One Hundred Seventieth Meeting

July 13-15, 2004

Illini Center

Chicago, IL


Attendees: Marshall Martin (IN); Wendy Wintersteen (IA); Forrest Chumley (KS); Doreen Woodward, Hank Allen (MI); Bert Stromberg, Marilyn DeLong, Sarah Greening, Jennifer Obst (MN); Tom Payne (MO); Darrell Nelson (NE); Virginia Clark Johnson (ND); Steve Slack, Dave Benfield (OH); Kevin Kephart (SD); Margaret Dentine, Irwin Goldman (WI); Adrianna Hewings (USDA-ARS Midwest Area); Daryl Lund, Nicole Nelson (NCRA)


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

1-4pm              MRC Meeting

6-9pm              Reception, Orange and Blue Room, Illini Center 1st floor


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

7-8am              Registrations and Continental Breakfast

Illinois Room, 4th Floor


8-8:15am         Welcome

Robert A. Easter, Dean


8:15-8:30am   Illini Center: Delivering Education to Urban Audiences

Paul Cobia, Office of Continuing Education


8:30-9am         Welcome to Urban America

Dr. Jim Oliver, Assistant Dean, Urban & Metropolitan Affairs


9am-12pm       NCRA Meeting



Agenda Item

Item Title





Call to Order and Introductions

Wendy Wintersteen




Approval of March 2004 Minutes

(refer to http://www.wisc.edu/ncra/march2004.htm)

Wendy Wintersteen




Adoption of Agenda

Wendy Wintersteen




Executive Committee Report and Interim Actions of the Chair

Wendy Wintersteen




Executive Directors Report

Daryl Lund




Activities Since the March Meeting





NCRA Impact Statements





MTA Survey





National C-FAR Report





NIMSS Update and Preview

Nicole Nelson




ESCOP Report





ESCOP Activities

Daryl Lund




Budget and Legislative Committee

6.2.1: Agenda Brief

6.2.2: Preliminary F.Y. 2005 House Mark Compared to Prior Years and President's Request

6.2.3: Farm Bill – Challenges and Opportunities

6.2.4: F.Y. 2006 Priorities

Darrell Nelson




ARS Report

Anna Hewing




CSREES Report – none provided





NC-SARE – Click HERE to view PowerPoint slides

Bill Wilcke






Multistate Research Committee Report

Marshall Martin




NCRA Projects





NRSP Projects

Marshall Martin




Other MRC Items

10.6.1 Multistate Nomenclature

10.6.2 NCT for Business-Owning Families

10.6.3 NCRA Project Evaluation Form Review Committee

10.6.4 NCR Proposals – Inclusion of a “Procedures Section

10.6.5 Role of the AA and Chair for NC/NCR Committees and the Evaluation/Impact Reporting Process

10.6.6 Title Change on NC1100

Daryl Lund

Marshall Martin

Virginia Clark Johnson




Monsanto Agreement

Margaret Dentine




Nominations Committee Report

Bert Stromberg





Marshall Martin





·        All COPs Meeting – Orlando, FL – July 25-27, 2004

·        SAES/ARD Fall Workshop – Oklahoma City, OK – September 26-29, 2004

·        NASULGC Annual Meeting – San Diego, CA – November 14-16, 2004

Wendy Wintersteen




The Ohio State Economic Review (conducted by Batelle) is now available online at the following website: www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/centernet/

Steve Slack




Summary and Review of Assignments

Wendy Wintersteen







Item 4.0: Interim Actions of the Chair

Presenter: Wendy Wintersteen


·        Appointed past MRC members to evaluate the usefulness of the NCRA project review forms.  The appointees were Virginia Clark Johnson (chair of the committee), Gary Lemme, and Darrell Nelson.  This group will provide their recommendations during the MRC Report. 

·        Corresponded with ESCOP regarding the following March 2004 NCRA requests.  The results of this correspondence will be reported during the ESCOP Report:

o        ESCOP should undertake a review of the multistate project system to examine how increased efficiency and effectiveness can be achieved in the system. Specifically an ad hoc Committee led by Wendy Wintersteen on behalf of Dean Catherine Woteki raised this concern. Although their report focuses on projects in the North Central Region, we believe that some of the comments are applicable to the entire multistate system.

o        As a follow on to the discussion on the multistate project system, it was the consensus of NCRA that a reporting system should be in place to ensure simplification of accountability, meet the needs of the agency (CSREES), and contribute to evaluation and planning for the experiment stations. It was moved, seconded and passed to take the concerns about the Federal Plan of Work and Annual Report to ESCOP and request that these concerns are forwarded to the BAA and the Farm Bill Task Force so that they may be addressed. This topic is timely for the BAA Farm Bill Committee because the reporting requirements that we now labor under had some of their roots in the 1998 Farm Bill and the subsequent Agricultural, Research, Extension and Education Reform Act (AREERA) passed in 1998. Furthermore, CSREES has currently extended the Five-Year Plan of Work of 2000 another two years so the agency can critically evaluate the requirements and usefulness of the Plan of Work and the Annual Report. This presents an excellent opportunity for ESCOP to have input into this review.

·        Investigated compensation for Executive Director.


Item 5.0: Executive Director’s Report


Item 5.1: Activities from March 2004-June 2004

Presenter: Daryl Lund



Chaired Review Team for OARDC Report on Economic Impact

Executive Vice Chair ESCOP Spring meeting

Co-chair DOE/NASULGC Project 1

Chair NIMSS Oversight Committee

Chair IFT Summit Committee

Member Sigma Xi Lectureship Committee

NCRA Spring meeting Perdido Beach Resort AL

Chair International Union of Food Science and Technology Distance Education Task Force



NASULGC-ICA annual meeting Univ Georgia Chair Research Committee

BAA-Budget and Advocacy Committee ESCOP Alternate

Member IFT Task Force on Leadership Development

Member Rural Renaissance Act Steering Committee

Chair Scientific Advisory Council The World Food Logistics Organization

Member Board of Directors National Institute for Agricultural Security

Member National Multistate Coordinating Committee



NASULGC Food and Society Project

Seminar Louisiana State University on Role of Food Science Departments

Visit National Renewable Energy Laboratory Golden CO

IFT Editor-n-Chief Peer Reviewed Publications



Executive Vice Chair NRSP Review Committee

Member FDA Food Advisory Committee

Co-PI Food Processing Video Project

Member NCRA Review Form Committee


Summary of Office Activity:

1.        Many of the activities mentioned above have recurring, regular spaced teleconferences.

2.        The NCRA posted 10 impact statements that were reviewed and edited by a professional writer.  We have developed a schedule to complete all impact statements (NC and NCR projects by Spring 2005.

3.        Nikki completed 4 credits with a 4.0 GPA.

4.        Nikki instituted a newsletter for NCRA project advisors.  This newsletter is also being sent to CSREES National Program Leaders by their request.

5.        Nikki is working with Rubie for the NIMSS upgrade which is to be released in mid-August 2004

6.        Nikki is working with AAs on timely submission of project reports (annual meeting minutes and SAES 422).

7.        Nikki has organized all the NRSP information, delivered it to the NRSP Review Committee, and posted all responses from NRSP projects. 


Item 5.2: Impact Statements

Presenter: Daryl Lund


NCRA project impact statements now have a home on our NCRA webpage at http://www.wisc.edu/ncra/impactstatements.htm.  We are in the process of gathering our second round of ten impact statements to be edited and posted by October. 


Discussion: Steve Slack also mentioned that we should emphasize that these impact reports are another opportunity to display the accomplishments of committees.  The impact statements should not be seen as more paperwork for the committee to labor through.  Marshall Martin, on behalf of the MRC, also mentioned the importance of explaining the committee benefits/impacts on stakeholders. 


Action: These points will be noted in the July addition of the AA newsletter. 




Item 5.3: MTA Survey

Presenter: Daryl Lund


Recall that at our March meeting, it was requested that the NCRA Office ask each experiment station to provide its boilerplate for MTAs. Specifically, each NCRA SAES was asked to comment on:

·         Policies regarding indemnity

·         Legal venue

·         Insurance assurance

·         What your offices sign

·         When are MTAs needed (patented germplasm only)

·         When are they not needed (routine germplasm)

·         Your experiences with NCURA and AUTM would also be helpful

·         Finally, identify a website for policies and procedures regarding MTAs (if your station has one)

To date, we have received responses from five of the twelve states (MN, MO, IL, SD, MI).  If your station has not yet sent its comments to us, please do so by August 1. The responses will be posted on the NCRA homepage.


