North Central Regional Association


State Agriculture Experiment Station Directors


191th Meeting

June 22, 2011

Hyatt Regency, Dearborn, MI


DRAFT AGENDA and MINUTES (last edit: Wednesday, June 22, 2011)



Agenda Item



9:30 am


Call to Order

Marc Linit for Doug Buhler, NCRA 2011 Chair



Adoption of the Agenda

Marc Linit for Doug Buhler



Approval of the April 2011 Minutes

Marc Linit for Doug Buhler



Executive Committee Report & Interim Actions of the Chair

Marc Linit for Doug Buhler

9:35 am


Executive Director's Report

5.1  Battelle Study Update

5.2  ESCOP Marketing Committee Update

5.3  Lead 21

5.4  NCDC-Proposal Update

Arlen Leholm

Bill Ravlin, Arlen Leholm

9:55 am


MRC Report

6.1 Remaining New Proposals/Proposal Revisions

6.2 NC1100: FY2012 budget and business plan (MSU)

Dave Benfield, 2011 MRC Chair

10:10 am


NRSP Review Committee Update

Abel Ponce de Leon, Arlen Leholm

10:20 am


ESCOP Executive Committee Update

Bill Ravlin

10:30 am


ESCOP Budget and Legislative Committee Update

Steve Slack, Ernie Minton, Karen Plaut

10:40 am


Nominations Committee Report: NCRA Officers for FY2012 (Effective 10/1/2011)

Sarah Greening and Doug Buhler

10:45 am


Transition of North Central Regional Aquaculture Center (NCRAC) from MSU to ISU

Arlen Leholm, All

10:55 am


Other Announcements


11:00 am


Gap funding discussion/update (follow-up from spring NCRA Meeting and IP Panel)

Arlen Leholm, All

11:45 am


Future Meetings (

  • 2011 Fall ESS/AES/ARD Workshop, The Historic Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO, September 26 – 29, 2011
  • 2011 APLU Annual Meeting, San Francisco Marriott, San Francisco, CA
    November 13 – 15, 2011
  • 2012 NCRA Spring Meeting, April 2-4, The Embassy Suites Downtown, Indianapolis, IN. 




11:50 am




Item 1.0: Call to Order

Marc Linit chaired the meeting for Doug Buhler.  Doug needed to attend the NC AHS meeting held at the same time.

Items 2.0 and 3.0:

Approved April 2011 minutes and June 2011 Agenda was adopted.

Item 4.0: Interim Actions of the Chair

No interim actions to report.

Item 5.0: Executive Director’s Report

5.1: Battelle Study (Power and Promise) Update, Arlen Leholm and All

·         Sue Fritz of UNL has a strong media plan for sharing the Battelle Study with NE

o   5-6 Key asset areas marketed

o   Directors should contact Arlen if they would like to take a look at it

·         K-Global, ESCOP’s new marketing firm and Simon Tripp of Battelle will also work to leverage the study

·         Many ideas/feedback shared, such as ideas for webinars (NCRDC willing to host), brochures, shorter, simple slide shows, NC-FAR presentation (with lunch!), idea for a regional “brand”, tap state communication people

·         Marc Linit, Doug Buhler, and Sue Fritz will remain on as Battelle Study committee be involved with marketing Power and Promise

·         After addition of the overlapping circle figure, the document will be considered FINAL and ready to share

5.2: ESCOP Communication and Marketing Committee Update, Bill Ravlin and Arlen Leholm

·         ESCOP Executive Committee approved K-Global to replace Podesta

·         They are strong with social media and very targeted initiatives

·         “Grassroots and grasstops

·         Will host 90 min training at Fall ESS meeting (NCRDC again offered to help created webinar)

·         Three-year contact with annual renewal

5.3: Lead21:

·         MN to take over

·         MN would like to be known for “Leadership”

5.4: Other: NCDC-Proposal Update, Marc Linit

·         Please remind your faculty of this unique opportunity to receive travel funding for grant prep.

·         Only one committee set up so far

·         Chris will add an easier to find/follow link under Announcements on

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Item 6.0: MRC Report


Presenter: Dave Benfield, 2011 MRC Chair

Summer 2011 MRC Report


Proj Type Proj Rvwr

Current Proj # (Temp #)



MRC Comments


New/Renewal Projects









NC1026 (NC_temp1026)

Weeds as Phytometers in a Changing Environment

Buhler (MI)

Requested revisions submitted on-time and approved by MRC reviewer. Will renew as NC1191 on 10/1/2011



NC1027 (NC_temp1027)

An integrated approach to control of bovine respiratory diseases

Hamernik (NE)

Requested revisions submitted on-time and approved by MRC reviewer. Will renew as NC1192 on 10/1/2011



NC1031 (NC_temp1031)

Nanotechnology and Biosensors

Bralts (IN)

Requested revisions submitted on-time and approved by MRC reviewer. Will renew as NC1194 on 10/1/2011.



