North Central Regional Association


State Agriculture Experiment Station Directors


184th Meeting

March 31 & April 1, 2009

Embassy Suites, Kansas City International Airport

Kansas City, MO


Call-in Number:  816-891-7788 ext. 7158


Draft Minutes



Agenda Item



Tuesday, March 31

8:00 am


Call to Order

Bill Ravlin



Approval of September 2008 Minutes (




Adoption of the Agenda




Interim Actions of the Chair


8:10 am


ARS Report

Joseph Rich

8:25 am


NRSP-6 Update

John Bamberg

8:40 am


NRSP-3 Update

David Gay

8:55 am


MRC Report

John Kirby



8.1 New/Renewal NC Projects




8.2 Midterm Reviews




8.3 NRSP Report

Marshall Martin



8.4 Other MRC Issues


10:00 am


10:15 am


ESCOP Budget and Legislative Committee

Steve Slack, Cornerstone (by phone)



9.1  2009/2010 Budget



9.2  Stimulus Package

10:45 am


Executive Director’s Report

Arlen Leholm



10.1 NCBC Update

Joe Colletti/Arlen Leholm



10.2 NCRDC Update

Doug Buhler



10.3 IP Report

Arlen Leholm



10.4 C-FAR Membership

11:00 am


Energy Updates




11.1 BioEnergy Solutions

Steve Pueppke, Joe Colletti, Arlen Leholm



11.2 Growth Energy Network



11.3 BioCentury Initiative

Sonny Ramaswamy, Jozef Kokini

12:00 pm


1:00 pm


Respond to REEO Questions


2:00 pm


ESCOP Science and Technology Committee – New Science Roadmap

Bill Ravlin

2:10 pm


ESCOP Report

Steve Pueppke

2:20 pm


Nominations Report

Doug Buhler, Sarah Greening

2:35 pm


One-Solution Report

Marshall Martin

2:50 pm


3:20 pm



Meryl Broussard

3:40 pm



Marc Linit

3:45 pm


ESS Marketing Update

Arlen Leholm, Steve Pueppke, Bill Ravlin

4:10 pm


Other Business


4:30 pm

Executive Session



Wednesday, April 1

8:00 am


State Reports (2 hours/as needed)


10:00 am


10:30 am


Future Meetings


11:00 am


12:00 pm


Coordinating Intellectual Property Efforts in the North Central Region

Jozef Kokini, Sonny Ramaswamy, Marc Linit


IP Resources: Mike Nichols (MO), Lesley Millar (UIUC), Karen White (Purdue; phone)

2:00 pm



Item 4.0:  Interim Actions of the Chair

Presenter: Bill Ravlin, 2009 NCRA Chair




Added to the agenda:  Call to Fred Cholick to discuss NIFA Directors


Invite NC1018 to July meeting (by phone) to discuss status of Climate Atlas.  The NCRA decided to set a one-year deadline for NC1018 to spend their allotted NCRA funded $6000 for Atlas printing costs.


Action requested:  Approve Kansas City Embassy Suites as the NCRA 2010 meeting location.

Action taken:  Approved.

Item 5.0:  ARS Report

Presenter:  Joseph Rich



Item 6.0: NRSP6 Report

Presenter: John Bamberg


NRSP-6 Potato Genebank agenda brief for NCRA spring meeting

John Bamberg

February, 2009


US Potato Genebank—Service and research for potato genetic improvement


NRSP-6 is located on the University of Wisconsin Peninsular Agricultural Research Station near Sturgeon Bay.  NRSP-6 is the US genebank for tuber-bearing Solanum (potato) species and is part of the National Plant Germplasm System.  Staff  and organization/support will be reviewed.  NRSP6’s mission is acquisition, classification, preservation, distribution, and evaluation of wild and cultivated potato germplasm and information.  This supports genetic improvement of the potato crop, and consequently has an impact on the larger economic, nutritional and environmental aspects of potato across the nation.  NRSP-6 also has a unique opportunity to conduct R&D work to improve germplasm management and use in-house and by users.  Recent NRSP-6 cooperation and service within the NCR will be summarized.  Recent developments which will help the NCR and nation continue to realize a large return on potato germplasm investment will be discussed.



Item 8.0: MRC Report

Presenter: John Kirby



Proj Type Proj Rvwr

Current Proj # (Temp #)



MRC Comments

NCRA Meeting Comments on MRC Recommendations


New Projects











NC229  (NC_temp229)

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Disease: Methods for the integrated control, prevention and elimination of PRRS in United States Swine Herds


NC229 is a strong group with outstanding participation by scientists with diverse backgrounds from many locations (US, China, Spain) and organizations (Universities, USDA/ARS and NADC). There is also an excellent and continuing record of extramural support for the project. The MRC recommends approval with the inclusion of a statement indicating the need for this work, "Why it must be done", and what will happen if this project were not to be approved. Model of success for Multistate Research Projects. Approve with minor revision. Recommend maintaining project with NC229 identifier.




NC1014 (NC_temp1014)

Agricultural and Rural Finance Markets in Transition (NC221, NCT-194)


Recommend approval. The Agricultural and Rural Finance Markets in Transition, has been a productive committee and their new project could not be more timely and of potential high value to our nation's producers and financiers.  Eighteen states are represented in NC1014, including 7 from the North Central region.  The outputs of NC 1014 will help with understanding of the likely impacts associated with our current international financial turmoil.  I agree with the review committee's observation that, "the role of each participant in each objective needs to be clarified. A time line for specific deliverables would also be helpful". Will renew as NC1177.





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)


NA - Extension approved.




NC1017  (NC_temp1017)

Impacts of Crop Residue Removal for Biofuel on Soils


This project addresses an important subject of importance to the sustainability of biofuels.  The project has good participation from a number of states.  The project should be approved; however, the committee needs to submit the NC1017 2008 progress report by June 13, 2009 before final approval can be granted.  Following receipt of this report, NC1017 will renew as NC1178.




NC1018  (NC_temp1018)

Food, Feed, Fuel, and Fiber: Security Under a Changing Climate


The MRC recommends approval with revision based on NCAC1's comments:  "Proposed models (new and existing) need to be better defined (more specific information) for Objectives 2a, 3a, and 3b. Progress is being made with several expected outcomes by 2013."  Revisions are due June 1, 2009.  NC1018 will renew as NC1179.