Action: Wendy Wintersteen suggested that a sub-committee be formed to discuss specific problems and actions associated with MTAs.  In particular, the NCRA would like to pinpoint an exact definition of an MTA.  Kevin Kephart will chair this committee.  Other members of the committee include Irwin Goldman, Wendy Wintersteen, Forrest Chumley, John Gardner, and Bill Ravlin. 



Item 5.4: National C-Far Report

Presenter: Daryl Lund


National C-FAR 2004 Annual Meeting & Board Meeting




Board Election—National Members unanimously adopted the recommendation of the Nominating Committee to elect the following [term expiration date indicated in brackets]:

·        Stephanie Patrick (American Dietetic Association) [2007]

·        Dr. Terry Barr (National Council of Farmer Cooperatives) [2006]

·        Leonard Gianessi (CropLife America) [2007]

Election of Officers—The Board unanimously adopted the recommendation of the Nominating Committee to elect the following officers:

1.        Joe Layton (American Soybean Association), President

2.        Dr. Stephen Pueppke ( Natl Ag Biotech Council), Vice President

3.        R. Thomas Van Arsdall (Natl C-FAR Liaison), Secretary/Treasurer

* SEE http://www.ncfar.org/board.asp for 2004-5 Board & Officers.

Agricultural Research Institute Concept

·        Staff was directed to distribute the final Institute task force report as soon as available to facilitate analysis and development of National C-FAR’s position.

·        It was agreed that a 1-page position statement should be developed on the concept so that National C-FAR would have a “proactive” statement to provide if the organization’s reaction is sought upon release of the final report, pending analysis.

o        Pueppke agreed to develop a draft for consideration.

o        Executive Committee to take lead in developing plan of action as soon as possible thereafter.

Research Outreach Committee[2]

·        Hill Research Seminar:

o        The Board endorsed the Committee’s proposal to develop an enhanced action plan based on greeting the new Congress and staff with a mini-series of 4 monthly seminars, February-May and directed the Committee to move forward expeditiously.

o        Barr suggested enhancing the value of guest speakers by offering them as a resource in a separate briefing for consumer/environmental groups [other possibilities include briefing with selected media, agency staff].

o        Members will be asked for help in identifying and recruiting top speakers.

·        Research Success Profiles

o        Recommendations included increased focus on future benefits, complementarity with Seminar series.

·        Chairman:  Layton appointed Board member Larry Heider (AAVMC) to chair the Committee.

·        Committee Name:

o        The Board agreed that an appropriate name change should occur, deleting the term ‘advocacy’ to facilitate involvement of groups prohibited from lobbying activities in education/outreach efforts on behalf of research.

o        The Research Outreach Committee name will be used pending selection of any other alternative by the Committee.

Mission Statement—After debate on recommendations by Rules & Operations Committee, National Members opted to defer action and asked that the revised proposal be circulated for additional comment prior to action by the Board.

·        Current Draft of Mission Statement to be circulated separately.

NASULGC Synergies—The Board endorsed recommendations advanced by Buchanan to enhance coordination and communication between NASULGC and National C-FAR, including:

·        Liaison contacts on each of key committees, etc.  Van Arsdall to initiate by contacting Bobby Moser, exchanging e-mail contacts for appropriate distribution lists, and sharing documents as appropriate.

·        Improved sharing of information about the two organizations’ background and objectives.

·        It was agreed that members with overlapping responsibilities could help accomplish. 

·        Pueppke offered to represent C-FAR at NASULGC meetings he attends.

·        Explore development of common message as appropriate.

Bylaws—National Members voted to suspend the rules and after discussion unanimously adopted amendments to the bylaws recommended by the Rules & Procedures Committee to provide appropriate flexibility in (1) setting the dues schedule; (2) establishing standing committees; (3) approving the budget; and (4) scheduling the annual meeting date.  The Members also voted to change the due date for dues from July 31 to March 31, starting in 2005.  Enhancement of the ‘Objectives’ statement to appropriately recognize the role of extension in the research, education and extension matrix was also adopted unanimously.

Additional discussion:

·        Voting Rights—It was agreed that staff would inquire of affiliate members whether they have a concern about existing voting rights [National Members only].

·        Standing Committees—No action was taken on the bylaws, as the Board has the flexibility to establish Standing Committees that make sense.  The Rules & Procedures Committee recommended merging Finance and Membership Committees, but no action was taken. 

o        Any further action on committee structure is subject to discretion of the Chair.

SEE http://www.ncfar.org/BYLAWS2004.pdf for current bylaws.

Committee Assignments—Chairman Layton appointed the following:

·        Finance:[3]  Stallman (chair), Barr

·        Membership:[4]  Reid, Phillips, Jordan, Heider, Gianessi, Buchanan

·        Rules & Operations:  Dooley (chair), Marple

Membership—Committee of the whole.

·        Near-term priority, determine status of 2003 members who have not yet paid.

·        Staff to edit current C-FAR contact list re past and potential members and provide workable list to committee for consideration, editing and follow up.



Comments by the New President

·        Newly elected President Layton commented on the organization’s strengths (90 organizations, unique in bringing research community and its customers together as one voice, customer-led) and committed to enhanced communications to the membership and ensuring the leadership represents the membership. 

·        He also indicated a 4-person ‘executive committee’ [President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer & one at-large member to represent ‘non-ag’ members] would be formed to conduct day-to-day operations.


·        Modifications to Dues Invoice:

o        Considerable discussion about whether to include check box asking whether member’s charter prohibits spending $ on advocacy.

o        Dooley indicated that no change necessary since National C-FAR is 501(c)3 organization, and less than 10% of budget spent on lobbying.  C-FAR can accept funds from organizations prohibited from lobbying without problem, and should not be problem for contributing organization.  Could cause additional problems with accounting, etc. 

·        Dooley indicated would research the legal issues & report back to staff.

·        It was agreed that the Board listing should be dropped from C-FAR’s letterhead, to simplify administrative support.

·        The next planned Board meeting will be via conference call in late September-October.  A face-to-face Board meeting is being planned for late 2004.

o        Staff will poll Board members re availability.

Speaker Lineup—The groundwork was laid for informed discussion and decision-making about the future direction of National C-FAR by a strong slate of speakers and panelists in the annual meeting program who informed, challenged and inspired:  William Danforth, Chairman, REE ‘Institute’ Task Force; Colien Hefferan, Administrator, CSREES; Brian Klippenstein, Legislative Director, Sen Bond; Walt Smith, Appropriations Associate, Rep Bonilla; Dan Byers, Majority Staff Director, House Science Cmte; Carrie Golash, FASEB; Pat White, Am Assn of Universities; David Reid, IUFT; Andrew Jordan, NCC; Gale Buchanan, U of Georgia.

·        Hefferan:

o        NRI grossly under funded.

o        Leveraging, collaboration among agencies best growth opportunity in terms of achieving needed outcomes.

o        Pitting science programs against each other is a problem.

o        Need to focus on WHAT we need to do and strategic plan, rather than how funds should be distributed.

o        Staff observation:  Follow up, take Hefferan up on her offer to meet & discuss how to support food & ag research.

·        Klippenstein:

o        Universities lobbying for individual projects a challenge.  900 individual earmarks.  Critical to work together.

o        Need validation from producers [customers].

o        Creative sources of funding.  It’s not just ag approps.  VA, HUD, et al.

o        Recommended focusing on challenges that still need to be met.

·        Smith:

o        Ag victim of its own success.

o        Concerned that research perceived as last priority, while a top priority for committee.  Bonilla has named ag research as one of subcommittee’s two top priorities.

o        Members going to have to make tough decisions between earmarks & programs.

·        Byers:

o        Since doubling of NIH, recognition that there’s a need to restore balance. 

o        Homeland security focus.

o        In election year, projects under HUD more popular.

o        Mentioned VISA problem related to homeland security, noting that ½ of PhD candidates international.

·        Golash:

o        FASEB 22 societies, 2 main committees, since policy & public affairs.  USDA chapter under science.

o        FASEB supports competitive grants program, peer-reviewed (NRI), against earmarks.

o        Ag advocacy member & staff driven, comments filed, not much follow up.  Emphasis largely dependent on interests of their president [non-ag currently].

o        Would consider joint approach [adding name to letter] if approached.

o        Main interaction with USDA is animal welfare.

o        Perception by public & many in scientific community that ag is not a science.

