intellectual property

§  Common short comings in grant applications

o   The take home message

o   The Holy Grail!

 Estimated Fees and Participation:

                Total participation 75.

                Session #1:   a nominal fee to cover any additional speaker feels and hotel logistics (state covers travel of participants)

                Session #2:   planning involves Washington DC., so these fees will be at full cost recover (state covers travel of participants)

 Estimated Time Frame:

                Session #1:         June/July

                Session #2:         August

 Revised February 26, 2012

 Action requested: For information only

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Item 6.0: ARS Report

Presenter: J.L. Willett

USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Report to NCRA State Agriculture Experiment Station Directors

April 2012

Area Leadership

Northern Plains Area

            Area Director:  Vacant, Michael (Mickey) McGuire Acting

            Associate Area Director:  Michael (Mickey) McGuire; Bryan Kaphammer Acting

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

Midwest Area

            Area Director:  Larry Chandler

            Associate Area Director:  J.L. Willett (effective January 2012)

            Assistant Area Director:  Vacant

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

Budget Information

FY 2012 Appropriations

  • ARS  Salaries and Expenses:  $1,094,647,000
  • Decrease of $38,583,000
  • Laboratory/Location Closures

FY 2013 President’s Budget Proposal

  • ARS Salaries and Expenses: $1,102,565
  • Program Initiatives $72,704,000
    • Environmental Stewardship
    • Crop breeding and Protection
    • Animal Breeding and Protection
    • Food Safety
    • Human Nutrition
    • National Agricultural Library
    • Repair and Maintenance
  • Decreases and Terminations $70,492,000
    • Termination of Extramural Research
    • Laboratory/Location Consolidations
    • Termination of Ongoing Research

Research Priorities and Initiatives

ARS research continues to address priorities in the following program areas: 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 FY2013 President’s Budget include animal and crop breeding and protection, environmental stewardship, food safety, human nutrition, and other critical areas.  These initiatives support Administration and Department priorities.

New Leadership and Vacancies

Midwest Area (MWA)

  • Illinois
  • National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (Peoria)
  • Bio-Oils Research Unit, New Research Leader Rex Murray (effective July 2011)
  • Plant Polymer Research Unit (Gordon Selling, Acting RL)
  • Indiana
    • Crop Production and Pest Control Research Unit, New Research Leader Steve Scofield (effective October 2011)
  • Iowa
  • National Animal Disease Center (Ames)
  • Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research Unit, New Research Leader Eduardo Casas (effective June 2011)
  • Ohio
    • Soft Wheat Quality Laboratory (Peg Redinbaugh, Acting RL)


  • Wisconsin
    • Dairy Forage Research Center (Madison)
      • Dairy Forage and Aquaculture Research Unit (Richard Muck, Acting RL)
      • Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research Unit, New Research Leader Wayne Coblentz (effective October 2011)

Northern Plains Area

  • North  Dakota
    • Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center
      • Healthy Body Weight Research Unit, Jim Roemmich


  • Nebraska
    • Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research (Clay Center) 
      • New Center Director, E. John Pollak. 
        • Animal Health Research Unit, Vacant

Item 7.0: NIFA Report

Presenter: Debby Sheely, Assistant Director

NIFA Report

April, 2012



  • Assistant Director, Institute of Youth, Family, and Community:  Selection made; candidate undergoing review for admission to the Senior Executive Service; Caroline Crocoll is currently acting in the position.


  • NIFA Director:  Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy to be named by the President.  Currently Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University and Director of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station.  May 1 start (approx.).



  • NIFA FY 2013 budget proposal for discretionary funding is $1.24 billion, an increase of $36.78 million, or approximately 3.05% above the 2012 level. 


    • Proposes $60 million increase for AFRI to $325 million.


    • Proposes to consolidate IPM funding to create a $29 million Crop Protection program.  Expert IPM Decision Support System, IPM and Biological Control, Minor Crop Pest Management, Pest Management Alternatives, Smith-Lever 3(d) Pest Management, and Section 406 Regional Pest Management Centers. 


    • Proposes to consolidate funding for the higher education programs Resident Instruction Grants for Insular Areas, and Distance Education Grants for Insular Areas into a $1.7 million program called Grants for Insular Areas.


Farm Bill


  • House holding hearings with interested stakeholders through March outside of Washington, DC.
  • Senate Ag Committee will be holding hearings in Washington, DC on topics including conservation, nutrition, and risk management. 

Stakeholder Listening Sessions



  • Crop Protection:
    • Two public meetings:
      • March 29, 2012 in Memphis, TN
      • April 16, 2012 in Washington, DC
    • Two webinars:
      • April 11, 2012
      • May 1, 2012


Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program

March 30, 2012

Gregory Smith

Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS)

April 12, 2012

Saleia Afele-Faamuli

Special Research Grants Program Potato Breeding Research

 April 13, 2012

Liang-Shiou Lin

Supplemental and Alternative Crops

April 16, 2012

Shing F Kwok

Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program - Organic Transitions (ORG)

April 25, 2012

Steven I. Smith

1890 Facilities Grants Program

May 4, 2012

P.S. Benepal

Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction using Earth System Models

May 11, 2012

Nancy Cavallaro

Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers

May 14, 2012

Herbert Bolton

Rural Youth Development (RYD) Grants Program

May 21, 2012

Nancy Valentine

AFRI- Dual Purpose with Dual Benefit: Research in Biomedicine and Agriculture Using Agriculturally Important Domestic Species

Letter of Intent
August 20, 2012
Closing Date
September 20, 2012

Mark A Mirando

Action Requested: None; for information only.

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Item 9.0: MRC Report

Presenter:  Joe Kokini, 2012 MRC Chair


Proj Type Proj Rvwr

Current Proj # (Temp #)



MRC Comments


New/Renewal Projects












NC7 (NC_temp7)

Conservation, Management, Enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources


The Conservation, Management, Enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources project includes 25 participants from 17 institutions. The project lists seven, broad objectives and includes a statement, "because of continuing needs for new and improved crops and for basic scientific research, the NC-7 project is, by nature, a long-term effort." The project is comprehensive and essential to the future of plant genetic resources. Scientists from academia, federal labs, and the private sector actively participate in the project; however, no specific details are provided regarding collaborative efforts. Funding is taken off-the-top of the multi-state research funds from USDA NIFA (is this correct)? About 80% of the funding for the project is provided by USDA ARS. Iowa State University also provides significant funding and resources for the project. The number of publications resulting from the previous, five-year project is impressive. The outreach plan is excellent. An impact statement is available on the NCRA website; however, it is not clear if the impact statement is up to date.  Recommend approval following these minor revisons, due June 1.  Please also submit a new impact statement to the NCRA office before the next midterm review. NC7 will retain its number designation.



