One Hundred Seventy-Eighth Meeting
March 19-22, 2007
Hilton Waikoloa
Big Island, HI

NCRA Attendees: Mary Ann Lila (IL); Marshall Martin (IN); Joe Colletti (IA); Steve Pueppke (MI); Bev Durgan, Sarah Greening (MN); Tom Payne, Marc Linit (MO); Gary Cunningham (NE); Ken Grafton (ND); Steven Slack, Bill Ravlin (OH); Gary Lemme, John Kirby (SD); Richard Straub (WI); Gary Halvorson (Sitting Bull College); Arlen Leholm, Nicole Nelson, NCRA

Monday March 19

2-6pm Registration
6-8pm Welcome Reception


Tuesday March 20

7am Continental Breakfast (Kohala Promenade)
8-12pm Joint Meeting (Kohala 1)
  Agenda Item Time Topic Presenter
  J1 8:00 Welcome Remarks Dean Andy Hashimoto (HI)
Big Island Mayor Kim
  J2 8:15 Introductions CY Hu (HI)/Marshall Martin (IN)
for Forrest Chumley (KS)
  J3 8:25 CSREES Report TBA
  J4 8:40 Convergence of Energy and Agriculture Jim Fischer (USDA)
  J5 9:15 CREATE-21/Farm Bill Update Steve Slack (OH)/H.M. Harrington
  J6 9:45 National Plant Germplasm Coordinating Committee Lee Sommers (CO)
10am Break
  J7 10:15 NRSP Budget Requests Lee Sommers (CO)
  J8 10:30 SunGrant Initiative Jan Auyong (OR)/John Kirby (SD)
  J9 10:45 Budget and Legislative Committee Report and Budget Discussion LeRoy Daugherty (NM)
  J10 11:35 Communications and Marketing Committee Ron Pardini (NV)
  J11 11:45 CAST Education Program Joe Colletti (IA)
  J12 11:50 Moving Toward Meaningful Regional Collaborations Arlen Leholm/H. M. Harrington
12:15-1:15pm Lunch (Lagoon Lanai)
1:15pm-12pm NCRA Meeting (Kohala 4)
  Agenda Item Time Topic Presenter
  1.0 1:15 Call to Order Approve Marshall Martin for Forrest Chumley
  2.0   Approval of the September 2006 Minutes Approve Marshall Martin for Forrest Chumley
  3.0   Adoption of the Agenda Marshall Martin for Forrest Chumley
  4.0 1:20 Executive Committee Report and Interim Actions of the Chair Marshall Martin for Forrest Chumley
  5.0 1:25 Executive Director's Report

5.1: Issues for Discussion and Potential Areas of Focus for Coming Year
5.2: ED Activities

Arlen Leholm
  6.0 1:45 N-CFAR Membership Arlen Leholm
7.0 2:00 Nomination Report Nicole Nelson for Dave Benfield
  8.0 2:15 1994 Update and Opportunities for Collaboration Marshall Martin for Forrest Chumley and Gary Halvorson
  9.0 2:45 Other Items for Discussion All
3-3:15pm Break
10.0 3:15 MRC Report

10.1 New Proposals
10.2 Midterm Reviews
10.3 NRSP Proposals
10.4 Other OTT Funding Decisions

Bill Ravlin
  11.0 4:15 Upcoming Meetings/Planning for March 2008 NCRA Meeting:
  • CSREES Admin. Officers Conference: April 22-26, 2007
    Westin Sheraton Hotel and Resort, Seattle, WA
  • North Central Mini Land Grant Meeting: July 8-10, 2007
    Embassy Suites, Lincoln, NE
  • All COPs Meeting: July 22-24, 2007
  • NCRA and ESS/ARD Fall Meeting and Workshop: Sept 16-19, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
Marshall Martin for Forrest Chumley
4:30pm NCRA Executive Session
Evening Dinner on your own


Wednesday March 21 - Field Trip to Hilo, Kamuela, Kohala, etc.

7am Meet in lower lobby (Japanese Service Desk), Board buses
12:00-1:00pm Lunch at Nani Mau Gardens, Hilo
5:00-8:00pm BBQ Dinner at the Kahua Ranch
8:30 pm Return to Hilton Waikoloa Village


Thursday March 22
7-8am Continental Breakfast (Kohala Promenade)
8-10am NCRA Meeting (Kohala 4)
  Agenda Item Time Topic Presenter
  12.0 8:00 Current SAES Budget Situations All
13.0 9:40 Resolutions - None to Report.  Mary Ann Lila
10-10:15am Break
10:15am-12pm Joint Meeting (Kohala 1)
  Agenda Item Time Topic Presenter
  J13 10:15 Developing Meaningful Multistate Collaborations Arlen Leholm/H.M. Harrington
  J14 11:00 Balancing Internal and External Stakeholder Needs and Expectations Steve Slack (OH), Bev Durgan (MN)
Colin Kaltenbach (AZ), Greg Bohach (ID)
12-1pm Lunch (Lagoon Lanai)
1-5pm Joint Meeting (Kohala 1)
  Agenda Item Time Topic Presenter
  J15 1:15 Joint NCRA-WAAESD Small Group Breakout Discussions
6 breakouts, 6-8 people/group. Possible topics:
  • Water quality, quantity, use and management
  • Animal Waste Management
  • Creating More Effective Multi-Regional Collaborations
  • Bioenergy/Value-Added Bioproducts
  • CREATE-21/Federal Budget - Do we need a different approach?
  • Animal Genomics
  • Plant Germplasm Resources
  • Rural Communities 
  J16 2:15 Small Group Reports and Recommendations (10 min each)  
3:15am Break
  J17 3:30 Closing Session
  • Take Home Messages
  • Responses from the Regional Associations
  • Recommendations & Next Steps

NCRA/WAAESD Rapportuers
Regional Association Chairs
4:40pm Adjourn


Consent Reports
ARS Report - Steven Shafer
Berry Crops Initiative - Doug Buhler


J3 CSREES Report
Presenter: George Cooper

Background Information: 

  1. OMB recommendations for budget funding removal.
    1. Did not pass the House
    2. Tina Buch does not think it will pass the Senate since it did not pass the house.
  2. Gale Buchanan discussions
    1. Title VII of farm bill
    2. Met with CSREES on the 16th and highlighted some issues
      1. BioEnergy/Biobased products

      2. 100M allocation used to support specialty crops

      3. Organics

      4. Reorganization of REE

  3. Language re: 1890 and 1864s
    1. CSREES is reviewing the language used and the portfolio provided.  The agency wants to focus on national issues. 
  4. State NPL program guidance – suggestions can be forwarded to George.

Action Requested: None, for information only.

Action Taken: None.

J4 Convergence of Energy and Agriculture
Jim Fischer

Background Information: Refer to the PowerPoint. 

Action Requested: None, for information only.

Action Taken: None.

J5 CREATE-21 – Farm Bill Committee Status Report
Presenter: Steve Slack/Mike Harrington

Background Information:
It is expected that the C-21 bill will be introduced in both the House and Senate.