NC1019  (NC_temp1019)

Control of Emerging and Re-emerging Poultry Respiratory Diseases in the United States


This project addresses respiratory diseases afflicting poultry in the U.S. Respiratory diseases are the most important source of economic losses in the poultry industry.  This group has an excellent record in the discovery, characterization and development of control measures for respiratory diseases in poultry. The proposed project is well-written, methods are appropriate for the objectives and the objectives are achievable within the timeframe of the proposal. The proposal addresses a broad group of viruses and bacteria as causes of respiratory disease, but there is no effort to coordinate results between different agents to identify common mechanisms of virulence, pathogenesis, immune evasion, and immune responses. No CRIS search was done. There is a lack of collaboration and interdependence in this proposal. As one reviewer indicated, it has been an ongoing problem to get this group to expand interactions outside academia to private industry and to develop collaborative summaries of data from the various objectives into a comprehensive report. In addition, there is no detailed outreach or Extension plan, except for one example in Delaware.  Approve with minor revision due June 1, 2009.  NC1019 will renew as NC1180.




NC1020  (NC_temp1020)

Sustaining Forage-based Beef Cattle Production in a Bioenergy Environment


This project addresses sustainable forage based production systems for beef cattle in the North Central Region. This region produces over 53% of marketed cattle and forages account for 80% of the feed units consumed by beef cattle. Feed represents the greatest expense in beef cattle management, thus more sustainable feeding systems must be pursued to keep the industry profitable. Two objectives, one on forages-legumes and one on biofuel co-products as feedstocks are proposed. The proposal reads like two separate projects, one on forage-legumes and one on feeding ethanol co-products with little interaction indicated between these two objectives. The project also does not clearly indicate which states will be responsible for what objectives and why a multi-state approach is necessary. The AA and NACA committees recommend approval of this project but both reviews also noted the lack of an outreach component and lack of adequate collaborative research plan. Overall, this is a good project with achievable objectives that will provide data of impact to the industry. It is recommended that this project be approved with major revisions. The project should be revised to bring additional grazing states within and outside the NC region into the project to broaden the expertise of the project and participants. Also, the committee should attempt to make the experiments cohesive and collaborative, what about a "Big Grazing "Project in which data from several areas with different geography, different climate, and different forages are summarized into a manual or publication of value to the cattle industry.  Revisions are due June 1, 2009.  Project will renew as NC1181.




NC1021  (NC_temp1021)

Nitrogen Cycling, Loading, and Use Efficiency in Forage-Based Livestock Production Systems


This is a very important project focusing on nitrogen loading and usage in livestock production systems.  The expected outcomes and predictions include ranking and management strategies in terms of nitrogen use efficiency particularly as it relates to the capture and excretion of nitrogen in the environment in order to positively influence environmental quality.  The project has well thought out objectives, has an excellent range of partners and is making good progress.  The work is resulting in good impact and has a good outreach and education plan. Recommend approval. NC1021 will renew as NC1182.





The Chemical and Physical Nature of Particulate Matter Affecting Air, Water and Soil Quality. (NCR174)


Will terminate as scheduled on 9/30/2009.




NC508 (NC_temp1173)

Sustainable Solutions to Problems Affecting Bee Health


Approve, but with major revision needed.  This is a new project proposed to form from a committee originally organized as a rapid response committee.  The focus area is appropriate given the importance of bee pollination to US agriculture.  The group has had excellent participation in the past and appears to be well organized to coordinate activities during the project period.  Several members are involved in a $4.1M, 4-year CAP project funded in 2008.  The project proposal has good state participation but the proposal lacks detail regarding the methodology and evidence for collaboration among participants.  Please submit revised proposal no later than June 1, 2009 to be considered for starting on 10/1/2009.




New to the region (NC_temp1174)

Contribution of 4-H Participation to the Development of Social Capital Within Communities


Disapprove as an NC-type project.  The research base of this committee is not strong enough to support an NC-type project.  The MRC suggests this committee either re-submit the material as an NCERA by June 1, 2009, or greatly strengthen the research portion of this proposal.  The MRC also suggests that the committee establish research contacts with the new Rural Development Center at MSU.




New to the region (NC_temp1175)

Sustainability of Next Generation Biofuels Systems


Disapprove.  The MRC recommends the committee re-form as an NCDC and submit a more mature proposal by December 1, 2009, following the NCRA proposal submission guidelines.











NCCC009  (NC_temp9)

MWPS: Research and Extension Educational Materials


Approve.  This is a productive committee that produces valuable publications for the agricultural community.  During the year, working groups will use conference calls, e-mail, electronic document exchange, other Internet media, and face-to-face meetings as needed to develop programs and products. A portion of the annual meeting will be dedicated to obtaining updates from MWPS publishing staff regarding product development, marketing and sales.  The project has been effective in the past and promises to be in the future. Recommend maintaining project with NCCC9 identifier.




NCCC031  (NC_temp31)

Ecophysiological Aspects of Forage Management


Extended one year, will expire on 9/30/2010.




NCCC042  (NC_temp42)

Committee on Swine Nutrition


This is a strong, longstanding committee that has met with the S1012 Research committee for the past 15 years. NCCC42 exhibits strong interactions with industry and other end users. This group is truly functioning as a coordinating committee, and participants have jointly published findings over the past 5 years, at least 6 papers. Efforts to update the committee with additional expertise in statistics, economics and animal welfare are laudatory. Research section needs to be polished up (see review #1). Recommend approval after minor rewrite of research section. Recommend maintaining project with NCCC42 identifier.




NCCC097  (NC_temp97)

Regulation of Adipose Tissue Accretion in Meat-Producing Animals


This project focuses on understanding the regulation and mechanisms for control of adipose tissue (fat) deposition in animals raised for meat production. Committee members meet annually prior to the Experimental Biology meetings.  This format improves attendance by principle scientists and allows for participation of graduate students and post-doctoral research associates.  This committee has published at least two landmark works on the biology of fat in meat animals in 1976 and 1995 and a recent review article on the biology of adipocytes in meat producing animals. There was also a committee sponsored symposium in 2003. The AA on this project indicates that there is good attendance at the meetings and the group is open in sharing data, ideas and other information on adipocyte biology.  The project is recommended for approval by both the AA and the NCAC review committee.  However, the latter group indicates that there are too many objectives (10) and that some of these objectives are carried over from the previous project.  Also there is no description as to what states will be responsible for what objectives, specific details on how data will be shared, discussed and disseminated beyond professional meetings.  The project should be approved with the following revisions: reduce or combine the objectives to those that can be accomplished (5 or less); determine which states are responsible for what objectives; provide project milestones and dates to complete; have other participants complete Appendix E (there were only 4 states at last posting); and consider expanding the data and potential models of adipose physiology, biology, etc to issues related to obesity in humans as new opportunity for funding.  Recommend approval following minor revision due June 1, 2009.  Project will renew as NCCC210.











NCERA003  (NC_temp3)

Soil and Landscape Assessment, Function and Interpretation


Approve with minor revision.  NCERA3 shows excellent objectives for research, extension and academics as well as being highly integrated. Work plans are clear and the work will be accomplished. Outcomes are clearly identified and are innovative and far reaching. For example, the MRC reviewer likes the plan to develop not only educational materials and models, but also materials for K-12 programs. The activities are not duplicative, and is an integrated and collaborative effort. Broad representation in the region and from other states, federal agencies, etc. AA is enthusiastic. Please submit a revised proposal no later than June 1, taking into account NCAC1's comments.  NCAC1 comments will be sent directly to NCERA3 for review.