·        White:

o        Successful efforts to double NIH funding benefited from number of factors, including “NIH advantage.”  Peddling hope [helping heal people].  Timing—strong budget surplus.

o        Hard work, but wind at their backs.  Strong, patient advocacy group, highly motivated, member-volunteers.

o        Grassroots, bottoms up.

o        Also grasstops.  Focused on 4-5 MC’s who chair key approps/authorizing cmtes.  5-20 year leadership tenures.  John Porter their champion.

o        Mentioned Michigan Farm Bureau phone tree & feedback re actions taken.

o        Don’t want industry setting basic research agenda, but need their involvement.

o        In response to question about what AAU has done for ag research, response was not much, AAU members not as much in ag.

·        Danforth:

o        Concern that ag not well served by seeking funding through NIH, NSF.

o        Why are we in this [funding] fix?  Public perception.  Agency differences.  Regional differences.  Support groups.

o        Assumptions—Ag important; innovation necessary; science vital; public funds critical.

o        Corporate research driven by profits, short-term.

o        Ag is an old science.

o        Will make final report available to C-FAR as soon as available.

o        Comments by participants—Institute concept long-range, 9 year process minimum.  Challenge to keep commodity groups at the table.

·        Member Panel:

o        C-FAR unique in that it is broadest coalition, including customers as key.

o        How do we best fit the needs of consumers, as broadest goal/message [food, clothing, housing, energy, other non-food]?

o        Producer perspective, need to focus on solving problems & $ to solve problems.  Not research as end product, but means to end.  Producers can’t afford to be altruistic.  How does research help re competitiveness? 

·        Mentioned & discussed Tumbleson’s concept of leveraging research through international cooperation with European research since research outcomes spread rapidly in global economy.  Participants discussed challenges of that approach.

o        Buchanan discussed need for better communications & coordination between C-FASR and NASULGC and offered specific recommendations.


RTVA, Revised, June 22, 2004


Discussion: David Benfield mentioned that there seemed to be a good deal of confusion over what National C-FAR is actually lobbying for, based on the email updates received by many of our offices.  Daryl is now forwarding information he receives from National C-FAR to NCRA members even though ten of the twelve stations in the NC Region are also institutional members.  During the discussion, it was agreed that he would continue this practice. 



Item 5.5: NIMSS Update and Preview

Presenter: Nicole Nelson


Action: The NCRA office will look into “easy-to-remember” domain names for both the NCRA and NIMSS. 



Item 6.0: ESCOP Report


Item 6.1: ESCOP Executive Committee Report
Presenter: Daryl Lund for Ian Gray

o        Motion 1: Task Force on the MRF:

·         We were reminded that the MRF Guidelines were updated and submitted for approval through CSREES as recently as 2001.  We are still awaiting final approval through the agency.  This is required before the proposed guidelines can be subjected to the Congressional Record process for comment and eventual enactment.  The updated guidelines were accepted by vote of the Experiment Station directors and were intended to simplify the processes for MRF.  It is our thought that the concerns that were outlined in the special subcommittee report that you chaired should be first considered internally within NCRA.  In that process, we would encourage you to bring forward to ESCOP those issues that you feel are of interest and should be considered nationally.

·         Items 5 and 6 in the special report deserve additional comment.  Item 5 asks the question about what counts toward the 25% multistate funding.  I have instructed Daryl Lund to check with Gary Cunningham regarding the establishment of a mechanism to count multistate activities not reported in NIMSS toward the 25% multistate requirement.  This would apply to organizations such as the Dairy and Poultry Consortiums, etc.

·         Item 6 suggests that NIMSS be examined to ascertain if the email message load can be reduced.  I am asking Eric Young, Chair of the NIMSS Oversight Committee, to take this question under advisement.  This is good timing since NIMSS is undergoing reconstruction now and version 2.0 will be activated in mid-August. 

o        Motion 2: Input into CSREES’s reformulation of the Plan of Work and Annual Report formats:

·         This is an excellent suggestion.  However, instead of taking concerns directly to BAA and the Farm Bill Committee, I have asked Daryl to communicate directly with the agency that we are interested in participating in the process as it formulates its approach to the reporting requirements (POW and AR).  We understand that there will be substantive changes in the POW and AR that will make them easier to complete, more consistent with AES planning activities, and more useful in obtaining information on the portfolio. We will be communicating to all the regions the response that we receive to our offer.


Item 6.2: ESCOP Budget and Legislative Committee Report

Presenter: Darrell Nelson

6.2.1: Agenda Brief:

FY 05 Budget: The House passed the Ag Approps Bill June 23.  The bill as it affects CSREES and our programs is detailed in the attachment.  Clearly the system did not get everything it wanted especially in the area of minority serving institutions and in restoration of all the cuts from FY 04.  However, there is a significant increase ($16M) in the NRI and the Hatch budget was not axed.  Given the budget situation, the requirement for allocation of funds to the new Department of Homeland Security, and the funds needed for DOD, the net result of the House budget is very favorable.  By the time we meet, the Senate will have marked up and passed its version of the Ag Approps Bill. 


FY 06 Budget:  ESCOP has submitted its priorities to the BAC.  The priorities are very general (see attachment).  The plan is to have a greater degree of specificity by the NASULGC annual meeting in November followed by really specific recommendations within a week following the release of the President’s FY 06 budget (scheduled for early to mid-February).  ESS has a session planned for the Fall Workshop to discuss budget priorities (Sam Donald, Chair).


Rural Renaissance Act: Senator Norm Coleman (MN) introduced a bill in support of rural economic development (S.1796) entitled: A bill to revitalize rural America and rebuild main street, and for other purposes (sponsor: Sen Coleman, Norm [MN] (introduced 10/29/2003); cosponsors: Sen DeWine [OH], Sen Graham [SC], Sen Pryor [AR]).  The NASULGC Presidents’ Council has embraced the bill and is fully supportive of the bill.  The President of the University of Minnesota is leading the charge and will call on all members of the NASULGC family to support the bill as need arises.  Basically, the Bill amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to establish the Rural Renaissance Corporation to authorize issuance of rural renaissance bonds for financing qualified projects.  Furthermore the bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a limited credit to the holder of a rural renaissance bond, sets an annual rural renaissance bond limit, and provides for allocation among the States. Qualified projects include: (1) a water or waste treatment project; (2) a conservation project, including any project to protect water quality or air quality (including odor abatement), any project to prevent soil erosion, and any project to protect wildlife habitat, including any project to assist agricultural producers in complying with Federal, State, or local regulations; (3) an affordable housing project; (4) a community facility project, including hospitals, fire and police stations, and nursing and assisted-living facilities; (5) a value-added agriculture or renewable energy facility project for agricultural producers or farmer-owned entities, including any project to promote the production or processing of ethanol, biodiesel, animal waste, biomass, raw commodities, or wind as a fuel; (6) a rural venture capital project for, among others, farmer-owned entities; (7) a distance learning or telemedicine project; (8) a project to expand broadband technology; and (9) a rural teleworks project.  According to the BRT, nothing has happened with the bill in the Senate nor has a companion bill been introduced in the House.


Farm Bill:  All of the COPs are now working on the Farm Bill.  Current thinking in Congress is that the Farm Bill will come up sooner than its 2007 expiration date.  The BAA has established a Farm Bill Committee chaired by MSU Dean Jeffery Armstrong.  There are five subcommittees for the five most relevant subtitles.  ESCOP has already recommended the appointment of ESCOP members to each of the subcommittee and the Steering Committee.  Those recommendations are: Conservation - Henry Vaux (CA);  Rural Development - Alfred Parks (Prairie View A&M); Energy - Kevin Kephart (SD); Research and Education - Bill Brown (LA); Forestry - Bruce Wiersma (ME); Steering Committee – LeRoy Daugherty (NM) and Tom Fretz (NERA).  The deans have enlisted the assistance of the staff support of the members of the NASULGC family (i.e. EDs, etc.).  Preliminary analysis of issues that are relevant to us is included in the attached report of the BRT.  Jeff has called for a teleconference of the five groups addressing the most relevant titles for August.  LeRoy Daugherty and Tom Fretz will be coordinating ESCOP’s engagement in this process.


Action:  We need a new representative to the Farm Bill Subcommittee on Research and Education.  One member of the B/L Committee has suggested Lee Sommers.