Efforts are underway to clearly indicate the similarities between the USDA proposal to restructure REE and the C-21 proposal.  A side by side comparison document has been distributed and revisions to the document are in progress.  This document is particularly important to clarifying any misinformation regarding the status and future of all organizations impacted in the C-21 proposal.  The latest information on C-21 is posted in the website at http://www.create-21.org.


The complete set of recommendations for the Farm Bill has been distributed previously.  Current activities are aimed at harmonizing those recommendations with the CREATE-21 proposal and developing legislative language for the proposed changes.

Action Requested: None.  For information only. 

Action Taken: None.  Will be discussed during break-out session of this meeting. 

J6 National Plant Germplasm Coordinating Committee
Presenter: Lee Sommers

Background Information: Refer to the PowerPoint. 

Funds needed are $50K for NRSP-5 and $40K for NRSP-6
State Sum Current Regional Off the Top Current NRSP Off the Top Share of $90K to Restore
NRSP5 (50K) & 6(40K) to FY06
Illinois 5,240,912 56,610 42,320 2,497
Indiana 4,664,640 43,915 32,829 1,937
Iowa 5,223,387 64,063 47,892 2,826
Kansas 3,184,831 40,374 30,183 1,781
Michigan 4,763,418 49,189 36,772 2,170
Minnesota 4,628,583 46,081 34,449 2,033
Missouri 4,412,172 41,167 30,775 1,816
Nebraska 3,132,095 46,715 34,923 2,061
North Dakota 2,235,946 31,020 23,190 1,368
Ohio 5,508,619 49,939 37,333 2,203
South Dakota 2,298,440 31,285 23,388 1,380
Wisconsin 4,752,869 51,905 38,803 2,290
  50,045,912 552,262 412,857 24,362
Connecticut 1,717,999 8,663 18,586 1,097
Delaware 1,214,828 6,481 13,903 820
District Of Columbia 645,216 1,871 4,014 237
Maine 1,716,510 9,029 19,371 1,143
Maryland 2,306,864 11,361 24,374 1,438
Massachusetts 2,079,515 11,090 23,792 1,404
New Hampshire 1,350,983 6,494 13,932 822
New Jersey 2,650,086 21,811 46,792 2,761
New York 5,006,577 24,227 51,976 3,067
Pennsylvania 5,747,709 22,090 47,390 2,796
Rhode Island 1,155,849 6,725 14,426 851
Vermont 1,357,595 5,694 12,216 721
West Virginia 2,489,497 9,463 20,302 1,198
  29,439,228 145,000 311,072 18,356
Alabama 3,730,364 29,900 33,315 1,966
Arkansas 3,192,911 24,811 27,644 1,631
Florida 2,761,733 22,505 25,075 1,480
Georgia 4,157,819 31,252 34,821 2,055
Kentucky 4,696,561 29,940 33,359 1,968
Louisiana 2,968,273 23,419 26,094 1,540
Mississippi 3,768,258 28,628 31,897 1,882
North Carolina 6,062,138 40,596 45,232 2,669
Oklahoma 2,890,442 20,358 22,682 1,338
Puerto Rico 3,815,599 25,208 28,087 1,657
South Carolina 3,180,120 23,379 26,049 1,537
Tennessee 4,468,275 28,986 32,296 1,906
Texas 6,028,816 43,176 48,107 2,839
Virgin Is 784,532 4,056 4,519 267
Virginia 3,870,678 26,520 29,549 1,744
  56,376,519 402,733 448,726 26,479
Alaska 926,772 5,635 5,443 321
Am. Samoa 680,931 855 826 49
Arizona 1,816,301 29,797 28,780 1,698
California 4,814,195 60,158 58,105 3,429
Colorado 2,475,458 40,590 39,204 2,313
Guam 802,495 4,825 4,661 275
Hawaii 1,212,864 15,110 14,594 861
Idaho 1,970,787 23,493 22,691 1,339
Montana 1,963,234 26,310 25,412 1,500
Micronesia 697,887 0 0 0
N. Marianas 647,604 0 0 0
Nevada 1,134,798 14,406 13,914 821
New Mexico 1,511,266 15,850 15,309 903
Oregon 2,665,870 37,264 35,992 2,124
Utah 1,693,069 29,001 28,011 1,653
Washington 2,987,582 40,715 39,325 2,321
Wyoming 1,442,516 20,992 20,275 1,196
  29,443,629 365,000 352,543 20,803
TOTAL 165,305,288
NRSP 1,525,198 1,525,198 90000


White Paper 

Recommendations from the NPGCC for Improved Communication and Funding of the Regional Germplasm Centers, NRSP-5 and NRSP-6

Following the discussion and presentation on the challenges facing the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) at this years ESS meeting in Lake Tahoe, NV the National Plant Germplasm Coordinating Committee (NPGCC) was charged with examining the manner with which the regional research associations deal with the matter of funding the 4 regional germplasm accounts (NE-9 located at Cornell University, S-9 located at the University of Georgia, W-6 located at Washington State University and NC-7 located at Iowa State University) along with the 2 NRSP accounts (NRSP-5 and NRSP-6) that deal with germplasm issues.

Historically, the 4 regional germplasm centers (NE-9, S-9, W-6 and NC-7) have received a proportion of their funding (approximately 20%) from an annual off the top allocation from the appropriate regional association. The remaining funding for each of the regional germplasm centers comes from a USDA-ARS commitment to the NPGS, individual station in-kind support and to a lesser degree minimal grant and contractual support. This arrangement has, for the most part, been successful, however funding from the regional associations has been flat for several years and reflects the lack of growth in the Hatch appropriation. Suffice it to say, the regional germplasm centers operate with limited budgets, and high operations costs.

Additionally, the NPGCC was charged to look at the funding of 2 National Research Support Projects (NRSP) – NRSP-5 (Develop and Distribute Fruit Tree Clones Free of Viruses and Virus-Like Agents) and NRSP-6 (Inter-Regional Potato Introduction Project) that play a role in the germplasm system and that have been funded through off the top funding from the Experiment Station System via a recommendation from the directors through the NRSP Oversight Committee. Of late, the directors have recommended that NRSP’s become less dependent on the off the top allocations, and find as appropriate other sources of funds to support their activities, to the degree possible. NRSP-6 it should be noted receives significant funding (approx. 50%) from USDA-ARS and nearly 30% from the University of Wisconsin as an in-kind contribution. NRSP – 5 on the other hand receives no additional federal support from USDA-ARS for its activities and depends to a great extent on the largess of Washington State University for approximately 50% of funding in addition to grants and contracts to support its activities.

By way of clarification, it should be noted that NRSP-5 has not been considered as part of the National Plant Germplasm System, however it does serve in a complimentary role in moving germplasm from introduction to industry usage and eventually to the consumer. As such, NRSP-5 has emerged to serve as the intermediate between the consumer (in this case, nurseryman and growers) and the NPGS, in that it serves to insure that valuable tree fruit germplasm is introduced in a virus-free condition. In addition, NRSP-5 also serves cleans up foreign introductions of materials for use in research programs. Lastly, it should be noted that in the case of NRSP-5 considerable effort has been made to develop a fee-based system to recover some of the costs of the service provided. Given the above, we believe that it is legitimate to include NRSP-5 in our discussions of new or altered funding models for the plant germplasm system.