NC140 (NC_temp140)

Improving Economic and Environmental Sustainability in Tree-Fruit Production Through Changes in Rootstock Use

Randle/Perry (until renewal submitted)

This is a renewal of a multi-state project to Improve Economic and Environment Sustainability in Tree-Fruit Production through Changes in Rootstock Use. The previous technical committee has met annually on a continuous basis throughout the previous five-year period and has submitted annual reports in a timely manner.  They have commitments for locations of the next three annual meetings if the project is renewed. The objectives of the submitted plan include continuations of cooperative testing of new and existing rootstocks across a range of growing environments and densities, development and application in breeding programs of genomics tools for improving rootstocks for temperate zone fruit trees, identifying and acquiring new rootstocks from worldwide sources, and studies of the effects of biotic and abiotic stress factors on scion/rootstock combinations. The technical committee is interdisciplinary and contributions of the States involved are central to the effectiveness of the committee, especially related to the first objective.  
The first of objective seems to represent the base of the ongoing project and is an example of how multi-state projects can operate cooperatively and collaboratively to create positive impact towards important problems in a way that would not be achieved without the project. Towards this objective, the Team has operated and proposes to operate in what seems to be an effective organization of Subcommittees for specific commodities within which a pipeline of plantings/experiments are planned and completed, and data and results are shared. The plan would be enhanced by more specific description of how data will be shared, but the Team has a strong history of working effectively under this objective. The webpage for the Project already appears useful and can be leveraged in the ongoing work. The Team has used tables in the past for tracking the large number of trials as they are planned, ongoing and completed – that sort of format would be helpful in tracking the ongoing work.
Beyond objective 1, it is less clear how specific methods/experiments will be linked to specific outcomes and impacts. For example, under objective 2 - rather than a description of specific strategic plans aimed at achieving the overall objective, there is presented a listing of several projects, a few with methods indicated for genomic mapping and marker-assisted breeding, but most simply stating the tolerance traits to be addressed. In most cases, it is not clear how the States will collaborate and how the outcomes will be greater because the Multi-state Project exists. The only outcome listed for objective 2 is the testing of genetic material resulting from the work.
The point is made in the submission that there is not an overlap with other collaborative efforts as evidenced by international participation, but it is not clear how adequately (CRIS) databases were searched in preparation of the submission.
There is reference to industry support received in the previous period ($2M outside university and Hatch funds -1/2 of it from growers), but not specific details of how the project activities will be leverage to obtain additional outside funding. Approval deferred pending receipt of requested revisions, due in NIMSS by June 1, 2012. Retain number request received.



NC170 (NC_temp170)

Personal Protective Technologies for Current and Emerging Occupational and Environmental Hazards


Retain number request received. The objective of the project is to examine acceptance and barriers to acceptance of PPE products and protective clothing, including gloves, shoes or boots, and headwear and to develop research-based performance guidelines and standards for fire protective footwear and for glove protection for pesticide handlers. Five Objectives have been detailed for the project, and participating states include New York, Oklahoma, Colorado, Maryland, Iowa, Minnesota, and Hawaii. The project is very well organized. The roles of each participant are well specified in the project. The project has an excellent description of the outputs that are expected and the outcomes and projected impacts. The project has also laid out milestones that are appropriate. This is a very good project that is a model of multistate collaboration. It is consistent with national priorities and the solutions would address very important concerns.

Recommend continuation/approval.  Will retain NC170 designation following renewal.



NC1038 (NC_temp1038)

Methods to Increase Reproductive Efficiency in Cattle


This project focuses on improved reproductive efficiency in cattle. The project is generally well written and contains a realistic set of objectives for the five-year period of the project. The AA supports the project. No glaring deficiencies are noted except that FL, MO, USDA-MARC and WI are indicated as participants in various objectives in the write-up, yet they do not appear in the Appendix E.  Please have the missing participants complete their Appendix E forms in NIMSS by June 1, 2012.  Approval following this minor revision.



NC1039 (NC_temp1039)

N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and human health and disease


This project is based on the fact that the lack of specific DRI for an important nutrient such as long chain n-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) results directly from insufficient data to support a DRI.  Although numerous scientific bodies recommend n-3 fatty acid consumption, the effects of n-3 fatty acids on health outcomes are poorly characterized for many diseases. In addition, the mechanism through which fatty acids work to elicit the beneficial effects is only partially known. The project responds to the goal of improving "human health and wellness of the U.S. population”.  The project is well justified in the context of national needs. Several states such as Nebraska, Colorado, North Carolina, New Jersey, Kansas, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Tennessee participate and have very well-defined roles. The objectives are well stated and clearly laid out. The connection between the work of the various stations and the objectives is clearly identified. The strategies are complementary and well thought out. The outputs and impacts are clearly stated and are obtainable. This is a good project which responds to very important national needs and is well organized.

Recommend approval.




NC1041 (NC_temp1041)

Enteric Diseases of Food Animals: Enhanced Prevention, Control and Food Safety


This project focuses on a wide variety of enteric pathogens that cause disease in domestic livestock and poultry and on enteric pathogens harbored in livestock or flies and that may have food safety implications. This is a challenging project to review. On one hand, it is clear that the work is very high quality and brings together scientists around the common theme of enteric pathogens. They appear to be very productive. Moreover, the AA has high praise for the group (“They are a very productive group (based on publications) of outstanding scientists that work well together. The meetings are very interactive and I’m impressed with the amount of collaborative work that results from their meetings. A major part of their outreach program is the Rushmore Conference which is held every five years. They just had the 4th Rushmore Conference which was well attended. …. This is a very impressive group of scientists that work well together. I strongly support this revision project”). On the other hand, with the possible exception of a couple of focuses under Aim 2, this appears to be a collection of scientists whose work is very good, but also very independent. It appears the work would go on in the absence of the multistate project. If they are sharing research results (mainly) can an NC-type committee be justified or is this a CC-type committee? If not, please revise to emphasize collaborations, outcomes of working together, external funding, etc..  Otherwise, this is a great committee.  Approve pending these minor revisions.



NC1168 (NC_temp1168)

Regulation of Photosynthetic Processes


This is a Team of very productive laboratories with a history of leveraging the multi-state project system for enhancing output, and a clear plan for extending those efforts into the next five-year period. The technical committee planned would be interdisciplinary, and the contribution of members seems well integrated and tied to the stated objectives. The history of the Team, and the plan presented, includes a combination of collaboration on specific projects and sharing of results in common areas. The sharing of a phenomics platform with NC1168 members is just one concrete example of the impact the multi-state format is anticipated to have. Outputs and outcomes/impacts are clearly stated in the plan, and supported by a timeline for deliverables. Team members have a strong record of external funding in this area that has been enhanced by the previous multi-state project. Please just send a new report from 2007-2008 in .pdf format to the NCRA office by June 1, 2012.  Recommend approval.




Renewing an Agriculture of the Middle: Value Chain Design, Policy Approaches, Environmental and Social Impacts


NC_temp1198 is well written and concise, also very current and important especially with today's focus on smaller farms and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs).  Good objectives and clear outcomes and milestones.  Excellent outreach and online presence.  In their previous incarnation, NC1036, they were a pleasure to work with and always submitted complete and on-time reports.  The NCRA also appreciated that they knew when to terminate the old group and re-think their strategy, rather than keeping going just because they could. We're confident this committee will be active and successful.  Recommended for approval. 















NCCC84 (NCCC_temp84)

Potato Breeding and Genetics Technical Committee


The Potato Breeding and Genetics Technical Committee lists objectives that are relevant to the NIFA goals. The potato is an important crop to the economy of the North Central region especially within a quad state region (Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin). The Committee provides an opportunity to educate industry personnel about potato variety trials conducted in the region. A meeting format that includes multidisciplinary scientists (breeders, geneticists, molecular biologists, plant pathologists, and agronomists) and graduate students from Canada and the North Central, Western, and Northeast regions of the US is also provided. The major concern of this project is that only six participants from four states and Canada are listed on the Appendix E for the renewal project. The previous project listed nine scientists from nine institutions. Another concern is that the Outcomes/Impacts are written more as activities rather than true outcomes/impacts (e.g., changes in knowledge, actions, or conditions).  Recommend deferral of approval pending receipt of requested revisions: More participants should be added, North Dakota especially, since they are listed as an active member in the body of the proposal, and improve Outcomes/Impacts section). Revisions due in NIMSS by June 1, 2012.






