NCRA Summer Meeting
Fargo, ND
July 10, 2006
Minutes

Attendees: Mary Ann Lila (Illinois); Sonny Ramaswamy, Marshall Martin (Indiana); Joe Colletti (Iowa); Forrest Chumley (Kansas); F. Abel Ponce de Leon, Sarah Greening (Minnesota); John Poehlmann (Missouri); Gary Cunningham, ZB Mayo (Nebraska); Ken Grafton (North Dakota); Steve Slack, David Benfield, Bill Ravlin (Ohio); John Kirby (South Dakota); Irwin Goldman (Wisconsin); Mary McPhail Gray (CSREES); Nicole Nelson, Daryl Lund (NCRA)

Time Agenda Item Topic Presenter
2:45 1.0 Call to Order Marshall Martin
  2.0 Adoption of the Agenda Marshall Martin
  3.0 Approval of the March 2006 Minutes Marshall Martin
2:48 4.0 Executive Committee Report and Interim Actions of the Chair

4.1 Status of the Executive Director's Position: Discussion of the Selection Process (Forrest Chumley)
4.2 Logo Use to Indicate NCRA/Land Grant University Support of a Project

Marshall Martin
3:10 5.0 Executive Director Report and NCRA Office Update

5.1 NIMSS Update
5.2 AA Training
5.3 Impact Statements

Daryl Lund
3:20 6.0 Multistate Research Committee Report

6.1 Remaining New Proposals
6.2 NC7 and NC1100 Budgets
6.3 NCDC Requests
6.4 Other MRC Items

Forrest Chumley
 

3:45
3:50
3:55

7.0 ESCOP Reports

7.1 Science/Tech Committee
7.2 Communications/Marketing Committee
7.3 Budget/Legislative Committee

 

Steve Pueppke/Forrest Chumley
Wendy Wintersteen/Bill Ravlin
Steve Slack/Daryl Lund

4:15 8.0 Hatch Review Committee Steve Slack/Tom Payne
4:40 9.0 NIAS Report Dave Benfield
4:45 10.0 Nominations Dave Benfield
4:50 11.0 Resolutions - none Marshall Martin
4:50 12.0 Other Items All
  13.0 Upcoming Meetings:

Joint COPS Meeting - July 25-27, 2006 - Portland, OR
ESS/NCRA Fall Meeting - September 24-27, 2006 - Harrahs, Lake Tahoe, NV
Joint NCRA/WAAESD March Meeting - March 19-21, 2007 (tentative) - Hilton Waikoloa Village, HI
NABC 19 Meeting - May 22-26, 2007 - Brookings, SD

Executive Committee
4:58 14.0 Announcements and Summary and Review of Assignments All/Marshall Martin
5:00 15.0 Adjourn  

 


Agenda Briefs:

Item 4.0: Executive Committee Report and Interim Actions of the Chair
Presenter: Marshall Martin

Item 4.1: Status of the Executive Director's Position

Background: At the Spring NCRA meeting, Daryl Lund proposed that, instead of completely retiring, beginning January 1, 2007 he could transition to part-time ED duties until the national budget issues became more stabilized (1 year).  Additionally, he suggested moving the NCRA Office to NASULGC in DC for various reasons.  There was also some discussion of combining both the NCRA and NERA regions under one ED, with the impending retirement of Tom Fretz.  The directors in attendance at the spring meeting could not come to a consensus.  Therefore, Marshall Martin gathered all concerns and questions brought forth during the meeting and submitted them to Daryl, who provided his answers.  Marshall distributed Daryl's response to the directors, then hosted a conference call April 24, 2006.  During that call, the directors decided not to accept Daryl's part-time proposal and preferred to hire a full-time Executive Director.  Additionally, until the new ED is named, the directors also preferred to not move the NCRA Office from Madison until the new ED determines the location of his/her office. 

The NCRA Executive Committee is currently putting together an Executive Director job description, based on other regional ED descriptions.  They hope to finalize the new NCRA job description soon and begin the search. 

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: The Search Committee will invite the narrowed field of potential candidates to the September ESS/NCRA meeting, if time allows.  If the September meeting is too soon, the candidates will be invited to the NASULGC meeting in November.  The meeting to which the Association invites the candidates will depend on the number of applicants in the pool. 

Item 4.2: Logo Use to Indicate NCRA/Land Grant University Support of a Project

Background: The NC IPM Center recently distributed a postcard about soybean rust displaying the logos of various cooperating agencies.  However, the postcard did not display a logo for the LGUs/SAES with the rest of the cooperator logos, although they were mentioned in the text of the mailing.  This concerned one of the member of NC504/NCDC202.  After a few temporary logo suggestions and more heated debate, we decided to send the postcard out without an LGU logo.  The other regional EDs have suggested using the ESCOP logo in future situations, with "Experiment Station Section" spelled out (a mock-up is below):

Experiment Station Section

Action Requested: In future cases of lending LGU support to a project in the form of a logo, we (LGUs) need to develop a logo.  Should we come up with something that does not include a map similar to the NASULGC or ESCOP logo?  The NCRA is happy to forward this suggestion to the other regional associations for their consideration. 

Action Taken: The NCRA suggests that the ESCOP Communication and Marketing Committee develop a logo to use in these rare instances where it is critical that the Land Grant Universities be visible.  The NCRA Office will forward this request. 


Item 5.0: Executive Director's Report and NCRA Office Update
Presenter: Daryl Lund and Nicole Nelson

Item 5.1: NIMSS Update

NIMSS virtual training is now available online at http://www.wisc.edu/ncra/NIMSStraining.htm.  Sit back, relax and let the screen walk/talk you through all the functions. 

Item 5.2: AA Training

The NCRA Office held four AA training teleconferences in late April/early May.  Both experienced and new administrative advisors attended.  Topics covered included:

NOTE: We did not include NIMSS training, as the training CD mentioned in item 5.1 above was about to be distributed to CSREES Admin Officers Meeting attendees. 

Feedback from the teleconference attendees was positive and we hope to hold similar teleconference in the future as necessary.  New attendees found advice from experienced AAs very useful and many experienced AAs were updated on procedures that were new or different than the "old way." Thank you  to those who took part!

Item 5.3: Impact Statements

In September 2003, NCRA created a section on its homepage for Impact Statements originating from the various projects/committees of the region (NC, NCCC and NCERA).  This was done to enhance the accountability of resources that must be spent on multistate activities.  These statements are shared with the national group developing impact statements for CSREES funds.

The NCRA impact statements are posted on the NCRA homepage ( http://www.wisc.edu/ncra/impactstatements.htm ).  We assisted the development of these statements by also posting some tips on writing Impact Statements (for example, what is an output versus an impact).  This information is located at http://www.wisc.edu/ncra/impstate-writing.htm .  Nikki has worked diligently with all the projects/committees in the development of these impact statements including posting an Impact Statement form on the homepage (http://www.wisc.edu/ncra/ImpactSubmissionForm.doc).  Of the approximately 81 NCRA projects/committees about 2/3 have fulfilled the requirement of developing and submitting an impact statement.

Now we would like to finish off initial impact statement generation.  Below is a table that lists all the projects/committees that have not yet completed the impact statement for their activity.  Please assist us in completing this task by working directly with Nikki.  We should take advantage of her MS in Life Sciences Communications and get them in so she can assist in the review/rewrite process.

Once an impact statement has been generated it should be examined and rewritten at the midterm review and again when the project terminates or is seeking reauthorization as a project/committee.  We will continue to submit our Impact Statement site to the National Impact Statement Writing Team.  NCRA has a lot to be proud of but we must have analysis to show impact!