Approve. Please note updates to NCERA3 review made on 4/7/2009. CMH



NCERA057  (NC_temp57)

Swine Reproductive Physiology


The project is focused on capitalizing on new and growing technologies in functional genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics, to understand and control the reproductive processes in swine.  The committee is made up of a broad group of researchers and extension specialists. The committee has a strong history of working together and has submitted a joint proposal to the NRI.  They have well defined expected outcomes and impacts.  The program has proposed clear objectives that are achievable and will achieve an impact. Recommend approval. Project will renew as NCERA212.

Approve.  Email request to retain number made via email on 4/8/2009,  Project will remain NCERA57. CMH



NCERA137  (NC_temp137)

Soybean Diseases (NCR137)


NCERA137 is an important project with potentially very significant outcomes for soybean producers and the overall area of soybean disease research. However, its current research plan appears to be only a very minor revision of the project approved five years ago causing 3 of the 4 MRC reviewers concern. The proposal lacks detail in the research plan and the outreach plan is unclear. There is only very limited detail as to the projected outcomes and deliverables. This project should undergo major revision to be considered for approval.




NCERA148  (NC_temp148)

Migration and Dispersal of Agriculturally Important Biota (NCR-148)


Approve.  This is a longstanding project that has had excellent participation in meetings since 1984.  The committee membership has multi-disciplinary representation.  The committee has organized symposia at national meetings and has excellent linkages with other regional projects.  NCERA148 will renew as NCERA213.




NCERA190 (NC_temp190)

Increased Efficiency of Sheep Production


This project is one of three focused on sheep and production issues impacting the sheep industry.  The project has a culture and history of integration of research and extension and this association continues in the present proposal. The objectives are focused on methods to improve reproductive efficiency, growth, carcass quality, meat palatability, genetics, nutrient requirements, production systems for milk production and developing profitable and sustainable production systems. The project involves 15 stations and two USDA-ARS research programs.  In most experiments, at least two or more breeds are compared at different institutions, providing sufficient experimental replicates and allowing comparison of more breeds than evaluated in a single experiment. Recommend approval with minor modifications: indicate what states will participate in which objectives, and provide more detail as to the educational plan.  Revisions are due June 1, 2009.  NCERA190 will renew as NCERA214.




NCERA207  (NC_temp207)

Drainage design and management practices to improve water quality


The project focuses on water quality of the nation's lakes, rivers and streams that are impaired from nutrients and fecal coliform.  All sources of input require improved assessment and more stringent management.  Because of its fundamental existence in crop production and in aquatic systems, nitrogen has been and will be the focus of drainage research and education. The objectives of the project are well laid out.  Unfortunately there is no discussion of an education and outreach plan.  The proposal needs to be rewritten with more detail related to teaching and outreach. Approve with major revision due June 1, 2009. 





 Latinos and Immigrants in Midwestern Communities


Approve with minor revision.  Proposal needs a stronger base of research participation.  See also NCAC5 comments.  Please submit a revised proposal no later than June 1, 2009. Following revision, this project will become NCERA215 on October 1, 2009.



Mid-Term Reviews











Domestic Surveillance, Diagnosis, And Therapy Of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies


Last year, the MRC suggested a one year extension during which time the new AA will work the committee to submit progress reports.  Only the 2008 report was received and it was submitted well past the deadline.  In addition, according to the NIMSS system, NC1024 has no record of ever having held a meeting since inception.  The project addresses an important area, but there is no evidence of external funding or an effort to secure external funding.  The membership has not met the reporting requirements of a regional project.  The MRC recommends NC1024 be terminated early and re-submit a new proposal during the next submission cycle if continuation is desired.  Submission of a new project proposal must follow all NCRA multi-state project guidelines.





An integrated approach to control of bovine respiratory diseases


NC1027 is an animal disease research group that has made significant scientific advances in the study of Bovine Respiratory Disease. To this reviewer, it seems that there is little connection between what is proposed by the committee and what is actually done (Noted by the NCAC review as well). There is no visible outreach component and this needs to be fixed immediately. Publications are listed but there is no apparent relationship to committee members joint activities. While this is obviously a well funded group of individuals, no joint funding is indicated in the proposal. The project must be ready to address these points prior to the project’s renewal due fall of 2010.





Promoting healthful eating to prevent excessive weight gain in young adults


Excellent progress; number of collaborative grant proposals to NIH, NRI, etc. and a number of publications. Clear collaborations across the region and outside of the region as well. Both reviews are excellent. Recommend project continuation.





Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare


This proposal addresses a very important need in animal welfare. It focuses on providing the science and technology to keep ranchers and farmers ahead as regulations become tighter on trade restriction.  Excellent work has been done since the beginning of the project across all of the universities.  There is a great deal of impact from the work.  The team appears to be working very well together. Recommend project continuation.





Family Firms and Policy


This is an excellent committee that has active participation, excellent annual reports, excellent linkages and documented impacts.  The members have been aggressive and successful in pursuing outside funding.  Recommend project continuation.





Nanotechnology and Biosensors


This project addresses a cutting edge science and technology which has the potential to deliver the essential tools to agriculture and food.  The project needs to expand how the range of ideas can apply to agriculture and food applications prior to its renewal due fall 2010.  Participating members have obtained several grants and are working well together.  The project has excellent goals and is on its way to obtain good outcomes. Recommend project continuation.





Characterizing active soil organic matter pools controlling soil N availability in maize-based cropping systems


This group has made sufficient progress towards the three objectives in the project.  Since the first report in April 2007, this group has applied for two NRI grants as a collaborative effort (not successful) and are discussing other potential funding sources. A collaborative manuscript on the regional Illinois Soil Test was accepted for publication. Experiments for the first two objectives are ongoing and the committee held a discussion session on how to proceed on Objective 3. The group appears to be making sufficient progress on objectives to approve continuance.





Local food choices, eating patterns, and population health


It is difficult to determine what progress this committee has accomplished between 2007 and 2008 as a progress report is lacking. The members of the committee appear to be making some progress towards the objectives, but there is little evidence that the milestones for 2008 have been accomplished. The committee members have been successful in obtaining nearly $7 million in competitive grant dollars with the NIH grant on obesity accounting for $6.4 million. There is no detail to indicate what states are involved in the various grants; do these grants represent collaborative efforts or single investigator success? The reviews by AA and NCAC are split with one indicating good to excellent progress and the other fair to good progress, especially in meeting the objectives. Overall, sufficient progress to recommend continuance but missing committee reports need to be submitted and should contain more detail to indicate progress.  Please submit missing reports to NIMSS no later than June 13, 2009 to avoid early termination.