NC1035 (NC_temp1035)

Practical Management of Nematodes on Corn, Soybeans and Other Crops of Regional Importance

Pueppke (MI)

Requested revisions submitted on-time and approved by MRC reviewer.  Will renew as NC1197 on 10/1/2011.



NC_temp1189 (new project)

Understanding the Ecological and Social Constraints to Achieving Sustainable Fisheries Resource Policy and Management

Buhler (MI)

This project was accidentally overlooked, but approved by the MRC shortly after the spring 2011 meeting.  Will start on 10/1/2011 as NC1189.



NC_temp1190 (new project)

Catalysts for Water Resources Protection and Restoration: Applied Social Science Research

Colletti (IA)

Requested revisions submitted on-time and approved by MRC reviewer.   Will renew as NC1190 on 10/1/2011.









NCCC22 (NCCC_temp22)

Small Fruit and Viticulture Research

Perry (MI)

Requested revisions submitted on-time and approved by MRC reviewer.  Will renew as NCCC212 on 10/1/2011.




Coordination of Joint Work Products for Land Grant University Technology Managers Most Closely Associated with Agriculture and the Life Sciences

Leholm (NCRA)

See Awaiting MRC/NCRA approval before Fall ESS meeting.  Needs plan for dissemination of information, other thoughts? Awaiting IP manager input during July AUTM meeting and IP call.  Will revisit prior to Fall NCRA meeting.  Hope to approve in advance of 10/1/2011.









NCERA13 (NCERA_temp13)

Soil Testing and Plant Analysis

Grafton (ND)

Requested revisions submitted on-time and approved by MRC reviewer.  Will retain NCERA13 designation and renew on 10/1/2011.



NCERA101 (NCERA_temp101)

Controlled Environment Technology and Use

Kanwar (IA)

Requested revisions submitted on-time and approved by MRC reviewer.  Will retain NCERA101 designation and renew on 10/1/2011.



NCERA180 (NCERA_temp180)

Precision Agriculture Technologies for Food, Fiber, and Energy Production

Kelley (SD)

Approved. Will retain NCERA180 designation pending final approval.



NCERA192 (NCERA_temp192)

Turfgrass and the Environment

Stier (WI)

Approved, but committee used the wrong form in NIMSS.  Proposal was migrated to the ERA form and is awaiting addition of participants before final approval can be granted. Will renew as NCERA221 on 10/1/2011.



NCERA200 (NCERA_temp200)

Management Strategies to Control Major Soybean Virus Diseases in the North Central Region

Slack (OH)

Requested revisions submitted on-time and approved by MRC reviewer.  Will retain NCERA200 designation and renew on 10/1/2011.



NCERA201 (NCERA_temp201)

Integrated Pest Management

Wintersteen (IA)

Proposal was approved, but is awaiting addition of participants before final approval can be granted. Will renew as NCERA222 on 10/1/2011.



NCERA208 (NCERA_temp208)

Response to Emerging Threat: Soybean Rust

Slack (OH)

Requested revisions submitted on-time and approved by MRC reviewer.   Will retain NCERA208 number designation and renew on 10/1/2011.




Building Capacity in Issues Management in the Land Grant System

Boone (KS)

Approved. Would become NCERA223 pending approval.


NRSP Proposals/Budgets




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


Renewal proposal and budget request: (NCRA approved)




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


2012 Budget request: (NCRA approved)




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


2012 Budget Request: (NCRA approved)




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


2012 Budget Request: (NCRA approved)




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


2012 Budget Request: (NCRA approved)




National Animal Genome Research Program, 2008-2013


2012 Budget Request: (NCRA approved)




National Animal Nutrition Program, 2010-2015


2012 Budget Request: (NCRA approved)


Other funding decisions




Conservation, Management, Enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources


2012 OTT budget was approved at spring NCRA meeting.  NIFA was notified.




Enhancing Rural Development Technology Assessment and Adoption Through Land Grant Partnerships


Approval needed for 2012 budget and business plan. Approved.


Other MRC Issues


Discuss decreasing proposal size limit for NC projects. Shorten Related, Current, and Previous Work sections?