Lastly, and by way of background, the NPGCC believes it is important that the Experiment Station Directors understand the following as they review the recommendations of the NPGCC: 1) The university  community of scientists are the largest single user of the materials held in these collections; 2) approximately 40% of the collections within the NPGS are held within the 4 regional centers located on land-grant university campuses,  3) approximately 60% of the germplasm that is distributed annually is from material held in the 4 regional centers, and  4) the fiscal commitment of off-the top funds to the 4 regional centers constitutes less than 20% of the budget required to keep this activity functioning, with USDA-ARS being the largest single contributor to the success of this program and, 5) the future capacity of our SAES system to respond to future challenges depends on access to plant germplasm maintained in the NPGS.

Committee Charge:  To examine and determine if there are other funding models that the directors should consider for providing resources to the 4 regional germplasm centers and the 2-NRSPs contributing to the National Plant Germplasm System.

Four models or alternatives were considered by the NPGCC as possible alternatives to the present funding mechanism.

A) Creation of single NRSP. The NPGCC considered the possibility of the creation of a single NRSP to cover the activities of the 4 regional germplasm centers and the 2 NRSP activities in question. This would result in a single annual budget request to the directors; however the NPGCC does not recommend this approach for the following reasons:

The NPGCC does not recommend that the directors consider this option, and has concluded that it is rife with issues that will not result in a stronger commitment to the regional germplasm centers specifically or to the NPGS in general.  

B) Incorporation of NRSP-5 and NRSP-6 into the off the top annual commitments to the regional germplasm centers. In this model, we considered the possibility of moving the funding for the NRSP’s into one or all of the regional germplasm center accounts that support the regional centers, thus the two NRSP's would become divisions or a sub-contract of one or more of the germplasm centers. While workable, it is not without problems. Such an effort would require subcontracts and some process for regional review and approval. While an alternative, it has some of the same concerns as those for option 1, and as such the NPGCC does not see any advantages for this approach and does not recommend such.  

C. Full funding of the 4 regional germplasm centers by USDA-ARS. This option was briefly considered, that is, relinquish the SAES commitment to the regional centers and allow these activities along with the activities that are conducted within NRSP -5 and NRSP-6 to be fully undertaken and funded by USDA-ARS. As a committee the NPGCC does not think that this is a viable option. It is important that the AES directors have input into the germplasm system because their faculty are the single largest users, i.e., stakeholders, of the NPGS... This has been a shared activity and university scientists as noted above are major users of this material, thus it seems only logical to the NPGCC that we continue with our fiscal commitment.  

D. Continued Funding of the Regional Germplasm Centers through the Regional Associations.  This might be addressed as “Staying the Course”, however after much discussion and deliberation, the NPGCC recommends that the directors continue to fund the 4 regional germplasm centers through the same mechanism as we have used in the past, that is, each of the regional associations has responsibility for one of the regional germplasm centers and develops and approves an annual budget for support of a component share of this activity, in collaboration with USDA-ARS. We believe that none of the other alternatives offers an approach that is any better that the present funding system that is in place, and in fact, we think that the alternatives would in the long term be more difficult to manage, would potentially lead to conflicts between the regions and would result in less local input to this critical activity, where we presently have an active partnership with USDA-ARS.  

NRSP-5 and NRSP-6

The NPGCC undertook considerable discussion about the future of the 2 NRSP’s that have seen significant decline in off the top funding and as a result are at some risk of closure. This is more true for NRSP-5 than for NRSP-6 which receives significant federal funding via ARS.  Some background and understanding of the differentiation between NRSP-5 (Develop and Distribute Fruit Tree Clones Free of Viruses and Virus-like Agents) and NRSP -6 (Inter-Regional Potato Introduction Project) is required. While NRSP-6 has long been associated with and is part of the NPGS, NRSP-5 serves in a complementary role in moving germplasm from introduction by scientists to commercialization by the nursery industry. Without some level of public support,

NRSP-5 does not have the full complement of resources in place to provide the service, e.g., development and distribution of virus –free tree fruit clones to scientists and the nursery industry, a role that is clearly complimentary to the germplasm system. It also needs to be understood that NRSP-5 has made significant efforts to develop and implement a fee-based system, which is helping to alleviate some of the funding issues, we believe that some level of public investment will continue to be required.  

The NPGCC believes that the Guidelines for NRSP’s – Revised September 2004 are broad enough to encompass the activities of both NRSP-5 and NRSP-6. In addition, we support the efforts of the NRSP Oversight Committee to work toward a model  that will reduce the off the top support for the NRSP’s while encouraging them to find other funds that will allow these activities to demonstrate a level of self sufficiency. Having stated the above, the NPGCC believes that Oversight Committee has recommended a decrease in the funding for NRSP-5 and NRSP-6 that is too severe and places these activities at risk. Thus, the NPGCC recommends that ESCOP in the 2008 commitments to NRSP-5 and NRSP-6 seek to realign the off the top funding recommendations more closely to that allocated for 2006, e.g., NRSP-5 (approximately $145,000) and NRSP -6 (approximately $150,000). This increase, we believe, is marginal and will not significantly impact any individual station, yet it will preserve these 2 activities as NRSP’s.  

Other Recommendations:

In the deliberations of the NPGCC, two other matters were considered and we offer these suggestions as recommendations.  

The NPGCC is composed of 3 representatives from each, the SAES’s, USDA-ARS, and USDA-CSREES. As of this time within the SAES representation, only 3 of the 4 regions are represented. It is important that issues discussed at the NPGCC be communicated back to the regional associations, thus we recommend the addition of a 4th member to the SAES contingent to the NPGCC, so that each of the regional associations is represented. Both CSREES and ARS agree with this strategy to increase representation by 1 member in the effort to improve communication with the regional associations. While this is not an ESCOP committee, ESCOP makes the original appointments to the NPGCC and should consider adding a fourth member to its contingent of representatives mindful of the need to have a representative from each of the 4 regions.  

Lastly, we recommend that the NPGCC meet annually with the Plant Germplasm Operations Committee (PGOC) as a means of increasing the communication within the system and thus allowing the members of the NPGCC to be better informed of issues impacting the NPGS and to being able to communicate more effectively with their regional associations.  

Appendices: (to be added later)

Participating at the December 19, 2006 NPGCC meeting:

Lee Sommers, Colorado AES, Chair
Peter Bretting, NPL, ARS
Ann Marie Thro – NPL, CSREES
Ed Kaleikau, NPL, CSREES
P.S. Benepal, CSREES
Jerry Arkin, Georgia, AES
Eric Young, ED – Southern Region
Candice Gardner – NC-7 Ames, Iowa, ARS
E. Knipling, Administrator, ARS
L. Miller – Acting Associate Administrator, CSREES
T. Fretz, ED – Northeastern Region    

Meeting Dates of importance

            Spring Regional Association Meetings:

Revised 01/05/2007

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None.

