One Hundred Seventy-Fifth Meeting
March 28-29, 2006
Indianapolis, IN

Attendees: Mary Ann Lila (Illinois); Sonny Ramaswamy, Marshall Martin (Purdue); Joe Colletti, Cathy Good (Iowa); Doug Buhler (Michigan); Sarah Greening (Minnesota); Marc Linit (Missouri); Gary Cunningham (Nebraska); Ken Grafton (North Dakota); Steve Slack, Dave Benfield, Bill Ravlin, (Ohio); John Kirby, CY Wang (South Dakota); Dave Hogg, Richard Straub (Wisconsin); Steven Shafer (ARS); Mary McPhail Gray (CSREES); Daryl Lund, Nicole Nelson (NCRA). 

Time Agenda Item Topic Presenter
March 28
8:00 1.0 Call to Order Marshall Martin
  2.0 Approval of Sept 2005 Minutes (http://www.wisc.edu/ncra/Sept2005.htmApproved.  Marshall Martin
  3.0 Adoption of the Agenda Marshall Martin
8:05 4.0 Executive Committee Report and Interim Actions of the Chair Marshall Martin
8:15 5.0 MRC Report

5.1.1    New NC-type Projects
5.1.9    New NCCC-type Projects
5.1.12  New NCERA-type Projects
5.1.20  New NCR-type Projects (to be re-numbered CC or ERA projects)
5.1.27  New NCDC-type Projects
5.2       Midterm Reviews
5.3       NRSP Budgets
5.4      Other Budgets
5.5      Other MRC Issues

Forrest Chumley
9:45   Break
10:00 6.0 CREATE-21 Daryl Lund,
Steve Slack
11:30 7.0 Executive Director Report Part 1:

7.1  Training Sessions for New Administrative Advisors
7.2  NIMSS Update
7.3  AD-419 Analysis

Daryl Lund
12:00   Lunch
1:00 7.0 Executive Director Report Part 2:

7.4  Relationship with MASDA
7.5  ED Annual Activities

Daryl Lund
1:30 8.0 ESCOP Science and Technology Committee Forrest Chumley
1:40 9.0 ESCOP Communication/Marketing Committee Bill Ravlin
1:50 10.0 ESCOP Budget and Legislative Committee Steve Slack,
Daryl Lund
2:30   Break
2:45 11.0 Current Budget Situation at SAESs All
4:55 12.0 NCRA Nomination Announcement Dave Benfield
March 29
8:00 13.0 ARS Report Steven Shafer
8:20 14.0 CSREES Report

14.1: NPL Reps to NCRA States
14.2: POW PowerPoint
14.3: Research Calls

Mary McPhail Gray
8:50 15.0 Nominations Report Dave Benfield
9:20 16.0 Support of the National Berry Crops Initiative Daryl Lund
9:30 17.0 Specialty Crops Regulatory Initiative Doug Buhler
9:40 18.0 N-CFAR Membership Daryl Lund
9:50 19.0 NIAS Dave Benfield
10:00 20.0 PathTracer Products Dan Brady
10:20 21.0 Sun Grant Initiative Kevin Kephart
10:40 22.0 NABC Steve Slack
11:00 23.0 Future meetings:

23.1  Summer NCRA and Mini Land Grant Meeting July 9-11, 2006, NDSU, Fargo, ND
23.2  Fall NCRA & ESS Meeting September 24-27, 2006, Harrahs, Lake Tahoe, NV(www.ag.unr.edu/naes/ess2006.htm)
23.3  2007 Joint Spring Meeting With the West?

Marshall Martin
11:15 24.0 Resolutions

24.1  Doreen Woodward Resolution
24.2  Dale Gallenberg Resolution

Marshall Martin
11:20 25.0 Other Items/Announcements All
11:30   Adjourn



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

Background: The NCRA Executive Committee took the following actions since September 2005:

Other Information Provided: Daryl Lund provided information on the Hatch Implementation Team

Hatch - Nationally Competitive Multi-State Program Implementation Team

Larry R. Miller (Chair), Acting Associate Administrator
Frank E. Boteler, Deputy Administrator, Economic and Community Systems
Thomas A. Bewick, National Program Leader, Plant and Animal Systems
Susan Welsh, National Program Leader, Families, 4-H, and Nutrition
Mark R. Bailey, National Program Leader, Economic and Community Systems
Winston S. Sherman, Office of Extramural Programs (joint assignment with the McIntire-Stennis implementation team)


Bruce McPheron (Penn State University)
Steve Slack (Ohio State University)
Greg Weidemann (University of Arkansas)
Eric Young (ED for the Southern Region)
Colin Kaltenbach (University of Arizona)
Mike Harrington (ED for the Western Region)

CSREES First Review Team:(Selection under consideration) 

The ESCOP 15 member group:
NERA: Bruce McPheron (PA), Richard Rhoades (RI) and Tom Fretz (ED)
NCRA: Steve Slack (OH), Tom Payne (MO) and Daryl Lund (ED)
SAAESD: Greg Weidemann (AR), Nancy Cox (KY) and Eric Young (ED)
WAAESD: Colin Kaltenbach (AZ), Ron Pardini (NV) and Mike Harrington (ED)
ARD/1890s: Carolyn Brooks (UMES-MD), Alton Thompson (NCA&T-NC) and Sam Donald (ED for ARD)


Language from the President’s FY2007 Budget 
Nationally Competitively Awarded Multi-State Programs
for Hatch and McIntire-Stennis


For payments to agricultural experiment stations, for cooperative forestry and other research, for facilities, and for other expenses, [$676,849,000] $566,300,000, as follows:  to carry out the provisions of the Hatch Act of 1887 (7 U.S.C. 361a-i), [$178,757,000] $176,920,000, of which, notwithstanding the provisions of section 3(b) and (c) of the Hatch Act of 1887 (7 U.S.C. 361 c(b) and (c)) and after allocation of the amount provided under section 3 (c)(4) of such act (7 U.S.C. 361c(c)(4)), $78,560,000 shall be allocated in the same proportions as funds were allocated under sections 3(b), 3(c)(1) and (2) of such act (7 U.S.C. 361c(b) and (c)(1) and (2)) for fiscal year 2006, and $98,360,000 shall be available for continued funding of current grants and competitive award of grants with terms not to exceed five years under the Multi-state Research Fund established under section 3(c)(3) of such act (7 U.S.C. 361 c(c)(3)).               

In FY 2007, CSREES proposes an initiative to expand and continuously recompete the Hatch Act multi-state awards.  55.6 percent of the formula funds will be redirected to nationally, competitively awarded multi-state/multi-institutional projects from a base of 25 percent of Hatch funds currently allotted to multi-state research projects over a five year period.  This new approach for multi-state programming sustains the matching requirement and the leveraging of Federal funds.  It allows institutions to focus on program strengths they identify and sustain through linking local issues to broad national goals.  The program also is designed to allow five year projects, thus supporting the goal of continuity for research activities.  This proposal will enhance the overall quality of research at these institutions.

Funding under the Hatch Act will continue to support research at the State Agricultural Experiment Stations related to production, marketing, distribution, and utilization of crops and resources, enhancing nutrition, and improving rural living conditions.  Hatch Act funds also can be used to support research in forest and natural resources; crop resources; animal resources; people, communities, and institutions; competition, trade, adjustment, price, and income policy; and food science and human nutrition.


For grants for cooperative forestry research (16 U.S.C. 582a through a-7),  [$22,230,000] $21,983,000, of which $9,011,000 shall be allocated to eligible institutions on the same basis as such funds were allocated in FY 2006 and $12,972,000 shall be available for competitive grants to institutions eligible under (16 U.S.C. 582a-1) under the terms specified in subsections (c) through (f) of section 1232 of Public Law 101-624 (16 U.S.C. 582a-8(c) through (f) subject to a 100 percent match by the recipient.

In FY 2007, CSREES proposes to redirect 59 percent of the formula funds in the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Program (McIntire-Stennis) to nationally, competitively awarded multi-state/multi-institutional projects from a current zero base.  This new approach for multi-state programming sustains the matching requirement and the leveraging of Federal funds, and it allows institutions to focus on program strengths they identify and sustain through linking local issues to broad national issues.  The program also is designed to allow five year projects, thus supporting the goal of continuity for research activities.  This proposal will enhance the overall quality of research at these institutions.

FY 2007 funding will support the system of 65 state certified schools of forestry and it will begin a companion, competitive national/regional and multi-institutional grants program to address emerging and compelling issues and needs.