Dave Benfield will draft a paper outlining suggestions for reducing proposal size limit based on NIMSS sections and discuss with the MRC prior to the fall meeting.  Once a final plan is approved, Chris will edit NCRA Multistate Guidelines and forms to reflect this.  In the interim, she will inform renewing committees of this requested decrease in proposal size. Final suggestions will be presented for NCRA approval at our fall meeting.



NC1100 Project

FY 2011-12


Enhancing Rural Development Technology Assessment and Adoption through Land Grant Partnerships


Statement of Issues and Justification


The Land Grant system has traditionally served as the agent of change in rural America.  Land Grant technology changed how America farmed, releasing millions of people into other occupations (Lobao and Myer, 2001).  Increasing farm size and corporatization of our food system yielded huge efficiencies.  The fact that far fewer people now farm has changed the way Land Grants must approach delivery of new technologies appropriate to rural communities.  At one end of the continuum, we have large enterprises capable of conducting their own research and development, or of simply paying the Land Grants to execute research programs on their behalf.  At the other end of the continuum, rural America has family farms and other enterprises that are disconnected from commodity agriculture, and could benefit from Land Grant technology to enhance their productivity in niche markets. 


Niche markets are in many ways the future growth markets for rural America.  A good example of this is organic agriculture, which started as a fringe movement and has now made its way onto the shelves of most major food retailers.  Rural niche enterprises could be agricultural, but also work in a vast array of other sectors, and can be a way for rural areas to compete.  In some cases, niche markets can be quite large.  For example, a manufacturer of stadium-sized plasma screens in North Dakota dominates a niche, and is a major contributor to the local economy. 


In the early days of the Land Grant system, an improvement in cropping techniques or a better variety could be moved from the lab to the field station, and from the field station, via Extension, to early adopter family farms.  Early adopter farms would then demonstrate to their neighbors.  With niche markets, more often than not, none of the middle parts of the system exist, creating a need develop new ways to move technology more directly from laboratory to end user. 


The challenge is in “making the market” between the niche enterprise and the creators of applicable technologies.  In market economics terminology, the market is thin, with few buyers or sellers of a particular improvement or process expertise.  The array of rural niche enterprises is matched by an equally complex set of highly specialized disciplines emerging on the Land Grant campuses.  Enterprises are unaware of the technologies that might be available.  University Intellectual Property managers hunt for entrepreneurs or engage in sometimes quixotic programs attempting to teach faculty how to become businesspeople.  Also missing from the information system are feedback loops to inform researchers about emerging technical needs.  Faculty incentives may also play a major role (Kenny and Patton, forthcoming).


Related, Current, and Previous Work

The literature on technology transfer is voluminous (see Bozeman, 2000 for a review), with academic journals dedicated to the topic.  In the North Central Region, several Land Grants have established statewide entrepreneurial systems.  Some of these, such as Michigan State University’s Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources, focus on value-added activities for food-related businesses. The Product Center Recently celebrated over 1,000 jobs created or retained since its inception in 2004.   Others (University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin, and the University of Nebraska) serve as host for the state’s Small Business Development Center Network.  In other states, the model is less formalized, with networks of Extension field staff bringing their clients into contact with value-added faculty on an ad hoc basis.  States within the region have tailored their approaches to the highest needs/opportunities within their boundaries, and also been able to grow through the efforts of nationally recognized faculty leaders.  Some examples of this on the entrepreneurship support side include:


  • Iowa State University – Agricultural Marketing Resource Center
  • Michigan State University – Innovation Counselor Training
  • North Dakota State UniversityQuentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives
  • University NebraskaLincoln – The Food Processing Center


A more integrated approach to supporting entrepreneurs might result in more rapid expansion of rural enterprises at lower cost to participating institutions.  A more integrated approach also may bring benefits in terms of more standardized databases about rural entrepreneurs.  Standardized databases can benefit social scientists interested in research about fostering community systems to support entrepreneurs, but can also bring more direct benefits in terms of reducing search times to find businesses interested in licensing of university technology.  “Push” information sharing techniques through appropriate database matching might help businesses discover a cost-saving technology even if they are not activity seeking it. 


Preliminary work (in process under this year’s funding) showed some cases of successful inter-regional technology partnerships.  For example, an examination of the federally-funded Small Business Technology Transfer Research program revealed that cross-state partnerships between businesses and universities, while by no means dominant, are common.  Across the 12 North Central states, within-state partnerships in the program ranged from 100% to 55% of the awards (in monetary terms).  Minnesota and Michigan enjoyed the strongest bilateral cross-state partnerships in the region, with 17% of the Michigan funding associated with Minnesota companies.  Overall, Ohio engaged the most states in cross-state collaborations, both in terms of university-company and company-university partnerships (Kilkenny, 2011). 