 

Impact Statements Yet to Be Submitted

Possible reasons for missing impact statements:

Dates each round was edited:

Round 1: Sept 2003-March 2004
Round 2: Aug-Nov 2004
Round 3: Jan-March 2005

Round 4: Sept-Oct 2005
Round 5: Dec 2005-Jan 2006
Round 6: March-April 2006
Round 7: June 2006

Round Originally Requested

Project #

AA

AA's State

Notes

6

NC205

Pueppke

IL

 

4

NC1004

Stromberg

MN

 

4

NC1005

Winterstein

MI

 

4

NC1007

Stromberg

MN

 

7

NC1008

Saif

OH

 

4

NC1010

Beermann

NE

 

7

NC1012

Straub

WI

extension until 9/7/06

5

NC1014

Hanson

MI

 

5

NC1015

Chumley

KS

 

5

NC1018

Chumley

KS

 

N/A

NC1020

Baker

MI

3-year project - to be extended to five years (not asked for impact yet)

N/A

NC1021

Schaefer

WI

3-year project - to be extended to five years (not asked for impact yet)

5

NC1022

Turco

IN

 

6

NC1024

Chumley

KS

 

7

NC1029

Beermann

NE

 

N/A

NC1031

Bralts

IN

new project - wait one year

N/A

NC1035

Pueppke

IL

new project - wait one year

4

NC1142

Chumley

KS

 

3

NCCC22

Ashworth

OH

 

5

NCCC31

Buhler

MI

 

6

NCCC52

Baugher

MN

 

6

NCCC134

Hallam

IA

 

7

NCCC173

Chumley

KS

 

4

NCCC204

Beyrouty

IN

 

7

NCCC206

Reynolds

IA

 

3

NCERA87

Boggs

SD

 

3

NCERA89

Stromberg

MN

 

2

NCERA101

Kanwar

IA

 

4

NCERA103

Beyrouty

IN

 

5

NCERA148

Hogg

WI

 

4

NCERA184

Lamkey

IA

 

7

NCERA194

Thompson

IN

 

5

NCERA207

Kanwar

IA

 

N/A

NCR193

Payne

MO

not asked for impact yet - awaiting MRC decision

Action Requested: None, for information only.  AAs with missing impact statements should have their committees submit ASAP.  Station directors: Please encourage any AAs listed above to help their committees. 

Action Taken: The NCRA Office will post the new requirement of impact statements at midterm review in the next NCRA Newsletter.  It will also be added to committee instructions sent prior to midterm review. 


Item 6.0: Multistate Research Committee Report
Presenter: Forrest Chumley

Item

Proj Type

Current Proj #
(Temp #)

Title

MRC Recommendation

NCRA Recommendation

6.1

Remaining New Proposals

6.1.1  

NC218 (NC_temp218)

Characterizing Active Pools of Soil Organic Matter That Control Soil N Availability In Maize-Based Cropping Systems

Defer approval with minor revisions by June 1.  No NCRA review in July pending revisions made by June 1. The NC_temp218 committee developed an extensive proposal to assess nitrogen mineralization and refine rates for optimum use by crops.  This is a continuation of NC218 and is very timely research, given the increasing costs of inorganic nitrogen.  The objectives are clearly identified and the methodology to attain these research objectives is very detailed.  Outputs of this committee also are clearly identified and measurable.  The MRC requests more detail on outreach programs, technology transfer, and evidence of external funding.  The MRC committee also encourages NC_Temp218 to explore opportunities to hold joint meetings with NCERA59.

If approved will obtain new NC-type number according to NCRA research portfolio chronological numbering.

Submitted by June 1.  Project approved as NC1032. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.2  

NC1001 (NC_temp1001)

Influence of food environments on food patterns and population health.

Defer approval with minor revisions by June 1.  No NCRA review in July pending revisions made by June 1. Proposal examines the ‘Structure of Place’: how the social infrastructure and resources influence food selections (and availability) in communities.  The problem is well defined and the goals are broad, however they are a bit nebulous.  Many of the goals like ‘increase visibility’ or ‘gauge impact’ need to be followed with tangible quantitative plans for how to do so.   In some cases there is no means to gauge success.  Timelines and benchmarks of success need to be articulated.  Consider a simpler more straightforward “title” – the meaning of ‘food environment’?  Get some wording like ‘factors influencing food choices’.  Current title likely uses disciplinary jargon that will not be intuitively obvious to scientific community in general.  Revised proposal should incorporate the expertise of environmental scientists, and make use of the expertise of economists in developing the guidelines.

If approved will obtain new NC-type number according to NCRA research portfolio chronological numbering.

Submitted by June 1.  Project approved as NC1033. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.3

NC1003 (NC_temp1003)

Impact Analyses and Decision Strategies for Agricultural Research

Defer approval with minor revisions by June 1.  No NCRA review in July pending revisions made by June 1.  This is a well-respected group of scientists and without doubt have many impacts that can be reported.  However, the impacts described in the proposal are system impact vs. project impact.  The MRC recommends that the committee carefully evaluate how their project impacts the system.  The midterm review suggested that there be increased involvement with stakeholders.  The current proposal describes an annual conference designed to inform and involve experiment station directors.  This is an excellent step and the MRC encourages it.  Multistate proposals require a CRIS search for other relevant projects and to reduce or eliminate duplication.  This requirement was brought to the committee’s attendance at midterm and it as yet has not been accomplished.  The MRC again requests that the committee conduct a CRIS search to document the uniqueness of this project and any potential interactions with other projects before proceeding.  The proposal lists participants for each objective.  As presented the reader cannot determine the role and contribution for each participant.  The committee should examine the composition of the group and a priori suggest roles and responsibilities.

If approved will obtain new NC-type number according to NCRA research portfolio chronological numbering.

Submitted by June 1.  Project approved as NC1034. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.4

NCCC

NCCC22 (NCCC_temp22)

Small Fruit and Viticulture Research

Defer approval with major revisions by June 1.  MRC will review in July.  A significant part of this project is the development and sharing of germplasm.  For obvious reasons this can have a significant impact on the industry.  This is an excellent activity and should be encouraged.  The project has a large number of participants which is also beneficial however; the proposal does not reflect a real synergy and interaction among these participants.  The MRC recommends that the committee examine how they can move toward appropriate and productive interactions and how these interactions can be documented through the committee and other venues.  The objectives for this committee focus on general areas of activity but are not specific; consequently they do not lead to identifiable products and potential impacts.  The MRC recommends that the objectives be reformulated to identify specific products that lead to quantifiable impacts for the science and industry.  The mission-orientation of this proposal is appropriate and the MRC commends the committee.  The MRC is confident that the mission orientation is supported by solid science but the proposal does not present the activity in this light.  Along with the recommendation of formulating more specific objectives the MRC recommends that science-based objectives be fully incorporated into the proposal such that it is clear what experiments, developments, and results will arise and be shared as a result of the committee’s activities; there is a need for scientific rigor.  Part of the process of incorporating scientific rigor is having a solid knowledge of the literature and how it provides the basis to move forward.  The committee needs to present relevant and substantive examples of how future work will proceed from previous work based on peer-reviewed literature.  The midterm review emphasized these same concerns “the MRC would like to see more focus on key topics such as stress physiology and breeding” and the MRC reiterates that addressing these concerns are essential to the continued support for this committee. 

Submitted major revision by June 1. 

MRC found the revised proposal adequately addressed the most important concerns.  The revised objectives show more focus.  By mid-term review, the MRC hopes to see documentation of progress and evidence of collaboration among committee members.  The health objective needs strengthening, with more information on the plan of attack and identification of who is going to do the work.  NCRA approved the proposal as revised. The project retains its number, NCCC22.

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.5

NCCC65 (NCCC_temp65)

Social Change in the Marketplace: Producers, Retailers and Consumers

Defer approval with minor revisions by June 1.  No NCRA review in July pending revisions made by June 1. This proposal addresses narrowly defined and targeted (but therefore, achievable) goals to revamp market for small retailers, and encourage them to reposition themselves in a new approach to the marketplace.  The project attempts to define niche markets for retailers that might otherwise be lost in the Walmart’s shadow.  Discrete and specific subobjectives, specific and reasonably-scaled goals, which makes progress more obvious.   A clear recommendation and clear hypothesis:  to make retailers embrace niche markets for example.  Some weakness in conveying benchmarks of success, and tech transfer to people.  Investigators have garnered good external support, and some of these projects do overlap or dovetail with the subject of this NCCC project.  Members of the project have interacted, including participation in workshops related to the project, and they plan a repeat in a central location.  Suggest a specific change in the title:  “Indicators of Social Change in the Marketplace:  Producers, Retailers, and Consumers”  Need to put a title on this project that really indicates the content of the proposal, and the objectives that are being addressed.

Upon approval, project will retain current number, NCCC65.

Submitted by June 1 and approved by MRC. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.6 NCERA

NCERA89 (NCERA_temp89)

Swine Production Management to Enhance Animal Welfare

Defer approval with major revisions by June 1.  MRC will review in July.  This proposal presents a very general discussion of how the committee will in general cooperate and share information.  It is however, not possible to fully evaluate the potential impacts of the work for several reasons.  1) The objective is not specific enough to evaluate and more importantly to tie to results and procedures.  The MRC recommends a careful evaluation of a set of objectives that are specific, quantifiable, and present a clear picture of potential results and impacts.  2) Because the objectives are very general they do not naturally lead to clear procedures.  Note that the procedures and activities section of the proposal is more focused on what was done vs. what will be done and how it will be done; this is a proposal not an annual report.  3) It’s clear that the work of this group is reaching some producers as evidenced by the successful Ventilation Workshop with over 1,000 participants  The committee needs to build on this success and clearly and specifically describe plans for new activities and approaches.  4) Science progresses based on what has been done and the link to what has been done is peer-reviewed literature.  The literature section of this proposal is limited and a more extensive search and analysis is needed.  5) The midterm review suggested that the committee consider combining their activities with other multistate projects.  The MRC requires that the committee address this recommendation or provide substantive justification for this project to exist as a unique entity.  6) The title of the project includes animal welfare.  The MRC recognizes the importance of this issue and encourages it’s incorporation into this or other projects.  As presented, the proposal contains no substantive details regarding how animal welfare will be addressed and what group of scientists and educators will address the issue.