2nd reminder sent 9/7, little response to AA's inquiries, prob not renewing.




Biology, Etiology, and Management of Dollar Spot in Turfgrasses


NCCC_TEMP214 is a coordinating committee focused on the problem of Dollar Spot in turfgrasses. The project outline in NIMSS is well written and appears to meet the MRC regional project expectations for CC type committees (multistate coordination or information exchange is appropriate within a function (i.e. research, education or extension); have expected outcomes; convey knowledge; and are peer reviewed). For these reasons, it is recommended that the project be approved.





















NCERA103 (NCERA_temp103)

Specialized Soil Amendments and Products, Growth Stimulants and Soil Fertility Management Programs


This is a well-written, well-organized proposal with clear and concise outcomes, impacts, and activities.  The group appears to work well as a team and the methods (publications, websites, etc.) described for outreach and dissemination of the soil amendment information are excellent.  The AA review was also favorable. My only concern with this committee is their failure to meet annual reporting requirements in the NIMSS system.  The expiring version of this committee only submitted two reports over a five year period; reports are required annually.  I recommend this committee for approval/continuation with the stipulation that annual reports will be submitted to NIMSS each year and no later than 60 days after each meeting.  Failure to do so may result in future meeting cancellation and potential termination of the committee.



NCERA184 (NCERA_temp184)

Management of Small Grain Diseases


This is a plan for a renewal of an ERA aimed at coordinating research on current and emerging diseases in small grains, and the exchange of information, results and germplasm to support integrated management strategies for significant diseases. The committee has met on an annual basis during the previous five-year period. The meetings are held during May, and there is a corresponding lag in reporting of the period ending in the previous September, but reports have been filed in a timely manner after the May meetings. The reports include detailed descriptions of work completed, information shared and impacts made. The committee seems to have performed in an effective way during the previous five-year period. The committee points out that they have been recognized and modeled by other groups with similar objectives in other species (the Corn Disease Working Group and NCERA212 - Soybean Diseases).
The submitted plan includes detailed sub-objectives under objective one that will continue a coordinated approach to research projects across the committee that will study integrated management systems and fungicide efficiency, will develop and distribute risk management methods, will screen nurseries for resistant germplasm, and will study relevant population biology.
The committee has a history and a plan for dissemination of information through a variety of meetings and electronic communications. Outcomes/impacts from the continuation of the committee is adequately outlined. Recommend approval; will retain NCERA184 deisignation.



NCERA193 (NCERA_temp193)

IPM Strategies for Arthropod Pests and Diseases in Nurseries and Landscapes


This multistate project focuses on integrated pest management strategies for insect and disease pests of ornamental plants in nurseries, landscapes, and urban forests. Specific research objectives have focused on biology of key pests, approaches to pest monitoring and prediction, assessment of new pesticide chemistries and application technologies, stress factors predisposing plants to pest attacks, plants for pest resistance, elucidating mechanisms of host plant resistance, cultural practices to enhance plant health, and implementation of biological control and decision making. NCERA-193 provides a successful forum for plant pathologists and entomologists to discuss IPM programs for insects and diseases of ornamental plants, exchange research results and Extension information, formulate complimentary research objectives, establish interdisciplinary collaborations across states, and avoid duplication of effort.  The project addresses a very important area of integrated research and Extension in support of an industry which is valued at $175 billion in output revenue in 2007. The project is clearly multistate in nature but the participating states are not clearly stated and their specific roles in the project are unclear. The objectives are well laid out and clear but they are not well connected to specific states that execute the work. To the credit of the group they discuss how different research and Extension networks will help execute the objectives but the process of execution is fairly vague. Expected outcomes are well discussed. The project should be revised to show the distribution of assignments among states/faculty more specifically and clearly.

 Final approval will be given following receipt of requested revisions, due in NIMSS by June 1, 2012.



NCERA199 (NCERA_temp199)

Implementation and Strategies for National Beef Cattle Genetic Evaluation


This project focuses on coordination of research activities and short-term goals related to developing strategies for genetic improvement of beef cattle. The NCERA199 committee is an important component of the National Cattle Evaluation system that includes breed associations, the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium, the Beef Improvement Federation, land grant universities, and registered seedstock and commercial segments of the beef industry. The objectives of NCERA199 are consistent with the goals of the USDA NIFA. The new, five-year plan describes an integrated approach for research, education, and extension activities. The activities of this committee are clearly integrated which leads to rapid and widespread transfer of research results and new genetic technologies throughout the beef industry. The proposal lists 16 participants from 12 institutions (including 1 industry; 2 beef associations; and 1 ARS Center) in the Appendix E. The Expected Outcomes and Impacts describe a Beef Center of Excellence by Weaber and Williams but Weaber is not listed in Appendix E. The section on outcomes/impacts describes outputs (develop a single, national database for performance and pedigree information; educational materials and programs; BIF genetic prediction workshop; symposium; etc.) and activities (advise beef cattle breed associations; serve as speakers at annual meetings and research symposia; etc.) rather than outcomes/impacts (e.g., changes in knowledge, actions, or conditions). With all of the outreach and education activities conducted by this committee, they are also encouraged to conduct some formal evaluations of their efforts.  Recommend approval once these minor revisions are completed.  Revisions due June 1, 2012.














Mid-Term Reviews














Sustainable Solutions to Problems Affecting Bee Health

Linit (12)

The project is aimed at addressing bee health and determining causes of and solutions for the recent rapid declines in US bee colonies. The project is closely tied to a $4.1 million CAP funded to study colony collapse disorder and other significant bee health problems. The objects of the NC1173 Project range from development and distribution of best practices for beekeepers to control common mites, to determining the impact of a variety of pathogens and pesticides on bee deaths, discovering causative mechanisms of pathogen- and pesticide-induced deaths and genomic markers for breeding programs to improve tolerance, determining influences of nutrition and management on tolerance, and understanding interactions of other environmental factors with pathogen effects.
Technical committee members have continued to meet on an annual basis, and an Impact Statement has been submitted. Annual reports vary in format, but most results are reported by Station, and not clearly linked to (summarized by) the objectives of the original Project plan. The results listed by Station in the January 2011 report were much more brief than those in the January 2010 report. The January 2010 report includes a few publications, and the information under the January 2011 report does not list publications. There is not a report of new grants obtained. In the minutes from the most recent meeting in February 2012 it is mentioned that updated results will be included in a mid-term update but that document is not linked.
There is web access to information from NC1173 and/or the CAP via eXtension, and much of the information listed in the Impact Statement is available there (e.g., information on drug and miticide interactions, candidate genes, etc.), but the information is not clearly organized as an outcome of NC1173 project objectives.
It is not clear how much impact is likely to be realized from the genomics objectives (i.e., likely value of markers or assays from the QTL, expression profiling and eQTL work that is a significant part of the project objectives) based on the amount of information provided in the NC1173 reporting.
It appears there is significant work progressing in the CAP, but it is not clear how NC1173 is leveraging that relationship, or progressing relative to the CAP. Recommend continuation, but please be more thorough when completing annual reports in the future. All sections must be completed.




Detection and Control of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus and Emerging Viral Diseases of Swine

D. Benfield (99)

All reports submitted, committee making good progress towards objectives.  NC229 is very well-organized and publication prolific.  Moreover, members have secured numerous grants to fund related research.  All of this information is clear and easy to find within the well-organized  and well-written annual reports.  Once again, this committee could serve as a fine example of an ideal multistate committee.  Continuation is whole-heartedly recommended.   Keep up the great work!