6.2.2: To view the preliminary F.Y. 2005 House Mark Compared to Prior Years and President's Request, visit www.wisc.edu/ncra/FY2005BLC-budgetcomparisons.xls


6.2.3: Challenges and Opportunities

Presented by: Congressional Consideration of “Farm Bill” Programs


NASULGC has established a Farm Bill Committee (FBC) to consider how its member universities might protect and advance their varied interests in the context of congressional consideration of the next farm bill. It is true that the bulk of the provisions of the 2002 farm bill do not expire until the 2007 “crop year” for each of the major commodities. However, for the reasons touched on in this brief paper, it would be prudent for the FBC to be prepared for the consideration of farm bill issues beginning in 2005, if not before.


Budget Resolution May Require Mandatory Agriculture Spending Reductions

The F.Y. 2005 Budget Resolution passed by the House of Representatives included a requirement that the House Agriculture Committee “reconcile” mandatory agriculture spending reductions by approving legislation to do so not later than July 2004. The Resolution would require legislative changes to mandatory spending accounts within the Agriculture Committee’s jurisdiction to achieve savings of $110 million in F.Y. 2005, and $371 million over the five fiscal years 2005 through 2009. The Senate Budget Resolution did not include any similar reconciliation instructions to its Agriculture Committee. As of the writing of this paper, the Budget Resolution is pending in conference and the outcome of this issue is undetermined.


It is true that the House’s agriculture reconciliation numbers are small against the backdrop of USDA’s mandatory spending of as much as $60 billion annually. However, even these minimal spending reductions could pose significant challenges to the interests of NASULGC institutions. Let’s consider a specific example.


As you know, the president’s budget as well as recent appropriations measures have zeroed out the mandatory funding of the Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems (IFAFS). In order to free up funds for other priorities, it might make sense for the Agriculture Committees to beat the Appropriations Committees to the punch by saving the entire required amounts by reducing the funding authorized for IFAFS.


Such a course of action would allow the Agriculture Committee to meet its reconciliation obligation without having to make any cuts in direct assistance to farmers or food assistance program recipients. In addition, capping IFAFS spending could be characterized as a “cut with little real world effect” since funding for the program has been prohibited for many years through the appropriations process.


However, reducing the mandatory authorization of funds to IFAFS would then require the Appropriations Committee to go elsewhere to find spending “offsets” to fund its other priorities, especially in the current dismal budget climate. The result could be reduced net funding for NASULGC research, education, and extension priorities.


This example serves to demonstrate the seamless and dangerous situation that the current budget and programmatic challenges present to NASULGC’s interests.


Budgetary and other Pressures will likely Force the Opening of the Farm Bill Before 2007

Working to prepare for protecting and advancing the interests of NASULGC institutions in the 2007 Farm Bill is an important goal. However, it is highly likely that one or more issues will force the opening or dramatic rewrite of the Farm Bill or its underlying programs before 2007. A brief discussion of some of the more likely of these issues follows.


1.       Major Budget Reconciliation Legislation.

President Bush has announced his intention to reduce the federal budget deficit by 50 percent over the next five years. Some in Congress have embraced this goal, while others have assailed it as too little, too late. Senator John Kerry continues to make the budget deficit a campaign issue.


These factors make it likely that 109th Congress will consider major budget reconciliation legislation when it convenes in early 2005. Consideration of further budget reconciliation legislation may also be necessary in 2006 and beyond.


To make matters worse, there is a lingering sense among members of Congress that the 2002 Farm Bill’s $79 billion increase in spending over 10 years was “too generous”. If this view is allowed to prevail unchallenged it is possible that agriculture could be singled out for budget reductions disproportionate to its budgetary size in any serious reconciliation effort.


Any reconciliation legislation of the magnitude necessary to make these budget reductions will drive major changes in any number of Farm Bill programs. This includes everything from basic commodity programs to conservation programs to agricultural research. In fact, indications are that House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) view of such budget reconciliation legislation would be to look at everything within the committee’s jurisdiction for possible contributions toward deficit reduction.


Agricultural research, extension, teaching, and other NASULGC priorities would clearly be at risk in such an environment. At the same time, as the array of Farm Bill programs are reduced or fundamentally changed, it could arguably create opportunities for NASULGC to advance its priorities in light of the reduced support that may be given to farmers, conservationists, feeding program participants, and others. The FBC would be well advised to look closely at the various alternatives and identify possibilities for enhancing the role that university research and related activities may play in the changing environment that reduced spending may bring on.


2.       Brazilian WTO Challenge.

The World Trade Organization is considering a challenge against the U.S cotton program and USDA’s GSM export credit guarantee program brought by the Government of Brazil. A decision adverse to the United States in the dispute could force the United States to make fundamental changes in the operation of the cotton program, other basic commodity programs, and the export credit guarantee program. Separately, or in conjunction with budget reconciliation or other legislation, these changes would need legislation to be made effective.


3.       The Conclusion of a Multilateral Agreement in the WTO.

If an agreement is reached in the World Trade Organization liberalizing trade and domestic supports in agriculture, it will require a fundamental rewrite of U.S. commodity and related programs. Total U.S. spending on these so-called “amber box” trade-distorting domestic support programs would likely need to be reduced from the current $19 billion ceiling to something in the neighborhood of $10 to $12 billion. This would require major budget reductions and a likely fundamental restructuring of the basic commodity programs.


While some of this spending might be lost, much of it could also be shifted to non-trade-distorting agriculture programs, including conservation and research programs. There should be opportunities for the university community to enhance its federal funding in this environment, to the extent that the community is well prepared with a credible case for doing so.



In light of the above described circumstances, more forward-looking commodity and farm groups are already cataloging their policy options and strategies to protect and advance their interests well before the expiration of the 2002 Farm Bill. NASULGC’s Farm Bill Committee should be doing no less. A successful overall strategy and any credible individual proposals will have to be carefully developed and buttressed by accurate economic and policy analysis well before the crisis of legislation arrives.


6.2.4: ESCOP FFY 06 Priorities Rankings


Primary Category


Sub Category






Invasive Species


Global Climate Change


Food and Health/Consumer Behavior


Food Safety




Agricultural use of antibiotics




Plant systems


Animal systems


Rural Community Vitality


Land use policy


Product-based agriculture


Entrepreneurship and Leadership


Homeland Security



Facility and personnel security


Energy security


Risk Assessment


Rapid Detection of Pathogens







Item 7.0: ARS Report

Presenter: Anna Hewings


There have been several personnel changes at USDA.  The list below only includes a few:


ARS has major concerns about the budget.  They do not expect an early resolution of the FY05 budget.  Negotiation could extend beyond the elections.  Stakeholders are irritated with the appropriations process, although they realize it is a fact of life.  At the same time, there are a few add-ons for the Midwest.  As an example, $187 million has now been approved by the House for the research and diagnostic center at Ames, IA.  ARS hopes to include support services in that as well.  The biggest challenge for ARS is to stay within the budget, especially in regards to increases in building costs (cement and steel) as well as new program costs. 


Action: For information only. 




Item 10.0: MRC Agenda


Agenda Item

Current/Former Project #

(Temp Number)


Admin Advisor

March 2004 NCRA Action

July 2004

MRC Action

NCRA Action


NCT Requests Based On Decisions from March 2004 Meeting




Biological Control of Plant Pathogens in the North Central Region

S. Pueppke, IL

Disapprove.  MRC recommends termination with an invitation to form a NCT writing team by May 1 to re-vamp the project.  The committee is also encouraged to develop closer linkages with NCR125. 

Approved as NCT204.  If the committee chooses to re-write, it should consider the concerns brought up during the March 2004 review. 





Impact of changing management systems on soil nematode communities

S. Pueppke, IL

Disapprove.  The committee should notify the NCRA Office by May 1 if they want to form an NCT.

No action needed – no NCT request provided. 

No action


NCR25 (NC_temp1091)

Diagnosis and management of corn and sorghum diseases.

D. Gallenberg, SD

Disapprove.  The MRC recommends that the committee be invited to form an NCT by May 1 if they chose to revise the project.

No action needed – no NCT request provided. 

No action


NCT Request (not a March 2004 Renewal)



Development of Pest Management Strategies for Forage Alfalfa Persistence

P. Larsen, MN

Project originally submitted a 1-year extension request and was denied.  The committee has since requested an NCT.

Approved as NCT205.  This committee should consider meeting with NCR31 to communicate mutual interests between the two committees. 



NCR Projects Approvals Remaining from March 2004


NCR31 (NC_Temp1092)

Ecophysiological Aspects of Forage Management

G. Heichel, IL

Re-submit proposal by May 15 for summer review.  Decision TBA after summer meeting.