For 40 years, the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Program has provided base research support and built the capacity to address seven mandated research areas of forestry:

Funding under McIntire-Stennis will continue to support research related to timber production, forest land management, wood utilization, and the associated development of new products and distribution systems.  Additional areas of investigation include wildlife, recreation, water, range, and environmental quality, which are essential to the long-term productivity and profitability of the integrated system of forest resources.

Action Requested: Approval of the above actions.

Action Taken: Approved.  The directors expressed that the regional associations are willing and able to be part of the dialogue. 

Agenda Item 5.0: MRC Report
Presenter: Forrest Chumley


Proj Type

Current Proj #
(Temp #)


MRC Recommendation

NCRA Recommendation


New Projects



NC107 (NC_temp107)

An integrated approach to control of bovine respiratory diseases

Approve.  The MRC recommends this proposal be approved as submitted. The team has provided strong justification for addressing this important constraint to beef and dairy production. The focus on new diagnostics, new treatments and improved management practices is appropriate and well-described. The account of linkages and interactions among committee members is adequate. The outreach plan is solid. Reviews from the AA and two NCAC committees are positive. MRC concurs with these assessments and congratulates the team on a successful renewal effort. At the mid-term review, we will be looking for evidence of building on existing linkages, leading to new funded projects, joint publications and impacts on the industry.

New Project No.: NC1027

Approved MRC recommendation. 



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.

Approved MRC recommendation. 



NC219 (NC_temp219)

Promoting healthful eating to prevent excessive weight gain in young adults

Approved.  This proposal received strong reviews and appears to be on target.  The MRC was impressed with the level of interaction and collaboration and we encourage the group to continue to build on this ethic. 

New Project No.: NC1028

Approved MRC recommendation. 



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.

Approved MRC recommendation. 



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. Approved MRC recommendation. 



NCR131 (NC_temp1981)

Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare

Approve. The MRC recommends approval as submitted, but we agree with the NCAC6 reviewer in challenging the committee to develop additional objectives to be addressed by the committee in the years ahead. The existing plan does not seem robust enough to encompass 5 years of research activity. By mid-term review, we would expect to see more rigorous and relevant designs for experimentation and interpretation of experimental results. We will also be looking for better definition of expected outcomes and clear evidence of progress towards meeting objectives. Participation should be sought by more meat industry stakeholders.

New Project No.: NC1029

Approved MRC recommendation. 



NE167 (NC_tempNE167)

Family Firms and Policy

Approve.  The NC_tempNE167 committee proposes research on evaluating family firms and policy affecting such firms.  The proposal is well written, the objectives are clear, attainable using the methodology outlined in the proposal, and the information disseminated through a well constructed outreach plan.  The proposal shows very good collaboration among committee members, and efforts to obtain external funding have been made.  The MRC encourages the NC_tempNE167 committee to better identify policy decisions, and environmental situations affecting such policy decisions, that impact family firms.

New Project No.: NC1030

Approved MRC recommendation. 




Investigation of the amenity grasses, Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera), as invasive species in the upper Midwest and central Great Plains

Disapprove.  Resubmit by December 1, 2006. This proposal generated substantial discussion by an NCAC committee and the MRC.  There is broad recognition that the study of invasive plants is an important area of activity.  However, it was questioned whether this approach will deliver results that will help manage the problem.  The project proposes to do a great deal of survey and assessment, but how would it contribute to management practices?  Objectives do not show a clear definition of the scientific approach to a problem.  The limited geographic participation was also a concern.  Would it be more appropriate for this to originate from the western region?  The MRC is not inclined to expend limited resources on this project and recommends disapproval of the project. Approved MRC recommendation. 



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.  Approved MRC recommendation. 



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.

Approved MRC recommendation. 



NCCC170 (NCCC_temp170)

Research Advances in Agricultural Statistics

Approve.  MRC recommends approving this brief proposal as submitted. Reviews from the AA and NCAC support this recommendation. The committee has made good progress since the last mid-term review, conducting key annual workshops and fulfilling reporting requirements. This committee represents a unique resource for improving the incorporation of statistics into the design and analysis of agricultural research projects. The concept of conducting annual workshops focused on a key topic seems solid and well-supported by the field. By the mid-term review, the MRC would like the committee to show more evidence of activities and efforts targeting "subject matter scientists" and students, who will become the next generation of ag statisticians.

Project will retain current number, NCCC170. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 



NCERA59 (NCERA_temp59)

Soil Organic Matter: Formation, Function and Management

Approve.  The NCERA_temp59 committee focuses on soil organic matter and its effect on a number of important functions of soil ecosystems.  This committee has a history of being well organized, cohesive, and productive, with a great degree of collaboration and interaction.  The committee has identified a clear range of topics that need to be addressed with a multistate committee and have taken the initiative to conduct a joint meeting with NC-1017.  The MRC recognizes the research and outreach impact of the NCERA59 project and encourages this committee to consider closer collaborative relationships with NC_temp218.

Project will retain current number, NCERA59.

Approved MRC recommendation. 



NCERA87 (NCERA_temp87)

Beef-Cow-Calf Nutrition and Management Committee

Approve.  The overall assessment of this project by the MRC was positive.  It appears to have strong participation and is addressing an important area of activity.  The committee would like to see continued building of the linkages with NC 1020, 1021, and NCR 206. 

Project will retain current number, NCERA87. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 



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. Approved MRC recommendation. 



NCERA125 (NCERA_temp125)

Biological Control of Arthropods and Weeds

Approve.  Project is ambitious and covers all the bases in areas related to biological control of these pests, yet the goals are attainable, and the researchers show ample progress.  Significant effort on the part of the team members is evident, the need for multiple sites to evaluate is easy to appreciate, and these researchers have a long track record in successful synergistic cooperation.  This is a unique project in that it addresses biological control issues in the region in a comprehensive way, and while other projects touch on this subject, none other covers all these bases.  The goals are well defined and easy to interpret, and there is room to grow in alternative directions if the evidence of the research results leads them there.  There is genuine interactive collaboration between team members, excellent joint participation in project meetings, and the outreach/information exchange is well established, including provision of a website and presentations to students and community groups.  However….the team does not provide substantive evidence of Impact.  The impact statement states “….(we) hope to see” and “…(we) could save producers”.  By the time of the midterm review, this proposal will be carefully re-examined to determine if the researchers have convincingly quantified impact of the project.  They should have some real, substantive evidence, not conjectures.  Not qualifiers, but concrete success.

Project will retain current project number, NCERA125. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 



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.

Approved MRC recommendation. 



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.

Approved MRC recommendation. 



NCERA199 (NCERA_temp199)

Implementation and Strategies for National Beef Cattle Evaluation

Approve.  Revisions have been made in response to NCAC comments.  The MRC encourages continued development of the research/economic value linkage. 

Project will retain current number, NCERA199. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 



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. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 



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. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 



NCR46 (NCR_temp46)

Development, Optimization, and Delivery of Management Strategies for Corn Rootworms and Other Below-ground Insect Pests of Maize

Approve. We concur with one NCAC reviewer in asking that the proposal include more specificity in experimental design. We also concur with another NCAC reviewer in requesting more documentation of leveraging SAES funding. This could be provided in annual reports, and should be highlighted at the mid-term review. The MRC commends this team on meeting with NC205, the corn borer project, and encourages the team to seek synergies between studies on the use of Bt technology above- and below-ground. We encourage the committee to follow through with completion of the NCR146 management guide, which should be made widely available to our stakeholders.

Approved as NCCC46. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 



NCR101 (NCR_temp101)

Controlled Environment Technology and Use

Approve.   The NCR101 committee clearly demonstrates activities involving controlled environment systems and the technology utilized in such systems.  The committee is extremely active with excellent participation, and industry is very well represented at annual meetings.  The outcomes and impacts of this committee are extensive and clearly identified. 

The project will retain current project number and become an ERA project, NCERA101. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 



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. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 



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. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 



NCR201 (NC_temp1801)

Integrated Pest Management

Approve.  This project establishes essential lines of communication with the NC region IPM Center.  It is composed of all the state IPM coordinators and as such, embodies key individuals and facilitates interaction and in this case, regional efforts.  The committee proposes to develop a “white paper series” focused on priority issues as defined by this group.  The MRC commends and encourages this activity as the approach as been effectively used with other committees, agencies, etc.  The MRC recommends that the committee consider and develop a means to involve stakeholders as they define priorities and develop white papers.

Project will become NCERA201. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 



NCR202 (NCR_temp202)

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

Disapprove.  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.
Approved MRC recommendation. 



NCDC201 (NCDC_temp201)

Nanotechnology and Biosensors

Approve.  The NCDC201 committee has shown good participation in well organized meetings.  This committee has a very broad agenda, identifying opportunities to utilize nanoscale science in food and agricultural systems.  Objectives are clear and concise and the methodology to attain these objectives is very detailed.  The committee provides very goods evidence of linkages, but needs to be specific about shared facilities and protocols.  The committee is requesting that it become an NC research committee.  The MRC requests that the committee provide information by midterm review on how this would strengthen the research effort.