Agricultural and Rural Finance Markets in Transition

S. Hanson, MI (05)

NC1177 has been meeting regularly and submitting annual reports as required. Each annual report is well-laid out and clearly identifies the progress made towards each objective, as well as recent awards, publications, and acquisition of external funding. Recommend continuation of this committee.   There is no NCRA required impact statement on file for this project, please submit one to the NCRA office by June 1.  See




Impacts of Crop Residue Removal for Biofuel on Soils

G. Pierzynski, KS (09)

The objectives of NC1178 are an extension of work done in previous multi-state research projects over nearly 30 years to study soil erosion, water usage and quality, and carbon sequestration in relation to cropping systems and crop production. Those present objectives of NC1178 add the impact and management of crop residues to this picture, to study the effects on the water holding capacity, nutrient content and erosion of soil, and the distribution of carbon in the environment. Understanding the optimum use and management of crop residue takes on an increasingly greater importance in the context of demand for biofuels.
The technical committee has met on a regular basis, and has posted subsequent annual reports to the website representing work through September 2011. These reports describe work clearly linked to project objectives and is presented to show evidence of the creation of soundly designed experiments across a wide range of geographical locations and agricultural and ecological systems. The range of data generated by these collaborative and cooperative studies represents a primary value of the project.
The format of the annual reports at the website does not include publications, but does include an impact section in each case, the contents of which demonstrate further that the project is on-track relative the project proposal. There is evidence of external grants due to NC1187 project activity, including NIFA-AFRI support for a conference on soil carbon sequestration and significant funding for a research project on biofuel production, as well as funding from DOE.
Recommend continuation, however, please include publication lists with future annual reports.




Food, Feed, Fuel, and Fiber: Security Under a Changing Climate

F. A. Ponce de Leon (11)

As the title suggests this project focuses on the development of science/data for the prediction of crop and animal performance under expected climate change conditions. The need for substantive information to help guide policy and specific actions is clear. Numerous groups have sought to evaluate the impact of climate change on crop performance and the subsequent impacts that this may have on global food, fuel, and fiber supplies. Crop, soil, pest, and economic models exist that can test the impact of climate change. Rainfall and water supply would also be affected. Increases in temperatures, reduced crop productivity, and increased soil water deficits could reduce soil organic matter levels and could further affect agricultural productivity. To complicate the challenges associated with climate change, the Renewable Fuel Standard Program mandates quadrupling bioenergy contributions to the U.S. fuel supply by 2010. The integrated teams that represent this project are focused on developing the science and databases needed. The current NCR committee and its predecessors have been existence for nearly sixty years. They have conducted research activities on regional impact and impact on agricultural production and resource use. Data collection remains the responsibility of a major part of this group. The project is clearly multidisciplinary and includes scientists from Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, and South Dakota who work together in a coherent and integrated fashion to obtain the data that is needed. The specific tasks allocated to each state are clear.  An interesting outcome of this project was the publication of the North Central Region Agricultural Climate Atlas in 2003.  The group has developed well laid out objectives that build on earlier work and they are developing data with the goal of providing a better understanding of how current agricultural challenges as well as U.S. bioenergy needs will be met. They have clearly outlined the outputs and expected impacts. They have also listed key milestones and what can be expected next year. They have a brief but clear outreach plan. They submitted a comprehensive report that outlines their accomplishments in 2011. This is a scientifically strong team which is very well managed. This project is solid moving to next year and the work is timely and should be continued. AA should consider nominating this committee for the National Multistate Research Award.

Final approval for continuation is contingent upon our receipt of the NCRA required impact statement. Please submit one to the NCRA office by June 1.  See




Control of Emerging and Re-emerging Poultry Respiratory Diseases in the United States

M. Saif, OH (08)

Two annual reports from annual meetings of the NC1180 committee in January 2010 and January 2011 are in the NIMSS database. NC1180 is also up-to-date with their impact statement. Numerous accomplishments are listed from 2010 and 2011. In general, the group appears to be productive and moving forward in a manner that will allow them to meet the original objectives. There are some collaborative efforts described for Objective I (AL, DE, GA, MN, and OH) in 2010 and 2011 and Objective II in 2011 (AK and DE). Otherwise, it appears that most of the accomplishments are from single stations. The committee members are encouraged to conduct more collaborative projects to leverage their expertise and resources. There is no mention or indication that the group has been successful in securing external funding.  Please provide evidence of external funding and multistate collaborations in future reports.  Recommend continuation.




Sustaining Forage-based Beef Cattle Production in a Bioenergy Environment

J. Baker (06)

The members of NC1181 appear to be making reasonable progress towards the objectives of their project. This group seems to truly work across state lines on objectives of common interest. The committee has both the expected number of annual reports and an impact statement on file. The group has leveraged their association with the multistate project into external funding, joint publications and a joint conference. Based on the foregoing evidence of progress towards objectives and evidence of impact, it is recommended that the project continue.




Nitrogen Cycling, Loading, and Use Efficiency in Forage-Based Livestock Production Systems

D. Benfield (11)

The amount of nitrogen applied annually to forage production systems of the Midwest exceeds plant uptake and relatively little of the nitrogen consumed by grazing animals is removed from the ecosystem. Significantly greater nitrogen is removed via mechanical harvesting for feed but the same problem occurs when the forage is fed:  the animals consume forage nitrogen but then excrete most of the nitrogen into the environment. Many scientists are focused on improving nitrogen use efficiency in order to reduce nitrogen going into the environment as well as to reduce fertilizer cost to farmers. Many efforts and resources are aimed at staunching the flow of nitrogen into the atmosphere or water bodies including the establishment of riparian buffer strips and restoration of wetlands where physical impedance or biochemical transformation of nitrogen can occur. The literature review covers advances in the field broadly to complement the accomplishments of the group. They have well laid out objectives and they explain clearly how states will work together to accomplish objectives. Participating states include Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Georgia, Kentucky, North Dakota, Utah, and Arkansas. They have clear outputs and list clearly the projected impacts including key milestones. They have a solid outreach plan and description of outreach and governance. The project is solid; the science is precisely what is needed, is consistent with NIFA and other national priorities, and is well managed and has a good crisp plan moving to the future. The project should be continued.

Final approval for continuation is contingent upon our receipt of the NCRA required impact statement. Please submit one to the NCRA office by June 1.  See
















MWPS: Research and Extension Educational Materials  

J. Lawrence, IA (11)

Annual meetings held and reports submitted as required.  Recommend continuation.




Committee on Swine Nutrition

N. Merchen, IL (03)

Annual meetings held and reports submitted as required.  Recommend continuation.




Regulation of Adipose Tissue Accretion in Meat-Producing Animals

J. E. Kinder, OH (01)

Annual meetings held and reports submitted as required.  Recommend continuation.










Soil Survey

K. Olson, IL (11)

Annual meetings held and reports submitted as required.  Recommend continuation.




Swine Reproductive Physiology

J. Baker, MI (01)

Annual meetings held and reports submitted as required.  Recommend continuation.




Soybean Diseases

S. Slack, OH (00)

Annual meetings held and reports submitted as required.  Recommend continuation.




Migration and Dispersal of Agriculturally Important Biota

W.F. Ravlin, OH (06)

Annual meetings held and reports submitted as required.  Recommend continuation.




Increased Efficiency of Sheep Production

J.E. Minton, KS (10)

Annual meetings held and reports submitted as required.  Recommend continuation.