J7 NRSP Budget Requests
Lee Sommers

Project Authorized FY04 Request FY05 Authorized FY05 Request FY06 Authorized FY06 Request FY07 Request FY08 Action Needed
NRSP1 218915 269707 269707 306916 306916 315524 337574 1 yr Budget Recommendation
NRSP3 112762 115390 96000 84000 84000 72000 61000 1 yr Budget Recommendation
NRSP4 481182 300000 481182 481172 481182 481182 481182 1 yr Budget Recommendation
NRSP5 247786 247786 247786 146000 146000 96000 145919 1 yr Budget Recommendation
NRSP6 161575 165829 161575 151900 150000 110000 110000 1 yr Budget Recommendation
NRSP8 379164 400000 400000 400000 400000 400000 400000 1 yr Budget Recommendation

Action Requested: None, for information only.  Also discuss FY07 emergency allocation for NRSP7 during regional meetings. 

Action Taken: None.

J8 Sun Grant Initiative
Presenter: John Kirby/Jan Auyong

Background Information: Refer to the PowerPoint. 

Action Requested: None.  For information only

Action Taken: None.

J9 ESCOP Budget/Legislative Committee
Presenter: LeRoy Daugherty

Refer to PowerPoint. 


FY 07 Budget Continuing Resolution

As you are aware from prior communications, the CR funds most departments, agencies, and accounts of the federal government — including USDA and CSREES — at their F.Y. 2006 funding levels. However, the CR contains no earmarks, and some $126.9 million in "special grants" and $58.1 million in "federal administration" (compared to F.Y. 2006) are not included within the CR.


Through the hard work of the NASULGC system, Congress has retained these funds within the CSREES budget, providing one-time increases for a number of programs including Hatch, McIntire-Stennis, Evans-Allen, NRI, 1994s Research, 1890s Capacity Building, 1994s Research, Smith-Lever 3(b) and 3(c), EFNEP, 1994s Extension, Indian Reservation Agents, 1890 Facilities, and 1890s Extension. (In addition, all of the Integrated Activities line items were funded at 2006 levels.)  Overall the net increase for research and education activities was $1.143 million over 2006.  Funds provided through the various formula programs will be subject to the existing rules.  Funds must be spent by September 30, 2008.



FY ’06 ($ m)

‘07 CR ($ m)

Increase/decrease ($ m)

















Special Research Grants




Federal Administration





Complete information on the CR can be found at: http://www.nasulgc-bac.com/advocacy_reports/2007/01-30.htm


New Rules for Special Grants

On February 9, 2007 House Appropriations Committee Chair David Obey released a memo announcing changes to the earmarking process.  Included in the changes are increased transparency, a deadline for requests, the request must be signed by the member, and most importantly the expectation that these types of request will be reduced by 50% for 2008.


President’s FY 08 Budget

BAC Action on FY’08 Budget

The BAC met in Washington DC Feb 12-13 to develop strategies for the ‘08 Budget and unanimously decided to take the following positions on these issues:

1. We oppose elimination of the Animal Health and Disease program and recommend that it be funded at the F.Y. 2006 and anticipated F.Y. 2007 level of $5,006,000.

2. We recommend Hatch funding at the projected F.Y. 2007 rate of $322,597,000.

3. We recommend McIntire-Stennis funding at the projected F.Y. 2007 rate of $30,008,000.

4. We support the Administration’s request for an increase in funding for the National Research Initiative (NRI) to a level of $256,500,000. Included within this amount for the

NRI is $45,130,000 in funding for seven Sec. 406 programs that were previously displayed in the CSREES budget under the “Integrated Activities” heading. There are some compelling reasons for this action:


Complete details of the BAC proposal can be found at:



One pagers have been developed along several thematic areas:

1890 Land-Grant Programs at CSREES , 1994 Land-Grant Programs at CSREES , Teaching and Extension Programs at CSREES Increased Research and Extension Capacity, National Research Initiative, Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program, eXtension

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None. 

J10 ESCOP Communication and Marketing  Committee
Presenter: Ron Pardini

The ESCOP Communications and Marketing Committee is exploring the development of a Strategic Communication and Marketing Plan for ESCOP.

Bill Ravlin reviewed the draft of “A Marketing Strategy for the State Agricultural Experiment Station System: Request for Applications”. Five major topics were considered:

1. What are we trying to achieve with a marketing strategy/plan?

a. Must result in more sustainable financial resources. Both competitive and formula/capacity. (Similar to CREATE 21)
b. Must communicate the value and relevance for the 21st Century.
c. Must change perceptions

i. Cutting-edge research and delivery
ii. Scientific breakthroughs
iii. High-impact transformational education

2. Who do we focus on first?

a. Congress

i. Senate and House Agricultural Committees
ii. Senate and House Agricultural Appropriation Committees
iii. Senate and House Appropriation Committees

b. OMB
c. USDA Under Secretaries
d. Executive Office for Science and Technology (OSTP)
e. Link to our lobby firm
f. Link to CFAR
g. Link to CARET and industry leaders

3. What characteristics do we want in a marketing firm?

a. Conduct a targeted search for firms that:

i. Have a background in science and learning
ii. Have marketed science discovery on a national and international basis
iii. Seek help from entities in our universities that have had success, e.g. Medical Schools, NSF.

b. Tim Sanders, Cornerstone Government Affairs suggested the following:

i. This firm must know “The Hill” and have a key understanding of how Congress is influenced.
ii. This firm must be able to take key marketing messages back to the home districts of the members of Congress we want to influence. “Remember, in the past 20 years, members of Congress have increasingly demonstrated what matters to them most is what happens in their district or state.”
iii. We should focus or target about 25 to 30 key members of Congress.
iv. Tim Sanders agreed to provide our committee with the names of several marketing firms who could meet our criteria.

4. Linking to CREATE 21

a. The marketing strategy should help provide a basis for advancing CREATE 21.

5. Specific next steps

a. Refine the RFA the RFA based on comments received at the ESCOP meeting
b. Plant seed with ECOP about potential synergy
c. Funding Strategies

i. First, ESS needs to fund

1. The search process (already approved for $10,000)
2. Fund firm to design strategy
3. Seek recurring and sustained dollars—with a three-year review of progress.

ii. Stage one of the effort should focus on ESCOP with possible involvement from ECOP and ACOP
iii. Stage two could include foundations and support from industry and a broader marketing effort.

The Communication and Marketing Committee believes by focusing the target audience initially on key members of congress and their local districts that we would have a limited target and be able to utilize the communications expertise already in place in the experiment stations to provide access to the local districts. In this way, the committee considered feasibility and felt that this would be the most cost effective approach to marketing our system.