Submitted major revision by June 1. 

The revised proposal took steps in the right direction, providing more detailed information on the science plan.  The proposal would still benefit from additional information on how the work will be performed and evaluated.  At mid-term, the MRC will be looking for documentation of progress and evidence of collaborative interactions among the participants.  MRC recommended approval, and the NCRA voted to accept the proposal as revised. The project retains its number, NCERA89.

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.7  

NCERA180 (NCERA_temp180)

Site-Specific Management

Defer approval with minor revisions by June 1.  No NCRA review in July pending revisions made by June 1. As currently written, the proposal is sketchy and lacks a clear plan for conducting or learning from research in the area of site-specific management. By June 1, the MRC wants to see evidence that the committee is aiming higher in setting its goals and objectives and making a stronger effort to document its impacts on adoption of this technology. As an integrated education/extension and research activity, this NCERA committee needs to focus on identifying and bridging the gaps in research and technology transfer that have limited adoption of site-specific management across our region. As the NCAC reviewer pointed out, the committee needs to add expertise in GIS, remote sensing and soil science. The committee needs to better document the impacts it has had or hopes to have including: joint publications or grant awards; rates or specific examples of adoption and benefits to growers; the "why and how" guidance it has provided or will provide to the industry. In general the proposal needs to show more "oomph," and we think the committee members will be capable of doing just that.  Modify the title to reflect the "specific" activity (ie. agriculture, crops, etc.). 

Upon approval, project will retain current number, NCERA180.

Submitted by June 1 and approved by MRC. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.8  

NCERA192 (NCERA_temp192)

North Central Regional Turfgrass Research and Outreach

Defer approval with minor revisions by June 1.  No NCRA review in July pending revisions made by June 1.  The NCERA192 committee carries out activities in turfgrass research and outreach.  This committee clearly is a collaborative relationship, with clear objectives.  The MRC evaluation indicated that this committee needs to focus on integrating all aspects of research, education, and extension on turfgrass.  This is an extremely popular academic major in all areas of the country and a focused multistate project would play a pivotal role in this arena.  The MRC also encourages this committee to expand interactions/linkages with industry and other universities.  It is clear to the MRC that the committee needs to better articulate planned extension and academic activities. 

Upon approval, project will retain current number, NCERA192.

Submitted by June 1 and approved by MRC. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.9

 

NCERA200 (NCERA_temp200)

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

Defer approval with minor revisions by June 1.  No NCRA review in July pending revisions made by June 1. This project clearly tackles issues of immense importance to the North Central Region, as the changing impacts of viral outbreaks in soy and the risks need continual assessment and proactive, rather than reactive, strategies.  This project has resulted in redesigned diagnostics procedures, which are measurably more efficacious than previous alternatives available to farmers or IPM professionals (although it is not documented ‘how much’ better the new model is than previous models).  The extent of the problem (existent and potential risk) is well documented and compelling, new viral pests continue to move into the region and pose threats that as yet haven’t been gauged well.  This team is a good example of bringing together diverse scientific disciplines towards specific project objectives.  The composition of this team is novel and it isn’t likely that these individuals would have partnered together without the impetus of the NC project.  (In fact, this formation of this team approach is mentioned as one of the success benchmarks of success for the project).  Team consistently meets same time/same place and has attracted industry and ARS participants to their meetings.   Other measurable parameters include identification of soybean viruses in the region, identification of resistant lines, quantification of how great are the losses in crop yield due to viral infection, and more basic science appreciation of the viral ecology, which must be appreciated in order to design effective control measures.  Dissemination of results to stakeholders has been fairly high priority and adopted by extension professionals.  This project dovetails with NCR137 and there is significant interplay between these projects (both focus on soy disease problems).  The team has behaved as good scientists, conducting productive meetings and publishing, but the text of this proposal is highly technical using jargon that was not completely understandable to someone not in the field, and the 'real world impact' needed to be clearly articulated.  Recommend to approve contingent on a concerted effort to organize the proposal and clearly delineate detailed experimental approaches with timelines and projected short term goals across the timelines and specific outcomes.  In addition, the team is missing a virus vector ecologist, who could greatly contribute to the proposal.  Such a team member should be recruited and folded into the project prior to the next review.

Upon approval, project will retain current project number, NCERA200. 

Submitted by June 1 and approved by MRC. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.10

NCR  

NCR13 (NCR_temp13)

Soil Testing and Plant Analysis

Defer approval with minor revisions by June 1.  No NCRA review in July pending revisions made by June 1. This is a long-standing committee that has been very productive.  They have a record of strong impacts and should continue.  The MRC does however, have several recommendations that the committee should consider.  1) The MRC recognizes that the committee has some name recognition because of its longevity however; the title of project probably understates the scope and intent.  The committee should consider the pros and cons of a new title.  Because the multistate system (through NIMSS and CRIS) is queried by a wide range of users (often legislators or their staff) this change may be desirable.  2)  The committee should consider increased involvement of the private sector and other labs in general.  For example, EPA would be a natural participant in this activity.  This will increase the visibility of this important activity and expand the potential base of support.

Upon approval, project will become NCERA13. 

Submitted by June 1 and approved by MRC. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.11  

NCR167 (NCR_temp167)

Corn Breeding Research

Defer approval to June 1.  No NCRA July review necessary if revisions are made by June 1.  The MRC sees continuing value of this area of research.  The committee strongly suggests that the objectives be revised to improve the focus of the project.  The current objectives are not attainable in a five year period.  This revision of the objectives must be completed by June 1, 2006.  The committee needs to submit minutes and update other documents to conform to reporting requirements.  The leadership of the committee also needs to better coordinate its activities with the AA.  The upcoming mid-term review will be a critical juncture for the future of this committee. 

Upon approval, project will become NCCC167. 

Submitted by June 1 and approved by MRC.  A new AA will be appointed. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.12  

NCR193 (NCR_temp193)

Plant health: managing insect pests and diseases of landscape plants

Disapproved.  Suggested that committee form NCDC (Development Committee) by June 1 to reorganize.  Requires two directors' approval. 

This project tackles objective of management of pests in a diversified landscape.  By definition, IPM in this setting is more complex than in a row crop setting, and thus the project is ambitious and has multiple components.  As a necessity, the project spans a larger geographic diversity, and multiple ecosystems.  However, this caveat has made the objectives quite diffuse and ill-defined.  It is recommended that the project reorganize objectives, narrow the focus and provide more definitive goals.  The project needs to be reconstructed with attention to the relevant literature; put the objectives of this particular project in context with the Plant Health Care work done in landscapes in recent years.  Very little in the way of substantive outcomes, vague references made without validation.  Successful outcomes are mentioned in the progress reports but not quantified, therefore impossible to verify.  The team does interface well together and their coordination of efforts is documented well; this falters at the point of describing the outcomes of the coordination, as neither the plan nor the results are quantitatively defined.  If this proposal (as the title implies) is a Management proposal, then the Management Plan needs to be clearly articulated, and the plan followed sequentially to achieve measurable goals.  At present, the outcomes such as joint publications, grants, and outreach publications can be gauged, but the other outcomes (such as the exchanges of information and outcomes of joint meetings) are nebulous.  Perhaps the team should determine discrete subprojects to devote attention to, and put energies into resolving those issues to the point of tangible outcomes.  Project should become a Development Committee and work towards a rewrite. 

Committee submitted justification for 1-yr project extension.  The MRC approved a 1-year extension for this committee to rewrite their proposal. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.13 NCDC

NCDC202 (NCDC_temp202)

Response to Emerging Threat: Soybean Rust

Defer approval.  Project should make revisions by June 1.  MRC/NCRA will review the revisions in July.  The MRC agrees that continuing research and communications around the threat of soybean rust is a high priority.  The current proposal is in need of editing and the committee should consider consolidating and focusing the objectives.  Ten objectives seem excessive for a project of this type. 

Upon approval, project will become an NCERA project (number to be determined). 

Submitted major revision by June 1. 