Another example comes from Canada, where a private sector firm is providing support for a web-based database ( designed to help match entrepreneurs and university-based or other technology.  Some NC universities have begun using Flintbox to help market their intellectual property.  A competing system ( supported by the Kauffman Foundation is also in use by selected NC universities, but IP officer feedback about the Kauffman system is less favorable. 




Our objective is to look for ways that loose networks of Land Grants can more effectively partner across state lines.  We believe this is a unique approach that will benefit the Land Grants but also possibly provide models for private sector technology sharing.  Loose networks are not unknown in the private sector—MasterCard being the classic example.  Kanter (1994) provides a wealth of less well-known examples of the effectiveness of collaboration in the private sector.  The objectives of the project include studies to better understand:

  • Different operational modes of University IP offices, especially in terms of database systems.  (A parallel effort being led by Arlen Leholm to organize North Central Land Grant IP offices into a working group will help facilitate this aspect of the program.) 
  • How Land Grant universities interface with entrepreneurs (what is similar across systems, how existing differences can complement each other, scope and terms for sharing of expertise)
  • How different types of niche operators might access university IP systems (case study approach). 
  • Scope for shared training/support programs among Land Grants offering business support services through Extension field staff on a cost recovery model. 


The methods employed will be similar to value chain studies or industrial organization studies familiar in business or marketing.  Particular attention will be paid to opportunities for standardized revenue sharing agreements, so that appropriate feedback loops can reinforce participation in cross-state collaboration. 


The emerging collaboration technologies associated with the internet (e.g. Linked-In, Facebook) have started to make it easier to share information across space through loose networks (Tapscott and Williams, 2008).  We will continue to assess the effectiveness of flintbox and ibridge, and possibly expose new participants to best practices when using these tools.  This new mode of communication will be explored as a potential avenue for making connections across the technology creation/use space.  Elements of popular internet auction sites might be incorporated into existing land grant supported systems such as Market Maker, so as to make them more useful for research. Other strategies might include bidding for short term technical assistance, and anonymous feedback about customer service.  Alternative, the system might be organized to focus on developing stronger social networks among providers of social science expertise.  Creating an optimal system requires study and experimentation. 



The product at the end of year two will be case studies of mechanisms for enhancing rural business development collaboration in the North Central region. Joint products will be academic papers and bulletins on the topics listed above.  The project will work in close collaboration with the organization of IP managers being formed by NCRA, but will focus on how to enhance networking with and through enterprises across state lines.  We will seek additional funding to supplement the work. 


In years three through five, the expectation is that pilot mechanisms will be formulated and evaluated.   


Literature Cited

Bozeman, Barry.  2000.  Technology transfer and public policy: a review of research and theory.  Research Policy.  29: 627-655. 


Kanter, Rosabeth Ross.  1994.  Collaborative Advantage: The Art of Alliances.  Harvard Business Review.  July-August.  97-108.


Kenny, Martin, and Donald Patton.  Forthcoming.  Does Inventor Ownership Encourage University Research-Driven Entrepreneurship?  A Six University Comparison.  Research Policy. 


Kilkenny, Maureen.  2011.  Personal communication. 


Lobao, Linda, and Katherine Meyer.  The Great Agricultural Transition: Crisis, Change, and Social Consequences of Twentieth Century US Farming.  Annual Review of Sociology.  27:103-124.


Tapscott, Don, and Anthony D. Williams.  2008.  Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything.  New York: Penguin Group. 


Participants (all voting members)


Scott Loveridge (chair)

302 Agriculture Hall

North Central Regional Center for Rural Development

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI


Tel. 517-432-9969


Jozef Kokini

211B Mumford Hall

University of Illinois

Urbana Il 61801


Tel. 217-333-0240


Jerold R. Thomas
2120 Fyffe Road

The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210

Ph: 419.306.9400


H. Christopher Peterson

Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics

202 Agriculture Hall

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI 48824


Tel. 517-355-1813

Business Plan

This request is for NCRCRD’s standard NCRA off-the top allocation of $25,000.  This will be matched by NCRCRD board-approved $38,986 from core NCRCRD USDA funding[i].  In addition, the Center’s regular $24,000 allocation from CES Directors will be applied to this project.  The funds will be allocated as follows:


Visiting scholar, 4 months:    

            Salary                                                                                                              40,000

            Fringe                                                                                                              0


Contract feasibility/demonstration project (open competition)                                  37,986


Operating (travel, databases, project meeting)                                                           10,000


Total:                                                                                                                          87,986



$38,986 NCRCRD base budget (from USDA line item)

$25,000 North Central AES Directors (standard annual allocation—this request)

$24,000 North Central CES Directors (standard annual allocation)



Action Requested: Approve MRC proposal approvals, NC1100 FY2012 budget, and other recommendations.