Impact Analyses and Decision Strategies for Agricultural Research


This is a highly productive group with significant intellectual interactions.  NC1034 maintains a significant publication record and is putting together a symposium this spring.  For the future, please consider approaches for joint funding. Recommend project continuation.





Practical Management of SCN and Other Nematodes of Regional Importance: With Special Reference to Invasive Biology


The MRC is concerned that this group outgrown its usefulness.  Annual reports indicate poor meeting attendance, a poorly functioning committee and a lack of leveraging.  Moreover, NC1035 is not meeting required reporting requirements (reports due annually 60 days after each meeting) and will face early termination unless a 2008 annual report and an updated impact statement are submitted by June 13, 2009.





Research and Education Support for the Renewal of an Agriculture of the Middle


NC1036 is not meeting required reporting requirements (reports due annually 60 days after each meeting) and will face early termination unless a 2008 annual report and an impact statement are submitted by June 13, 2009.












Small Fruit and Viticulture Research


This project focuses on development and improvement of small fruits production and high value horticultural crops used in both fresh and processed fruit markets. There are a number of active projects ongoing under each objective and at least two or more states are involved in these projects.  The group continues to produce new cultivars; the primo cane-fruiting blackberries are the most recent example. The group is publishing through professional journals and industry publications.  No information on external funding was given.  Overall, a productive and collaborative group that is making good progress on the objectives.  Recommend approval to continue.





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


This is a longstanding and strong committee that addresses issues related to corn rootworm management.  The committee appropriately changes focus as the challenges inherent in the management of corn rootworms change through time.  The committee has an active membership, good annual meetings and has documented impacts.  Recommend project continuation.





Indicators of Social Change in the Marketplace: Producers, Retailers and Consumers


All three reviews are good to excellent. Tremendous progress, excellent outcomes and outreach; extramural grant support. Please submit a new impact statement by June 13.  Recommend project continuation.





Corn Breeding Research


This is a strong group with very good participation of a diverse group of members and guests. The MRC strongly suggests that by the time the renewal is proposed, that the committee elucidate how the collaborative activities of the members make the group stronger than those of just the individual members. Please keep up with annual reporting requirements and submit the 2008 report no later than June 13.  Recommend project continuation.





NCCC170: Research Advances in Agricultural Statistics


This is an excellent committee that provides a platform for experiment station statisticians to exchange information on new statistical procedures that ultimately enhance their ability to support agricultural research.  The committee has active participation with representation from several states.  The CC format meets the needs of this group very well.  Recommend project continuation.












Soil Testing and Plant Analysis


This is a historical committee that has provided recommendations and standards for public and private laboratories doing appropriate soil testing and plan analysis for management on the use of fertilizers to balance nutritional levels in plants and soil.  The committee has a rather large and diverse membership. This group has been proactive in developing safer laboratory analyses for soils and plant material, provided the industry with a procedural manual, updates the procedural manual annually, and provides one day workshops for commercial laboratories doing this type of testing. The group also maintains communication with other committees with similar or overlapping objectives, S-890, North American Proficiency Testing Program, liaison with NC-218 and NCERA-180 Regional Committees, maintain working relationship with SERA-IEG-6 and conduct joint meetings with SERA-IEG-6 and NEC-1007 for the development of manuals. Recommend approval and continuation, missing progress reports need to be submitted by June 13, 2009.





Soil Organic Matter: Formation, Function and Management


NCERA59 shows good progress, but members exhibit lackluster participation.  Both reviews say approve and continue project. The AA should write to the team to encourage better participation in advance of re-write due fall 2010. Recommend project continuation.





Beef-Cow-Calf Nutrition and Management Committee


NCERA87 is a strong project with lots of networking/linkages but also poor participation.  The AA should encourage stronger participation in advance of 2010 fall rewrite. Recommend project continuation.





Swine Production Management to Enhance Animal Welfare


This committee is very active and should be encouraged to continue to recruit new members to strengthen their efforts in this important area. Recommend project continuation.





Controlled Environment Technology and Use


The project focuses on controlled environmental technology and its ability to improve our understanding of plant growth.  There is an impressive array of universities and organizations and they appear to be working extremely well together.  They have a number of impactful outcomes that complement one another and these outcomes have very strong impact. The project has exceeded project goals. Has one of the best websites and its annual meetings have attendance exceeding 50.  Please submit 2008 annual report by June 13. Recommend project continuation.





Biological Control of Arthropods and Weeds


This is a strong committee with representation from research and extension.  The committee has active participation and strong collaboration with other regional projects.  The committee has submitted annual reports for 2006 and 2007 but not 2008.  It has strong support from its AA.  The MRC requests that a 2008 annual report be submitted by June 13 before final continuation approval can be granted.





Site-Specific Crop Management


This committee incorporates several disciplines and private industry at annual meetings to meet objectives related to site specific crop management.  The committee holds several workshops each year related to technology and application of SSCM for individual producers. The project participants have been active in research, extension, outreach activities and dissemination of results to the industry. There is insufficient detail to determine how many of the activities involved multiple states.  Overall, excellent progress on objectives, Recommend approval and continuation of project.





Improving the Environmental Impact and Management of Turfgrasses


 This is a strong committee that benefits from participation by numerous states representing both research and extension expertise.  The committee has a good record of documented impacts that support the turfgrass industry.  The project is strongly supported by the AA.  Recommend project continuation.





Implementation and Strategies for National Beef Cattle Genetic Evaluation


The project is well thought out.  Its objective is to develop new ways to share genetic research including genetic marker information with breed associations, beef cattle producers and organizations such as the national cattleman's beef association and beef improvement association. The program has already had a lot of impact on many fronts, it has an impressive array of collaborators from relevant universities and organizations.  It is a good solid project. Please submit the 2008 report to NIMSS June 13, 2009.





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


NCERA200 is a strong project with excellent participation, information exchange, and leveraged funding; PIPE project. Approve for continuation.





Integrated Pest Management


NCERA201 is a large and successful group that has participated under the umbrella of the national IPM programs. This committee will need to clearly demonstrate their focused  priorities and collaborative efforts by the time of the project renewal. Recommend project continuation.





Response to Emerging Threat: Soybean Rust


Strong Committee with excellent outreach and survey activities. This group has strong attendance and is opening up for even greater participation and breadth of programming. Approve for continuation.



NRSP Budgets




Research Planning Using the Current Research Information System (CRIS)







The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP)


This project was originally approved for off the top funding in October 1977.  The project director and participants have continued to reinvent the objectives and involvement of this group in measuring air pollutants and their impact when deposited into bodies of water, soil and fauna. Data in the depository is widely used by universities, K-12 education, government agencies and private industries. At present the amount of funding provided by SAES has continued to decrease since FY03 to $61,000 in FY08.  The amount requested in FY09 is $50,000 to support a partial FTE as program coordinator. The project receives an additional $3.0-3.1 million in funding from various sources.