Project Renewal

Approved.  The committee will retain its number, NCR31 and should consider meeting with NCT205 to discuss mutual interests.    NCR31 also needs to update its Appendix E, in particular, the SY/PY/TY info. 





Regulation of Adipose Tissue Accretion in Meat-Producing Animals

J. Kinder, OH

Make changes to proposal according to NCA6’s recommendation.  The project will be approved pending these changes. 

Approved.  The committee will retain its number, NCR97.  The project is commended for its improvements but at midterm review should demonstrate the interaction between members. 



Midterm Reviews




How do Structured Out-Of-School Experiences Contribute to Positives Youth Development? 

J. Bokemeier, MI

Defer approval.  Project should get their paperwork in by May 15 for another review by the MRC and decision at the summer meeting.

Continuation approved.  The MRC would like to identify a strong AA to lead this committee.  The project needs to understand their responsibilities as an NC-type committee.  The MRC would like to see timeliness of reporting improved. 





Development, Optimization and Delivery of Management Strategies for Corn Rootworms

S. Pueppke, IL

Defer Approval.  The committee should submit their paperwork in NIMSS by May 15, 2004.  If the paperwork is not submitted by this date, the project may terminate early. If this happens, the committee may request permission to form an NCT committee. 

Continuation approved.  The committee should consider NCA1’s comments, especially in writing their next proposal. 




Social Change in the Marketplace: Producers, Retailers, Consumers

M. DeLong, MN

Defer Approval.  Recommend a conditional approval - project should get their paperwork (especially clear impact statements) in by May 15 for another review by the MRC.

Continuation approved.  The MRC recommends that, if the committee chooses to renew, a list of publications be provided as well as some methodology. 





Research Advances in Agricultural Statistics

D. Whittaker, IN

Defer Approval.  The MRC recommends continuation pending the submission of an informative SAES-422 report by May 15, 2004 that is responsive to the above concerns plus those of NCA12. Otherwise, NCR170 should be terminated.

Continuation approved.  John Boyer (KS) will be the new AA on this committee.  





Site-Specific Management

K.C. Ting, OH

Defer Approval.  The MRC recommends continuation of the project pending the submission of the SAES-422 form by May 15, 2004.

Continuation approved.  The committee should improve timeliness of reporting. 





North Central Regional Turfgrass Research

M. Ascerno, MN

Defer Approval.  

Continuation approved. 






NCRA March 2004 Recommendation

NRSP Review Committee Preliminary Recommendation

NCRA/MRC July 2004 Recommendation



NRSP1 is essential to facilitate the reporting of research accomplishments and impacts from the USDA-CSREES affiliated land-grant institutions. There should be clarification of the Appendix E list of participants, i.e., who should serve on this committee representing the four regions? There needs to be further discussion of the proposed budget for FY05-FY09. How much should the land grants support this versus the USDA-CSREES? The MRC recommends that USDA-CSREES should provide some funding support for NIMSS. If not, then the MRC recommends that the budget request of $269,707 for FY05 not be fully supported. NCRA needs to determine what policy position to take on this budget issue.

CRIS is vitally important for reporting research effort and expenditures in the land grant system and NRSP1 is the vehicle through which the system supports CRIS.  The current agreement is that 75% of the cost will be borne by CSREES and other government partners and 25% will be provided by off-the-top funding from the State Agricultural Experiment Stations.  The budget as proposed was approved.  This assumes that the SAES contribution will remain at 25% of the NRSP1 budget.  The Committee felt that NRSP1 is a critical and necessary infrastructure component and therefore should be exempt from the requirement to transition away from off-the-top funding. Although the committee was favorably disposed toward this NRSP, we do have some suggestions for improvement of the proposal.  First, there is a need to identify exactly who will serve on the oversight committee and that the four regions be represented along with critical user groups.  Second, there needs to be a plan for integration with other similar information systems and databases (NIMSS, REEIS) to insure compatibility.  Third, there needs to be a quantitative as well as the qualitative accountability and impact of the system to the end users.  In general, however, the Committee felt that this was a well-prepared proposal.

The NCRA supports the preliminary recommendation and funding amount.  However, we feel it is important to highlight the three bullet points noted at the end of the NRSPRC recommendation, in particular, the “second” point.  (Second, there needs to be a plan for integration with other similar information systems and databases (NIMSS, REEIS) to insure compatibility.)



Approve FY 05 funding at the FY 04 level (after rescission) with adjustment in the budget corresponding to the adjustments made in the Hatch Appropriations, such upward adjustments not to exceed the requested budget of the NRSP. 

This NRSP epitomizes several of the benefits of the NRSP program – serving as a catalyst and conduit for funding an effort from many sources and as a forum for establishing partnerships.  Furthermore, the project is exemplary in utilizing the output in elementary and secondary education programs.  As the NRSP Review Committee carried out its duty, it was reminded that the NRSP funding was never intended to be an entitlement program.  The Experiment Station Section made this quite evident when it adopted new NRSP guidelines that expressly asked for a detailed business plan in renewal and new applications indicating how the project will reduce its dependency on off-the-top funding.  In considering the budgets for the NRSPs, the Committee was generally very disappointed that the NRSPs did not present well-developed business plans.  However, the Committee did consider the availability of funds to support certain types of NRSP activities and agreed that the Experiment Stations should continue to contribute some financial resources to specific projects (i.e. a baseline level of support).  NRSP3 is one of the projects that we feel should receive a base level of support.  NRSP3 currently receives approximately 4% of its total funding from the MRF off-the-top funds.  Although this level of leveraging is commendable, it is the preliminary recommendation of the NRSP Review Committee that off-the-top funding be reduced from its current support level of $112,029 in FY04 to $50,000 per year in FY08 by approximately equal increments over the next four years (i.e.$96K/FY05; $80K/FY06; $64K/FY07; $50K/FY08).  The SAES system also recommits its efforts to contribute to this important project through participation of its scientists at local sites.  Based on current thinking, the base-level of support should continue to demonstrate the commitment of the SAES system to this important endeavor.  In addition, the NRSP Review Committee recognizes and supports the long-term multi-agency funding provided to this national monitoring program and the important role of USDA in facilitating transfer of funds to the project.  Both of these factors were considered in maintaining a base level of funding for NRSP3.

The NCRA agrees with the NRSPRC recommendation that funding for this project should be decreased to a constant level.  The project response provided a rationale for the decrease in funding to a level of $61,000/year.  NCRA recommends a budget of $96,000 in 2005 followed by a base budget of $60K for 2006 through 2008.  Furthermore, NCRA recommends that the support for this project not be tied to salaries of project personnel. 




The NRSP-4 committee has developed an excellent proposal that clearly defines the project’s importance to agriculture, science, and industry.  The proposal is a comprehensive review of the importance of NRSP-4 in providing the need for information and research infrastructure for pest management in high value, specialty crops.  The outcomes and impacts of this project show the importance of this project on high value crop production in the U.S. as well as identifying the proper use of pesticides on high value crops.  The committee has provided excellent rationale and justification of use of funds allocated to the project.  Project is approved.  Approve FY 05 funding at the FY 04 level (after rescission) with adjustment in the budget corresponding to the adjustments made in the Hatch Appropriations, such upward adjustments not to exceed the requested budget of the NRSP. 

NRSP4 is an excellent project that has performed admirably in the past.  The work that the committee accomplished through chemical registrations is crucial to the development of effective pest management programs for the nation’s valuable specialty crops.  NRSP4 meets well the definition and criteria of the NRSPs.  It addresses a high priority need of ESCOP.  NRSP4 effectively incorporates stakeholders in program planning and evaluation.  The Committee feels that NRSP4 has not done a good job of addressing the management and business plan requirements for an NRSP.  Specifically, there is no information regarding attempts to expand funding sources further and there is no budget detail provided.  There is no information concerning the financial contributions (including in-kind) of the SAES.  Objectives of the project are appropriate, but NRSP4 should address the requirement that objectives contain milestones and deliverables that can be measured.  The proposal should indicate what methods would be employed to assess stakeholder use of the information generated (i.e. how are the approved chemicals used in IPM programs?; to what degree do growers use them?; what is the economic impact?).  NRSP4 has done and projects to do a very good job of outreach and communications.  However, it is not clear how NRSP4 intends to assess the impact of these communications.  The Review Committee commends NRSP4 for planning to develop a new strategic plan.  We suggest that this be synchronized better with the 5-year renewal in the future.  The review committee suggests that more detail be provided regarding the project selection process.  Finally, the review committee recommends funding of $481,182/year for FY05-FY09, assuming no reduction in Hatch appropriations.  