Action Taken: All MRC recommendations approved by NCRA.

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Item 7.0: NRSP Review Committee Update/Recommendations

Presenter: Arlen Leholm for Abel Ponce de Leon

NRSP-RC Committee Call Notes:

National Research Support Project Review Committee Teleconference

June 6, 2011, 1:00-2:00PM Eastern


Meeting Notes


In Attendance:

Chair - Ralph Cavalieri (WAAESD)

Kirkland Mellad (ARD)

Jon Wraith (NERA)

Abel Ponce de Leon (NCRA)

Clarence Watson (SAAESD)

L. Washington Lyons (Cooperative Extension)

Tom Bewick (NIFA)

Arlen Leholm (NCRA)

Dan Rossi (NERA)

Don Latham (CARET)

Rubie Mize (NERA-Recorder)


1.      NRSP_temp1 - National Information Management and Support System (NIMSS)


The peer reviews have been answered and addressed.  The four regions approved the proposal at their spring meetings. 


Recommendation:  Approve project proposal for 2011-2016


2.      NRSP Off-the-Top FY2012 Budget Requests


There was concern about the forthcoming federal budget that will result to an estimated $25M cut on Hatch funds.  A motion was made to reduce all the NRSPs’ off-the-top funding that the NRSP-RC will recommend at the same percentage cut on Hatch for FY2012. 


This will significantly affect smaller projects like NRSP-1.  NIMSS supports all the stations and external funding is not feasible.  However, if a decision is made for all NRSPs, then NRSP1 will have to absorb a reduction.  


The motion on the table did not pass.  There were 3 YES votes, 5 NO’s and 1 abstained.


A suggestion was made to reconsider this motion at the August conference call of the Committee, as by then, we will have a better picture of where the federal budget is heading.


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


The NRSP-6 proposal was approved on the premise that commercial users will be charged for the service.  There is still no clear strategy on how fees will be collected.  The University of Wisconsin agreed to work out a system whereby fees will be charged and paid to a university account.  This will allow the private industry to contribute and help support NRSP6, and satisfy our federal partners.  There has been some turnover at the university so Dr. Arlen Leholm will follow-up with the Univ. of Wisconsin.   


Action:  Decision on the NRSP-6 off-the-top request will be deferred.  The NRSP-6 Technical Committee will be contacted and will have a response deadline of June 30, 2011.


·         NRSP-7: A National Agricultural Program for Minor Use Animal Drugs (2009-2014)


NRSP-7 requested a floor amount of $100,000 in the event that federal budget approval is delayed.  This is moot as no money is released unless the federal budget is approved.   It is highly likely that the earmark will be gone and the NRSP off-the-top support will continue.


Recommendation:  The request is approved but with the same caveat as in previous years ---

* with the caveat that if funds equal to or less than this amount become available to NRSP-7 through a Congressional special grant or equivalent funding mechanism during FY2010-11, that amount will not be distributed to NRSP-7 from Hatch MRF.


·         NRSP-9: National Animal Nutrition Program 2010-2015


The NRSP-9 was approved at last year’s ESS Meeting with a $175,000 FY2011 off-the-top funding to serve as seed money to get the project off the ground.  Continuation of that funding is contingent upon securing financial support from other partners. 


Action:  Decision on the NRSP-9 off-the-top request will be deferred.  The NRSP-9 Technical Committee will be contacted and will have a response deadline of June 30, 2011.



Summary of recommendations for the NRSPs FY2012 off-the-top funding are as follows:


Project                         Request                       Recommendation


      NRSP_temp1              $50,000                       $50,000

NRSP-3                       $50,000                       $50,000

NRSP-4                       $481,182                     $481,182

NRSP-6                       $150,000                     No action pending decision on 6/30 response

NRSP-7                       $325,000                     $325,000 *

NRSP-8                       $500,000                     $500,000

NRSP-9                       $175,000                     No action pending decision on 6/30 response


* with the caveat that if funds equal to or less than this amount become available to NRSP-7 through a Congressional special grant or equivalent funding mechanism during FY2011-12, that amount will not be distributed to NRSP-7 from Hatch MRF.