Overturn termination recommendation bases on recent improvements in committee communication.  Continue OTT funding.




High Value Specialty Crop Pest Management



Approve one-year extension.




National Program for Controlling Virus Diseases of Temperate Fruit Tree Crops



Recommend a shift away from OTT funding.




Inter-Regional Potato Introduction Project


Disapprove. Project funding should zero-out.

Approve MRC recommendation.  Project should be encouraged to seek industry support  and transition away from OTT funding.




A National Agricultural Program for Minor Use Animal Drugs


The minor species drug funding was included in the Omnibus- it was reinstated at $425k.  Recommend removal from OTT funding line.





National Animal Genome Research Program


Recommend budget approval.  NRSP 8 budgets are in line with their objectives and with a 20 to 1 funding leverage.





National Animal Nutrition Program


Disapprove.  Proposal needs more thought and maturity.





Specialty Crop Regulatory Assistance Program


Approve, but the budget should be reduced to more realistic levels.



Other funding decisions





Rural Development, Work and Poverty in the North Central Region


MRC disapproves the extension of NC1100.  MSU should write a new proposal with better justifications for requested funding.

NCRA approves one-year extension of NC1100 with Steve Lovejoy serving as the MSU AA.  Transfer $24,000 OTT funding from ISU to MSU effective 10/1/2009.  NC1100 will terminate on 9/30/2010.









Other MRC Issues



Discussion potential addition of Extension reps to MRC for reviewing NCERAs

Disapprove.  NCRA directors with dual appointments can fill these roles.



Restructure MRC meetings:  MRC to meet afternoon prior to NCRA Spring meeting, cancel Chicago meeting.  Focus on NC-type and new projects only.  All others should just be meeting annual reporting requirements. Refer to separate MRC recommendations document.


Approve:  see NCRA 2009 spring meeting notes below..






Item 8.5.02: Proposed Changes to MRC Review Process


·                Eliminate the Hilton Chicago O’Hare meeting completely in favor of hosting a MRC session together for three hours the afternoon before the NCRA spring meeting.  Since the Chicago meeting now costs close to $2500, not including flights and sleeping rooms for participants, this change would result in significant monetary savings for both the NCRA and participating institutions.  MRC members would prepare and send their project comments to Chris two weeks in advance for compilation into the MRC report. Face-to-face meeting time would mainly focus on new and “problem” committees.


·                New/revision proposals:  Focus mainly on new project proposals (NC, NCCC, and NCERAs) and NC-type project renewal proposals.  Chris will include summaries of the multi-state project guidelines for each project type with MRC instructions and assignments.


·                Mid-term Reviews:  Focus will center around membership, participation, reports, and collaborations for NC-type (research) projects only.  Unless they receive funding in addition to travel, NCCCs and NCERAs will be evaluated only on whether they are holding annual meetings and submitting the required annual reports.  Chris can take over this portion of the mid-term review process to help reduce the number of projects assigned to the MRC.


Action requested:  Approve MRC project review and renewal recommendations; approve proposed changes to MRC review process


Action taken:  All NC project review/renewal/mid-term review recommendations approved with the exception of NC1100 extension request.  The NCRA has approved a one-year extension of NC1100 and transfer of its $24,000 OTT funding from ISU to MSU effective 10/1/2009. Changes to MRC review process approved pending further discussion of ERA and CC reporting requirements (SAES-422 format versus uploading minutes only) and change to AA review deadline from 12/15 to 1/15.



NRSP1: approved FY2010 OTT funding at requested amount of $346,829
NRSP3: approved the 5-year proposal NRSP_temp3, and the FY2010 OTT funding at requested amount of $50,000
NRSP4: approved FY2010 OTT funding at requested amount of $481,182 and one-year extension
NRSP6: denied approval of FY2010 OTT at requested amount of $150,000.  The NCRA requests the project seek external funding sources.
NRSP7: approved the 5-year proposal NRSP_temp7, but recommend removal from OTT funding line due to re-instatement of Special Grants funding
NRSP8: approved FY2010 OTT funding at requested amount of $500,000
NRSP_temp161, National Animal Nutrition Program: denied approval of proposal and budget
NRSP_temp201, The Specialty Crop Regulatory Assistance Program: approved proposal, but denied budget.  Budget should be decreased to more realistic levels and reviewed again

Item 9.0:  ESCOP B&L Report

Presenters:  Steve Slack, Cornerstone (by phone)


Cornerstone Email from February 23, 2009:


F.Y. 2009 Appropriations Results Finally Released


To Members of the NASULGC System:

- Board on Agriculture Assembly

- Budget and Advocacy Committee

- Council on Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching


Almost five months after the beginning of the fiscal year, House and Senate negotiators have finally reconciled their differences over the F.Y. 2009 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Thus, we are able to report  final results for the programs at the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.


We are pleased to report that overall funding for CSREES is up $45.41 million compared to F.Y. 2008. In addition, 13 of 14 of the programs on the BAC's list for priority enhancement increased by a total of $48.531 million.


The following table shows the final results for all CSREES programs:

  FY 2007 FY 2008   FY 2009

Research and Education Activities Enacted Enacted   Final

Hatch Act 322.597 195.812   207.106

McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry 30.008 24.791   27.535

Evans-Allen Program (1890s Research) 40.680 41.051   45.504

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative 190.229 190.883   201.504

Improved Pest Control 14.650 15.313   15.945

Special Research Grants   91.775   84.499

Animal Health and Disease (Sec. 1433) 5.006 4.971   2.950

1994 Institutions Research Program 1.544 1.533   1.610

Joe Skeen Institute for Rangeland Restoration 0.990 0.983   0.983

Graduate Fellowship Grants 3.701 3.675   3.859

Institution Challenge Grants 5.423 5.385   5.654

Multicultural Scholars Program 0.988 0.981   0.981

Hispanic Education Partnership Grants 5.940 6.046   6.237

Secondary/2-year Post Secondary 0.990 0.983   0.983

Capacity Building Grants (1890 Institutions) 12.375 13.592   15.000

Payments to the 1994 Institutions 3.342 3.319   3.342

Native Alaska/Hawaiian-Serving Education Grants 3.218 3.196   3.196

Resident Instruction Grants for Insular Areas 0.495 0.745   0.800

New Era Rural Technology Program       0.750

Veterinary Medical Services Act 0.495 0.869   2.950

Federal Administration (Total) 10.278 42.154   39.426

Alternative Crops 1.175 0.819   0.819

Aquaculture Centers (Sec.1475) 3.928 3.928   3.928

Critical Agricultural Materials Act 1.091 1.083   1.083

Sustainable Agriculture Research & Ed. (SARE) 12.276 14.399   14.399

Subtotal 671.419 668.286   691.043


FY 2007 FY 2008   FY 2009

Extension Activities Enacted Enacted   Final

Smith Lever Sections 3(b) and 3(c) 285.565 274.660   288.548

Smith Lever Section 3(d):      