The NCRA supports the NRSPRC recommendation. 



Approved a three-year renewal with FY 04 budget at the FY 03 level (after rescission) with adjustment according to the adjustments made in Hatch appropriations, FY 05 at $200,000, FY 06 at $100,000, and FY 07 at $0.  The rationale for this recommendation is that the project primarily provides virus resistant stock to nurseries for propagation and does not benefit researchers in our experiment stations.  The industry should pay for this service in fees.  The Review Team report also suggests that this project should generate support from the private sector.

Controlling virus diseases of temperate fruit tree crops is important to future profitability and competitiveness of these industries.  The fruit tree nursery industry benefits greatly from NRSP5 activities.  However the current NRSP5 does not meet the definition of a national research support program.  The NRSP Review Committee encourages NRSP5 participants to aggressively pursue the development of a coherent national virus-free certification program as identified in objective 4 of their project summary.  The Committee also should adopt a user fee structure to permit the continuation of virus screening activities.  Finally, the NRSP Review Committee appreciates the efforts of NRSP5 to reduce its budget numbers.  However, the Review Committee recommends a progressively declining multistate research fund allocation with segmented reductions of approximately $50,000 per year (FY05 = $196,000; FY06 = $146,000; FY07 = $96,000; FY08 = $46,000) with the intent to privatize all activities at the end of FY08. 

The NCRA agrees with the NRSPRC recommendation to gradually decrease support for this project.  However, based on feedback from the committee members and stakeholders, the NCRA recommends that this committee be given one more year to prepare for the budget step-down:

FY05 = $246,000;

FY06 = $146,000;

FY07 = $96,000;

FY08 = $46,000;

Privatize all activities at the end of FY08. 




The NRSP-6 committee has developed an excellent proposal that clearly defines the project’s importance to agriculture, science, and potato industry worldwide.  It is through the development of close collaborations and linkages among germplasm collectors, pathologists, breeders, and geneticists that opportunities are sought to provide positive, significant impacts to the potato industry in the U.S.  The outcomes and impacts of this project show the importance of this project on the potato industry in the U.S. by providing breeders and pathologists exotic germplasm that carry desirable genes for use in cultivar development.  The committee has provided excellent rationale and justification of use of funds allocated to the project.  Approve FY 05 funding at the FY 04 level (after rescission) with adjustment in the budget corresponding to the adjustments made in the Hatch Appropriations, such upward adjustments not to exceed the requested budget of the NRSP. 

NRSP6 has presented an excellent justification statement in which it pinpoints the significance and importance of the potato as a vegetable crop in the US.  While the case has been made for genetic improvement and preservation of potato germplasm, there is nothing compelling about this project that makes it unique.  In other words, this case could be made for any other food crops.  Within the project itself, the expected outcomes and impacts are not clearly delineated.  Also, are there other funding options (i.e. could funding be provided with regional off-the-top funding for those regions in which potato production is significant?)?  If NRSP6 chooses to apply for renewal, the case must be made as to why this project meets the NRSP criteria for off-the-top funding.  Could this food crop be treated similarly to other food crops that require certified service?  If NRSP 6 decides to submit for renewal, the NRSP Review Committee reminds them that off-the-top Hatch support through NRSP funding mechanisms is intended to be start-up funds and that there needs to be a clear plan in the proposal for scaling back financial support through the five year business plan.  The Review Committee recommends that the committee maintain a working relationship with ARS.  Finally, the Review Committee recommends funding for next year at the FY04 level of $161,575. 

The NCRA supports the NRSPRC recommendation. 




The review committee believes that this project fills an important need for the minor livestock species although the fit to NRSP project guidelines is not clear. The Appendix E does not appear to have been circulated with a call for general participation and the institutions in this collaboration are self-nominated. No funding is requested from the Experiment Station, but a special grant does fund this work. Past industry funding has not been continued; this is problematic given that industry is one of the benefactors of the project. Exact milestones are not listed and the process for subcontracting is not described. The review committee wonders if the use of an NRSP is the proper mechanism for administration of this special grant.

The NRSP Review Committee recommends a five-year renewal of NRSP7 and adds these additional comments.  The NRSP Review Committee confirms the appropriateness of using the NRSP mechanism for this non-off-the-top-funded project because LGUs in all regions are involved; confirms SAES commitment to a partnership with FDA providing needed drugs for animals, both minor use and minor species; and, finally, confirms the SAES commitment to a partnership with the pharmaceutical industry to provide needed drugs and the program’s reliance on accessing industry data.   NRSP7 is encouraged to improve documentation of impacts and financial and in-kind contributions of industry, SAESs, and FDA.  The NRSP is also encouraged to expand communications with SAES directors on opportunities for involvement of additional SAESs in studies through, for example, presentations to spring and/or summer association meetings.

The NCRA supports the NRSPRC recommendation. 



Approve FY 05 funding at the FY 04 level (after rescission) with adjustment in the budget corresponding to the adjustments made in the Hatch Appropriations, such upward adjustments not to exceed the requested budget of the NRSP. 

The NRSP Review Committee commends the NRSP8 Technical Committee for its efforts to coordinate database development and facilitate national and international animal genome research.  This project is an excellent example of research support on a national level.  The NRSP Review Committee recommends approval of the NRSP8 budget request of $400,000 for FY05, 06, 07, and 08.  This represents an increase of $23,301 over the FY04 budget needed to support the addition of aquaculture species.

The NCRA supports the NRSPRC recommendation. 




This proposal is sketchy and not recommended for approval in its current form.  Budget is vague; it needs to show total funds for the center.  This NRSP would fund the director's office; what research support is provided and to whom?  Who participates in the project?  There is a concern that the project is exclusive and does not involve as many states as required for a NRSP.  A lot of the proposed activity is extension with little support to researchers.   There is concern about proposal not fitting an NRSP format.  It almost appears that this is simply an effort to keep some people employed.  Daryl Lund will contact Frank Humenik about our concerns and ask that he address them before we meet at the end of March.  We also need an Appendix E list.  Suggest that Humenik look at how other NRSP committees manage budgets and programs. 

The NRSP Review Committee has since terminated the review of this project.  Nationally, it did not have the support needed for approval. 

No action necessary. 





NCRA March 2004 Recommendation

NCRA/MRC July 2004 Recommendation


NCT for Business-Owning Families


This project was approved during the March 2004 meeting.  However, we then realized that the committee was planning to overlap the NE167 and the new NCT for one year (which would probably not be allowed by most station directors). Also, the committee was under the assumption that it had only been approved for a 1-year extension in 2002 (although it had asked for a 2-year extension).  However, NERA recorded the project as having valid justification for the 2-year extension, and sent this new 2-year request through to CSREES.  The committee is now considering its options (TBA by MRC conference)

The request for the NCT has been withdrawn.  The MRC looks forward to the new NC proposal as NE167 approaches termination. 


Project Nomenclatures

The MRC agreed that NCR committees could be replaced as CC (coordinating committees).  The MRC left the final recommendation up to the NMCC, which would then be forwarded to the regional associations.  The proposed nomenclatures are:

·        NC – Multistate Research Projects (no change)

·        NC-500 – Rapid Response Projects (no change)

·        NRSP – National Research Support Projects (no change)

·        NCCC – Coordinating Committees (Activities that provide a mechanism for addressing critical regional issues where multistate coordination or information exchange is appropriate within a function (ie. research, education or extension); have expected outcomes; convey knowledge; and are peer reviewed).  These will be a new type of NCR Committee.

·        NCERA - Activities that serve to integrate education (academic and/or extension) and research on a particular topic where multistate coordination or information exchange is appropriate; have expected outcomes; convey knowledge; and are peer reviewed).  These will be a new type of NCR Committee. 

·        NCDC – Development Committees (Formerly NCT committees)

·        NCAC – Advisory Committees (Formerly NCA committees)

The NCRA has agreed to the new nomenclatures.  The MRC and NCRA Office will work with the NCR-type committees to help them determine if they are classified as NCCCs or NCERAs. 


NCRA Review Forms

The MRC recommended that an ad hoc committee review Appendices H-1, I, J-1, and K to determine the effectiveness of the forms.  See proposed revisions to the forms below.

See proposed revisions to the forms below.  These results will be forwarded to ESCOP.