The revised proposal reflects a substantial effort to focus the activity, with the number of objectives being narrowed from 10 to 4.  MRC encourages the committee to emphasize research objectives during the early stages, but recognizes the need for conducting an integrated project.  Objective 4 will be very important to providing useful information to stakeholders.  MRC recommended approval, and NCRA voted in favor of accepting the revised proposal. The project will become NCERA208. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.14  

NCDC206 (NCDC_temp206)

Persistence of Heterodera Glycines and Other Regionally Important Nematodes

Defer approval to June 1.  Project will be approved pending revisions made by this date and will not need to undergo NCRA review in July.  This project addresses development of a management plan for soil nematode infestations in the NCR.  This is a research area that is extremely important, because there are so few options for farmers that are faced with infestation.  The urgency of the problem is well defined and the team is well positioned to make a dent in the problem.  There are team members who invest time in researching fundamental biology and dynamics of the nematode, using the rationale that unless this is well-understood, the NCR will be highly vulnerable to infestations of species that have yet to reach our region.  So, instead of presenting a specific proposal to address a specific problem, this team plans for in depth study of invasive species dynamics.  A diverse team is needed to have the breadth of expertise on multiple fronts to address this problem, but goals need to be streamlined to show progress.  Team needs to gauge time course benchmarks of success, and make it clear how the results will be conveyed to other scientists and to the users.  The proposal was not approved previously (based in part on poor team interaction), and the team has risen to the challenge and has greatly improved the plan, and pledged full participation.  The administrative review states that serious improvements have been accomplished and the project is now on track.  The revised proposal is substantially improved and there is a clear structure.  The team will be conducting the difficult (but requisite) evaluations of interactions between pests (like SCN and aphids) using growth chambers followed by mini-field plots, which is a fair approach.  Revised proposal still has lofty multiple goals, which may be well justified, but it is all the more important then to give a clear indication of timeline and timecourse gauges of success.  In addition, once the optimal management strategies have been determined, it is not clear how the team plans to make the information widely available to the growers/stakeholders, other than Regional SCN Test Reports.  The team has suggested development of coordinated data bases for farmer/public use.  This could be an excellent tool – it isn’t clear what form this integrated database would take or how user friendly it could be.  One recommendation is that the team should engage collaboration with Extension in order to construct an effective integrated database that will be user friendly and truly useful.

Upon approval, project will become an NC-type project according to the NCRA research portfolio chronological order. 

Submitted by June 1 and approved by MRC. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.1.15

NCDC207 (NCDC_temp207)

Research and Education Support for Renewal of Agriculture of the Middle

Defer approval with major revisions by June 1.  MRC will review in July.  Wants to become NC-type project.  As noted by NCA-23 the objectives for this proposal are vague and as such difficult to evaluate.  It appears that a fair amount of thought went into framing the problem but specific activities do not follow.  The MRC recommends a careful evaluation of a set of objectives that are specific, quantifiable, and present a clear picture of potential results and impacts.  Because the objectives are general they do not naturally lead to clear procedures as evidenced by the use of “may include” in the Methods section.  The most significant concern relates to seemingly a priori conclusions.  The MRC recognizes the concern that many individuals, agencies, and organizations have for the “middle” however, programs and policy must directly follow science-based results and conclusions.  These results and conclusions must be a post ante result of objectively verifiable empirical evidence, experiments, and analyses that can be used by policy makers.  Focusing research on the social, economic, and environmental costs and benefits of the middle is valid as long as this is done from a truly objective position.  The MRC challenges the committee to position their work from this perspective.

Submitted major revision by June 1. 

MRC recognizes that the committee has significantly strengthened research and analysis objectives 1-4.  The results of this work will provide a solid foundation for understanding the public demand and other producer benefits that may derive from “ag of the middle” products.  However, the MRC strongly believes that objectives 5-6 should be deferred until the results from objectives 1-4 are known.  Otherwise, the system risks becoming politically engaged before the science foundation has been built.  It will be difficult to design educational modules before the scientific information is available to support the formulation of messages and a program to deliver them.  At this time, MRC recommends deletion of objectives 5-6 before approving the project.  NCRA voted to support this recommendation.  Final approval will await this revision.  If approved, the project will become NC1036.  If not removed, the project will not be approved. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.2

Other Funding Decisions

6.2.1

NC7

Conservation, Management, Enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources

NC7 has suggested an FY07 budget of $522,980 (accounting for a projected 1% rescission from FY06 funding).  The MRC recommends approval of this request.  Approve MRC recommendation.
6.2.2  

NC1100

Rural Development, Work and Poverty in the North Central Region

NC1100 maintains its contract with the NCRA (which expires in 2007) for funding of $24,000 per year.  The MRC concurs with this amount and also requests that their future budget proposals, if they wish to create a new contract with the NCRA, align with NC1100's project term.  Approve MRC recommendation.
6.3 NCDC Requests
6.3.1

NCR202 (NCR_temp202)

A Regional Effort to Maintain the Health and Survival of the Honey Bee, the Most Important Pollinator

Disapproved in March 2006.  MRC commends the committee for proposing a regional effort aimed at promoting the health and survival of the honey bee, a crucially important agricultural pollinator across our region. However, we find that the current proposal is extremely sketchy, lacks scope and rigor, and it appears unlikely that the proposed activity would make an impact. We recommend that the current proposal be rejected. We encourage the proposers to reorganize as a development committee and work on writing a more rigorous proposal for submission in December. The new project could be a research committee or an information exchange group, and it should aim for nationwide participation. The membership should be more diverse, and it should include at least one insect pathologist. The objectives should be expanded significantly. Research objectives must include a full discussion of methods, procedures, interpretation of results, and expected outcomes and impacts. The needs in this area are great, and the committee can expect strong support from the SAES Directors if the new proposal matches the needs.

Project should submit a request to become an NCDC project for two years to refocus. Project has not yet submitted this paperwork. 
N/A
6.3.2 N/A BioEnergy Committee Michigan and Illinois submitted support letters for this project. 

The MRC supports this request.  Daryl Lund will serve as AA to get the committee started.  The MRC hopes the group can submit a new proposal by December 1 to become an NC-type project that begins September 2007. Any names of potential project leaders should be submitted to Daryl Lund.  Project number will be NCDC209. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.4 Other MRC Items
6.4.1 2-year extension of NC1020 (Beef Cattle Grazing Systems that Improve Production and Profitability While Minimizing Risk and Environmental Impacts (NC225)) and NC1021 (Nitrogen Cycling, Loading, and Use Efficiency in Forage-Based Livestock Production Systems (NCT-196 and NC-189)) In 2004, the MRC recommended that these projects only be approved for three years (2004-2007) due to their similarity in topics.  During that three-year period, the MRC suggested that the two groups meet jointly to discuss their similarity and if possible, form one committee.  The committee have since met this request and came to the conclusion that the committees cover different aspects of the research and therefore should remain separate committees.  The two groups have submitted a joint justification for extending the two projects for their entire five-year term.  This justification has been sent to the NCACs for review and based on that feedback, will be reported on by the MRC during this meeting. 

The MRC supports this request. 

Approve MRC recommendation.
6.4.2 Suggestions for New NRSPs

The NRSP Review Committee held a teleconference May 26 to discuss the regional association's budget recommendations.  The budget recommendations to be brought forth during the ESS meeting are below.  Lee Sommers, NRSP RC Chair, reported that, with the reductions in off-the-top funding for the established NRSPs over the past three years, there has been a release of off-the-top funding of approximately $200,000 that could be used to start new NRSPs.  This review process was established as a means to sunset off-the-top funding for some of the NRSPs and create a pool of funds that could be used to initiate one or more new NRSPs to address emerging issues. The NRSP RC discussed whether the NRSPs would be included in the CSREES proposed competitive process for Hatch and MRF projects. They also discussed possible new NRSP projects such as an NRSP4-like project on transgenic crops, a crop genome project similar to NRSP8, a project related to ESCOP communication/marketing activities and a program similar to NRSP8 for plants. 

Action Requested: It was suggested that the possible NRSP project topics be a discussion item at the regional association summer meetings and also at the ESCOP annual fall meeting.
 

Project

Request

Authorized

Request

Authorized

Request

Authorized

Request

Action Needed

 

FY 2004

FY 2004

FY 2005

FY 2005

FY 2006

FY 2006

FY 2007

 

NRSP-1

218,915

218,915

269,707

269,707

306,916

306,916

315,524

1 yr budget recommendation

NRSP-3

116,145

112,762

115,390

96,000

84,000

84,000

72,000

1 yr budget recommendation

NRSP-4

481,182

481,182

300,000

481,182

481,172

481,182

481,182

1 yr budget recommendation

NRSP-5

296,000

247,786

247,786

247,786

146,000

146,000

96,000

1 yr budget recommendation

NRSP-6

164,362

161,575

165,829

161,575

151,900

150,000

110,000

1 yr budget recommendation

NRSP-8

400,000

379,164

400,000

400,000

400,000

400,000

400,000

1 yr budget recommendation

 

 



 

The NCRA supports the following suggestions and asks that Forrest Chumley (incoming NCRA chair and current MRC chair) work with Marshall Martin (NCRA NRSP RC rep) to send this information to the NRSP RC.  The NCRA Office will mention in its next newsletter that all NCRA committees should forward ideas regarding new NRSP ideas to its office. 