New Project No.: NC1031.

Approved MRC recommendation. 



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). 

Approved MRC recommendation. 




Biological Control of Plant Pathogens in the North Central Region

Will Terminate.  Approved MRC recommendation. 



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. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 



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. Approved MRC recommendation. 



NCDC208 (NCDC_temp208)

BioSecurity Communications Research and Practices

Disapprove.  Resubmit by December 1, 2006.  This proposed NCERA has the objective of assessing the impact of risk alert communications to the public, as regards threats of bioterrorism.  The case is made that while substantial research effort has been put into rapid detection methods (for contamination or infestation), security measures, and containment measures, this research has been conducted within various organizations (academic, government, and institutes).  This makes the solutions discrete (not integrated) and therefore, communication to the lay public of the significance and prioritization of the information is particularly difficult to convey.  There’s also lingering public distrust on information coming from governmental sources in the wake of BSE.  The project attempts to integrate the information from various resources and determine the best way(s) to present the alerts to the target lay audience.  A large objective of the project is to gauge audience receptivity. A new and enthusiastic team.  The project does not define the interactions between team members; how will the collaboration be structured?  Everyone doing the same steps, but accessing information from different institutions?  No delineation of duties/task assignments are mentioned.  This makes the project too amorphous and makes it impractical to evaluate when the time comes. In the brief addendum, the milestones per year are listed, which is an improvement over the original submission, but the objectives appear to be ‘discuss’ and ‘evaluate’ rather than to provide a tangible outcome as a goal for each year.  ‘Discuss’ should culminate in a white paper or a set of steps for best communication practices.  “Evaluate’ should culminate in a survey instrument or checklist that summarizes the responses of the target audience.    Year 5 goal is ‘Identify Research Needs”.  Why is this not determined until Year 5???  Proposal lacks definition.  Recommend that additional people (e.g. Will Huston, MN) should be enveloped into this proposal, and that an ‘action plan’ with definitive outcomes should be included.

Approved MRC recommendation. 


Midterm Reviews




Management of Grain Quality and Security for World Markets

Approve.  MRC recommends continuation of this project. By the time of this mid-term review, the committee was challenged to show evidence of increased research collaboration. As the AA review indicates, this is a very productive group, but it appears there are still untapped opportunities for members to be working together on more collaborative projects. The last meeting was clearly well attended and vigorous. We join the NCAC reviewer in commending the committee on their follow through with some past recommendations. However, we see that the committee is still functioning more as a group of individuals who come together and talk about their work than as a team who are tackling tough objectives together. We encourage the committee to seek out more opportunities for interaction and collaborative research, which could be expected to be well-funded and have greater impact. Approved MRC recommendation. 




Advanced Technologies for the Genetic Improvement of Poultry

Approve.  The mid-term review of NC1008 found that the committee is extremely active.  Annual reports provide evidence of excellent progress in achieving objectives.  The committee has contributed to genome analyses publications in major refereed journals.  Linkages within the committee are excellent, as are the linkages with scientists in USDA and industry.  Attendance at meetings has been very good.  The MRC finds that this is a highly productive and collaborative committee, and requests that the committee to provide evidence of leveraging support through external funding.  Approved MRC recommendation. 




Rural Low-Income Families: Tracking their Well-being and Function in an Era of Welfare Reform

Approve.  Progress of this project is satisfactory and it received strong reviews from the AA and an NCAC committee.  The MRC noted that the listed impacts were more activities than indications of specific impacts.  The committee is urged to work to show more quantifiable impacts in the future.  Approved MRC recommendation. 




Improved Crop and Livestock Management for Protecting the Non-Glaciated Upper Mississippi Valley

Approve.  The project is well defined and clearly written, and the team has provided an extremely detailed Accomplishments Report.   The project as described has resulted in real-world evaluations of soil erosion, cost savings with no-till systems, and comparison of P indices. Well-delineated roles for each team member, and well defined time course measurements of success.  While it is crystal clear what the role of each team member is, the interaction b/t members isn’t shown at this point.  The rationale for forming an NC team is to take advantages of productive synergies that can result when researchers have the chance to work ensemble.  Tangible collaboration isn’t apparent, other than discussions at the NC-1012 meeting.  (One outside review mentioned that only one team member seems to be getting financial support from the project, so what is the point of making this an NC project?  Decisions at the institution should consider this, and provide operational support for researchers collaborating in the effort)  Significant outputs in terms of joint publications including outreach publications should be submitted by the next review for our evaluation.  This is a project objective that needs to come to fruition.  Team has not garnered any outside support to date, and there’s no evidence that they’ve made efforts to obtain external funding.  Recommend that these issues be addressed in the next annual report.  Summary of points to be addressed:  1) Clarify that there is true collaboration between researchers, not merely each team member fulfilling discrete roles, 2) Provide evidence of leveraging this substantial progress (preliminary data) towards external funding or efforts/plans to submit proposals for funding, 3) Provide evidence for multidisciplinary joint publication.  The above recommendations should be made evident in the final annual reports of the project.

Approved MRC recommendation. 




The Economic and Psychological Determinants of Household Savings Behavior

Approve.  This committee has developed a comprehensive proposal and it’s clear that a large amount of effort went into the Annual Report.  This project has a strong linkage with CSREES, and with CSREES identifying agencies interested in providing "Savings and Investment" related research financial support and letters of support. The final project will be national survey with each state contributing content and data analysis.  This survey is a logical and high quality instrument.  A pilot survey was funded by Northwest Mutual and a National Survey funding proposal is pending with the Financial planning Association (FPA).  The MRC recommends that every effort be made to secure funds for the study and continue. Approved MRC recommendation. 




Improving the management and effectiveness of cooperatively owned business organizations

Approve.  MRC recommends continuation of this project. We concur with the AA and the NCAC reviewer that the committee is making an important and unique contribution by serving as a channel of communication on this important topic. It is good to see how many guests attended the last meeting and workshop. However, the committee's Web presence and other documentation seems to be drifting towards being out of date. We encourage the committee to update its Appendix E list of members, which does not include some of the people listed on the Web site (even the current Chair!). Approved MRC recommendation. 




Biochemistry and Genetics of Plant-Fungal Interactions

Approve.  The mid-term review of NCR173 found a well coordinated committee, with good evidence of linkages. Meetings are well attended.   The committee provides numerous examples of leveraging support through external funding.  Members are exchanging graduate students and/or post-docs to learn new techniques.  The MRC encourages new members to take over leadership positions in the committee as well as ensuring that the web site remains current.  Project will become NCCC173.  Approved MRC recommendation. 




Potato Research and Extension Program

Approve.  The MRC feels that this committee is off to a strong start and expects significant impacts in the future.  The strong participation is impressive as is the interaction with the industry.  The committee needs to be mindful of the need to show quantifiable impacts in the near future.    Project will become NCERA205.  Approved MRC recommendation. 




Nutrition and Management of Feedlot Cattle to Optimize Performance, Carcass Value and Environmental Compatibility

Approve.  This is a productive group of researchers, and there is a good track record for output (publication, outreach materials, multiple refereed abstracts).  Stakeholders are being involved and their needs are being served.  It is a thorough and integrated research plan, and they’ve documented historical practices in the region that have impacted on current management practices.  Other decisive impacts include documenting impacts of different distillers grains on feedlot cattle efficiency and carcass merit.  There is evidence of strong participation in the annual meeting, good ‘cross-fertilization’ when strategies are debated at the meetings, and acknowledgement of the fact that they need to work towards joint publication and joint proposals that can be leveraged from the NC project.   Again, although productivity is superb, it needs to cross the state borders in terms of joint proposals and publications more visibly in the future, in the spirit of the NCR model.  Project will become NCCC206. 

Approved MRC recommendation. 


NRSP Budgets




Research Planning Using the Current Research Information System (CRIS)

The project has requested an annual budget of $315,524 for FY07 (the FY06 budget was $306,916).  The MRC recommends approval.  Approved. 




The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP)

The project has requested an annual budget of $72,000 for FY07 (the FY06 budget was $84,000).  The MRC recommends approval.  Approved. 




High Value Specialty Crop Pest Management

The project has requested an annual budget of $481,182 for FY07 (the FY06 budget was $481,182).  The MRC recommends approval.  Approved. 




National Program for Controlling Virus Diseases of Temperate Fruit Tree Crops

The project has requested an annual budget of $96,000 for FY07 (the FY06 budget was $146,000).  The MRC recommends approval.  Approved. 