In response to a request from the NCRA logo designs were provided by Jerry Arkin, Bill Ravlin and Wendy Winterstein from their institutions to help initiate a discussion on a SAES logo. The logos provided were professional and very thought provoking. It was decided that selection of a logo was premature in light of structural changes in USDA REE and the proposed strategic marketing plan that is under consideration for development. There was considerable discussion favoring further study of a more appropriate name than Agricultural Experiment Stations. One name that had traction and appeal to all was Agriculture Research and Development. It was felt that this name might have wide appeal to both research and extension folks.

Agricultural Science on the Hill Exhibits: Bill Ravlin moved and Cameron Hackney seconded a motion that the Communication and Marketing Committee recommend to ESCOP that we discontinue “Agricultural Science on the Hill Exhibits” because members of congress have reported to members of our committee that this effort is not effective. The motion passed unanimously by the committee. Possibly some of the resources for the Science on the Hill effort could be put into a more successful marketing effort.

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None. 

J11 CAST Education Program
Presenter: Joe Colletti

December 5, 2006

CAST, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, knows that our graduate students are the key to the world’s food, fiber, and renewable fuel production in the years ahead. Future scientific discoveries and technologies will result from their work. It is important that students know about the events occurring daily that affect their research, their career, and their world. It is essential that they know where to gain access to credible, science-based information. CAST has a great offer to help students achieve this goal.

The CAST Board of Directors recently approved an Educational Program that will make CAST materials available to graduate students without the usual $25/year student membership fee. The program would offer CAST’s weekly online "Friday Notes" and timely Commentary Papers free to all graduate students in the College. In order for students to qualify for this opportunity, the College would become an Educational member of CAST at a level of $2,500 per year.

Here are the details:

To begin the program for your graduate students on January 1, 2007, complete the attached Application Form and return it to CAST by December 22, 2006 (see directions on the form). For further information, contact John Bonner at 515-292-2125 extension 25 or jbonner@cast-science.org.

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None.

4.0 Executive Committee Report and Interim Action of the Chair
Forrest Chumley

The NCRA recently named its new Executive Director, Arlen Leholm.  In addition to these hiring activities, the Executive Committee has taken part in several teleconferences to plan the Hawaii meeting agenda and discuss the current federal budget situation. 

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None.

5.0 Executive Directors Report
Presenter: Arlen Leholm

5.1: Issues for Discussion and Potential Areas of Focus for Coming Year

5.1.1: Strategies for maximizing impact from multistate research efforts - refer to hand out. 

5.1.2: 12-State visits will be completed by end of summer of 2007

5.1.3: Implementing work of C & M Committee

5.1.4: Improving research and extension collaborations

5.1.5: Meeting traditional and emerging needs and stakeholder expectations in times of diminishing and or changing resources

5.1.6: What areas of focus will provide Experiment Station Directors the most value from the NCRA office?

5.2: ED Activities





Action Requested: Respond to items under 5.1.

Action Taken: None.

6.0 N-CFAR Membership
Presenter: Arlen Leholm

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 non-financial, 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: Approved. 

7.0 Nominations Report
Presenter: Nicole Nelson for Dave Benfield




Admin Advisors


D. Lund, NCRA

J. Kirby, SD

NC1032 G. Lemme, SD  

NC506 (NCDC209)

D. Lund, NCRA

R. Straub, WI


D. Hogg, WI

W.F. Ravlin, OH


W. Wintersteen, IA

S. Ramaswamy, IN


D. Hogg, WI

S. Ramaswamy, IN


D. Hogg, WI

M. Linit, MO


S. Slack, OH

M. Jahn, WI

Other Committees

NCRA Chair (07-08)

F. Chumley, KS

K. Grafton, ND

NCRA Chair-Elect (07-08)

K. Grafton, ND

B. Ravlin, OH

NCRA Past-Chair (07-08)

M. Martin, IN

F. Chumley, KS

MRC Member (3-year Term)

W.F. Ravlin, OH

D. Benfield, OH

Nominations (2-year Term)

D. Benfield, OH

J. Colletti, IA

W. Wintersteen, IA

A. Ponce de Leon, MN

Action Requested: Approve suggested nominations and help with remaining nominations.

Action Taken: Approved. Remaining nominations will be forwarded to July 2007 meeting. 

8.0 1994 Update and Opportunities for Collaboration
Presenter: Marshall Martin and Arlen Leholm for
Forrest Chumley/Gary Halvorson

Gary provided a background on the 1994s and where they are now. 

Ideas provided:

Mutually beneficial areas:

Action Requested: None, for information only.

Action Taken: None. 

9.0 Other Items for Discussion
Presenter: All

9.1: Sun Grant Initiative Representative:

It was suggested that someone from the Sun Grant Initiative attend the NC Mini Land Grant Meeting each year.  Currently, that person should be Jim Doolittle at SDSU. 

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: NCRA will add Jim Doolittle to our list of liaisons. 

9.2: Swine Odor Remediation Project:

During the SAES Budget Update, the topic of Swine Odor Remediation came up.  It was asked if the NCRA, or any region, have projects that deal with this issue.  Upon researching the issue, the NCRA Office discovered that only the Southern Region has a project, S1025, that covers this topic. 

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: NCRA will contact the lead discussants on this issue for further steps. 