Role of the AA and Chair for NC/NCR Committees and the Evaluation/Impact Reporting Process


The NCRA unanimously approved that meetings will not be authorized unless an SAES-422 report has been filed for the previous year’s meeting. 


NCR Proposals – Inclusion of a “Procedures” Section


The NCRA proposes that the new section read “Procedures and Activities.”  This recommendation will be forwarded to the other regional associations.  Also, the NCRA recommends that the new section should be no longer than 300 words. 


Title Change on NC1100


The NCRA approves the title change on NC1100 to “Rural Development, Work and Poverty in the North Central Region.”  Wendy Wintersteen will work with Cornelia Flora on this project.  



Item 10.6.3: NCRA Project Evaluation Form Review Committee




1.        The review forms and the proposal sections (including Appendix E) should be aligned and consistent regarding the duties of the writing team and the reviewers.

2.        NC and NCR proposals are distinctly different, and these differences should be made clear to the writing committees via directions within the proposal, as well as on the review forms. 

3.        The format of the review form is less important than  gaining thoughtful input from  the reviewers (AA, NCA, MRC) to help achieve consistent meaningful reviews. 

a.        The review forms should “help steer”  projects toward approval (the majority of project review outcomes) rather than focus on  reasons for denials (the minority

b.       Reviewer instructions should be provided informing them that the review forms should  contain useful, critical feedback.

c.        Reviewer instructions may also include:

                                             i.                        The importance of including stakeholders in the project development process (NCT) and throughout the activities of approved projects (NC and NCRs). 

                                            ii.                        The importance of engagement/outreach (this is more important than a few journal articles).

                                          iii.                        The importance of specific outcomes and impacts that can be measured (economic, social, or environmental benefits to society).

                                          iv.                        The expectation of interdisciplinary involvement.

d.       The reviews should be streamlined when possible with the goal of minimizing project administrative work and maximizing project impacts and outcomes. 

4.        Review forms must be filed electronically in the NIMSS system. 


Review Timing:

NC and NCR Projects – Reviewed every five years.

Midterm reviews of NC and NCR Projects – Reviewed in their third year of existence. 

NCT and NC-500 Committees – Maximum two-year existence.



NC and NCR Project Reviews Based On:

·        Evaluation of progress toward objectives, quality of science, scientist participation, meeting attendance.

·        SAES-422s, Meeting Minutes, AA evaluations, NCA evaluations

·        NC and NCR Projects must comply with requirements of CSREES and AREERA


For additional information on project requirements, refer to the Multistate Guidelines (www.wisc.edu/ncra/guidelines). 



Peer Review Guidelines:

Performance Standards and Operational Guidelines for

State Agricultural Experiment Stations


Intention:  This appendix sets out performance standards and operational guidelines for peer reviews of research to be supported at State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAES) by federal formula funds.  The intention is to facilitate individual stations and their collective multistate activities in complying with the provisions of the federal Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA).


Definition:  Scientific review of an individual research project proposal is defined as: the evaluation of the conceptual and technical soundness of an intended research activity by individuals qualified by their status in the same discipline, or a closely related field of science, to judge a project's worthiness and relevance to a set of stated program goals.


Scope: The topics covered by this document pertain to research project proposals that are to be sanctioned and funded as part of the federal-state partnership in agricultural research.  These standards and guidelines do not apply to proposed research that is subject to peer review by competitive grant agencies and peer review of research publications.  However, in the aggregate, all research projects sponsored by stations and the regional association's adopting these guidelines will have been formally peer reviewed, before the expenditure of any federal funds.


Process:  Prior to the initiation of any research project (to be supported wholly or in part by federal formula funding or by a special research grant), the responsible SAES director (or, in the case of multistate projects, the administrative advisor) will call for a review of the proposed research activities.  A minimum of three peer scientists (i.e., individuals qualified by their status in the same discipline, or a closely related field of science), one of which may be a CSREES representative, will be asked to read and provide written comments on the proposed activities. NCA Committees do this in the NCRA


Terms of Reference: The terms of reference for the reviewers will focus their attention on questions of the quality of the proposed science, the technical feasibility of the research, the validity of the scientific approach, relevance to stated programmatic goals and on the likelihood for completing the stated objectives.  Additional comments may be sought on the project's relevance to a station's (or regional, or national) priorities, the degree of integration with extension (as appropriate), responsiveness to stakeholder needs, and the accuracy of any claims for multi-disciplinary and multistate collaboration.


Responsibility:  All review activities for proposed station projects are the responsibility of the station's director.  All review activities for a proposed multistate research project are the responsibility of the administrative adviser.


Appointment of Reviewers:  Reviewers may be selected from the same campus or from another institution, at the discretion of the SAES director (or the regional associations) or by the person delegated this authority.  In the selection of reviewers consideration may be given to the expenses associated with reviewing individual project proposals.  Consideration will be given to appointing reviewers who are without any apparent conflicts of interest. NCRA NCA Committees are assigned to this. 


Documentation:  Reviewers will be asked to present their findings in writing (see Appendices H-1, I, J-1, and K), and records of the reviewers’ comments will be preserved for the life of the project, or for a period of three years in the event that a project is not initiated. Document storage will, for the most part, be electronic.


Research not Covered:  Projects funded by competitively awarded grants, federal contract research projects, and federal cooperative agreements are not subject to these provisions, as they would be reviewed under other authorities.


Performance Standards:  Peer review of proposed projects is expected to provide the following performance outcomes: 

·         Maintain and/or enhance the quality of science funded by the federal-state partnership;

·         Identify more opportunities to partner with other states, federal research agencies, and our Cooperative Extension counterparts; and

·         Assure relevance to programmatic goals, and, in turn, provide responsiveness to stakeholder needs.


Performance outcomes from reviews will be monitored by the responsible station director (or the regional associations) through the annual process of reporting results and impacts, which is in turn made part of the Plan of Work reporting requirements. Adjustments to this review process will be made, as needed.







Each Multistate Research Committee member will access this form via NIMSS for use with the project proposal and comments from the peer reviewers, if available.

NOTE: Each of the responses below will be answered by checking Yes or No.  If the reviewer chooses “No,” he or she will be required to comment on why he/she chose that answer.  


(Check appropriate line - one only)

___ NCA- _______ Evaluation (Should reflect input from the full NCA committee)

___ AA of Project ______________________________

What other NCA Committees should review this NC Committee: NCA- __________


A. This recommendation relates to NC- ___________

____ A proposed new activity

____ A request for continuation/revision of existing activity


I.  Statement of Issue(s) and Justification

1.        Does the proposal convincingly address the extent of the problem and the importance to agriculture, rural life, consumers and science?  Does the proposal explain what the consequences are if the research in not done?

2.        Does the proposal adequately explain why this research should be conducted by multiple institutions and other entities (e.g., ARS/USDA) through a regional collaborative effort?

3.        Does the proposal indicate how the proposed research addresses national and/or regional priorities?

4.        Does the proposal describe the probable impacts from successfully completing the work?


II. Related Current and Previous Work

1.        Does the proposal adequately explain how this research relates to previous work in this area and how the proposed work will supplement and extend knowledge in this area?  Was a CRIS search conducted?  Although a classical, in-depth literature review is not required, does the proposal cite appropriate literature?

2.        If the proposal is for a replacement project, are the accomplishments achieved under the previous project adequately reviewed with identification of those areas needing further investigation?

3.        Does this proposal duplicate research being conducted through other multistate projects?  Did the Development Committee specifically address potential duplication and, if potential duplication exists, did the committee specifically address how duplication will be avoided?


III.  Objectives

1.        Are the research objectives clear and appropriate for the desired outcomes?

2.        Does the proposal clearly indicate the level of participation of each institution and other participating entities (e.g., ARS/USDA, Cooperative Extension, private industry, etc.) for each objective?


IV.  Methods (Procedures)

1.        Is a procedure or approach outlined for each objective stated in the proposal?

2.        Is collaboration and/or interdependence such as the use of common protocols, central data collection or analysis, sharing of equipment, common use of research samples or data, or other evidence of direct collaboration described in the proposal?

3.        Are research responsibilities of all the participants clearly stated?

4.        Is there a plan for how the research findings will be tied together in a collaborative manner on a regional basis?


V.  Measurement of Progress and Results

1.        Outputs: Does the proposal describe expected outputs from the research?

2.        Outcomes and Impacts:  Does the proposal describe the significance of the results, showing in what ways the end user will benefit? Does the proposal adequately explain the potential benefits and impact of the proposed research?