Inter-Regional Potato introduction Project

The project has requested an annual budget of $110,000 for FY07 (the FY06 budget was $150,000).  The MRC recommends approval.  Approved. 




National Animal Genome Research Program

The project has requested an annual budget of $400,000 for FY07 (the FY06 budget was $400,000).  The MRC recommends approval.  Approved. 


Other Funding Decisions




Conservation, Management, Enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources

Defer approval to July meeting.  Defer to July Meeting.




Rural Development, Work and Poverty in the North Central Region

Defer approval to July meeting.  Defer to July Meeting.

5.5.00: Other MRC Issues:

5.5.01: NCRA Knowledge Area Analysis

(only one state NOT participating):

(less than six states participating):
Appraisal of Soil Resources 101
Soil, Plant, Water, Nutrient Relationships 102

Watershed Protection and Management 112

Pollution Prevention and Mitigation 133

Management of Saline and Sodic Soils and Salinity 103
Protect Soil from Harmful Effects of Natural Elements 104

Management of Range Resources 121
Management and Control of Forest and Range Fires 122
Management and Sustainability of Forest Resources 123
Urban Forestry 124
Agroforestry 125

Alternative Uses of Land 131
Outdoor Recreation 134
Aquatic and Terrestrial Wildlife 135
Conservation of Biological Diversity 136

Air Resource Protection and Management 141
Plant Genome, Genetics, and Genetic Mechanisms 201
Plant Biological Efficiency and Abiotic Stresses Affecting Plants 203
Plant Management Systems 205

Insects, Mites, and Other Arthropods Affecting Plants 211
Pathogens and Nematodes Affecting Plants 212
Integrated Pest Management Systems 216
Vertebrates, Mollusks, and Other Pests Affecting Plants 214

Reproductive Performance of Animals 301
Nutrient Utilization in Animals 302
Animal Physiological Processes 305
Animal Management Systems 307

Animal Diseases 311
External Parasites and Pests of Animals 312
Internal Parasites in Animals 313
Toxic Chemicals, Poisonous Plants, Naturally Occurring Toxins, and Other Hazards Affecting Animals 314
Structures, Facilities, and General Purpose Farm Supplies 401
Engineering Systems and Equipment  402
Waste Disposal, Recycling, and Reuse 403
Instrumentation and Control Systems 404
Drainage and Irrigation Systems and Facilities 405
New and Improved Food Processing Technologies 501
New and Improved Food Products 502
Home and Commercial Food Service 504

Quality Maintenance in Storing and Marketing Non-Food Products 512
Economics of Agricultural Production and Farm Management 601
Business Management, Finance, and Taxation 602
Market Economics 603
Economic Theory and Methods 609
Domestic Policy Analysis 610
Foreign Policy and Programs 611
Protect Food from Contamination by Pathogenic Microorganisms, Parasites, and Naturally Occurring Toxins 712
Nutrient Composition of Food 701
Nutrition and Hunger in the Population 704

Ensure Food Products Free of Harmful Chemicals, Including Residues from Agricultural and Other Sources 711

Insects and Other Pests Affecting Humans 721
Zoonotic Diseases and Parasites Affecting Humans 722
Healthy Lifestyle 724
Human Development and Family Well-Being 802
Human Environmental Issues Concerning Apparel, Textiles, and Residential and Commercial Structures 804
Community Institutions, Health, and Social Services 805
Youth Development 806
Communication, Education, and Information Delivery 903

Action Requested: None, for information only.  Posted on NCRA website HERE. 

Action Taken: None, for information only. 

5.5.02: Linkages

The NIMSS Oversight Committee suggested to the regional associations that a "linkage" section be added to the proposal format.  The MRC concurs with this suggestion and asks that the Executive Directors discuss this during their spring NMCC meeting in April. 

Action Requested: Approval of a new "linkage" section in all proposals.  Should the NCRA suggest that the NMCC discuss adding this section to the SAES-422 as well?

Action Taken: The NCRA supports adding a "linkage" section to the proposal formats.  Also, they would like to see the SAES-422 be more explicit in asking for linkages developed by committees.  Daryl Lund will forward the NCRA recommendations to the National Multistate Coordinating Committee for discussion. 

Agenda Item 6.0: CREATE-21
Presenter: Daryl Lund, Steve Slack

Background: Progress continues to be made on CREATE 21 (Creating Research, Extension and Teaching for Excellence for the 21st Century).  Cornerstone Government Affairs will have some broad draft language generated for review by CREATE 21 Committee by mid-April or sooner.  Committee co-chairs Jeff Armstrong, Fred Cholich and L Washington Lyons have been meeting with REE agency administrators and other parties (e.g. National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), The Coalition on Funding Agricultural Research Missions (COFARM), Iowa Soybean Association) explaining the vision of CREATE 21 and the opportunity to grow funding for research, extension and academic programs in agriculture (writ broadly).  To date the USDA has not taken an official stand on CREATE 21 or the ideas expressed therein.  Furthermore, the language that is being developed is very broad  and it is recognized that the devil is in the details (e.g. who's in; who's out; relationship of CSREES to ARS, etc.).  One overarching principle that is becoming clear is that  changes such as those identified in CREATE 21 are going to be the best and perhaps only hope of significantly growing funding for our programs.  The power point that is being used to explain CREATE 21 is attached.  This particular power point was used in an presentation of the National Agriculture Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board (NAREEEAB) March 8.

Click HERE to refer to the PowerPoint Presentation. 

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: Daryl Lund and Steve Slack will carry the concerns and questions of the directors forward. 

NCRA Summary on CREATE-21:

1.  Communication.  Overall summary is that people felt there was too little communication occurring.  Daryl and I discussed process, etc but "communication" is a key word.
2.  In general, group seemed receptive to process and agreed that discussions of the system were a healthy process.
3.  CREATE-21 will be on the agenda for the NC Mini-Land Grant Meeting, July 9-11, 2006, in Fargo, ND.
4.  Concerns/Comments expressed: 
a. More than one said that they heard from CARET meeting that "this is the way its going to happen".  (May need more communication with this group.)
b. Where is NIFA in this process?  (Daryl and I explained)
c. What is the trust level among partners?  (Daryl and I discussed process)
d. Will this initiative have the same future as IFAS?
e. Will there be another bill?
f. Unless there is new money, the transactional costs of the process are not worthwhile.
g. Need more than Congress on board, eg, key national commodity groups such as corn growers and soybean growers will have a big impact.
h. Office of Science and Technology as big a driver on current proposed budget changes as OMB.  If there is a new "Institute", they will be essentially making the appointment and the "chief scientist" will be providing the "party line".

Agenda Item 7.0: Executive Director Report
Presenter: Daryl Lund


Item 7.1: Administrative Advisor Training Teleconference to Review Duties

With the turnover in AAs and bringing more department chairs into the AA fold, we have set valuable teleconference training sessions for both new and experienced AAs.   THIS TRAINING IS MEANT FOR ALL ADMINISTRATIVE ADVISORS and will last no more than one hour.  An announcement about these calls will be sent after this NCRA meeting, but AAs should be prepared to choose ONE of the four options below during which to call in:

We will review/discuss updates on the following items:

NOTE: This will not include NIMSS training! (See next agenda item)

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None.  For information only. 

Item 7.2: NIMSS Update:

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None, for information only. 

Item 7.3: AD-419 Analysis

Action Requested: Would this be useful to the directors? (refer to handout)

Action Taken: The NCRA will save this information, but will not conduct analyses.  It is not useful to the directors at this point. 

Item 7.4: Relationship with Midwest Association of Secretaries of Departments of Agriculture

When I came into this position one of the relationships that I wanted to establish was between the Secretaries/Commissioners of Agriculture and the Experiment Station Directors.   Their association is MASDA (a part of NASDA) and contains the same membership states as NCRA. The thought was to have the Experiment Station Director in the State where they are to hold their summer meeting be the representative from NCRA to MASDA and the Secretary/Commissioner in the state where NCRA holds it Spring or Summer meeting be the representative from MASDA to NCRA.  This scheme worked exactly one time-when Vic Lectenberg was the representative to MASDA at their Summer meeting held in Indianapolis, and Wisconsin's Secretary was MASDA's representative to NCRA when the Summer meeting was held here in Madison. 

Action Requested: Is this arrangement worth pursuing one more time?  There clearly are issues of mutual interest - CREATE 21, Farm Bill, multistate research, etc.

Action Taken: Daryl Lund should pursue this relationship in the case of common areas of interest.  Otherwise, a general relationship with MASDA is not necessary at this time. 