Contribution of 4-H Participation to the Development of Social Capital Within Communities

J. Colletti, IA (09)

Annual meetings held and reports submitted as required.  Recommend continuation.




Latinos and Immigrants in Midwestern Communities

C. Hibberd, IN (09)

Annual meetings held and reports submitted as required.  Recommend continuation.




Drainage design and management practices to improve water quality

R. Kanwar, IA (04)

Annual meetings held and reports submitted as required, although they are often late.  Recommend continuation with the stipluation that annual reports be submitted to NIMSS no later than 60 days after the annual meeting. ***Amended review, 4/13/2012: Committee contacted the NCRA office to let us know that they have been submitting reports on time to their AA, but since he is often out of the country, it's difficult for him to upload them to NIMSS within the 60 day period. Therefore, the committee will copy the NCRA office on all future report emails/submissions to the AA so that we can upload if needed.








NRSP Proposals/Budgets




Please visit to view all  NRSP budget requests and proposals up for review.







NRSP001: National Information Management and Support System (NIMSS), 2011-2016

Budget only for review

NRSP-3 The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP), 2009-2014


Budget only for review

NRSP-4 Enabling Pesticide Registrations for Specialty Crops and Minor Uses, 2010-2015

Budget only for review

NRSP-6 The US Potato Genebank: Acquisition, Classification, Preservation, Evaluation and Distribution of Potato (Solanum) Germplasm, 2010-2015

Budget only for review

NRSP-7 A National Agricultural Program for Minor Use Animal Drugs, 2009-2014

Budget only for review

NRSP-8 National Animal Genome Research Program, 2008-2013


Budget only for review

NRSP-9 National Animal Nutrition Program, 2010-2015


Budget only for review

NRSP_TEMP261: ipmPIPE National Research Support Project, 2012-2017


Proposal and budget for review








Other funding decisions







Conservation, Management, Enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources


Deferred until July NCRA Meeting




Enhancing Rural Development Technology Assessment and Adoption Through Land Grant Partnerships


Deferred until July NCRA Meeting


Other MRC Issues






NC Nominee to National Multistate Research Award: NCERA208




Impact statement requirements for NCCCs and NCERAs?  Can we reduce non-essential reporting by eliminating the requirement for CCs and ERAs?


Issues with NCACs not completing assigned reviews: Ideas for motivating NCAC members to do the work


Any other MRC business





Action requested: For discussion and approval of above MRC recommendations and reviews.

Action Taken: All MRC recommendations approved.

Item 9.3: NRSP Report

Presenter: Abel Ponce de Leon, NRSP Review Committee Chair and NCRA Rep, 2011

  • All NRSP projects have submitted their requested budgets for FY2013. Please refer to the FY2103 Summary document for specific request. All projects are requesting the same amounts as FY2012.
  • NRSP_temp261 has resubmitted their revised proposal, taking into account their peer reviews from last year and this year. Please note: Although the peer reviews are available for viewing at the link below, the final version of the proposal was prepared to address these concerns. Peer reviews were generally favorable.
  • All available NRSP proposals and budgets can be found online here: NRSP budgets and proposals should be reviewed by directors at their upcoming spring meetings. Any comments or concerns should be sent to the NRSP-RC before the summer call. We will be working with the other members of the NRSP-RC to schedule a conference call sometime early in the summer to prepare final recommendations to ESCOP in advance of the fall ESS business meeting and vote.

Action requested:  EDs should have their directors discuss NRSP budgets and proposal at their regional spring meetings and share their comments with the NRSP-RC by the end of April 2012.

Discussion:  What progress is being made in freeing up NRSP funding over time?  Conversations on leverage expectations to take place at next NRSP-RC call in June. Leverage expectations will vary considerably between projects, so we need to establish a minimum.  Are they really serving the national initiative?  To be continued.

  • NRSP6 Written Update

    Prepared by: John Bamberg

    Agenda Brief


    Acquisition, Classification, Preservation, Evaluation and Distribution of tuber-bearing Solanum Species.

    In 2011, we were particularly successful in the number and yield of seed increases, and orders for germplasm remained very strong.  We uploaded much evaluation data on tuber calcium and antioxidants to the public internet database.

    The payoff in funding the genebank is in discovering and deploying traits that are useful to the public and the industry.  We added four new golden-fleshed potatoes to the collection, and selected several from within the genebank.  Working with cooperators from WA and OR, these selections were shown to allow the production of chips and fries with the desired yellow color, but much reduced levels of the toxin acrylamide.  We added to the genebank the clone with phenomenal levels of total antioxidants—as high as leafy green vegetables—which we selected with help of cooperators in TX and WA.  Our work with cooperators in Peru continued to make progress on identifying germplasm which responds to calcium applications with better yield, tuber quality, and frost resistance.  Work continued on the project to do multiplex tuber testing of the species microdontum which has a remarkable array of useful traits, including anti-cancer components.  This year we tested the 94 populations of that species for tuber greening, finding some with very strong resistance.  A cooperator in WI tested powdered tuber samples of 400 cultivars and 30 wild species which we provided for analysis of starch types, pursuant to a potato with a lower glyceamic index.  Continued work with a cooperator in IA  resulted in identifying germplasm with more than 5-fold the natural appetite suppressing protein of standard cultivars—potentially a significant tool for addressing obesity.  With an OR cooperator, we found levels of folate in exotic wild and cultivated species with over 5-fold that of standard cultivars, showing that potato could be bred to become a significant dietary source of this vitamin-- which impacts birth defects, cancer, heart disease, and mental health.  We continued exploring for germplasm with higher potassium—a nutrient essential for preventing stroke and maintaining bone and muscle with age, but present at much below the optimal levels in the US diet.

    We continued work on improving germplasm management.  We again collected germplasm in-country, finding populations at sites never before reported or collected in AZ, NM and TX, and we have already identified two novel mutants in these materials.  These and similar USA stocks were used as research models to find more efficient collecting methods.  For example, we used AFLPs to identify certain sky-island mountain ranges in AZ with particular genetic diversity, and prioritized them for more intensive collecting.  We tested winter tuberization trials in Davis and Parlier, CA.

    We added about $25K in industry support for 2011.  We already have a promise of $20K from two companies, and reasonable hope for significant additions to that from two more in 2012.

    The ability to efficiently evaluate traits is rapidly improving.   We are on the brink of a leap forward in breeding through molecular markers and genetic technology.  Potato is an increasingly important world food.  Climate is changing, and health issues and their economic impact are increasing in our aging population.  Because of these factors, there has never been a more important (or exciting) time to be involved in improving potato through mining the rich deposits of traits in the US Potato Genebank.

    Action Requested: None; for information only.

    Back to Top

    Item 9.4:  Other MRC Business

    NC Multistate Award Nominee: 
    We received three nominations: NCCC46, NCCC042, and NCERA208.  NCERA208 was selected and approved to go forward to the national competition. 

    NCAC Issues:
    Presenter: Steve Slack, All

    ·         Communication issues with some committees

    ·         Meeting timing issues

    ·         MRC members would appreciate comments from “experts” to go along with their reviews, especially if they are not familiar with the topic of the project assigned.

    ·         AA could select who is in charge of next NCAC meeting to select site and assign reviews.

    Further streamlining of MRC review process: 
    Presenter: Joe Kokini, All

    ·         Joe Kokini will continue to evaluate AppAs and AppBs to cut down size of proposals, while increasing value.