3.        Milestones: Does the proposal include statements related to milestones; that is, time-linked accomplishments that must be completed before subsequent activities can begin or can be completed?


VI.  Participation (Resources) Report

1.        Does the proposal include a complete "Projected Participation Report" as prescribed in Appendix E of the Guidelines for Multistate Research Activities?

2.        Does the project represent a multistate participation, which builds on specific strengths of the participants into a cooperative and complementary research project? 

3.        Does the project include the appropriate mix and balance of disciplinary expertise to address the objectives? 


VII.  Outreach Plan

1.        Does the proposal describe how results of the project are to be made available in an accessible manner to the intended users of the information (e.g., refereed publications, workshops, producer field days, etc.)?

2.        If the proposed project is to become an integrated (multifunctional) activity involving participants from Cooperative Extension, is the nature of their involvement adequately described?


VIII.  Organization

1.        If the organization of the technical committee is to be different from that prescribed in the Guidelines for Multistate Research Activities, does the proposal include an adequate description of the planned organizational structure of the technical committee?


IX.  Scientific Quality

1.        Does the proposal show evidence of high scientific quality?

2.        If copies of discipline reviews have been provided, has the Development Committee or writing committee adequately addressed the concerns and comments provided by the peer reviewers?


X.  Format

1.   Is the proposal formatted as prescribed in Appendix A of the Guidelines for Multistate Research Activities?


XI.  Summary

Please indicate the primary changes you believe should be made before final approval by the Multistate Research Committee.






_____ Accept without revision

_____ Accept with minor revision

_____ Accept with major revision

_____ Reject




Signature (Determined by Regional Associations)







Evaluation Form for

Coordinating Committees, Information Exchange Groups, Etc.


Each Multistate Research Committee member will access this form via NIMSS for use with the project proposal and comments from the peer reviewers, if available.

NOTE: By checking “Fair” or “Needs Improvement,” users will be required to submit comments in regards to their answers. 


NCR Project Number and Title: ___________________________________________________________________


(Check appropriate line - one only)

_____ NCA-____________

_____ Administrative Advisor___________________________


Review is for: _____New project _____Continuation/Renewal


1. Goals and objectives clearly stated and appropriate to committee activity(s).

_____ 1 Excellent _____ 2 Good _____ 3 Fair _____ 4 Needs Improvement

2. There is a good potential to attain the objectives and plan identified in the activity.

_____ 1 Excellent _____ 2 Good _____ 3 Fair _____ 4 Needs Improvement

3. Activity addresses priority research and is not duplicative with existing activities.

_____ 1 Excellent _____ 2 Good _____ 3 Fair _____ 4 Needs Improvement

4. Activity has moved beyond individual activity(s) and ideas to a collective, interdependent


_____ 1 Excellent _____ 2 Good _____ 3 Fair _____ 4 Needs Improvement

5. For renewal projects only:

a.        Attendance of the preceding project has been adequate and reflects broad participation by designated project participants.

_____ 1 Excellent _____ 2 Good _____ 3 Fair _____ 4 Needs Improvement

b.       The project has developed and demonstrated technology transfer to clientele.

_____ 1 Excellent _____ 2 Good _____ 3 Fair _____ 4 Needs Improvement


Overall Comments:





_____ Approve/continue with normal revision.

_____ Approve/continue with revision (provide specific recommendations).

_____ Disapprove/terminate at termination time (provide specific reasons).




Signature (Determined by regional associations)






Item 11.0: Monsanto agreement with respect to use of protected germplasm in research, extension or instruction

Presenter: Margaret Dentine


University of Wisconsin-Madison has received a document from Monsanto (Monsanto Academic Research License/Stewardship Agreement) effective April 1, 2004 to August 31, 2005. We received this after the April 1 date and it was misrouted on campus so we have only recently been able to review the document. The agreement is essentially a “bag license” for use of Monsanto products such as Round-up Ready crops in research, instruction or extension. The agreement cites a previous agreement from October 2002 that may have never reached the Experiment Station and for which we have no record.


Several parts of the agreement are particularly troublesome; the most difficult is that the “agreement” does not require signatures by the institution (or any PI) but obligates the institution to the terms automatically by use of these crops in research (or instruction/extension). The agreement arrived after this seasons’ trials were already underway. Conversations with our researchers indicate that they are very uncomfortable with terms in this agreement. No opportunity to provide input on language or negotiate changes in terms is provided. The accompanying letter indicates that Monsanto is discussing with researchers, but none of our faculty were aware of this license or its terms.


Are other states aware of this “agreement”? Concerned?


Gretel also provided the following handout:


Issues Concerning Monsanto Academic Research License / Stewardship Agreement


The Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station received a license from Monsanto dated April 21, 2004 covering the period April 1, 2004 - August 31, 2005. The license specifies the terms by which researchers may use commercialized Monsanto traits. We are trying to determine how to respond to this license. Some specific points:

1. The license is assumed to be in effect once a faculty member of an academic institution uses seed containing commercialized Monsanto traits for research, teaching, or extension purposes. No signature is required by the institution or the faculty member conducting research. If we were to adhere to the terms as stated, the research projects of many faculty at our institution would be already governed by this license for the 2004 growing season. This license was unknown to our faculty when they planned and initiated their field studies in 2004.

2. The license specifies that Monsanto technologies may not be used to generate data to support registration of a herbicide or a herbicide use.

3. Research conducted with Monsanto technologies must be conducted on land under the direct control of the institution. If this is not the case, the Monsanto Technology / Stewardship Agreement must be signed by the cooperator responsible for the land.

4. The Monsanto traits that are part of this license may be included in experiments with non-Monsanto technologies that are not commercialized, providing data collected from those experiments are shared with Monsanto scientists.

5. Any use of Monsanto's intellectual property granted by the license may not be transferred to organizations outside the institution conducting the experiments or to persons who are not faculty members at the institution.

It is important to note that in an accompanying cover letter, Monsanto indicated that research with patented Monsanto traits is not authorized without a research agreement. Purchasing seed containing Monsanto traits also requires a Technology / Stewardship agreement, and this is what farmers have been signing. Thus, the primary purposes of this license are to allow faculty to buy and use seed with commercialized Monsanto traits, evaluate the agronomic performance of a single crop, and publish the results of their studies without a specific research agreement.


Action Item: University of Wisconsin will be discussing this with our legal office but would like to have some feedback from other Experiment Stations. General discussion (perhaps at a later conference call since time is limited) might be useful. 


Action Taken: Gretel will put formulate a response to Monsanto and distribute it to throughout the NC SAES Directors.  The directors may add their signatures if they approve of the response.  In particular, it needs to be made clear to Monsanto how we, as an association, operate.  Gretel will also send the original Monsanto letter to the NCRA office for distribution throughout the NC SAES directors. 




Item 12.0: Nominations Committee

Presenter: Bert Stromberg


AA Replacements:

Project Number

Outgoing Admin Advisor

Incoming Admin Advisor


Phil Larsen, MN

John Gardner, MO


Jan Bokemeier, MI

Nancy Betts, NE


Jan Bokemeier, MI

Wendy Wintersteen, IA


Phil Larsen, MN

David Benfield, OH


new project

Darrell Nelson, NE





Gary Heichel, IL

Dale Gallenberg, SD


Gary Heichel, IL

Ken Grafton, ND


Dale Whittaker, IN

John Boyer, KS


Mike Chippendale, MO

Forrest Chumley, KS


J. Riley, KS

Don Reynolds, IA





new project

Vince Bralts, IN


new project

Steve Slack, OH


new project

Dennis Savaiano, IN





Jan Bokemeier, MI

Wendy Wintersteen, IA


Phil Larsson, MN

Steve Slack, OH


Other Nominations:




NCRA Chair-Elect (04-05)

Steve Slack, OH

Marshall Martin, IN

Multistate Research Committee

Margaret Dentine, WI

Bill Ravlin, OH

Nominating Committee

Bert Stromberg, MN

Gary Lemme, MI

Rural Development Center

Jan Bokemeier, MI

Virginia Clark Johnson, ND

MRC Chair

Marshall Martin, IN

Wendy Wintersteen, IA



[1] A quorum was determined at both the annual meeting and Board meeting to conduct the organization’s business.

[2] Formerly Research Advocacy Committee.

[3] Layton ex officio on each committee.

[4] Committee “of the whole,” with all members asked to be involved.