3.      Committee Leadership


Dr. Abel Ponce de Leon will be the incoming Chair of the NRSP-RC.  He will take over from Chair Ralph Cavalieri on October 1, 2011.  Dr. Arlen Leholm will replace Dr. Dan Rossi as the Executive Vice-Chair and will provide administrative support to Dr. Ponce de Leon.  Dr. Mike Harrington will be the incoming Executive Director-Member, as the next rotation of leadership will be from Western region.


4.      Other Business


·         NRSP_temp261:  ipmPIPE National Research Support


The NRSP-RC members need more time to review the revised proposal.  Rubie Mize will forward the three peer reviews and the note sent by Dr. Rossi to the technical committee.  Reviews/comments should be returned to Rubie by June 20, 2011.


·         Policy on Caps and Sunsetting of NRSPs


The Northeast Region raised the issue of putting a cap on all or each of the NRSPs.  In this climate of dwindling support from our federal and state partners, this is an important issue that should be addressed.  There should be a transition to self-sufficiency for projects where off-the-top funding is provided as seed money.  Historically, NRSPs (like NRSP-5) have terminated as they transition from research-support function to industry-support activity.


CARET Rep. Don Latham pointed out that the guidelines specify that NRSPs should constitute no more than 1% of the total federal formula funds for SAES.  We are still below this 1%.


We should be careful as to assign caps for projects, as some are temporary and some are permanent like NRSP-1 NIMSS.  The national germplasm program is another activity that may require longer term support.  Unless a viable alternative is available, we will continue to support these activities.  


The NRSP business plan required for new and renewing projects also address these funding alternatives and is an opportunity for this committee to scrutinize the proposal making sure that there is a feasible plan to reduce off-the-top funding over the 5-year period.  NRSP-3 is a good example.


This topic will be revisited at future meetings.


5.      Future Meeting


It will be decided, based on responses received by June 30, if a teleconference is necessary prior to the ESS Meeting in September at Estes Park, Colorado. 


For planning purposes, a meeting room will be requested at the ESS Meeting for a face-to-face meeting of the NRSP-RC.  The purpose is to finalize the FY2012 off-the-top funding recommendations addressing modifications, if needed, vis-à-vis the FY2012 Federal Budget.


Respectfully submitted by,

Rubie G. Mize

June 7, 2011


Action Requested: None; For information only, final NRSP vote will take place at the Fall ESS Meeting in Estes Park, CO.  Please send any comments to Arlen or Abel before June 30.

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Item 9.0: ESCOP Science and Technology Committee Report

Presenter: Bill Ravlin

·         S1032: Improving the Sustainability of Livestock and Poultry Production in the United States, was selected as this year’s ESCOP National Multistate Research Award recipient.  All submitted projects were excellent, but S1032’s presentation stood above the others.

·         Science Roadmap operational taskforce initialized.  Has had only one meeting so far, just getting started. More information to come.

Action Requested: None, for information only.

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Item 10.0: Nominations Committee Report: NCRA Officers for FY2012 (Effective 10/1/2011)

Presenters: Sarah Greening and Doug Buhler, NCRA Nominations Committee




2012 Officers and Committee Members

(Fiscal Year 2012 begins October 1, 2011)



M. Linit, MO, Chair (12) (


Executive Committee:

M. Linit, MO, Chair (12) (

D. Benfield, OH, Chair-Elect (13) (

D. Buhler, MI, Past-Chair (09-11) (

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


Multistate Research Committee (3-year term):

J. Kokini, IL, Chair (12) (

M. Schmitt, MN, (13) (

E. Minton, KS (14) (

D. Hamernik, NE (15) (

 A. Leholm, Ex-Officio (


Resolutions Committee (3-year term):

M. Linit, MO, (11-14) (


Nominating Committee (2-year term):

Sarah Greening, MN, (11-13) (

Doug Buhler, MI, (11-13) (


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


Rural Development Center Board (2-year term):

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

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

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


NRSP Review Committee Representative (NCRA):

A. Ponce de Leon, MN (


ESCOP (3-year term):

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

D. Buhler, MI, NCRA Past Chair (10 & 11) (

A. Leholm, NCRA (Perm Alt) (


ESCOP Executive Committee:

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

A. Leholm, NCRA (Perm Alt) (


ESCOP Chair's Advisory Committee:

A. Leholm, NCRA (Perm Alt) (


ESCOP Budget and Legislative Committee:

S. Slack, OH (

J. E. Minton, KS (

Karen Plaut, IN (


ESCOP Communications and Marketing Committee:

W. Wintersteen, IA (

W. Ravlin, IN (

A. Leholm, NCRA (Perm Alt) (


ESCOP Science and Technology Committee:

F.W. Ravlin, OH (

J. Kokini, IL (

A. Ponce de Leon, MN (


ESCOP Science and Technology Committee Social Science Sub-Committee:

C. Sigurdson, IN ( - Ag Communication

L. Nichols, SD ( - Human Sciences

F. Larry Leistritz, ND ( - Ag Econ

L. Busch, MI ( - Rural Sociology

R. Birkenholz, OH ( - Ag Education


ESCOP NIMSS Oversight Committee:

J. Colletti, IA (

F.W. Ravlin, OH (


North Central Bioeconomy Consortium

NCBEC Vice President, J. Colletti (


North Central Intellectual Property Committee

Karen Plaut (

Marc Linit (

Abel Ponce de Leon ((

Jozef Kokini ((


 North Central Battelle Study Marketing Committee

Doug Buhler (



Action Requested:  Approve FY2012 NCRA Officer listing

Action Taken:


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Item 11.0: Transition of North Central Regional Aquaculture Center (NCRAC) from MSU to ISU

Presenter: Arlen Leholm


Background:  See email text from David Willis and ISU proposal below


I serve as the representative for the North Central Regional AES directors to the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center (NCRAC) Board (in the second year of a three-year appointment).  I need feedback on an issue from the AES directors in our region.


As of December 31 of this year, Dr. Ted Batterson will be retiring from his position as Director of NCRAC.  Michigan State University has decided that after Ted retires they no longer wish to serve as the host institution for NCRAC.  The Associate Director for NCRAC has been Dr. Joe Morris at Iowa State University.  Iowa State University is willing to assume the role of host institution for NCRAC.  In fact, ISU assembled a proposal (attached) that actually requires a less administrative funding that did the current situation with two universities involved in NCRAC administration.  NCRAC has been unique among the regional aquaculture centers in that two universities were involved in co-administering operations.


Dr. Gary Jensen, National Program Leader for Aquaculture for USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, oversees and administers the Regional Aquaculture Center Program.  Gary has asked the Board to provide NIFA with a recommendation on any viable options for the transition of the Center to a new host institution as an opportunity for input into the decision-making process at this time because of the breadth of institutional and industry representation on the Board and its long history of administrative oversight and guidance.


After several emails, and a conference call this morning, the NCRAC Board is leaning toward the idea of Iowa State University being the host university.  However, we first want to be certain than other institutions with the North Central Region know of this potential decision, simply because there may be other institutions that would be interested in the administration of NCRAC.  We know of several institutions that specifically have said they are not interested, but we believe that all institutions should be contacted.  If other institutions are interested, that could change the opinion of the Board prior to final contact with Dr. Jensen.  We are similarly contacting the CES directors in the region.


I request that you distribute this information to the regional AES directors via your distribution list.  You could either gather their opinions and respond to me, or you could have them respond directly to me?  We primarily want to know if awarding the host institution to Iowa State University would be a problem with any of them.  If so, then where would they prefer to see NCRAC administratively located?


Thank you very much for your time and consideration!


Dave Willis




Proposed duties and support for North Central Regional Aquaculture Center

Housed at Iowa State University


We propose to the NCRAC Board of Directors that Iowa State University assume the responsibility for direction of the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center, provided NCRAC supplies the following annual support for salaries, benefits,  and services:


65% of Joe Morris’ salary & benefits to Administer NCRAC                         $80,655

25% of Joe Morris’ salary & benefits to provide

         extension/outreach for NCRAC                                                                $31,022

50% of Allen Pattillo’s salary & benefits to serve as NCRAC

         extension specialist                                                                                     $33,674

100% of Administrative Assistant I salary & benefits  to support

         Center programs                                                                                           $60,930

Annual support for improved NCRAC information transfer                          $15,000

Total NCRAC support to Iowa State University                                             $221,281           


The Center Director (Joe Morris--0.65 FTE; NCRAC support $62,523 annually plus benefits at 29%) has the following overall Center administration responsibilities:

·         Develop and submit proposals to USDA/NIFA which, upon approval, becomes a grant to the Center;

·         Coordination the development of research and extension projects including Work Group formation, review of project outlines for technical and scientific merit, feasibility, and applicability to priority problems and then submission to the Board of Directors for their approval after which, Board-approved project outlines are submitted to USDA/NIFA for approval in a Plan of Work or an Amendment to a Plan of Work;

·         Oversee the development of appropriate agreements (sub-contracts) by the Administrative Assistant for purposes of transferring funds for implementation of all projects approved under the grants;

·         Serve as executive secretary to the Board of Directors, responsible for preparing agenda and minutes of Board meetings;

·         Serve as an ex-officio (non-voting) member of the TC and IAC;

·         Coordinate and facilitate interactions among the Administrative Center, Board of Directors, IAC, and TC;

·         Monitor research and extension activities;

·         Recruit other Administrative Center staff as authorized by the Board of Directors;

  • Serve as an additional source of technical information for the regional aquaculture community;

·         Maintain liaison with other RACs; and

  • Serve on USDA's National Coordinating Council for Aquaculture.