    ·         We need to find better way to used MRF to increase collaborations. Put research money behind fewer projects in line with NIFA priorities, support collaborations between universities

    ·         Comments:

    o   Don’t we already support only participants who are collaborating?

    o   Are we just supporting an out-dated system?  NC projects cannot complete with AFRI projects for collaborative research, so we need a new model.

    o   Add to June meeting agenda as well for continued discussion

    Action requested: Add the multistate funding “pool” concept to the NCRA summer meeting agenda for further discussion. Chris and Arlen will add this item.

    Item 10.0: Nominations Committee Report
    Presenter: Ernie Minton

    The NCRA is currently in need of volunteers for the following roles:

    §  New NCRDC member to replace Joe Kokini (2 yr term is up):  Abel Ponce de Leon volunteered.

    §  NC1173 AA found! Thanks to Marc Linit for volunteering.

    §  New MRC member for FY2013: Joe Colletti (IA) volunteered to serve.  Thanks, Joe!

    Action requested: Select and approve appropriate individuals to serve in these vacant positions.
    Action taken: Abel Ponce de Leon and Joe Colletti approved to served on the NCRCDC and MRC, respectively.

    Item 11.0 ESCOP Science and Technology Committee
    Presenter: Bill Ravlin

    History: Developed Science Roadmap, prioritize elements of Roadmap, used in interactions with USDA.  Now working to streamline the document down to 5 or so pages with Dan Rossi to help popularize document.

    Will select Multistate Award nominee for national award in May, to be presented at APLU meeting this summer.  Next call will come mid-December

    Bill and Dan planning committee-wide meeting to recoup where they are with the roadmap. Working to get Social science issues group linked in better.

    Action requested: None, for information only.

    Back to Top

    Item 12.0: ESCOP Communications and Marketing Committee Update

    Presenters: Bill Ravlin and Arlen Leholm

    Members of the ESCOP Marketing Committee including Lee Sommers, ESCOP Chair, met with ECOP leadership , kglobal and Cornerstone on January 13,2012, in Washington DC, to discuss the merits of ECOP joining ESCOP  in the kglobal/Cornerstone Communication and Marketing efforts.

    kglobal and Cornerstone were asked to submit a proposal that would include a joint effort for ESCOP and ECOP. See the joint proposal by kglobal and Cornerstone in the link below.

    The ESCOP System Communication and Marketing Committee met during the CARET meetings in Washington DC, on February 26, 2012. A key agenda item at this meeting was a discussion of the joint ECOP/ESCOP Marketing Proposal from kglobal/Cornerstone. ESCOP approved moving forward on a joint effort with ECOP on February 27, 2012, providing ECOP also approved the joint effort.

    ECOP  approved the joint proposal  at their national directors meeting in March, 2012. A Working group will be formed soon to develop the operating procedures for a joint ESCOP/ECOP effort.

    Background: At the national ESS meeting in 2010, a second three-year assessment for the Marketing effort was approved starting in April of 2011. ESS is nearing the end of the first year of the second three-year annual assessment for $300,000.  The joint ECOP/ESCOP effort is for two years at $400,000 with ECOP paying half.  The ESCOP assessment will be reduced to $200,000 for the last two years of the three-year assessment.

    Action requested:  Information only

    Item 13.0: NC/NE Joint Meeting Draft Agenda

    2012 North Central and Northeast Joint Summer Session

    Hilton Burlington, 60 Battery Street, Burlington, VT 05401

    July 8-10, 2012

    Draft Agenda [as of 2/1/2012]

    Sesquicentennial of the Land Grant Act - 150th Anniversary of the Passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act (July 2, 1862)




    July 8, Sunday:


    8:00am – 4:00pm


    TOUR #1 “From Caves to Kitchen – Production of Local Value-Added Food Products”

    (approx. travel time = 7 hours)

    TOUR #2 “A Spectrum of Organic Products – From Seed to Farm to Furniture Coating”

    (approx. travel time = 7 hours)

    -          Tour details below


    Hilton Room #

    NERA Multistate Activities Committee Meeting (tentative)


    Hilton Room #

    NERA Executive Committee Meeting (tentative)


    Hilton Room #



    Hilton Room #

    Opening Reception

    Brief Welcome – Dean Tom Vogelmann

    Justin Morrill Historian/Actor – UVM or USDA [To be confirmed]


    July 9, Monday



    Hilton Room #

    Breakfast and Registration


    Hilton Room #

    Welcome Remarks – University of Vermont Hosts


    Hilton Room #

    The Land Grant: Celebrating the Past and Looking to the Future – A panel of speakers will give different perspectives about the past and how they see the future of the Land-grant as it continues to fulfill its mission. Suggested speakers:

    -          Federal – USDA-ESS Undersecretary Dr. Cathy Woteki (confirmed)

    -          University – (To be confirmed)

    -          Private Sector – Green Mountain Coffee (To be confirmed)

    -          Bi-National – Eastern US/Canada Climate Change Collaboration (Cornell/McGill Universities – To be confirmed)






    Current status and future challenges of funding for Colleges of Agriculture in light of declining federal and state funding

    Panel - Wendy Wintersteen , Cornerstone (TBC) and CARET Executive Committee Member (TBC)


    Hilton Room #

    Lunch - USDA Secretary Vilsack [TBC]



    Proposed Breakout Topics - Coordinators

    A.      Climate Change - Tom Vogelmann and Mike Hoffmann

    B.      Food Systems - Linda Kay Benning and Robin Shepard

    C.      Communicating Science and Technology - Al Levine (TBC), Arlen Leholm and Cornerstone (TBC)

    D.     STEM - Helene Dillard and Valerie Adams

    E.      Disaster Management and Emergency Response - Mark Linit and Doug Lantagne

    F.       Invasive species - Tom Vogelmann, Fred Servello and Cameron Faustman

    G.     Revenue Generation (e.g. equity positions in jointly managed operations) - Mark Linit





    Hilton Room #

    General Session – Group Reports and Discussion



    Adjourn for the Day



    Boarding the Spirit of Ethan Allen III


    Spirit of Ethan Allen III

    Sunset Dinner Cruise

    Cake and Celebratory Toast to the 150th Land Grant Anniversary



    Return to Hilton

    July 10, Tuesday



    Hilton Room #



    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Joint Meetings: approx. 30 persons in each group

    NC and NE Deans/Admin. Heads

    NC and NE CARET Delegates

    NC and NE Extension Directors

    NCRA and NERA Directors





    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Section Meetings: approx. 15-20 persons in each group

    NC Deans/Admin. Heads

    NE Deans/Admin. Heads



    NC Extension Directors

    NE Extension Directors







    [During this time CARET may meet with AHS.]

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Hilton Room #

    Section Meetings: approx. 15-20 persons in each group

    NC Deans/Admin. Heads

    NE Deans/Admin. Heads



    NC Extension Directors

    NE Extension Directors







    Hilton Room #

    General Session – Joint Session Follow-up




    JSS Planning Conference Call


    for CARET & Other Participants

    Sunday, July 8, 2012 -- 8:00am – 4:00pm

    TOUR #1 “From Caves to Kitchen – Production of Local Value-Added Food Products”

    (approx. travel time = 7 hours)

    Hilton Burlington, 60 Battery Street, Burlington (802/658-6500)

    --69.7 miles, 1 hour, 38 minutes (Burlington to Greensboro)

    Jasper Hill Farm, 148 Town Highway 41, Greensboro (533-2566)

    --Artisanal, Hand Crafted Cheese   --web:

    --7.62 miles, 16 minutes (Greensboro to Hardwick via Center Road)

    --or 11 miles, 18 minutes (Greensboro to Hardwick via VT-16)

    LUNCH at Local Restaurant around Greensboro

    VT Food Venture Center, 140 Junction Road, Hardwick (472-5362)

    --VFVC is a shared-use kitchen incubator for value-added & specialty food producers.