10.0 MRC Report
Presenter: Bill Ravlin

Item Proj Type Proj Rvwr Current Proj # (Temp #) Title NCRA AA MRC Recommendation  NCRA Recommendation
10.1.00 New Projects  
10.1.01 NC        NC7 (NC_temp7) Conservation, Management, Enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources Wintersteen The request for a 10 year project with 2 midterm reviews is problematic.  The current proposal is excellent and is supported.  However, several factors affect the proposal-review cycle.  First, the USDA guidelines are well-specified and require a five year proposal cycle with midterm reviews.  Second, the MRC views the five year cycle of proposal writing and midterm review as positive and fully a part of research. New objectives, revised objectives, and critical review is an integral part of communicating with sponsors, stakeholders, and institutional administration.  The MRC recommends retaining the 5 year cycle with midterm reviews as is done for all NCRA projects.  Project will retain it's number.  Project will retain its number, NC7. Approve
10.1.02   NC140 (NC_temp140) Rootstock and Interstem Effects on Pome- and Stone-Fruit Trees Wintersteen  Approve.  This committee has a strong record of accomplishment and a good plan for the future.  The impact statement does a good job of quantifying impacts and presenting the value of the project.  The MRC views this as a model project. This project will retain it's current number.  Project will retain its number, NC140. Approve
10.1.03   NC170 (NC_temp170) Mediating Exposure to Environmental Hazards Through Textile Systems DeLong  Approve.  Great project.  The group may retain their number. The proposal describes the planned organizational structure of the technical committee well.  The MRC notes that to date, there is no evidence of development of a homeland security proposal.  Project will retain its number, NC170. Approve
10.1.04   NC1004 (NC_temp1004) Genetic and Functional Genomic Approaches to Improve Production and Quality of Pork Stromberg  Approve.  This is a well established and highly interactive group of scientists. Significant progress has been achieved since the last review.  A matter of concern is the limited membership of the committee. The committee should work to increase membership and to do so prior to the mid-term review. Project will become NC1037. Approve
10.1.05   NC1005 (NC_temp1005) Landscape Ecology of White-Tailed Deer in Agro-Forest Ecosystems: A Cooperative Approach to Support Management  Winterstein  NC-1005 has requested a 1 yr extension on the rewrite process.  This request comes after several problematic years in the field (e.g., capturing deer), within the project team, and with redefining the scope of this multistate project.  The MRC recognizes all of these issues as significant and as ones that truly affect the development of the proposal.  The MRC notes support for the project particularly in light of CWD and the importance of deer throughout the NC region.  The MRC supports a 1 yr extension with strong recommendation that the writing team seek participation of additional members encompassing a broader geographic area, especially the northeast.  This will provide more opportunity for successful field seasons, broaden the scope of science and application, and better embrace the multistate model that is designed to address problems anywhere in the country. Approve
10.1.06   NC1006 (NC_temp1006) Methods to Increase Reproductive Efficiency in Cattle (NC-113) Ravlin  Approve.  Overall this continues to be viewed as a solid project with a strong history and good participation.  The impacts are rather vague and need to be more quantitative in the future.  Reviewers and the MRC suggest that the committee work to expand the disciplinary representation and to quantify impacts.  The MRC expects significant progress in this regard by the time of the mid-term review. Project will become NC1038. Approve
10.1.07   NC1007 (NC_temp1007) Enteric Diseases of Swine and Cattle: Prevention, Control and Food Safety (NC-62) Stromberg  Major revisions due June 1.  The group cited the appropriate literature but provides no evidence of a CRIS search.  The group did not address potential duplication.  The committee plans to tie research findings together in a collaborative manner on a regional basis through a proposed symposium and student training.  The proposal does not describe the significance of the results, showing in what ways the end user will benefit, nor does the proposal adequately explain the potential benefits and impact of the proposed research.  The proposal does not include statements related to milestones; that is, time-linked accomplishments that must be completed before subsequent activities can begin or can be completed.  The proposal responds to reviewer concerns of tech transfer evidence.  However, there is no mention of intent to seek funding opportunities using interdisciplinary approaches.  The proposal needs to incorporate the following: 1) Evidence that a CRIS Search was conducted with comments on overlap with other projects; 2) Outcomes or projected impacts and 3) Milestones.  Approve
10.1.08   NC1009 (NC_temp1009) Metabolic Relationships in Supply of Nutrients for Lactating Cows (NC-185) Benfield  Minor revision due June 1.  This is a highly interactive group of scientists whose interests range from very fundamental to highly applied in nature. This mixture of skills is apparent in the committee’s many successes.  While the committee has demonstrated good productivity and dissemination of research results, the MRC feels that a clearly defined and detailed outreach and extension program needs to be completed before final approval is granted. The group is also advised to clarify the impacts and benefits of this group to stakeholder groups. Approve
10.1.09   NC1010 (NC_temp1010) Interpreting Cattle Genomics Data: Biology, Applications and Outreach (NC-209) Beermann  Terminating.  Committee chose to become an NCDC project Oct. 1, 2007 - NCDC213.  Approve
10.1.10   NC1119 (NC_temp1119) Management Systems to Improve the Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Dairy Enterprises Benfield  Major revision due June 1.  The reviewers and the MRC are very supportive of the basic goals of the project.  Environmental and economic issues are clearly two of the greatest challenges facing the dairy industry.  However, the proposal was judged to be overly inclusive of general information on dairy management and lacking in specific milestones.  In revision we request: 1) the proposal be revised to focus on the key issues that relate to the proposed activities and 2) present specific milestones for the accomplishments of the committee. Approve
10.1.11   NC1142 (NC_temp1142) Regulation of Photosynthetic Processes (NC-142) Goldman Major revision due June 1.  The literature review was fine, but evidence of a CRIS search is lacking.  There is not really a plan for how the research findings will be tied together in a collaborative manner on a regional basis.  There is a plan to develop a teaching module for elementary schools but no plan for collaborative effort at dissemination of results.   The proposal does not describe the significance of the results, showing in what ways the end user will benefit, nor does it adequately explain the potential benefits and impact of the proposed research.  At best, this is only accomplished in terms of basic scientific meaning, not practical terms.  The proposal does represent  multistate participation, which builds on specific strengths of the participants into a cooperative and complementary research project.  However, the MRC was surprised that not more than five states have an interest in photosynthesis - the Appendix E needs improvement.  The group needs to provide evidence of a CRIS search.  Also, the group needs to better explain the potential benefits and impacts of the proposal.   Approve
10.1.12   NC1167 (NC_temp1167) Role of n-3/n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Health Maintenance (NC-167) Cunningham Approve. This a very well written project proposal from a successful group. The committee is encouraged to continue the good work and to be sure to carefully document and highlight the groups successes and interactions. Project will become NC1039. Approve
10.1.13   NC_temp2461 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 Mayo Not Approved.  This is a resubmission of a project from last year.  Comments from last year continue to be asked after this second submission.  For example, the project is largely dependent on the results of surveys and species recovered in those surveys.  While this is obviously important the basis for focusing on amenity grasses is not clear from the proposal.  Further, if amenity grasses are the focus then the choice of geographic region is similarly not clear and more emphasis may better be placed in western locations.  Some of the methodology does not appear to link directly to any objective (i.e., seed persistence). Specific methodology should be written for each objective. As written, the methods are not balanced.  Reviewers strongly recommend that the number of objectives be reduced and the remaining ones be refined to describe more specifically what is intended to be accomplished.  Objective 6 should be eliminated because it depends on the successful completion of other objectives and is not likely to be completed in the time-frame of this project.  There is no question that invasive species is an important topic however; the choice of species and approach taken here was questioned by the MRC and NCAC committees.  The MRC does not support the formation of the committee. Approve
10.1.14 NCCC   NCCC84 (NCCC_temp84) Potato Breeding and Genetics Technical Committee Michaels  Approve.  The group works together very effectively and the MRC and reviewers encourage continuation of these activities.  The committee has done a good job of listing accomplishments, but needs to work in the future to quantify the impacts of these activities. Approve
10.1.15   NCCC204 (NCCC_temp204) The Interface of Molecular and Quantitative Genetics in Plant and Animal Breeding Beyrouty Approve.  The committee addresses important issues related to plant and animal genomics.  Most of the impacts to date seem to relate to animal genomics but the techniques should be applicable to plant systems.  The group has excellent interaction with the private sector but need to work on participation at meetings during the non-Gordon Conference years.  Demonstrate progress in the plant area by midterm review.   Approve
10.1.16 NCERA   NCERA103 (NCERA_temp103) Specialized Soil Amendments and Products, Growth Stimulants and Soil Fertility Management Programs Beyrouty Approve.  This is a well established and long term working group. The committee is advised to do a more thorough job in the documentation of program successes and interactions. Further, as the membership is somewhat restricted, the committee should begin to work to increase membership and participation in meetings and other activities. The  committee should look to other forums to disseminate information, including the E-Xtension platform to increase awareness. These factors will be evaluated during the mid-term review. Approve
10.1.17   NCERA184 (NCERA_temp184) Management of Small Grains Lamkey    Minor Revision including developing more specific and quantifiable objectives and more specifically describing how information will be disseminated.  This group has done a good job of disseminating their information and has had a history of impact however these aspects should be more fully described in the proposal. Approve
10.1.18 NCR    NCR193 (NCR_temp193) Plant Health: Managing Insects and Diseases of Landscape Plants Payne Approve as NCERA project.  The MRC acknowledges that there has been some miscommunication with the committee in the recent years.  We recognize the accomplishments of this committee and support its continuation.  This conclusion is supported by several reviewers. Approve
10.1.19 NCDC       no review NCDC208 (NCDC_temp208) Biosecurity Communications Research and Practices Ramaswamy Will Submit by May 1. Place-holder Only
10.1.20 no review NCDC209 (NCDC_temp209) BioEnergy and BioProducts Lund/Straub Terminated. Approved as NC506.  Place-holder Only
10.2.00 Midterm Reviews  
10.2.01 NC     NC229 Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Disease: Methods for the integrated control, prevention and elimination of PRRS in United States Swine Herds Benfield Approve.  Excellent progress has been made against all seven objectives.  Among their accomplishments, the researchers discovered new strains of PRRSV in the US, developed clones of infectious PRRSV for the development of marker vaccines and have demonstrated that diagnostic tests can facilitate the elimination of PRRSV from herds. There is excellent collaboration among the participants, the National Pork Board and USDA researchers.  The committee has established a web site to share data among the participants.  The group has been extremely successful in leveraging support from the participating experiment stations.  The group was awarded a $4.5M USDA CAP grant and NC229 researchers have also been awarded $2M for the National Pork Board and private industry.  The group hosts an annual International PRRS Symposium and PRRS Compendium.  The members have been active participants in scientific meeting and have a prolific publication record.  The group should consider how it will orient its leadership to stay together.  Prolific publications.  This is an overall great project.  Approve