  • Communication and Marketing

  • Bioinformatics

  • BioEnergy and BioProducts

  • NRSP for new crops

6.4.3 Proposed MRF Form Changes to Outline Linkages 

Reason for updating the forms: Recently, the regional associations noticed that while we expected our multistate activities to have and report on internal and external linkages, the proposals, annual report forms, or review forms did not clearly ask them to do so.  There needs to be clarification in the SAES 422 (annual report from projects/committees/activities) so those engagements with stakeholders, peer groups, clientele and/or other multistate activities are reported.  Also the mid-term review forms ask about linkages. We propose the clarifications below to help guide preparation of annual reports (SAES 422) and proposal writing committees and project coordinators to meet regional association expectations.   

The NCRA MRC supports the changes below.

----------------- 

Current SAES-422 Accomplishments Section:
This section focuses on intended outcomes and potential impacts. This information should be built around the activity's milestones, as they were identified in the original proposal. The report should also reflect on the items that stakeholders want to know, or want to see.

Definition of "Accomplishments": This section focuses on intended outcomes and potential impacts. This information should be built around the activity's milestones, as they were identified in the original proposal. The report should also reflect on the items that stakeholders want to know, or want to see. Also, describe plans for the coming year in no more than one or two short paragraphs.
Source: North Central Supplemental Guidelines

Current SAES-422 Impacts Section:
List any grants, contracts, and/or other resources that were obtained by one or more project members that were a result of, at least in part, the project's activities. Include the recipients, funding source, amount awarded, and term. 

Proposed Update to the SAES-422 Accomplishment Section (no change proposed to the Impact Section):
This section focuses on intended outcomes and potential impacts. This information should be built around the activity's milestones, as they were identified in the original proposal.  Please indicate significant evidence of linkages both internal to the project/committee and to external peer groups, stakeholders, clientele, and other multistate activities. The report should reflect on the items that stakeholders want to know, or want to see.

Definition of "Accomplishments": This section focuses on intended outcomes and potential impacts. This information should be built around the activity's milestones, as they were identified in the original proposal. The report should also reflect on the items that stakeholders want to know, or want to see. Also, describe plans for the coming year in no more than one or two short paragraphs.
Source: North Central Supplemental Guidelines

-----------------

Current Midterm Review Form Section (Appendix I):
Linkages: Provide evidence of the interdependence among project participants and with other projects/agencies. How well is the technical committee working together. Document any linkages. Rate this project on linkages. 

Proposed Midterm Review Form Section (Appendix I):
Linkages:
Is there evidence of the interdependence among project participants and with other projects/agencies? Please list relevant examples. How well is the technical committee working together? Document any linkages. Is there evidence of delivering accomplishments to peer groups, stakeholders, clientele, and other multistate activities?  Rate this project on linkages. 

----------------- 

Current Midterm Review Form Section (Appendix K):
Coordination/Linkages: Provide evidence of the interaction among committee participants and with other projects/agencies. How well is the committee working together? Has the committee moved beyond individual activities and ideas to some collective, integrated activity? Provide evidence of synergy, collaborative output via joint publicity, specific coordinated activity, etc. Rate this project on linkages. 

Proposed Midterm Review Form Section (Appendix K):
Coordination/Linkages: Is there evidence of the interaction among committee participants and with other projects/agencies?  Please list relevant examples.  Is there evidence of delivering accomplishments to peer groups, stakeholders, clientele, and other multistate activities?   How well is the committee working together? Has the committee moved beyond a collection of individual activities and ideas to some collective, integrated activity? Provide evidence of synergy, collaborative output via joint publicity, specific coordinated activity, etc. Rate this project on linkages. 

-----------------

Current MRF and CC/ERA Proposals:
Currently, no linkage section exists in either Appendix A (MRF projects) or Appendix B (CC/ERA projects).  Up until earlier this year, the only place that mentioned linkages was in NIMSS where the participation section said “internal linkages” to list SAES participants and “external linkages” to list non-SAES participants.  The NIMSS programmers have now replaced this wording with “Land Grant Participating States/Institutions” and “Non Land Grant Participating States/Institutions.” 

Proposed Additional Sentence to Outreach/Education of Plan MRF and CC/ERA Proposals:
Outreach Plan (Appendix A): Briefly 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, non- refereed but peer reviewed publications, workshops, producer field days, etc.).  If applicable, include descriptions concerning equality for service, ease of access to services/information, and any focus on under-served and/or under represented communities/consumers that may benefit from this proposed activity and what the plans are for disseminating information to these and other groups. Identify opportunities for the project/activity to interact with and/or deliver value to peer groups, stakeholders, clientele, and other multistate activities.

Educational Plan (Appendix B): If applicable, include descriptions concerning equality for service, ease of access to services/information, and any focus on under-served and/or under represented communities/consumers that may benefit from this proposed activity and what the plans are for disseminating information to these and other groups. Identify opportunities for the project/activity to interact with and/or deliver value to peer groups, stakeholders, clientele, and other multistate activities.

Approve MRC recommendation.

Item 7.0: ESCOP Reports

Item 7.1: Science and Technology Committee
Presenter: Steve Pueppke and Forrest Chumley

Background: The ESCOP Sci/Tech Committee met on April 24-25, 2006 (Minutes from the meeting are posted online at: http://www.cals.ncsu.edu:8050/escop/committee/Science%20&%20Tech%20Committee%20Minutes,%204-24-2-5.htm).  

USDA/ARS (Terry Nelson) and CSREES (Dan Schmoldt) provided agency updates.  Noteworthy items included reports of significant budget cuts at ARS and setting a high priority on programs affecting bioenergy and obesity for FY2007.  Specific operating guidelines are being developed for ARS scientists working in University settings. CSREES called attention to the designation of at least one and generally two NPL liaisons to each state as of January 2006.  The NPL Liaisons in each state will do the CSREES POW reviews of the State Plans of work in those states where they are the identified liaison.  They are thus logically prohibited from helping  develop the POW’s  but can play a role of providing information about the requirements and the process.  Most of the discussion, though, centered on subcommittee reports. 

Lou Swanson (Colorado State) gave the Social Science Subcommittee Report.  This subcommittee has been and continues to be very active.  They did express concerns at the limited funding opportunities for social sciences research within the NRI.  These concerns are shared by the general membership of the STC.  

Charles Boyer (Oregon State) presented a recommendation that the Genomics/Genetics Subcommittee not be reestablished.  This subcommittee had been very active for a number of years, but had recently completed all of its assignments.  The general STC membership agreed with this recommendation. 

Eric Young led a discussion on the Science Roadmap and the need to update it with an addendum.  There was considerable discussion about the roadmap, priorities in general, and how these could best be presented to the Land Grant community.  It was concluded that a brief web survey should be sent to the experiment station directors.  The survey is currently being prepared and will be made available to the directors later in the summer. The goal is provide useful input for FY08, with an impact on the number of programs, funding levels, length of grants, integration of extension objectives, and priority for social sciences.   

The Pest Management and Social Sciences Committees provided updates, and both are continuing to pursue key objectives.  The Genomics Sub-Committee has determined that it has completed its useful duties and should be disbanded. 

Work continues on updating and communicating the Science Roadmap.  Materials will be available to distribute at the Joint COPs meeting, possibly including a brochure for public distribution.

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None

 

Item 7.2: Communication and Marketing Committee
Presenter: Wendy Wintersteen and Bill Ravlin

Background:

Committee Purpose

The committee is charged to provide "guidance in the assessment of impacts resulting from SAES/ARD system; developing marketing strategies/initiatives, when appropriate; and leading ESCOP's advocacy effort." The committee therefore is not expected to undertake activities such as the actual development of a strategic plan, but can only make recommendations to the ESCOP Executive Committee.

Past activities include:

Current Action Items

a) Revisit our previous recommendations for the Ag. Exhibit should be thematic, demonstrate level of contributions from federal, state and others, and conduct a cost-benefit analysis. Suggest "Protecting Our Homeland" as the theme for next year's Ag Exhibit.

b) Endorse a plan to develop a communication and marketing strategic plan. Develop a pre-proposal with the resource requirements (budget). The purpose is to obtain the leadership's support and eventually to commit financial resources to develop the strategic plan. A suggestion was made to organize the pre-proposal in three sections: outreach, media relations and partnerships. State up-front the top 3 audiences, issues and tools or ways to get there. Capitalize on the strengths of the system: unbiased third party objectivity, perceived credibility, legacy, state representation, relevancy, intimate knowledge of local and global impacts, synergy.