Farm Safety 4.517 4.726   4.863

Food and Nutrition Education (EFNEP) 63.538 65.557   66.155

Indian Reservation Agents 3.000 2.979   3.000

New Technologies for Ag Extension (eXtension) 1.485 1.475   1.500

Pest Management 9.860 9.791   9.791

Sustainable Agriculture 4.026 4.568   4.568

Youth at Risk 7.651 7.968   8.182

Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification 0.440 0.463   0.479

1890 Institutions and Tuskegee 35.205 35.850   40.150

1890 Facilities Grants (Sec. 1447) 16.777 17.267   18.000

Renewable Resources Extension Act 4.019 4.008   4.008

Rural Health and Safety Education 1.946 1.738   1.738

Extension Services at the 1994 Institutions 3.321 3.298   3.321

Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database       0.806

Grants to Youth Organizations 1.980 1.737   1.767

Federal Administration and Special Grants (total) 7.016 17.180   17.374

Subtotal 450.346 453.265   474.250


FY 2007 FY 2008   FY 2009

Integrated Activities Enacted Enacted   Final

Water Quality  12.867 12.649   12.649

Food Safety  14.847 14.596   14.596

Regional Pest Management Centers  4.167 4.096   4.096

Crops at Risk from FQPA Implementation  1.389 1.365   1.365

FQPA Risk Mitigation Prog. for Major Food Crops  4.464 4.388   4.388

Methyl Bromide Transition Program  3.106 3.054   3.054

Organic Transition Program  1.874 1.842   1.842

International Science and Education Grants Program 1.000 1.986   3.000

Critical Issues Program 0.744 0.732   0.732

Regional Rural Development Centers 1.334 1.312   1.312

Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative 10.000 9.830   9.830

Subtotal 55.792 55.850   56.864


FY 2007 FY 2008   FY 2009

Other CSREES Accounts Enacted Enacted   Final

Tribal Colleges Endowment Fund 12.000 11.717   11.880

Interest (Estimated) on Tribal Colleges Endowment 3.250 3.209   3.700


FY 2007 FY 2008   FY 2009

CSREES (Agency Total) Enacted Enacted   Final

TOTAL    1,192.807     1,192.327     1,237.737


Spreadsheet on BAC priorities:


Other Issues


Mandatory (Farm Bill) program funding. The final agreement between the House and Senate left intact the $106 million in F.Y. 2009 mandatory funding to flow through CSREES: (1) $18M for Organic Research and Extension; (2) $50M for Specialty Crops Research Initiative; (3) $18M for Beginning Farmer and Rancher; and (4) $20M for Biomass R&D.


Specialty Crops - Unrecovered Indirect Costs. The final conference agreement contains a legislative “patch,” permitting universities to count their unrecovered indirect costs against the Specialty Crops Research Program’s 100% matching requirement.


Smith-Lever 3(d) - IPM. Due to strong opposition on the part of the House and Senate Agriculture (authorizing) Committees, the conferees did not provide this legislative “fix," which the system had sought.


The Cornerstone Team


Cornerstone Report from Washington is produced by Cornerstone Government Affairs for the Budget and Advocacy Committee of NASULGC's Board on Agriculture Assembly. © 2009 NASULGC. For more information:


Notes from Steve Slack’s B&L Committee Update:


Reduce the number of priorities and simplify the message

SCRI – can use unrecovered indirect costs

Electronic submissions via  Address problems via an ESCOP letter?

Recommend AFRI as primary, Formula increases secondary for 3/31 B&L call.


Action requested:  For information only.

Item 11.1:  BioEnergy Solutions

Presenters:  Arlen Leholm, Steve Pueppke, Joe Colletti


Launching BioEnergy Solutions in collaboration with Growth Energy

March 20, 2009

(With input from NC Experiment Station Directors and Growth Energy leaders)



BioEnergy Solutions aims to create university-industry-government collaborations focused on sustainable bioeconomy (including bioenergy and biofuels) development and commercialization. BioEnergy Solutions will provide comprehensive answers to the complex issues surrounding the conversion of biomass into a range of clean, safe and renewable necessities, including fuels, energy and chemicals.


By collaborating, land-grant universities, private sector companies, and state and federal government divisions can create bioenergy technology solutions more efficiently and cost-effectively than by working alone.


BioEnergy Solutions Context


  • BioEnergy Solutions represents potential collaborations among the 12 North Central land grant universities through their Agricultural Experiment Stations and the private sector. BioEnergy Solutions purpose is to create value across the bioenergy value chain through collaborations among the private sector, universities and government entities.



  • Participants at the January 2009 developmental meeting of BioEnergy Solutions concluded that a centralized linking entity that facilitates collaborations and maintains a centralized data base of research in all stages of development will be required for successful implementation of BioEnergy Solutions.


    • This linking entity would serve as a catalyst and facilitator for bioenergy collaborations and would create an ongoing data base of bioenergy research in the region that is completed and in process, as well as the collaborations fostered.


    • The linking entity would serve as the “go-to place” for companies, universities, venture capitalists, and others involved in advancing the bioenergy value chain.


    • A funding source would be required for the proposed linking entity to be viable.


Growth Energy Context


  • Growth Energy is a group of over 70 BioEnergy related businesses established in November of 2008 to advance the development of biobased energy.  Growth Energy represents over 50 % of the ethanol industry.


  • Growth Energy recently announced the hiring of Tom Buis, who was president of the National Farmers Union, as its CEO. General Wesley Clark is chair of the Growth Energy Board. 



  • Growth Energy is a new group that could benefit from coordination among its members and from relationships to human assets at universities and government entities.


  • Growth Energy seeks the assets of university expertise through collaborations with the 12 North Central land-grant institutions. (Some of these collaborations will involve Growth Energy directly and some will involve individual members of Growth Energy.)


 BioEnergy Solutions and Growth Energy Collaborating for Success and Impact


  • Collaborations among the North Central Agricultural Experiment Stations and Growth Energy represent an unprecedented opportunity to advance the bioeconomy in our region.  A significant competitive advantage is expected to result from this collaboration. Matching the human assets and strengths of our 12 land-grant universities with private sector needs for mission oriented research will provide an advantage in competitively awarded research grants.


  • The proposed centralized “linking entity” could serve both the needs and interests of Growth Energy and BioEnergy Solutions.


  • BioEnergy Solutions will require a centralized and coordinated data base of research efforts across the region at universities and with private companies, and track collaborations that are developed.