10.2.02   NC1014 Agricultural and Rural Finance Markets in Transition (NC221, NCT-194) Hanson Approve.  This is a highly interactive committee that has had impressive stakeholder partnerships and participation. The committee must begin to work to increase extramural research support for their interactive activities. This will lead to even greater impacts in the future. Approve
10.2.03   NC1015 Managing Karnal Bunt of Wheat Chumley Terminate.  Karnal bunt continues to be an important issue and work on this problem is supported throughout the country; NC-1015 was developed with this in mind.  However, participation has been limited to only a few members and there is limited interest in functioning as a multistate committee.  Reports were not submitted.  The MRC recommends termination of this project and that investigators interested in working on this disease may be best served by rolling the information exchange activities of this committee into NCERA 184. Approve
10.2.04   NC1016 Economic Assessment of Changes in Trade Arrangements, Bio-terrorism Threats and Renewable Fuels Requirements on the U.S. Grain and Oilseed Sector (formerly NCT195 and NC224) Thompson Approve.  The MRC recognizes the loss of participation due to retirements and encourages the committee to seek new representatives in key areas.  The committee also notes that the accomplishments reports needs to include information on accomplishments and impacts rather than simply reporting the minutes of the meeting. Approve
10.2.05   NC1017 Carbon Sequestration and Distribution in Soils of Eroded Landscapes (formerly NCT199 and NC174) Walsh Approve.  The group has made significant progress against Objectives 1 & 2 but has yet to initiate a relationship with NC59 as previously recommended.  Numerous publication have resulted from the project.  Research appears to be well coordinated; however, there is little evidence of the participants working in a collaborative fashion.  Rather the effort appears to be parallel but separate.   The participants appear to be productive thus one can assume they have received funding; however, this is not documented.  There is little evidence that the committee has worked to deliver results to extension, industry, and producers.  Information is published in scientific papers but these are not likely to reach the above groups. The group does plan to draft a one-page policy statement for submission to Science. The MRC approves this project, but recommends that the above issues be addressed by the time the group is ready for re-write.   Approve
10.2.06   NC1018 Impact of Climate and Soils on Crop Selection and Management (NC094 Renewal) Chumley Approve.  This is a long standing and well recognized committee that has achieved the goals that were set out in the original and subsequent proposals. This group is urged to continue to reach out and recruit new members. At the same time, as the committee prepares for its next proposal submission, it needs to work to make the project more contemporary upon completion of the Climate Atlas. This will be crucial to ensure the longer term viability of the project. Approve
10.2.07   NC1019 Control of Emerging and Re-emerging Poultry Respiratory Diseases in the United States (was NC-228) Klausner Approve.  The MRC recognizes the excellent work done by NC-1019 and encourages the group to continue.  The MRC also recognizes the need to have timely reporting and strongly recommends that reports be submitted within the NCRA guidelines and with more emphasis on clarity and impact in order for this group to enjoy success in the future. Approve
10.2.08   NC1020 Beef Cattle Grazing Systems that Improve Production and Profitability While Minimizing Risk and Environmental Impacts (NC225) Baker Approve.  The MRC feels that the committee responded appropriately to the challenges presented from the MRC.  The committee appreciates the efforts in addressing these requests and supports continuation of the project. Approve
10.2.09   NC1021 Nitrogen Cycling, Loading, and Use Efficiency in Forage-Based Livestock Production Systems (formerly NCT-196 and NC-189) Schaefer Approve.  Progress is being made on all three objectives; however, the work appears to be conducted by only a handful of the participating states.  Several journal papers have been published in 2006.  The core group of participants is productive but there is little evidence of true collaborative work or publications.  The group explored the suggestion of combining with NC1020 but rejected the idea because of the focus on livestock and forage production. The group has committed to developing a proposal for funding to be submitted to NRI or SARE by Fall ’07.  There were five refereed publication in 2006 and several outreach type activates, most of which came from Arkansas.  The group should work more towards more collaborative activities beyond those that are already occurring.  They should take advantage of funding activities by the time the group is ready for re-write.   Approve
10.2.10   NC1022 The Chemical and Physical Nature of Particulate Matter Affecting Air, Water and Soil Quality. (NCR174) Turco Approve.  The committee has moved forward to address critical needs over the initial period of this projects 5 yea cycle. The committee should continue to evaluate information distribution to ensure that the largest community of stakeholders can be served. Continued efforts to increase project participation by recruiting participants from additional  states is strongly suggested. Approve
10.2.11   NC1100 Rural Development, Work and Poverty in the North Central Region Colletti Approve.  NC-1100 has had some recent success with conference presentations and by being featured in a journal volume.  This is success is noteworthy.  The MRC recommends continuation of NC-1100 and encourages the group to work on emphasizing the following areas: 1) extramural funding such as the recent NRI proposal; 2) highlighting impacts vs. identifying issues; 3) integrating sociology with other disciplines; 4) incorporating where possible quantitative approaches. Approve
10.2.12 NCCC   NCCC9 MWPS:Research and Extension Educational Materials Miller Approve.  The committee continues to do a good job of addressing the core objectives.  The MRC recommends that the committee consider altering its scope to address new topics of importance to the region.  We recognize that resources are limited, so prioritization will need to occur.  MRC also encourages the committee to reassess its business model so that it can generate revenue to sustain its activities. Approve
10.2.13   NCCC31 Ecophysiological Aspects of Forage Management Buhler Approve.  Excellent progress against objective; numerous journal papers and presentations.  Excellent collaboration among participants.  Several participants have written chapters for a forages book.  Excellent group participation in meetings and in formulating and conducting the proposed research.  Nice linkage with ARS lab in PA.  The group has organized symposia at national and international meetings and produced numerous outreach publications.  Excellent participation.  Title needs improvement but the project is making progress.  Approve but reassess title when they attempt rewrite.   Approve
10.2.14   NCCC42 Committee on Swine Nutrition Merchen Approve.  Great project!  The committee has moved forward to address critical needs over the initial period of this projects 5 yea cycle. The committee should continue to evaluate information distribution to ensure that the largest community of stakeholders can be served. Continued efforts to increase project participation by recruiting participants from additional states is strongly suggested. Approve
10.2.15   NCCC97 Regulation of Adipose Tissue Accretion in Meat-Producing Animals Kinder Approve.  The scope of the NCCC-97 is truly national with the primary leaders in this area of study as it relates to food animals all contributing to this project.  The MRC recommends continuation of the project. Approve
10.2.16 NCERA   NCERA3 Soil Survey Miller Approve.  The MRC continues to support this committee, but we struggle with its future.  We recognize the past accomplishments and impacts of the project.  But we also recognize that soil survey is a maturing area of science and the applications of soil survey information are changing.  It is the view of the MRC that this committee should begin to consider a future where it more fully integrates its activities with emerging technologies and applications. Approve
10.2.17   NCERA57 Swine Reproductive Physiology Baker Approve.  Excellent progress has been made on all objectives.  Results have been published in refereed journals and on the web. There is excellent collaboration among the participants and with ARS labs.  The group is undertaking a coordinated effort to develop an NRI proposal. The group has done a great job of information exchange through a biannual conference attended by educators, extension personnel and scientists.  Approve
10.2.18   NCERA137 Soybean Diseases Slack Approve. Great group! Very effective.  The committee has moved forward to address critical needs over the initial period of this projects 5 yea cycle. The committee should continue to evaluate information distribution to ensure that the largest community of stakeholders can be served. Continued efforts to increase project participation by recruiting participants from additional states is strongly suggested. Approve
10.2.19   NCERA148 Migration and Dispersal of Agriculturally Important Biota Ravlin   Approve.  An impressive array of research accomplishments is suggested in the state reports from the last annual meeting; however, there is no summary of project accomplishments by objectives.  Also, while each participant appears to be productive there is no evidence of collaborative work. No funding evidence was presented, nor were linkages present among participant or with external stakeholders in the materials provided by the project.  When it comes time for rewrite, the group should consider revising its title.   Midterm review is approved but the above changes should be considered during rewrite.   Approve
10.2.20   NCERA190 Increased Efficiency of Sheep Production Schaefer Approve.  Overall progress is satisfactory and participation is strong.  In the letter approving the committee it was suggested that the group consider incorporating marketing issues that are important to the sheep industry.  The MRC still feels that this is a reasonable expectation of the committee and hopes to see progress in future reports. Approve
10.2.21   NCERA207 Drainage design and management practices to improve water quality Kanwar Approve.  The committee's doing what it's supposed to be doing.  Excellent group that appears to be productive and meeting its research and extension goals.  The participants have conducted four mini-symposia during their annual meetings to attract additional participants and they have coordinated their meetings with ADMSTF.  The participants also collaborated to develop a $1M funded collaborative grant from NRCS-CIG. The group has worked with ADMSTF to provide a forum for the dissemination of significant information between the groups. Approve
10.3.00 NRSP Budgets  
10.3.01   NRSP1 Research Planning Using the Current Research Information System (CRIS) Ravlin Approve budget as presented.   Approve
10.3.02   NRSP3 The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) Lila Approve budget as presented.  Applaud their efforts to reduce OTT funding.  Approve
10.3.03   NRSP4 High Value Specialty Crop Pest Management Buhler Approve budget as presented.   Approve
10.3.04   NRSP5 National Program for Controlling Virus Diseases of Temperate Fruit Tree Crops Linit Support the NRSPRC's recommendation to fund at 46K.  Group has not demonstrated its effort of actually looking for external funding.   Approve
10.3.05   NRSP6 Inter-Regional Potato introduction Project Jahn This is enough money to fight over but not enough money to do the job.  Approve with reservations.  Approve
10.3.06   NRSP8 National Animal Genome Research Program Stromberg Approve.  The MRC had considerable discussion of this funding.  There no question that this program has made important contributions.  However, this area of science is beginning to mature with some species completed and other funding secured for others.  The MRC recommends that this project be thoroughly reviewed and consider for reduction in funding and possible sun setting of the project. Approve
10.4.00 Other Funding Decisions  
10.4.01   NC7 Conservation, Management, enhancement and Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources Wintersteen will review for summer meeting Place-holder Only
10.4.02   NC1100 Rural Development, Work and Poverty in the North Central Region Colletti will review for summer meeting Place-holder Only