Item 7.5: ED Annual Activities:


Member, Multistate Research Committee Member, Executive Committee – organize teleconference
Liaison to NC Extensions Directors
Prepared draft of reports for NC Region to ESCOP
Co-organizer, Spring, Summer, Fall NCRA meetings
Member, Planning Committee Summer Mini-Land Grant meeting
Administrative Advisor NC 1023
Administrative Advisor NCAC 16


Member Executive Committee
Executive Vice Chair, Budget and Legislative Committee
Support for ESCOP Representative to BAC
Chairs’ Advisory Committee (monthly teleconferences)
Member, National Institute for Agricultural Security (NIAS) Board of Directors
Executive Vice-Chair NRSP Review Committee (until September 2005)
Member, National Multistate Coordinating Committee (NMCC)
Session Organizer, SAES/ARD Workshop (never held)
Joint COPs Meeting
Member National Information Management and Support System (NIMSS) Advisory Committee


Member, Core Committee for NASULGC Presidents’ Food and Society Initiative
Member, NASULGC– ICA Organizing Committee, Co-Chair Research Committee

NASULGC-ICA Executive Committee
Chair, Symposium on Water Quality at biennial meeting Paris, FR

Member NASULGC-DOE Project
Co-Chair NASULGC-DOE Project 1 Coordination and Communication
Member NASULGC-DOE Phase 2 Project
Budget and Advocacy Committee Support
Executive Vice Chair, BAA Farm Bill Committee
Executive Vice Chair, Research and Education Subtitle of Farm Bill Committee
Member, BAA Think Tank Subcommittee
Member, BAA CREATE 21
Member, Planning Committee for Water Seminar-Wisconsin


Member, Food Safety Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) Review of Food Safety in CSREES
Member, NAREEE Advisory Board

Executive Committee, NAREEE Advisory Board
Member, Planning Committee Workshop Emerging Food Processing Technologies Workshop 

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
Wisconsin Section IFT Member

Member, Communications Management Committee
Scientific Editor, Journal of Food Science section on Concise Reviews/ Hypothesis
Editor-in-Chief IFT Peer-Reviewed Publications
Member Peer-Reviewed Communication Committee
Member, Marcel Loncin Jury (until September 2005)
Member, Nominations Committee
Chair Refrigerated and Frozen Foods Division (until September 2005)

International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST)

Chair, Task Force on Distance Education
Co-PI – USDA grant on virtual food processing plant tours
Member International Academy of Food science and Technology Executive Committee

Sigma Xi
Member, Committee on lectureships (until July 2005)
World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO)

Chair, Scientific Advisory Council
Member, Board of Governors

Food Science
Department of Food Science – UW-Madison

Member, Fund Raising Committee
Member, Food Engineering Program Committee
Member, Executive Committee
Member, Future Personnel Needs Committee

Department of Food Science – Rutgers
Member Advisory Council
External Evaluation Panel Bean/Cowpea CRSP.  Reviewer of:

Purdue University
University of Ghana-Legon, Accra Ghana
Centre National Recherches Agronomiques (CNRA), Dakar, Senegal

Member, Food Science Advisory Council, Rutgers University
Member, Downtown Kiawanis Agriculture, Conservation and Environment Committee
Editorial Board. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation
Editorial Board Academic Press
Journal of Food Processing and Preservation
Journal of Food Science
Academic Press
Electronic Manuscript Handling. Tri-Society Scientific Editors Meeting. Madison, WI. May 10, 2005
Impact of processing on Food Constituents. University of Ghana-Legon. Accra, Ghana. September 8, 2005.
Food Science for the 21st Century. Food Research Institute. Accra, Ghana. September 7, 2005.
Review of Historical Development of Modern Food Processing Technologies. CSREES Workshop. Washington DC. May 26, 2005.
What every advisory council needs to know about a new dean. University of Georgia. Atlanta, GA. February 2, 2006.
Food science as a Profession. Student Forum, Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting.  New Orleans, LA. July 18, 2005.
Successful Grantsmanship:  Prerequisite for Success in the Academy. Symposium: Prismatic Views of Grantsmanship and Federal Funding Opportunities, Institute of Food technologists Annual Meeting. New Orleans, LA.  July 19, 2005.

Agenda Item 8.0: ESCOP Science and Technology Committee
Presenter: Forrest Chumley

Background: No report.

Action Taken: None.

Agenda Item 9.0: ESCOP Communication and Marketing Committee
Presenter: Bill Ravlin

Nothing to report at this time.  The committee will meet via teleconference March 31. 

Action Taken: None

Agenda Item 10.0: ESCOP Budget and Legislative Committee
Presenter: Steve Slack, Daryl Lund


Two items are important for the experiment station directors:
1. At the ESCOP meeting February 27, it agreed to have some SAES directors meet with CSREES to discuss how a multistate competitive program would work. ESCOP has said repeatedly to CSREES administrators that this in no way reverses the stand that the directors have taken on implementing such a plan for FY 07 (i.e. ESCOP is again it!). In addition, ESCOP asked the agency to have a more general discussion regarding the future of research funding including Hatch. This action was taken because there is a sense that ESS is not communicating directly with CSREES regarding priorities for funding. It is intended that the discuss with the larger group will focus on priorities for FY 08 including base funding (Hatch).

To move forward on this activity, each region (including ARD) identified 2 people along with the ED to serve as a larger group of 15 people to discuss the future of funding for research in programs administered by our partnership agency, CSREES (see members below). For NCRA, Marshall Martin, chair of NCRA, with the recommendation of the Executive Committee (Marshall Martin, Steve Slack and Forrest Chumley) appointed Steve Slack and Tom Payne to serve from NCRA. You all had the opportunity to nominate individuals for this service.

In addition, from this group of 15 it was agreed that there would be a smaller group of 6 members (one from each geographical region and 2 EDs) to interact directly with an equivalent group from CSREES (see members below) to develop the design of a program as proposed in the President's FY 07 budget (i.e. a multistate, competitively awarded proposal program). Marshall appointed Steve Slack to serve on this group. The smaller group will begin meeting immediately since it would be best to have a program designed by July 1, 2006.

A parallel situation is going to happen with the forestry deans. Winston Sherman is the common member between the two groups (Hatch and McIntire-Stennis). Larry Miller is setting up a meeting by the end of March with the two smaller groups (Hatch and Mc-Stennis) so that they all meet together to discuss general concepts and then break into the two groups to discuss specifics pertinent to their respective funding sources.

SAES Smaller Group 6 members:
NERA: Bruce McPheron (PA)
NCRA: Steve Slack (OH)
SAAESD: Greg Weideman (AR)
WAAESD: Colin Kaltenbach (AZ)
EDs: Eric Young and Mike Harrington

Larger ESCOP 15 members:
NERA: Bruce McPheron (PA),Richard Rhoades (RI) and Tom Fretz (ED),
NCRA: Steve Slack (OH), Tom Payne (MO) and Daryl Lund (ED),
SAAESD: Greg Weideman (AR), Nancy Cox (KY) and Eric Young (ED),
WAAESD: Colin Kaltenbach (AZ), Ron Pardini (NV) and Mike Harrington (ED), and
ARD/1890s: Carolyn Brooks (UMES-MD), Alton Thompson (NCA&T-NC) and Sam Donald (ED).

CSREES Smaller Group of 6 Members:
Larry R. Miller (Chair), Acting Associate Administrator
Frank E. Boteler, Deputy Administrator, Economic and Community Systems
Thomas A. Bewick, National Program Leader, Plant and Animal Systems
Susan Welsh, National Program Leader, Families, 4-H, and Nutrition
Mark R. Bailey, National Program Leader, Economic and Community Systems
Winston S. Sherman, Office of Extramural Programs (joint assignment with the McIntire-Stennis implementation team)


2. ESCOP has developed its priorities for 2008. The results have been transferred to the BAC:

ESS FY 08 Priorities for CSREES/USDA Budget

 1. Increase Hatch appropriations
2. Increase the National Research Initiative (NRI)

The following high priority research areas will provide enhanced knowledge and technology to improve the viability and sustainability of agriculture and food systems; the quality of natural resources and the environment; and service to communities, families, and consumers.

ESS FY 08 Subject Matter Priorities for Federal Funding (All agencies) 

Broad Category






Water Quality and Quantity


Invasive Species


Global Climate Change


Land-Use Issues


Bio-based Products


Risk Management/Risk Assessment


Food, Nutrition and Health


Food Safety


Obesity/Consumer Behavior


Functional Foods/Nutraceuticals




Plant Systems


Animal Systems


Microbial Genomics


Rural Community Vitality/Economic Development


Land-Use Policy


Biobased Products


Entrepreneurship and Leadership


Homeland Security



Rapid Detection of Threat Agents


Risk Assessment


Energy Security


Facility and Personnel Security





Note:  The first two priorities are equal in rank.