    --59 miles, 1 hour, 21 minutes (Hardwick to Burlington)

    Return to Hilton Burlington approx. 4:00pm

    TOUR #2 “A Spectrum of Organic Products – From Seed to Farm to Furniture Coating”

    (approx. travel time = 7 hours, 20 minutes)

    Hilton Burlington, 60 Battery Street, Burlington (658-6500)

    --62.5 miles, 1 hour, 28 minutes (Burlington to Hardwick)

    North Hardwick Dairy, 2703 Bridgman Hill Road, Hardwick 05843


    --Nick & Taylor Meyer and Steve & Patty Meyer and Andrew & Mary Meyer

    --Phone 802/472-8889, -5425

    --4.5 miles, 9 minutes (Hardwick to Hardwick)

    LUNCH at Local Restaurant in Hardwick

    Vermont Natural Coatings, 180 Junction Rd (472-8700), Hardwick


    --3.5 miles, 5 minutes (Hardwick to Wolcott)

    High Mowing Organic Seeds, 76 Quarry Rd (472-6174), Wolcott


    --56 miles, 1 hour, 17 minutes

    Return to Hilton Burlington approx. 4:00pm

    [Will create webpage w/links to “Places to Visit in Vermont” on 2012 JSS Meeting website]

    Action Requested: Discuss agenda and provide feedback on proposed breakout topics

    Back to Top

    Item 17.0: ESCOP B&L Committee
    Presenter: Steve Slack

    Ernie and Karen serve for our region, Steve serves as national ESCOP B&L Chair (and BAC), but will be stepping down and Jeff Jacobsen to take over.

    Action Requested: None; for information only.

    Item 18.0: Suspected Insect Resistance to Bt Corn
    Presenters: Steve Pueppke, All

    Background information:

    NCCC46 Letter to EPA open docket

    Monsanto's reaction to NCCC46 EPA letter

    NPR Article

    Bt research Coordination, March 26, 2012

    Support needed for researchers to attend meetings to discuss and work on this issue. Emergency funds?

    Soybean rust group met three times when the problem first emerged. Created a special NCDC.

    NCCC46 already exists, so that's no problem. We just need directors to commit to and approve additional travel funding, both for their participants as well as a few outside the AES.

    Deb Sheely could offer about $5000 from her operating budget.

    Leverage corn growing associations to match funds. Work with state corn councils.

    NCCC46 members will be the lead and provide more specific information to directors. NC205 as well, lots of overlap. Authorize one or the other.

    Rick Lindroth: Created a philosphical resolution of support to take forward to NCCC46 and NC205:

    Resolution of Support

    The North Central Regional Association of State Agricultural and Experiment Station Directors applauds the work of the Region’s corn insect entomologists in identifying putative Bt resistance in corn rootworm, and their efforts to communicate their findings to the EPA and other stakeholders. Further, we commend their proactive approach to clarifying the extent of the problem and its implications for corn production in the North Central Region. Finally, we appreciate their selfless service as science ambassadors for their respective institutions and the NC Region, and their continued efforts to maintain collegial relationships with commercial interests, in the context of a highly charged socio-economic-scientific issue.

    The NCRA Station Directors commit to providing the financial resources necessary for NC205 and NCCC46 representatives to meet with the purpose of clarifying the problem and developing  a regional approach to its definition, communication and resolution.

    Action requested: Approve the above resolution of support
    Action Taken: Resolution approved.

    Back to Top


    BATTELLE TEchnology partnership practice memorandum

    to:            Steering committee: NOrth Central study

    from:      simon tripp, senior director battelle tpp

    subject: regional university agbioscience institute concept

    date:      4/3/2012

    cc:            deborah cummings, mitch horowitz

    The recent Power and Promise report for the North Central Region’s land-grant universities highlights the outstanding research and extension capabilities present across the 12 institutions.  Taken together, the university agbioscience resources (in combination with the agronomic and agribusiness characteristics of the region) make the North Central United States one of the world’s premiere agbioscience regions.  However, while there is a distinct concentration of broad and deep resources and capabilities, industry seeking to access these resources for collaborative research have no single point of access.  Resources instead have to be accessed on a more ad hoc, institution by institution level, with potential research sponsors or collaborators having to navigate very different policies, procedures, contractual arrangements, negotiating terms, etc. at each university. Compounding the problem, there is sometimes even variation across colleges or departments and facilities within individual universities.

    In undertaking recent projects across the region, Battelle has had the opportunity to interview several major agbioscience corporations on technology development matters. A fairly constant refrain from corporate research managers is a preference to have a more uniform, one-stop-shop means of gaining access and building research collaborations with universities.  Such uniform access is being facilitated overseas in countries such as Germany, Australia, the U.K., and Singapore.  As a result, many feel that the ease in which working collaborations can be built in these countries is pulling agbioscience research sponsorship dollars away from U.S. research institutions. 

    Over the course of its interviews, Battelle has posed to industry leaders the idea of a collaborative institute model across multiple leading agbiosciences research universities whereby industry would contract with a single institute to gain access to university faculty and research resources across multiple participating universities.  The participating universities would be members of the institute and likely would negotiate a single shared agreement.  Industry reacted favorably to this idea, and when posed to senior administrators of the North Central land-grants there was similar interest in investigating the concept further.  With federal research funds increasingly constrained for the foreseeable future, this mutual interest comes at a time in which corporate research sponsorship will likely increase in importance.  As a result, there is an opportunity for North Central universities to seize an early advantage in building a collaborative model that has great appeal to industrial sponsors and partners.

    In response to this opportunity, Battelle suggests that a follow-on project to Power and Promise be considered—a North Central Collaborative Agbioscience Institute feasibility study.  Battelle would seek funding from the land-grant universities to undertake a shared institute feasibility study, with the following tasks proposed:

    Task 1: Bring together the agbioscience leadership and other senior leaders of the participating land-grant universities to discuss the concept, potential challenges and barriers to overcome, desired outcomes from such an institute, etc.  The purpose of the discussions would be to begin discussing the parameters of such a model, individual university interests and assets, potential research foci for the institute, etc. 

    Task 2: Conduct interviews with the leadership of leading corporations with R&D interests focused in the agbioscience space.  These interviews would seek insights into the companies’ research interests, external research needs, challenges in working with external parties, preferences for agreement structures, and current R&D relationships, both domestic and international.  Persons interviewed during this process would also be evaluated for potential later participation in an advisory board or focus group guiding the development of the institute (if it is deemed feasible).

    Task 3: Evaluate and benchmark existing multi-institution and international collaborative models that industry favors.  This may require meeting with a select number of international institutes deemed to represent best practices in collaborative industrial/academic R&D.

    Task 4: Analyze the input obtained in Tasks 1-3 to develop a series of multi-institution North Central collaborative institute models.  It is intended that the draft models, or “strawmen” models for the proposed institute, would help guide further discussion with the participating university leadership.  In addition, an industry focus group would be held to obtain additional input and begin to build consensus with regards to the optimal institute model. 

    Task 5:  Based on the model deemed best suited to the needs of industry and the university participants, Battelle will draft a preliminary strategy and action plan to form and operationalize a collaborative institute (assuming that the previous project steps conclude that a collaborative institute model is feasible).  The strategy would consider issues such as:

    ·         What form the institute should take?

    ·         Where it should be located?