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None

 

Item 7.3: Budget and Legislative Committee Committee
Presenter: Steve Slack and Daryl Lund

Background:

(Refer to Handout)

FY 07 Budget

The House has completed action on the Ag Appropriations Bill. Of the 20 lines in the BAC priorities list that fund our programs of interest in CSREES, 18 saw increases. Significant dollar increases occurred for Hatch $6.3M; Smith-Lever $8.4M; and NRI $8M. Total increases in CSREES for the BAC priorities are about $28.4M. Insular Affairs and Hispanic serving institutions saw some much needed increases.

The Senate Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for FY 2007 was reported out of full committee on June 22, 2006. The bill will be heard on the Senate floor at the end of June. The subcommittee allocation is approximately $388 million above House allocation.  The budget action is posted on the following website: http://www.nasulgc-bac.com/

FY2007 will more than likely not be finalized until post election.  With the Senate adding $4 billion for Ag related disaster funding last week it complicates things greatly and increases the chance that Agricultural Appropriations will be enacted post election, both for budgetary as well as political concerns. 

***This is a follow up to information provided below on Senate Committee action on the FY 2007 appropriation for CSREES.
 
Included on pages 18 and 19 of Senate Report 109-266, in the section for the Office of the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, is the following language:
 
“Special Research, Education, and Extension Activities. --The Committee is aware of the need for special research, education, and extension activities which are made available on a discretionary basis under 7 U.S.C 450i(c) and similar authorities.  These grants are necessary in order to conduct research to facilitate or expand promising breakthroughs in areas of food and agricultural sciences and to ensure that these activities are further assimilated into the food, agriculture, and rural sectors through higher education and extension programs.  The Committee also believes that research, education, and extension activity funds made available on a discretionary basis should be sustained by additional funding from competitively-based or private ongoing sources.
 
The Committee expects that specially awarded grants should be used to meet specific research, education, and extension objectives rather that primarily to supplement other funding sources on an indefinite basis,  The Committee expects that prior to the receipt of an award under 7 U.S.C. 450i(c), or grants made under the Research and Education or Extension Service Federal Administration headings of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, the grantee must  provide a report to the Committee that describes the specific objectives for which these funds will be used, methodologies to measure performance and determine when the objectives will be met, and the expected date of completion for the stated objective.  If the report fails to identify a specific date for project completion, the Committee shall assume the objectives will be complete by the end of fiscal year 2007.
 
The Committee has, in the past, continued funding special research grants [SRGs], in excess of the 3-year time period contemplated in the authorizing statute (7 U.S.C 450i(c)).  The Committee is concerned that this has lead to stagnation in research.   Additionally, the Committee believes that without regular turnover of discretionary research, the ability to facilitate or expand promising breakthroughs in areas of the food and agricultural sciences of importance to the United States is compromised.  Therefore, the Committee beginning in fiscal year 2008, will no longer fund SRGs for more than 3 years.”

FY 08 Budget

The ESS priorities for FY 08 budget has been forwarded to the BAC and are posted on the ESCOP web site.  The BAC will begin discussion on FY 08 system priorities at its meeting in Portland in late July.

FY 09 Budget

ESS will have a breakout session at the SAES/ARD workshop to review, modify and establish FY 09 budget priorities.

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None


Item 8.0: Hatch Review Committee
Presenter: Steve Slack and Tom Payne

Background:

Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2006
From: Colin Kaltenbach

Directors, 

As everyone knows, the  President's FY 07 budget proposed to move Hatch funded multi-state projects from a formula driven process to a competitive based system.  While it seems quite obvious that Congress will reject the President's recommendation,  at least for the FY 07 budget,  CSREES was required to develop a process to implement this program in the unlikely event that it might be approved by Congress. 

CSREES invited ESCOP to participate in the development of the allocation program and Chairman Parks appointed a 15 member task force to work on this.  There was a 6 member executive committee of the task force that met on a regular basis with a similar sized group from CSREES.  Attached you will find the fruits of this labor which has been approved by the 15 member group. 

It may not contain all of the provisions that individuals or even the entire SAES system might like to see in such documents but it is the feeling of the group that with the legal constraints of CSREES we have put together a program that we can at least initially live with.  Even though it is very doubtful that the FY 07 budget will have a competitive grants aspect to the Hatch funds you are probably all aware of some of the current recommendations by the CREATE 21 group that includes a competitive program for "new" Hatch dollars.  The attached may well be the basis for allocation of such monies should such an appropriation actually occur. 

Meanwhile, CSREES plans to put these documents up on their web site by COB Tuesday, June 13 for comment.  The documents will remain there for comment until such time as Congress determines that there will be a competitive Multi-State program.

The essence of the proposed program is provided in the "Program Framework" document.  You might also wish to review page 10 of the accompanying RFA draft which covers the actual allocation of dollars.  Please let us know if you have serious issues with these documents by the close of business tomorrow (June 12).  Otherwise you are encouraged to comment to CSREES via their web-site if you are so disposed.

The efforts of the ESCOP working group are acknowledged and very much appreciated. 

***See Attachment 1 (Framework) and Attachment 2 (RFA Final Version)

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None


Item 9.0: NIAS Report
Presenter: Dave Benfield

Background:

National Institute for Agricultural Security
Spring 2006 Quarterly Update
Dr. Terry L. Nipp, Executive Director

NIAS Collaborates in Developing FBI / InfraGard “Track” on Food & Agriculture Terrorism

Over the past year, the FBI has taken an increasingly lead role in addressing agrosecurity in the context of counterterrorism.  The FBI is developing activities in the food sector in part through InfraGard

InfraGard is an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States. InfraGard Chapters are geographically linked with FBI Field Office territories. Each InfraGard Chapter has an FBI Special Agent Coordinator assigned to it, and the FBI Coordinator works closely with Supervisory Special Agent Program Managers at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.     

On August 22-24, 2006, InfraGard will be having its 2006 conference; a component or “track” in the conference will be dedicated to Food and Agriculture Terrorism.  NIAS is one of the “track” conveners of this conference, working in conjunction with the DHS National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), the DHS National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Diseases (NCFAZD), and the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN).  Dr. Nipp has participated in the discussions about the development of the agenda and Dr. D.C. Coston and Dr. Nipp have been asked to speak during this event.  The current draft agenda for this conference is attached. 

The primary audience for this conference will be the members of InfraGard: members of the public, the private sector, local agencies, and academia that are affiliated with the FBI through this organization.  Because the FBI is working with InfraGard as a means to address agriculture and food system needs at a regional and local level, NIAS has been investigating how Experiment Stations or Agricultural Colleges may become or designate a member of InfraGard in their state.  A brief report on the process for attending this Conference and/or establishing representation in InfraGard in your area is being developed and distributed by NIAS.    

In addition to the InfraGard Conference, the FBI will be hosting its 2006 International Conference on Agroterrorism on September 25th - 29th, 2006 in Kansas City, Missouri.   Information about this conference is available at http://www.fbi-isa.org/index.htm.

National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity

Dr. Nipp attended the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) meeting on March 30th.  The discussions focused on criteria for identifying dual use research, a code of conduct for life scientists, principles and tools for the responsible communication of dual use research results, international perspectives on the dual use dilemma, and biosecurity issues relevant to synthetic genomics.  Dr. Nipp spoke with members of the NSABB about the role of the agricultural research system in these activities.  The next meeting of the NSABB, which will occur July 13, 2006.

National Roundtable on Animal Disposal in Anticipation of BSE Feed Rule Changes

NIAS has been invited to participate in an invitation-only Roundtable on Animal Disposal, which will be held July 6-7, 2006.  The purpose of the Roundtable is to review the FDA proposed BSE feed rule impact on animal disposal and develop recommendations from the Animal Agriculture Coalition (AAC) to highlight issues of concern, including research, utilization, disposal and legal/regulatory authority. After presentations, four breakout groups will be formed to discuss the presentations, issues, and develop recommendations for consideration by the larger group and AAC.  

DHS Food and Agriculture Sector Coordinating Council

The Food and Agriculture Sector Coordinating Council (FASCC) is comprised of up to 21 representatives from the Food and Agriculture sector.  The self-governing body represents the Food and Agriculture sector to the government and makes policy and strategy recommendations to the Federal government.  The 21 representatives are elected by seven sub-councils. The FASCC meets quarterly with the Government Coordinating Council (GCC) and members regularly meet with one another in other capacities.  NIAS is an affiliated member of both the Plant Production and Animal Production Subcouncils.  During the most recent FASCC-GCC joint session, the industry and agency groups identified the following goals —

In addition, the private sector is participating in a variety of activities both independently and in partnership with the government.  Among these are Strategic Partnership Program Agroterrorism (SPPA) assessments in partnership with FDA and USDA, review of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) in partnership with DHS, and introduction of programs to increase disaster preparedness within industry.