Environment: Provide a framework for understanding and addressing issues of water quality and quantity, invasive species and global climate change.  Others areas of high priority include land use issues, development of bio-based products, and risk management and assessment as each of these pertain to the environment.

Food, Nutrition and Health: Develop the knowledge base on the etiology of food safety.  Develop an understanding of the role of diet and consumer behavior on human health including obesity. Enhance the ability to identify foods with physiological activity and apply new, innovative technology to improve food systems. 

Genomics: Develop understanding of the structure and function of genes, the products of genes (proteins), and the products of proteins (metabolites) in plants, animals, microbes, insects, and humans for value-added applications as well as management of pests and diseases.

Rural Community Vitality/Economic Development: Provide agriculturally-based systems for development of entrepreneurial activity that is sustainable, rooted in locality, environmentally sound and based on participatory, inclusive community planning.

Homeland Security: Develop the knowledge base for (1) rapid detection of threat agents and disaster preparedness and recovery efforts, (2) risk assessment, (3) long-term energy sources, especially bio-based, and (4) facility and personnel security.

Facilities: Provide for facilities as stated in section 1485 of the 2002 Farm Bill- authorizes up to $10M per year awarded to each experiment station on a competitive basis with required matching funds (77 units (SAES and ARD) at $10M each amounts to $250M per year for three years).

Action Requested: None, for information only.

Action Taken:  None, for information only. 

Agenda Item 11.0: Current Budget Situations at SAESs
Presenter: All

Background: For discussion only. 

Action Taken:  None, for information only. 

Agenda Item 13.0: ARS Report
Presenter: Steven Schafer


Personnel Changes: 

Adrianna Hewings, who had been Area Director for ARS’s Midwest Area for six years, retired in December, 2005.  Steven Shafer was appointed the new Area Director effective March 5, 2006; he had been the Midwest Area’s Associate Director for 13 months.  Deborah Brennan, the Associate Director in the Mid-South Area, will be on detail as Acting Associate Director in the Midwest during April through June.  A process to fill the Associate position in the Midwest will be implemented after that. 

Charles Onstad, Director of the Southern Plains Area, retired in early March.  Ron Korcak, the Associate Director of the Beltsville Area, serves as Acting Director of the Southern Plains for 90 days beginning in mid-March.  There will be an open recruitment for a permanent Area Director for the Southern Plains.

Kurt Zuelke has been selected to be the next Director of the National Animal Disease Center (NADC) in Ames, Iowa.  He is currently the Research Leader of ARS’s Biotechnology and Germplasm Laboratory, which is part of the Animal and Natural Resources Institute in Beltsville, Maryland.  He will report for duty in Ames on June 26, 2006. 

President’s Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2007:

The Administration’s budget reallocates some of ARS’s base resources to meet priority national needs including deficit reduction, the war in Iraq, homeland security, and disaster recovery.  ARS’s 2007 budget proposal reflects a gross reduction of $195.7 million of ongoing research offset by increases of $73.1 million for new and enhanced activities for a net reduction of $122.6 million.  The proposed reductions and increases are summarized as follows (specific impacts on the Midwest Area are shown in parentheses).

  1. Program Increases totaling $57.7 million in research on Emerging Diseases; Food Safety; Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Obesity/Nutrition; Invasive Species; Air and Water Quality; Biobased Products/Bioenergy; Genetic Resources; and Genomics ($8.2 million in the MWA).
  2. Increases for Pay Act, $15.4 million across the board to all ARS programs.
  3. Program Redirections, totaling $49.1 million of redirections from Congressional add-ons/earmarks from prior years.  These funds would stay at their current locations and be applied to the same general area of research, however, new project objectives may be assigned ($4.3 million in the MWA).
  4. Project Terminations, totaling $161.3 million.  These are terminations of prior-year Congressional add-ons/earmarks that were not requested by the President.  A portion of these reductions, $23.3 million, are to be assigned to program areas that the Administration deems high-priority ($5.9 million in the MWA).
  5. Base Funds Re-Programming, totaling $34.4 million of program reductions that were identified by ARS for reprogramming to the FY 2007 program increase initiatives ($4.7 million in the MWA). 
  6. Management Unit Terminations, including the Lane, Oklahoma, location and the Soil and Water Research Unit in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; the funding resources and personnel are to be reassigned to priority programs ($0 in the MWA).

The net impact on ARS programs in the MWA would be a reduction of $12.9 million, including the closure of the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed in Coshocton, Ohio; the Biocontrol of Insects Research Unit at Columbia, Missouri, and the Swine Odor and Manure Management Research Unit at Ames, Iowa. 

Congressional action on the FY 07 budget is still required.

Action Requested: None, for information only.  Steve reviewed the relationship of ARS employees located on campus to the respective academic units to which they relate.  A good relationship is vital to the interests of ARS and the units.  If there is any question about the activities in which ARS scientists can engage on campus, please call Steve directly for clarification.

Action Taken:  None, for information only. 

Agenda Item 14.0: CSREES Report
Presenter: Mary McPhail Gray

Item 14.1: NPL Reps to NCRA States

Illinois Jones, Preston McLean, Gail
Indiana Brayton, Peter Valco, Tom
Iowa Jacobs-Young, Chavonda Johnson, Monte*
Kansas Hamernik, Deb Wozniak, Chris
Michigan Johnson, Peter* LeMenestrel, Suzanne 
Minnesota Lin, Liang-Shiou Swanson, Marilyn
Missouri Auburn, Jill* Lawrence, Irma
Nebraska Maggard, Sally* Thro, Ann Marie*
North Dakota  Chen, Hongda Norland, Eric
Ohio Rao, Ram* Welsh, Susan*
South Dakota  Reynnells, Richard* Willis, Wells*
Wisconsin  Gill, Joan* Nowierski, Bob*

Item 14.2: Plan of Work Powerpoint

Item 14.3: Research Calls


Due Date

1890 Facilities


Air Qualitv, NRI


Alaska Native & Native Hawaiian Institutions


Animal Biosecuritv, NRI


Animal Genome, NRI


Animal Growth, Nutrient Use, NRI


Community Food Projects


Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowships, SERD


Human Nutrition, Obesity, NRI


Multicultural Scholars, HEP


New in 2006 - New Technologies for Ag Extension


Plant Biosecuritv, NRI


Resident Instruction for Insular Areas


Rural Youth Development


Water Qualitv, ICGP


Watershed, Conservation Effects Assessment, ICGP


Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification


Action Taken:  None, for information only. 

Agenda Item 15.0: Nominations Report
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  
NCCC/ERA/NCR Committees
NCCC31 Ecophysiological Aspects of Forage Management Dale Gallenberg, SD Doug Buhler, MI
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
NCAC16 Biological and Ag Engineering Wendy Wintersteen, IA Dick Straub, WI
NRSP Committees
NRSP1 Research Planning Using the Current Research Information System (CRIS) Doreen Woodward, MI  Bill Ravlin, OH
Other NCRA Nominations
Unlimited Term ESCOP NIMSS Oversight Committee Doreen Woodward, MI Marshall Martin, IN
Unlimited Term ESCOP Bud/Leg Kevin Kephart, 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  
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 above nominations and suggested nominations for those positions yet to fill. 

Action Taken: Approved all nomination recommendations. 

Agenda Item 16.0: Support of National Berry Crops Initiative
Presenter: Daryl Lund

Background: The National Berry Crops Initiative (NBCI) is a partnership of industry, academia and government formed to develop a strategic plan for the continued growth and sustainability of berry crop production in the United States. Berry crops include, but are not limited to: strawberry, brambles (raspberry, blackberry, others), blueberry, cranberry (including lingonberry) and Ribes (currant and gooseberry). A steering committee was assembled in Spring 2005 to draft the strategic plan that could be presented nationally to farmers, academia and state and federal agencies for their consideration, suggestions, and approval. Workshops are being used to bring together a Steering Committee with growers, researchers, extension, and other industry representatives to discuss the draft plan and put it in action.  The plan can be seen at http://www.nationalberrycrops.org/steering.htm .

Action Requested: Will the NCRA support the National Berry Crops Initiative? 

Action Taken: The NCRA voted to support the NBCI.  Doug Buhler will provide a short report on this during the summer NCRA meeting. 

Agenda Item 17.0: Specialty Crops Regulatory Initiative
Presenter: Doug Buhler


Goal: Create an entity that will contribute to enhancing the potential for U.S. consumers and growers/farmers to realize benefits from biotech-derived specialty crops.

Mission: Facilitate obtaining regulatory clearance for biotech-derived specialty crops. 