  • BioEnergy Solutions will need a funding source from an industrial affiliate program to be sustainable.  Growth Energy could be the initial source of funding for this effort and complementary benefits for biobased energy related companies and the land grant institutions.


  • Growth Energy has expressed an interest in contracting with the North Central Regional Association of State Agriculture Experiment Station Directors (NCRA) as the linking entity to advance the interests of both the Growth Energy Network and BioEnergy Solutions.



Resourcing the “Linking Entity”


  • Arlen Leholm, Executive Director of NCRA, could implement and initially coordinate the “linking entity” functions of both Growth Energy and BioEnergy Solutions


    • Leholm would serve as a catalyst and facilitator for BioEnergy Solutions university-industry-government collaborations;


    • Leholm would help Growth Energy develop a network of university expertise that helps advance Growth Energy interests;


    • The “linking entity” coordination will require more effort in the initial formation stages than in the continuing stage;


  • Chris Hamilton, Assistant Director of NCRA, could lead the development and coordination of the research data bases of the “linking entity” and tracking of collaboration efforts;


    • Establishment of the centralized data base will require some investment and more effort and coordination in the design phases.


  • NCRA could rapidly advance the interests of Growth Energy and BioEnergy Solutions with a cost effective investment from Growth Energy.


  • Any plan developed would need approval from the NCRA 12 state directors and the Growth Energy Board


  • NCRA would establish a three director oversight committee to guide the development and ongoing activities of this new “linking entity” and serve as an important communications node to the directors.   It could guide ongoing activities and serve as an important communications node back to the directors.


    • Growth Energy would likely have several people who would also serve on this oversight committee


    • The Linking Entity would need access to key Growth Energy members to make sure the interests of Growth Energy and the new linking entity are met.



First year proposed budget to Growth Energy for funding the “Linking Entity”

(Funded on a year-to-year basis and evaluated by Growth Energy and AES oversight committee)


Growth Energy would contract with NCRA to fund the linking entity functions



  • $15,000 for coordination and building of the research databases


    • Chris Hamilton is willing to advance the data base coordination functions as a part time job beyond her normal NCRA position responsibilities.


    • Chris Hamilton’s time in this effort will be billed directly to Growth Energy on a consulting contract basis.


  • $30,000 one time database creation and software modification


    • Billed directly to Growth Energy on a cost basis


  • $15,000 to facilitate collaborations


    • Resource expertise examples could include IP expertise, team building, and other specialties needed to enhance the interests of Growth Energy and BioEnergy Solutions


  • $10,000 travel and related expenses for BioEnergy and Growth Energy work


    • No salary for Leholm only travel and related expenses for this effort billed directly to Growth Energy.


  • $70,000 total first year cost ($40,000 recurring annual costs)


Next Steps:


  • NCRA members vote on proceeding with the proposed effort


  • Growth Energy makes decision on funding the linking entity


Action items:


  • Vote on proceeding with the collaboration with Growth Energy - Approved


  • Select three directors for the oversight Committee – Steve Pueppke, Joe Colletti, and Jozef Kokini

Item 12.0:  NCRA Response to REEO Directors’ Stake-holder Questions


REEO Questions for Stakeholders


  1. What types of current and future critical issues (including those affecting citizens, communities and natural resources) does Agriculture face that no USDA entity could address individually?


Food safety and security; endangered species; food, fuel, and fiber; sustainable systems for people, bio-renewable energy systems, human diet and health, rural labor forces, biotechnology in society; and water and air quality.


  1. What criteria should USDA use to prioritize science (i.e., research, education and extension) investments to address these issues?


Economic, environmental, quality of life, and societal impacts; stakeholder need assessment and impacts; knowledge gained and behavioral changes; qualitative metric with quantitative data.


  1. How might USDA better coordinate science among its various agencies and with its partners?


Continue to improve on and increase proactive, positive leadership within all agencies along with improvements in communication within and between groups..


  1. Provide examples where agricultural sciences are successfully coordinated for maximum benefit. Why are they successful?


Ag sciences are most successful when USDA staff (ARS) are seamlessly integrated on LGU campuses.  Maximum benefits are visible when true collaborations reach across states and disciplines.  Proximity of facilities (ARS labs, offices)  to other campus groups and strong leadership that works to eliminate barriers is also critical.


  1. Provide examples where agricultural sciences are not coordinated effectively. Why is coordination lacking?  What are the barriers?


In contrast to question 4, coordination tends to be lacking when USDA employee offices are far away from other campus and research facilities and personnel and leadership does not encourage integration.


  1. What else might USDA do to improve coordination of science; enhance its ability to identify issues and prioritize investments; and elevate its role in science implementation and coordination?


Initiate/improve bridging with NIH, NSF, and DOE; change name, convene scientists for vision sessions; one staff for both extra- and intramural efforts and coordination; “systems” research integration and priority.





Item 13.0: ESCOP Science and Technology Committee Report

Presenter:  Bill Ravlin, NCRA Chair


The ESCOP S&T committee has decided to develop a new science roadmap to replace the current, 10 year-old one.  The committee met with the the Social Sciences subcommittee and obtained a different perspective on implementation.  It was decided to employ a “Delphi” process for mining information.  Dr. Dan Rossi, NERA ED will lead this effort.

Item 14.0:  ESCOP Report

Presenter:  Steve Pueppke


ESCOP is moving along smoothly.  Dr. Pueppke has been meeting successfully with Colien Hefferan by phone monthly.  Steve thanked Arlen Leholm and Chris Hamilton for their support of his chairmanship.


Action requested:  None; for information only.

Item 15: NCRA 2010 Nominations

Presenters:  Doug Buhler and Sarah Greening





2010 Officers and Committee Members

(Fiscal Year 2010 begins October 1, 2009)



D. Buhler, MI, Chair (09-10) (

J. Kirby, SD, Chair-Elect (10-11) (


Executive Committee:

D. Buhler, MI, Chair (10) (

John Kirby, SD, Chair-Elect (11) (

F.W. Ravlin, OH, Past Chair (09) (

M. Linit, MO, MRC Chair (10) (

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


Multistate Research Committee (3-year term):

M. Linit, Chair, MO (10) (

D. Benfield, OH, (11) (

J. Kokini, IL, (12) (

S. Ramaswamy, IN, (13) (

M. Schmitt, MN, (14) (

 A. Leholm, Ex-Officio (


Resolutions Committee (3-year term):

M. Linit, MO, (09-11)


Nominating Committee (2-year term):

Sarah Greening, MN, (09-10) (

Doug Buhler, MI, (09-10) (


Rural Development Center Board (2-year term):

John Baker, MI, (perm, MI rep) (

A. Isserman, IL (


NRSP Review Committee Representative (NCRA):

J. Kirby, SD (2-year term) (


ESCOP (3-year term):