The Center Director (Joe Morris--0.25 FTE; NCRAC support $24,048 annually plus benefits at 29%) has the following responsibilities extension/outreach responsibilities for the Center:

  • Give regional presentations;

·         Develop and distribute (including posting on the Web) news releases for new NCRAC publications;

·         Supervise technical editors for NCRAC publications;

·         Oversee the development of extension projects by the Program Assistant;

·         Create and publish on-line NCRAC Newsletter – Fin Clips;

·         Survey NCR aquaculture industry to guide future NCRAC extension programming; and

·         Proofing of “final” draft of new NCRAC publications;


The Administrative Specialist I  P&S (To be hired --1.0 FTE;  $45,000 annually plus benefits at 35.4%) has the following responsibilities:

·         Prepare correspondence;

·         Maintain the administrative calendar, including scheduling of meetings and making travel arrangements;

·         General office management;

·         Answer or direct inquiries appropriately relating to aquaculture in general and the Center in particular;

·         Maintain and monitor all budgetary matters for both the Center and sponsored projects including developing sub-contracts with other parties for purposes of transferring funds for implementing all approved projects;

·         Compile information for periodic reports to the Center's Board of Directors and maintain records of Board business;

·         Assist in preparation of Center reports to USDA/NIFA, including annual reports and plans of work;

·         Maintain database of persons interested, involved with, or who should be kept informed of the Center's activities; and

·         Monitor Web site and keep Director and Program Specialist updated on changes/additions.


The Program Extension Specialist (Allen Pattillo--0.5 FTE; NCRAC support $24,870 plus benefits at 35.4%) has the following responsibilities:

·         Interaction with associated information technology staff NCRAC Web site and NCRAC List Serve (In cooperation with Regional Extension Specialist);

·         Regional Extension Meetings;

o   Coordination with other state extension contacts and the Regional Aquaculture Extension Specialist, Chris Weeks, who cannot address all of the needs in all 12 states of the region equally well because of budgetary and time limitations.

·         Regional presentations;

·         Representation on NCRAC TC as Iowa’s representative on extension;

·         Serve as Chair of NCRAC Extension Working Group committee;

·         Preparation of impact statements resulting from NCRAC-funded extension projects;

·         Maintain the NCRAC video collection and distribution;

·         Initial editing of “final” draft of new NCRAC publications;

·         Review and prepare responses to e-mail requests sent to;

·         NCRAC mailings;

·         Review of all current extension/outreach products for possible deletion or revision; and

·         Help with technical and logistical support for the NCRAC Annual Program Planning Meetings.


Proposed new activities for the Center to be provided by NCRAC Administrative Staff with needed additional support by ISU Information Technical experts (NCRAC Support--$15,000/year):

·         Development of new information transfer technology to address regional aquaculture industry issues, e.g., webinar series;

·         Incorporation of new videos as on-line video programming;

·         Movement of NCRAC web site from ISU Extension to new cloud computing resources in NREM department at ISU;



Action Requested: Approval of transition of NCRAC from MSU to ISU

Action Taken: Approved; John Lawrence will communicate this approval with IA State.  The NCRA would like to receive an update from the new Center regarding its plan of action as soon as possible, i.e. Will the programs remain the same?


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Item 13.0: Gap Funding Discussion


New Grant Training Workshop

·         Unique focus on building teams and collaboration

·         Emotional Intelligence 2.0

·         Project management

·         Led by Mike Harrington, Arlen Leholm, and Robin Shepard

·         Alaska to be next host?

·         Looking to train more trainers

·         See handout/Contact Arlen for more information

·         Karen Plaut will help review/provide input on further drafts


Gap Funding

·         Next Steps: several venture capitalists willing to work and contribute/leverage funds along with AES

·         Ultimately, a self-sustaining, public and private fund

·         John Oliver suggests we need $60 million in NC region to fund adequately.

·         Reduced risk, private sector more likely to invest

·         IP Committee, Karen Plaut, Marc Linit, Abel Ponce de Leon, and Joe Kokini (all added to our official NCRA Committee List, see Item 10.0 above)

·         AUTM Meeting and teleconference to take place July 27 from 12-2 pm, EDT


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