At this meeting, it was decided to develop two “tabletop” exercises per year that will serve to “encompass the decision-making process, communication, and coordination of multiple agencies and the private sector.”  These simulations will be developed to strengthen the ability of the federal agencies to work with the food sector.  The next meeting of the FASCC-GCC will occur July 25, 2006.

International Symposium on Emerging Zoonoses

Dr. Nipp was asked to participate in a conference sponsored by the OIE and CDC.  The Symposium was held March 22-24, 2006, in conjunction with the 2006 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.  The purpose of the Symposium was to examine the interface between agricultural based diseases and human diseases, and to consider the implications for science and the public and animal health agencies.

Sandia Laboratories

Dr. Nipp was asked to meet with program leaders and scientists at Sandia Laboratories (at the California site) to discuss the agricultural research interests of NIAS and the Experiment Stations.  Among the topics covered were the possibilities for collaboration in the areas of applied genomics as applied to biosecurity interests, including the development of diagnostics tools and real-time analysis and response to unknown pathogens.   

RFID

Senator Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Baucus (D-ND) have initiated the formation of a Congressional Caucus on Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), a technology that has far reaching implications for security issues.  As reported in the previous NIAS Quarterly Update (Winter 2006), NIAS hosted a workshop to assess the science and technology implications of RFID on the food industry, which was held in conjunction with the February 2006 National Cattlemen and Beef Association industry meetings in Colorado.   Because of NIAS’s examination of this technology, NIAS has been asked to brief Senate offices on the implications of RFID for the food sector and to participate in the first meetings of the Caucus, which are scheduled to occur on July 13, 2006

_______________

Infragard 2006 National Conference

PRELIMINARY 2006 TRACKS
Food and Agriculture Terrorism Track

DRAFT

Track Conveners
National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD) - Frank Busta and Shaun Kennedy
National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense (FAZD) - Neville Clark
National Institute for Agricultural Security (NIAS) - D. C. Coston and
Terry Nipp
Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) - Becky Koch

Tuesday, August 22, 2006:

Session 1: 9:15 am – 10:30 am
Defining the Food and Agriculture System
Speakers: Dave Schmidt, president of the International Food Information Council (IFIC)
Susan Bond, Senior Vice President (IFIC)
Susan Borra , Executive Vice President (IFIC)

Welcome and track overview
Defining the Food and Agriculture System: Overview of the global food and agriculture sector, its role in the U.S. economy and the global interdependencies and interactions.

Session 2:
10:45 am – 12:00 pm
Safety, System Failure and System Attack
Speaker: Col. John Hoffman, senior research fellow, National Center for Food Protection and Defense

Characterizing the differences between accidental, natural and intentional disruptions and contamination in the food and agriculture sector, including on overview of the current system resiliency. Background on the designation of the food and agriculture sector as a critical infrastructure by HSDP-9 and the rationale.

Session 3:
2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Vulnerabilities in Food Animal Production
Speaker: Terry Nipp, National Institute for Agricultural Security

The potential implications of terrorists intentionally causing a foreign animal or zoonotic disease outbreak. An overview of the impact on the overall production system, the economic implications and cascading public health impacts.

Session 4:
4:00 pm – 5:15 pm
Vulnerabilities in the Food System
Speaker: Frank Busta, Director, National Center for Food Protection and Defense

The potential implications of terrorists contaminating the food system with biological, biological toxins and chemical toxins. A review of prior contamination events and the direct human health, public health and economic implications of a large scale intentional contamination.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Session 5: 9:15 am – 10:30 am
Vulnerability and Risk Assessment
Speakers: Donald A. Kautter, Jr., General Health Scientist, US Food and Drug Administration

Michelle Catlin, Acting Director, Scientific and Technical Support Staff, Office of Food Defense and Emergency Response

A review of the current tools being applied to understand and identify specific and sector wide vulnerabilities and risks in the food and agriculture sector. Specifically including Operational Risk Management (ORM) and CARVER+Shock (Criticality, Accessibility, Recuperability, Vulnerability, Effect and Recognizability).

Session 6: 10:45 am – 12:00 pm (Attendance at Session 5 required)
Vulnerability Assessment Workshop
Speaker: Frank Busta, Catlin, Hoffman,Kautter, Kennedy, Nipp et al.will be involved

Small group application of CARVER+Shock to specific food and agriculture facilities and systems to illustrate the utility of the tool and aid in understanding the nature of the food and agriculture sector vulnerabilities.

Session 7:
2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Interventions and Countermeasures
Speaker: Shaun P. Kennedy

Deputy Director. National Center for Food Protection and Defense, Associate Director, Center for Animal Health and Food Safety

Beyond “guns, gates and guards”, an examination of the currently available strategies for enhancing the defense of the food and agriculture system that go beyond traditional facility and personnel security measures and a review of the gaps and future needs.

Session 8: 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm
Financing Food and Agriculture Defense
Speaker: Tom Stinson, Professor, Applied Economics, University of Minnesota

Evaluating the economic justification for food and agriculture interventions and countermeasures from a private sector, public sector and consumer perspective.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Session 9: 9:15 am - 10:30 am
Risk Communication
Strategies for risk communication now, before a food and agriculture terrorism event, as well as those for use during and after a terrorism event, with a focus on how to raise awareness without fear and engendering appropriate responses in the case of an event and not panic. This will include examples of message maps for potential scenarios.

Session 10: 10:45 am - 12:00 pm
Partners For Defending the Food and Agriculture System
A review of the roles and capabilities of organizations that aid in defending the food and agriculture system through education, preparation and response, including EDEN, NIAS and other non-regulatory bodies.

______________

For more information, please refer to the following publications:

  1. FDA "Protecting the U.S. Food Supply:  What you need to know about registration of food facilities"  November 2003.  the booklet is also on-line at http://www.fda.gov/oc/bioterrorism/bioact.html

  2. FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition "Guidance for Industry: Questions and answers regarding establishment and maintenance of records (edition 3) Final guidance.  Copies are available from Office of Regulations and Policy, HFS-24, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA, 5100 Pain Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740.  http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/guidance.html. Published June 7, 2006

  3. American Feed Industry Association, "A guide for feed dealers to comply with the record-keeping/records access requirements of the FDA's bioterrorism act regulations.  Published May 2006.  www.afia.org

  4. FDA Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff. "Guidance for records access authority".  Published November 2005. Http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/default.htm

  5. FDA publication "Guidance to Industry, Food Producers, Processors and Transporters.  Food Security Preventive Measures Guidance"

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None


Item 9.0: Nominations
Presenter: Dave Benfield

NC Committees Title Past  New 
NC1020 Beef Cattle Grazing Systems that Improve Production and Profitability While Minimizing Risk and Environmental Impacts Don Boggs, KS John Baker, MI
NC1100 Rural Development, Work and Poverty in the North Central Region Wendy Wintersteen, IA Joe Colletti, IA
NC1167 N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Human Health and Disease Doreen Woodward, MI Gary Cunningham, NE 
NE167 Family Firms and Policy (becoming NCRA project) Kay Obendorf, NERA Donna Hess, SD
NCCC/ERA/NCR Committees
NCCC31 Ecophysiological Aspects of Forage Management Dale Gallenberg, SD Doug Buhler, MI
NCCC167 Corn Breeding Research Ken Grafton, ND Bill Tracy, WI
NCERA13 Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Dale Gallenberg, SD Ken Grafton, ND
NCERA103 Specialized Soil Amendments and Products, Growth Stimulants and Soil Fertility Management Programs Dave Mengel, KS Craig Beyrouty, IN
NCERA184 Management of Small Grain Diseases Randy Rowe, OH  Kendall Lamkey, IA
NCR202 A Regional Effort to Maintain the Health and Survival of the Honey Bee, the Most Important Pollinator (becoming NCDC) Rich Merritt, MI  Dave Hogg, WI
NCAC Committees
NCAC4 Horticultural Crops Gary Lemme, SD Randy Woodson, IN
NCAC5 Human Sciences Doreen Woodward, MI Robin Douthitt, WI
NCAC10 Forestry and Forest Products Susan Stafford, MN F. Abel Ponce de Leon, MN
NCAC16 Biological and Ag Engineering Wendy Wintersteen, IA Dick Straub, WI
NCAC23 Fisheries and Wildlife Susan Stafford, MN F. Abel Ponce de Leon, MN
NRSP Committees
NRSP1 Research Planning Using the Current Research Information System (CRIS) Doreen Woodward, MI  Bill Ravlin, OH
NCDC Committees
NCDCXXX Bioenergy Committe N/A Daryl Lund
Other NCRA Nominations
Unlimited Term ESCOP NIMSS Oversight Committee Doreen Woodward, MI Marshall Martin, IN
Unlimited Term ESCOP Bud/Leg Kevin Kephart, SD John Kirby, SD
3-year Term NCRA Resolution Committee Marshall Martin, IN Mary Ann Lila, IL
Unlimited Term ESCOP Sci/Tech Social Science Sub-Committee At Large N/A Sonny Ramaswamy, IN
Unlimited Term ESCOP Sci/Tech Social Science Sub-Committee Ag Communications N/A Chris Sigurdson, IN
3-year Term NCRA Executive Committee - Chair-elect Forrest Chumley, KS Ken Grafton, ND
3-year Term NCRA MRC Forrest Chumley, KS Marc Linit, MO
3-year Term NCRA MRC Ken Grafton, ND John Kirby, SD

Action Requested: Approve the nominations above. 