Action Requested: Approve MRC Recommendations.  NRSP7 also requests $542,720 in OTT funding for FY07 as an emergency allocation.  Recommendations should be forwarded to the NRSP Review Committee. 

Action Taken: Approved all recommendations above.  The NCRA discussed NRSP7's request with Mike Harrington and came to the general consensus that the directors need more information from NRSP7 before a decision can be made. 

11.0 Planning for March 2008 NCRA Meeting
Marshall Martin for Forrest Chumley

Action Requested: Determine the location of the 2008 NCRA Spring Meeting. 

Action Taken: The NCRA Directors asked if the meeting had to be held in the region.  According to the Rules of Operation, "Meeting locations shall be agreed upon by the membership who may delegate the decision."  The NCRA Directors agreed that they would like to meet in a warmer climate and left it up to the NCRA Office to choose between Las Vegas and San Antonio.  The NCRA will investigate these locales. 

ARS Report - Consent Report only
Presenter: Steve Shafer

At present, ARS’ FY07 budget is still unresolved with respect to use of funds associated with certain earmarks, and the FY08 budget is still uncertain with respect to its baseline.  Therefore, there is little or nothing to report on with any real authority.  At a meeting in DC last week, Steve had hoped to get some news that would allow him to make some definitive statements.  The issues were not totally resolved. More info to follow at upcoming meetings. 

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None. 

Berry Crop Initiative - Consent Report only
Presenter: Doug Buhler

Following up on the suggestion during the September meeting, Doug was asked to provide an update on the Berry Crop Initiative.  He has nothing new to report at this time. 

Action Requested: None, for information only. 

Action Taken: None.  No need to bring this up in the future meetings.