Scope: The entity will work within the existing regulations.  It will not engage in activities related to intellectual property rights protection or freedom to operate.   It is expected that there will be a reasonable plan for commercialization and post-market stewardship, as appropriate, for each candidate product. 

Justification: Half the value of US plant agriculture is represented by specialty crops.  However, benefits from research and development investments in specialty crop biotech are not being realized.  Navigating the federal regulatory process represents a significant challenge and cost for developers of a new biotech-derived product that has a limited market.   This proposed biotech entity is expected to accrue significant benefits to the environment, consumers, and farmers/growers. Existing programs that benefit limited markets; i.e. FDA Orphan Drug Program and USDA IR-4 Project for pest management tools have proven to be valuable resources for the public good. 

Structure: The entity will be based on a collaborative partnership between public and private sector entities.  Public partners are universities and government organizations.  Private partners are developers of specialty crops, seed companies, and end-users of products.  The nature and level of the collaboration will evolve on a case-by-case basis.  The proposed organizational framework is: 

Stakeholder Liaison Committee (SLC)

Representatives of consumer organizations, growers/farmers, breeders, universities, seed and nursery companies, and biotechnology organizations.   The SLC will:

Program Management Board (PMB)

Individuals with science and business based expertise drawn from public and private sector

Headquarters Staff (HS)

A science-based team with support staff

Addressing the regulatory challenge for biotech crops is essential in order to capitalize on the research and development investments and to enhance the opportunities for a competitive US agriculture.

Action Taken:  None, for information only. 

Agenda Item 18.0: N-CFAR Membership
Presenter: Daryl Lund


The National Council on Food and Agricultural Research is a stakeholder-driven advocacy group seeking to increase funding for agricultural research and outreach.  It is built on a model that was successful in the state of Illinois.  The group has been building for several years now, and has recently sponsored a series of successful Hill Seminars.   From the beginning, N-CFAR has received support and guidance from the Land Grant community.  It is important that we continue this support, both financial and nonfinancial, so that N-CFAR can mature and continue to work effectively on our behalf.

Action Requested: Will the NCRA support N-CFAR this year at the $500 affiliate membership level? 

Action Taken: The NCRA will support N-CFAR again at the $500 affiliate membership level. 

Agenda Item 19.0: NIAS Report
Presenter: Dave Benfield (brief provided by Terry Nipp)


NIAS Governance

NIAS Bylaws

In the fall, the NIAS Board of Directors proposed several modifications to the NIAS By-Laws, which dealt primarily with clarifying the process of appointment to the Board.  The By-Laws were provided to the NIAS membership for review and comment, and were sent out to the membership for final approval in November of 2005.  The modifications were approved by the membership as proposed.  The proposed changes and final version of the By-Laws are available for reference at the NIAS web site: www.agrosecurity.org > NIAS Governance. 

NIAS Board Members

Dr. Darrell Nelson, University of Nebraska, has retired and stepped down from the NIAS Board of Directors.  Dr. David Benfield, Ohio State University, has been appointed by NIAS President Dr. D.C. Coston to serve as a new member of the Board of Directors.  Based on the new NIAS Bylaws, this is an interim appointment, to be submitted for approval by the full NIAS membership in the coming fall.  Our welcome to Dr. Benfield!

This NIAS Board of Directors has approved the appointment of representatives of the DHS National Centers of Excellence dealing with food and agriculture to serve as ad hoc liaisons to the Board of Directors.  Dr. Shaun Kennedy will join the Board as a liaison from the University of Minnesota Center for Food Protection Defense.  Dr. Neville Clarke from Texas A&M already serves on the Board as a voting member representing the Experiment Station at Texas A&M University; he will also serve as the liaison to the Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense.    

NIAS Activities

FDA Registration Requirements 

The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 requires that domestic and foreign facilities register with FDA if they manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the U.S. The Act also includes record keeping provisions in order to provide FDA with information on the origin and distribution of food and feed products and thereby aid in the detection and quick response to actual or potential threats to the U.S. food supply.  In November of 2005, FDA provided additional guidance on record keeping requirements, which are available at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/fsbtact.html and the NIAS web site.  At the request of the NIAS Board, Dr. Nipp inquired with FDA about the extensiveness of these requirements for universities and research facilities.  Dr. Nipp was told by FDA officials that the universities do have to keep records if they sell food and feed products to the public; however, whatever records they currently keep would be sufficient.  No new or additional record keeping is required; rather, the university or research facility must be able to provide such records that they have in the event of an inquiry.  It was assumed that a research facility would be already keeping some sort of records about their food and feed products.  Universities and research facilities may wish to upgrade or modify their record keeping processes, but this is at their discretion for their own purposes and is not required by the law if some form or records are currently being kept.      

Animal HF-AID

At the U.S. Animal Health Association annual meetings in the fall, a session on new and emerging technologies for Animal Identification included a talk from a private sector company about High Frequency RFID.  This technology was originally developed for the military for covert operations and has been adapted for medical research.  Unlike passive RFID technologies and lower frequency RFID systems, High Frequency-Animal Identification (HF-AID) provides real time detection of moving animals through metal barriers at a considerable distance.  Recognizing the implications of this emerging technology for biosecurity “trace back” and animal movement forecasting, Dr. Nipp and Dr. Coston met with the company leadership about the state of this new technology.  Dr. Nipp has subsequently met with the USDA FSIS Undersecretary and Deputy Under-Secretary about the implications of the technology, which then led to meetings with APHIS, FSIS, USDA Homeland Security, the USDA Deputy Secretary, and the White House Council on Homeland Security.  Dr. Nipp has concurrently had meetings with the National Cattlemen and Beef Association (NCBA).  As an outgrowth of these meetings, NIAS was asked to host a workshop on the status of this technology, to review scientific and technical issues regarding its adoption as well as practical implications for the private sector.  An “invitational” workshop was convened in conjunction with the annual NCBA annual meetings in Colorado in February 2006.  Approximately 45 people attended, including ranchers, processors, distributors, university scientists and administrators, and federal agency representatives.  The participants recommended the development of further evaluation and testing of the technologies in large scale pilot tests, with additional workshops focusing specifically on the implications of HF-AID for electronic animal health certificates, USDA’s, National Animal Identification System, and interstate transport.  NIAS has been asked to consider hosting these workshops and will be exploring this possibility with the federal agencies and the private sector.

EDEN, NCFPD and Extension

Dr. Coston provided a briefing about NIAS at the annual meeting of the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) and spoke with their leadership about closer collaboration between EDEN and NIAS.  Concurrently, the DHS National Center for Food Protection and Defense is interested in working with Extension to develop and distribute educational materials that it will be developing for DHS.  NIAS will be facilitating a series of discussions between the leadership of EDEN, NCFPD, and Extension to consider how to best collaborate in the future.

DHS Food and Agriculture Sector Coordinating Council 

Dr. Nipp participated in the DHS Food and Agriculture Sector Coordinating Council (FASCC) meeting in January 2006.  As a member of the FASCC, Dr. Nipp has been receiving “sensitive” briefing materials and alerts that have been issued, from time to time, by DHS.  At the recent Council meeting, Dr. Nipp asked if a protocol could be developed that would allow him to share some of these sensitive materials, as appropriate, with the NIAS leadership and membership. Similarly, DHS has developed a web site (HSIN) that is intended to share sensitive information with industry leadership in a secured environment.  DHS and other federal agency personnel indicated that they understood that this was a critical issue and there was interest in working out a process whereby information was shared more broadly, but that in fact this remained a challenging issue and they had not fully worked out a process for sharing information with industry groups, beyond the identified points of contact represented in the FASCC.  The issue of “sensitivity” is being examined again by the National Academy of Sciences.  Having reviewed the status of this issue with the NIAS Board, Dr. Nipp will continue to look for ways to strengthen communications protocols with the agencies.       

FBI Conference

Last summer, the FBI hosted an international conference on agrosecurity.  A similar conference is being proposed for this September.  Dr. Nipp has been in conversations with agency specialists about the possibility of “science and education” component in the next conference, or, the possibility of a concurrent workshop on agrosecurity science and education issues pertinent to FBI’s counterterrorism interests.  NIAS will seek to be part of the planned activities, or to facilitate complementary concurrent activities, as is determined to be of most interest to the involved federal agencies.

National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity

The next National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) meeting will be held on March 30th.  The discussions will focus 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 will be providing information about NIAS activities at t he NSABB meeting. 

Hazardous Non-Select Agents

Last year, USDA and CDC made some adjustments to their recommendations for handling select agents.  NIAS has incorporated these changes in a model “decision-aid” for voluntary management of hazardous non-select agents (HNSA).  Over two dozen representatives HNSA have been categorized for management purposes by the decision-aid, and an initial sort on a large array of materials has been developed.  This initial classification will be returned to several collaborating universities to evaluate the practical implications of this aid and the initial classification, and the aid and classifications will be adjusted as appropriate.  A report on the decision aid and the voluntary management guidelines will be available for review at the next annual meeting of the Experiment Station Directors in 2006.   