Action Taken: Approved all nominations above. 


Item 10.0: Resolutions - None.
Presenter: Marshall Martin


Item 11.0: Other Items
Presenter: All

Item 11.1: CSREES Report
Presenter: Mary McPhail Gray

Refer to handouts provided. 

NPL liaisons to the SAESs are working to get their names and information out to the Directors (some have already been contacted). 

Youth Development and Obesity and Health remain top priorities.  Mary asked that we work to bring these and other major issues to the forefront. 

Health and Food Stamp initiatives have had large amounts of funds allocated to them.  More to be reported on this at a later date. 

Letter from Colien Hefferan July 11, 2006:

TO:                  All Partners, All CSREES Staff

SUBJECT:       Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Agency Estimates 

The FY 2008 Agency Estimates for the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) have been submitted to the USDA-Office of Budget and Program Analysis (OBPA).  Over the next few weeks, Acting Associate Administrator Larry Miller and I will meet with OBPA staff and senior policy officials to discuss the CSREES FY 2008 request.  Once this review process is completed, USDA will submit the FY 2008 Department Request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in September. 

At this stage in the budget development process the FY 2008 Agency Estimates are "behind the curtain."  This is in keeping with the Executive Branch’s longstanding policy on the need to preserve the confidentiality of pre-decisional budget information as outlined in Section 22 of OMB Circular A-11, "Communications with Congress and the Public and Clearance Requirements."  Although I cannot share details of the FY 2008 Agency Estimates, I can provide information on the themes contained in our request. 

The FY 2008 Agency Estimates include budget initiatives that are responsive to the priorities of the Secretary, engage research, education, and extension activities that broadly advance knowledge, respond and are relevant to real problems, and allow for interagency collaboration.   Performance information is integrated into the budget in support of the President’s Management Agenda and is relevant to the Department’s and Agency’s strategic goals and objectives.  CSREES’ FY 2008 Agency Estimates emphasize the importance of competitive peer reviewed programs and support: 

Nationally, competitively awarded multi-state/institutional projects focused on program strengths that States/institutions identify and address through linking local issues to broad national goals.  

Base programs that will enhance and accelerate research into the emerging problems associated with nontraditional crops and animals; build on the capabilities of the 1890 Institutions to expand their multi-media technology for interactive distance learning and media production; and educate the public about production and use of biofuels and community resilience and disaster recovery activities. 

New efforts focused on long term agroecosystem (agricultural ecosystems) research that utilizes a system approach to study, design, manage, and optimize agroecosystems requiring long-term, interdisplinary research on biological and geochemical processes, energy transformation, and socioeconomic factors.  Other activities consist of interdisciplinary research on the economical, efficient, and environmentally sound conversion of lignocellulosic biomass from agriculture to biofuels; and research to identify rural and agricultural areas of the country with the highest probability for disaster events and strategies for preparation, and to identify factors that contribute to enhancing the resiliency of rural communities and families impacted by disaster.   

Integrated research, education, and extension activities to develop and disseminate new knowledge and technologies for the development of functional foods from agriculturally important materials; to produce valuations for ecosystem services and determine how these services can enhance management practices; and to improve methods for monitoring, surveying, and detecting newly introduced and invasive arthropods and nematodes.  Continued support for water quality, food safety, pest management, and organic transition activities.                                  

Strengthening of programs that support the Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative through post-harvest bio-defense research on Vulnerability Risk Analysis, research on assessment, outreach activities on communication and management, and integration into future workforce training.  Activities will identify, develop, and distribute agricultural homeland security educational materials.  Support also will be for the continued maintenance and enhancement of pest risk management tools for Asian soybean rust and other pathogens of legumes. 

Efforts to understand the impact of nutrition on human health with focused efforts on the area of obesity.  Program support will assist limited resource audiences in acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and changed behavior necessary for nutritionally sound diets.  In an effort to help reduce the problem of health disparities based on race, funds will be used to provide greater access to nutrition education by the 1890 Institutions and will provide new opportunities for educators in minority neighborhoods to reach at risk families and also provide support for reaching Native Alaskan and Pacific Islanders with culturally appropriate materials to improve the quality of their diets.  In addition to nutrition, emphasis will be placed on appropriate physical activity and enhanced community based support for food security.

Research, education, and extension programs that address the needs of the under-served through the 1890 Institutions as well as through other programs that provide support to enhance teaching programs in the food and agricultural sciences, and to build institutional research and extension capacity at minority-serving institutions.   

Support for educational activities to promote curricula to address emerging issues in the food and agricultural system for all students, including underrepresented and at-risk students.  Also educational activities that will incorporate substantive international activities into programs related to food systems agriculture and natural resources at U.S. land-grant colleges and universities, and will build on international competencies through partnerships with India. 

Support for programming that would raise substantially the base level of funding for insular areas, 1890, and 1862 land-grant universities, and initiate a new, multi-state competitively awarded program component that addresses strategic issues and priorities for sustaining the Nation’s forest and rangeland resources.   

Efforts to expand extension program development and delivery through the use of new technologies with focus on activities that include expanding the suite of content and delivery modes; developing a national workforce development plan; developing, testing, and executing new software applications; and developing a communications and marketing plan.

I want to thank you for your contributions to the development of the CSREES budget request for FY 2008.  In developing this request, we considered responses received from stakeholders and Congress on the FY 2007 budget request.  Discussions with staff and university partners have contributed not only to the development of this request but have provided information needed to meet the challenges of the future through cutting edge research, education, and extension programs.

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None. 


Item 12.0: Upcoming Meetings
Presenter: Marshall Martin

Background: The Joint COPS Meeting will take place July 25-27, 2006 in Portland, OR (refer to the ESCOP site for details http://www.cals.ncsu.edu:8050/escop/draftdoc.htm).  The ESS/NCRA Fall Meeting (refer to the website http://www.ag.unr.edu/naes/ess2006.htm) will take place September 24-27, 2006 at Harrahs, Lake Tahoe, NV.

The Western Executive Committee has been working closely with the NCRA Executive Committee in making arrangements for our joint meeting next March 2006 in Hawaii.  The tentative plans are to meet March 19-21, 2007 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.  Rooms will available at the resort 2 days before, during and 2 days after the meeting at approximately $150/night.  Presently, we are considering the following meeting schedules:

1/2 Day Field Trip
Evening 1 Welcome Reception
Day 1   Morning: individual associations meet; afternoon joint meeting
Day 2   Morning: individual association meetings, 11:00 depart for field trip
Day 3   Morning: individual association meetings, 1 hour joint wrap-up, Noon adjourn

Full day Field Trip
Evening 1 Welcome Reception
Day 1   Morning: individual associations meet; afternoon joint meeting
Day 2   Field trip
Day 3   Morning: individual association meetings, afternoon individual association meetings, 1 hour joint wrap-up, 4:00 pm adjourn

The Western directors have suggested the idea of having field trip to look a tropical agriculture including tropical flowers, etc. ending at Kahua Ranch for a dinner which owned by Monty Richards,  a CARET member.

The logistics of travel complicates a trip because possible sites are distant from each other.  This is part due to the various micro climates which lend themselves to different types of production and crops.   Flower production is located in the Hilo area, Kahua Ranch is in the cooler Kohala District in the northern part of the Big Island.  Mauna Loa Mac nut production is south of Hilo.

According to Mike Harrington, the half day field trip would likely be limited as to what we could see.  A full day trip that would include a variety of stops and possibly Volcanoes National Park.  In either case we would have 3 days of meetings in Hawaii.  Flights departing the islands back to the main land leave between 7pm and 9pm in the evening or in the early morning. 

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None