    ·         Should there be an initial focus on a certain type of research?

    ·         What governance structure should be considered?

    ·         How should the institute be funded?

    ·         How many staff it would take to coordinate collaborative research projects across the institutions?

      Battelle does not presently anticipate that the institute will be a “bricks and mortar” scientific institute, but rather an administrative entity providing shared contracting, agreement and IP management, legal services, resource coordination, etc., to facilitate one-stop access for companies to multi-university projects, and to give industry ready access to large-scale agbioscience research capabilities spread across institutions that can be found nowhere else in the world.

    At this stage Battelle can only provide a rough estimate of the resources likely required to conduct this five step process.  We think it would probably take between $100,000 and $150,000 to conduct, dependent to a large degree on the international locations that may need to be benchmarked and the potential complexity of the draft institute model at the back end.  If the universities are interested in pursuing this concept further, then Battelle will draft a formal proposal and costing.

    We expect that, if the proposed project determines that such a collaborative institute is in fact feasible, the resulting shared institute model could have several very desirable outcomes.  It may:

    ·         Enhance the profile and attractiveness of the participating universities in the arena of externally sponsored agbioscience research and significantly increase the flow of industry and other external sponsored R&D activity for the participating universities.

    ·         Provide a uniquely resourced model with capabilities beyond those of any other individual domestic or global location.

    ·         Provide the basis for collaborations on federal grants and increase the likelihood of winning federal grants.

    ·         Increase the generation of university IP, technology transfer and commercialization activity.

    ·         Provide opportunities for student engagement in research programs and open up internship and other employment-related opportunities with participating industry.

    ·         Increase the use of university core facilities, and enhance the flow of funds to support such facilities.

    ·         Increase utilization of extension station assets and resources for field experiments and associated research activity.

    ·         Provide increasing opportunities for individual faculty relationships with industry, generating associated consulting and other benefits.

    ·         Over time, build a strong relationship with individual corporations which may lead to university development/fundraising opportunities.

    ·         Potentially provide the universities with access to unique industry resources, know-how, connections and infrastructure.

    ·         Provide the universities with insight regarding the specific needs of industry relevant to the outreach and extension mission of the universities in agbiosciences.

    ·         Form a model for additional collaborative activities in other areas of science and engineering across the universities.

    ·         Reduce the macro-economic negative effects of the flow of U.S. industrial R&D funding to offshore R&D institutions, and likewise bolster the U.S. innovation environment.

    ·         Potentially attract not only domestic but also overseas agbioscience corporations to sponsor research through the U.S. institute and the participating universities.

    ·         Potentially form an anchor for attracting R&D entities and businesses to set-up joint R&D facilities within the multi-state region.


    Other notes on this session:

    Early stage of discussion regarding creation of regional vaccine institute to facilitate and coordinate efforts between industry and academia.


    • See Battelle Power and Promise document (
    • NC region is an excellent asset, but each university has differing policies regarding contracting, IP, faculty engagement.
    • Industry internal R&D efforts shrinking, so they need to look externally.
    • No way to access as a single entity, difficult to access. Companies started to look overseas where better access to universities exist.
    • Need a better model for collaborations in ag bioscience.


    • Collaborative institute model, operated by universities, industry could contract with this single entity
    • Is this feasible? Are there other models in the US?
    • Strategy issues to consider (staffing, funding, location, governance, focus, form, etc.)
    • Benefits abound (collaborations, grants, students, research, IP, partnerships, macro-econ improvements, access to resources, etc.)

    NC Institute Discussion

    • Congressional caucus creation could occur
    • Tasks 1 and 2 should be reversed (see above doc)
    • Directors don't set IP rules, we would need to go higher up
    • Broadening beyond Ag Bioscience institutes
    • Link to international institutes
    • First go to industry to be sure there is interest
    • Bioethanol consortium learnings? Paul Gilna contact see also:
    • Narrow aligned area to show this will work, animal vaccines to start
    • Start with thesis, goal to obtain 2-3 limited partners, then seek others after success
    • Does anyone think this really would not work? Why?
      • So much variability between institutions, need to start very small, show value, build working model QUICKLY
      • We need a package to present, not just an idea
    • Start with existing tech platforms, understand what this looks like in the region (website, database). Use as a launching pad
      • Current sharing has been difficult (IP Dropbox example)
      • We need to expand frontiers and learn to “walk the walk” before starting
      • Use Dropbox as very first version of institute
    • Keep institute “virtual”
    • There is an optimal scale.  Animal vaccines very specific, might be too small
    • Food security/availability/production technology mostly in NC US.  Need and opportunity exist.  Look towards true multinational companies.  Use this model to globally leverage our tech.
    • One central problem: Institutions come together with a common IP policy. Solve this, then everything else should fall in place
      • Make IP changes a condition of admission into institute
    • Why would we want to share existing collaborations with industries?
      • Expand, better ability to compete in time
    • CPBR model, funded a lot of research, partner with NSF
    • FFAR
    • Beginning objectives imperative, start simple, then build
    • Natural resources example    
      • Cooperative Ecosystems Study Unit
      • 17 based around ecosystem zones, host university for each
      • Could cover all NC states
      • Provide access to expertise list
      • Common F&A rate, fed to university fund transfer mechanism
      • No real IP issues, though
    • 2 main value propositions
      • Aggregating and shopping existing IP
      • How do we set up a one-stop access point
    • Sponsored research and IP offices are different
    • Deal breakers for industry?
    • Could Battelle serve this purpose?
      • Already manages science and tech nationally and internationally
    • Extension Thoughts
      • Supportive
      • Funding issues, different priorities for Extension
      • Tri-state effort was difficult
      • Need someone to consistently lead
      • Extension component in almost all grants now
      • Extension can fit in, but has different issues than AES
      • More focused on engagement, rollout than original IP.  How do we describe our function to industry?
      • Listen to industry to drive priorities.  Systematically tease out short and long term issues/priorities
      • Would political problems result from overseas collaborations?
        • Changing mindset
        • Role or lack thereof of local county agents?
        • Education of reality
      • Role of big non-profits, i.e. Gates Foundation
    • Create several institutes as needed?
    • How do we make contacts overseas?
      • Institute of advanced fresh water – national security issue “National Institute of Food, Ag, and Advanced Water Technologies”
        • Destabilization of US friendly countries will be a security issue
        • Need is already there

    Next Steps:

    • More clearly define Task 2: Listening exercises with industry
      • EPA regional ag forums
      • Crowd sourcing: industry and university members, poll needs, narrow down, send out RFPs
      • Ask industry what they would want out of an institute, how to best focus and frame
      • Seek out partners from India, China, South America
      • Subset of group to work with Simon to go to industry, frames questions:
        • Deana Hancock, Elanco Animal Health
        • Marc Linit (point of contact)
        • Keith Smith
        • Ron Meeusen
        • Mark Luedke
        • Shawn Donkin
        • Abel Ponce de Leon
        • Bill Ravlin and another industry rep
        • Corporate relations members from universities
        • Arlen and Robin to facilitate
    • Set up starting group with smaller universities
      • Maybe start with vaccines, then build from that, learning as we go
      • Develop trust
    • Set of rules that all IP managers can agree with
      • Use Dropbox to share policies
    • Informally mention this issue to your VPs of university research

    Action items:
    Set-up call between IP managers to finish Nov 10 business, better use of Dropbox
    Set-up call/face-to-face meeting of Institute Step Two working group
    Add as an agenda item for July Mini-Land Grant Meeting

    Contact Chris ( for more info on the IP Dropbox