Federal Agrosecurity Activities


A detailed description for DHS and USDA agrosecurity related research is provided on the NIAS web site.  In summary - 

            DHS President’s 2007 Budget

Provides $58.3 billion – a $3.4 billion, 6 percent increase over 2006 – to support the homeland security activities of 32 Government agencies, including the Department of Defense, in areas such as improving nuclear detection and defense; safeguarding critical infrastructure; establishing interoperability standards for first responders; and improving terrorism information sharing among all levels of government.  Additional details for S&T are at the NIAS web site

            USDA Protecting the Nation’s Agriculture and Food System

      Nearly $540 million at USDA for Food and Agriculture Defense activities including:

  • $78 million for laboratory capacity;
  • $130 million for research; and
  • $293 million for inspection and surveillance.


Agrosecurity legislation developed in the 109th Congress is summarized on the NIAS web site, including information about agroterrorism, BioShield, and veterinary research support.  Specific bills described include: the Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Food and Agriculture Act of 2005, S.1532 Agroterrorism Prevention Act of 2005, and S.3 Protecting America in the War on Terror Act of 2005 - Biopreparedness Act of 2005.

Administration and Agencies

The NIAS web site includes updates about agency activities at the agencies, including DHS, USDA, HHS and EPA.  Topics include the National Agro Bio-Defense Facility, the new DHS Center at Hopkins University, the ongoing review of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, and EPA’s new document on "Federal Food and Agriculture Decontamination and Disposal Roles and Responsibilities."

 Agrosecurity News and Events

 The NIAS Web site has highlights on current issues in the news, including AI and BSE, and a listing of some upcoming conferences and events.

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken:  None. 

Agenda Item 20.0: PathTracer Products
Presenter: Dan Brady

Background: See the PowerPoint presentation

Action Taken:  None, for information only. 

Agenda Item 21.0: Sun Grant Initiative
Presenter: Kevin Kephart


Funding for the Sun Grant Initiative (SGI) was included in the 2005 Federal Highway Bill passed last August.  The resulting funds are administered by US DOT.  We have had several conversations with DOT since that time, but as of yet have not received the expected notification of award.  Even though the funds were part of the bill passed in August, we must wait each year for notification after the usual appropriations process.  The funds appropriated in the Highway Bill were $2.08M per SGI region for each of FY06 through FY09; however, because of obligation limitations we have been told to not expect more than roughly $1.5M per SGI region.  Additionally, the funds will require a dollar-for-dollar non-federal match. 

This level of matching requirement comes from the legislation governing the highway trust funds.  From our conversations with the congressional offices, this was not the congressional intent.  We are currently working to reduce the level of match required.

The DOT also said that we are to use the funds according to their authorization and not SGI's authorization language is section 9011 of the 2002 Farm Bill.  Nevertheless, we have decided to use the funds adhering as closely as possible to the SGI authorization that passed in Jan 2004.  That includes distribution of funds in the region through a competitive process.

Other relevant items:

DOE-EERE recently began planning activities for regional feedstock workshops and enlisted the SGI and regional Governor’s associations to help facilitate.  These efforts coincide well with discussions within ESCOP regarding national listening sessions on ag-based renewable energy.  The first feedstock workshop will be held 10-12 May 2006 in Knoxville TN and another in being planned for August 2006 in Sioux Falls, SD.  A recent conference call with DOE-EERE underscored a need for more such workshops in regions such as the West, South central, and Northeast regions.

Action Requested:  None, for information only. 

Action Taken:  None. 

Agenda Item 22.0: NABC
Presenter: Steve Slack

Background: NABC-18 will be held in Ithaca, NY at Cornell University on June 12-14, 2006.  The topic will be "Agricultural Biotechnology: Job Creation and Workforce Development"; detailed information can be found at http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ent/nabc/ as it becomes available.

Action Requested: None, for information only.

Action Taken:  None. 

Agenda Item 23.0: Future Meetings
Presenter: Marshall Martin

Background: Last year, the NCRA expressed interest in meeting with the Western region.  However, due to their meeting with the Extension directors this year, we were not able to coordinate it.  The Western directors have now invited the NCRA to meet jointly in Hawaii next March 2007 the week of March 19. 

Action Requested: Are the NCRA directors interested in a joint meeting next year? 

Action Taken: Approved.  Daryl Lund will contact Mike Harrington about developing an NCRA planning committee to join the WAAESD planning committee.  Details to follow. 

Agenda Item 24.0: Resolutions
Presenter: Marshall Martin

Item 24.1:

A Resolution Honoring
Doreen K. Woodward
Assistant Director of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station
Michigan State University 

WHEREAS, Doreen K. Woodward has served admirably as assistant director of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, and as instructor and mentor in the Bailey Scholars Program at Michigan State University, and 

WHEREAS, Doreen K. Woodward has served as a committee member of the ESCOP NIMSS Oversight Committee and as the administrative adviser of three multistate projects, and has represented Michigan Sate University at North Central Regional Association and national meetings of Experiment Station directors, and  

WHEREAS, Doreen K. Woodward has been an integral part of every aspect of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station for more than 20 years, and  

WHEREAS, Doreen K. Woodward has provided expert management and counsel on a variety of financial matters affecting the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and worked with faculty members, department chairpersons, unit administrators, deans, and many others to ensure a straightforward and accurate budgetary process, and 

WHEREAS, Doreen K. Woodward has served as liaison to the Michigan legislative delegation in Washington, D. C., and to the USDA Cooperative State Research, Extension and Education Service, and 

WHEREAS, Doreen K. Woodward has shared her experience and knowledge with students through the Bailey Scholars Program in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and has helped lead several study abroad programs in food, agriculture and the environment in New Zealand, Australia, England, Ireland and Scotland, and 

WHEREAS, Doreen K. Woodward has served as an adviser to a number of student organizations including Alpha Sigma, a professional sorority for College of Agriculture and Natural Resources students, and the Michigan Chapter of the Golden Key International Honor Society, and 

WHEREAS, Doreen K. Woodward, an effective, caring and strategic administrator, has helped expand the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station mission across campus, and 

WHEREAS, Doreen K. Woodward has promoted, strengthened and nurtured the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station's relationships with stakeholders. 

Be it now resolved that the North Central Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors expresses its sincerest appreciation and deepest thanks to Doreen K. Woodward and wishes her well in her future endeavors.


Item 24.2:

A Resolution of Appreciation to
Dr. Dale J. Gallenberg
South Dakota State University 

 WHEREAS, Dale J. Gallenberg is leaving his position as Professor and Head of the Department of Plant Science in the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, South Dakota State University, a position he has held since January 1, 1996; and 

WHEREAS, Dale developed an effective and comprehensive Plant Pathology Extension program during the 11 years he served as Extension Plant Pathologist in the Plant Science Department, directing the Plant Disease Clinic and coordinating the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program; and 

WHERAS, Dale has held a strong leadership role at South Dakota State University, serving as a faculty member, committee chair, extension specialist, teacher, advisor, supervisor, mentor and administrator; and 

WHEREAS, Dale has been especially effective in improving communication between the land-grant community, crop commodity organizations, and important stakeholder groups; and   

WHEREAS, Dale has provided a steady hand of leadership in guiding the Department’s efforts in the release of new crop cultivars, agricultural biotechnology research, crop disease management, research farm management, student recruitment, development of new course offerings, seeking new scholarship opportunities, and the publication of research; and 

WHEREAS, under Dale’s leadership the Department has experienced significant growth in extramural research grant funding including  support from the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service for a new Seed Technology Center; and   

WHEREAS, Dale’s administrative duties have taken him beyond the borders of South Dakota to Eastern Europe to establish collaborative research; and  

WHEREAS, Dale has been actively involved in North Central Regional Association meetings and served as administrative advisor for NCR025, NCR013 and NCCC031 and as a member of the American Phytopathological Society; and 

WHEREAS, Dale’s demonstrated expertise in leading research, teaching and extension programs in the Plant Science Department has resulted in him being selected as Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls; and,  

THEREFORE, let it be resolved that the North Central Regional Association expresses sincere appreciation and thanks to Dr. Dale J. Gallenberg for his dedicated service and contributions to the Association, the Land-Grant Mission, the people of the North Central Region, and the nation.  


Action Taken: Approved. 

Agenda Item 25.0: Other Items/Announcements
Presenter: All

Background: None. 

Action Taken: None.