D. Buhler, MI, Chair (10) (

John Kirby, SD, Chair-Elect (11) (

F.W. Ravlin, OH, Past Chair (09) (

A. Leholm, NCRA (Perm Alt) (


ESCOP Executive Committee:

F.W. Ravlin, OH, Past Chair (09) (

A. Leholm, NCRA (Perm Alt) (


ESCOP Chair's Advisory Committee:

S. Pueppke, MI, Past ESCOP Chair (

A. Leholm, NCRA (Perm Alt) (


ESCOP Budget and Legislative Committee:

S. Slack, OH (

J. Kirby, SD (


ESCOP Communications and Marketing Committee:

W. Wintersteen, IA (

W. Ravlin, IN (

A. Leholm, NCRA (Perm Alt) (


ESCOP Science and Technology Committee:

F.W. Ravlin, OH (


ESCOP Science and Technology Committee Social Science Sub-Committee:

C. Sigurdson, IN ( - Ag Communication

L. Nichols, SD ( - Human Sciences

S. Ramaswamy, IN ( - At Large

F. Larry Leistritz, ND ( - Ag Econ

L. Busch, MI ( - Rural Sociology

R. Birkenholz, OH ( - Ag Education


ESCOP NIMSS Oversight Committee:

J. Colletti, IA (

F.W. Ravlin, OH (


North Central Bioeconomy Consortium

NCBEC Vice President, J. Colletti (


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Back to NCRA Homepage

Action requested:  Approve 2010 NCRA nominations

Action taken:  Approved

Item 17.0:  CSREES, NIFA, & REEO Report

Presenter:  Meryl Broussard, CSREES


NIFA Recommendations Working Committee:

Irwin Goldman

Jozef Kokini

Abel Ponce de Leon

Marshall Martin




Item 19.0: ESS Marketing Update

Presenters:  Arlen Leholm, Steve Pueppke, Bill Ravlin


Email to ESS Directors:


Dear ESS Colleagues,
I'm providing you a first year update of our public relations and marketing efforts that ESCOP and ECOP started last year. You will recall that the Experiment Station Section overwhelmingly voted in the fall of 2007 to approve a three year assessment at $300,000 per year to support a marketing (educational) campaign aimed at raising the awareness of the System among key stakeholders.  In addition, the Cooperative Extension Section is contributing $100,000 a year to this effort.  NASULGC finalized contracts with the Podesta Group and Cornerstone in April, 2008 to launch and coordinate the educational campaign.
Recognizing the need for a coordinated and targeted approach to this educational campaign, a System Communication and Marketing Implementation Committee (SCMIC) was formed that includes representatives from ESCOP, ECOP, ACOP, ICOP and AHS.  The ESCOP and ECOP Chairs provide alternate leadership to this committee. The Committee developed operating guidelines and metric documents for the contract. 
SCMIC has conducted a first year review of the Podesta Group that is attached to this email.  The Podesta Group, with input from Cornerstone, provided SCMIC the first year Metrics Report of accomplishments and a Plan for 2009 (Attached to this email) and discussed these documents with SCMIC on March 13th.
Some major successes the Podesta Group has had in its first year include two impactful articles in national newspapers (USA Today and the Washington Times). The “Innovations” e-newsletter to Congress was launched in the first year with three newsletters each featuring a key member of Congress. The open rate on the congressional enewsletter is impressive. Key site visits were also made to home districts of some high priority congressmen.
SCMIC members felt that the public relations and marketing efforts got off to a good start then slowed, ­particularly in the last quarter. SCMIC will closely monitor the overall output of the Podesta Group in year two.  SCMIC feels there is significant room for improvement in year two from both the Podesta Group and from Experiment Station and Extension System members.  It also believes that we have a good plan moving into year two.
The need for the public relations and marketing effort launched this past year has never been greater.  One needs to look no further than the recent stimulus bill where NSF and NIH received major new funding while the proposed $100 million for agriculture research and extension was cut from the final funding package.  Al Levine, Dean at the University of Minnesota, wrote a great article on this subject and the Podesta Group was able to place this article in the Washington Times on Sunday March 8th.  This is an excellent example of what we are trying to accomplish.

The second year assessments for this initiative will be sent out near the end of April.

Thanks for your help in this important effort!

Steve Pueppke


Attachments: SCMIC Contract Review

First-Year Metrics Document

                        Second-Year Plan


Item 20.0:  Other Business

Presenters: All


The NCRA approved the motion to set up a temporary committee to provide input in the NIFA directors.  This committee consists of Jozef Kokini (Chair), Abel Ponce de Leon, Marshall Martin, and Sarah Greening.

Item 23:  Intellectual Capital Coordination in the North Central Region, Agenda for April 1st


Time: 11:30 AM to 2 PM


Where: Embassy Suites Hotel near the Kansas City Airport


Key Resources for our April 1 meeting:

Lesley Millar, Director of OTM and Associate Vice President of Economic development at the University of Illinois.

Mike Nichols, Vice-President for Research and Economic Development for the UM System

Karen White, interim director of Purdue's Office of Technology Commercialization


·         Mike Nichols and Lesley Millar will be leading the IP discussion at our April 1st meeting in Kansas City with the 12 state Agriculture Experiment Stations. Karen White will be joining by phone


·         Key Experiment Station Directors providing leadership for IP coordination: Jozef Kokini, Sonny Ramaswamy, and Marc Linit


·         Arlen Leholm will facilitate the IP session



What are we trying to accomplish by coordinating Intellectual Property efforts in the 12 North Central Agricultural Experiment Stations? (Arlen Leholm)

Intellectual Property: Overview of issues, Opportunities and Challenges (Mike Nichols and Lesley Millar)


Lesley Millar and Mike Nichols will lead us in a discussion of the following topics—and more:

  • How should we position our 12 states for our IP future?
  • What is the cost of not being strategic in designing our IP future?
  • What is missing for success now? Developing a mind map for the future
  • What do venture capitalists need from us that they can not get now?
  • Can our 12 states benefit from coordination?
  • What would coordination look like?
  • What can be coordinated across our 12 states and what must each state do alone?
  • Where would we start?
  • Should we focus our efforts in a particular area first?
  • What would it cost to coordinate?
  • How do you assure successful launching of coordinated efforts?
    • Very important to have a point person who owns the process
  • How would you launch such an effort?

Mike and Lesley have a group work session planned for you

Please read these two articles before the April 1 Session

o       MidPoint Food & Ag Fund, LP

Next Steps:

  • Encourage Directors to attend the IP Fair in St. Louis on May 18th and 19th
  • At end of day we would like NC Director’s best ideas for proceeding
  • Sonny, Marc, and Jozef will attend AUTM meeting on July 27 for a subgroup meeting.  Discuss having Irwin Goldman attend as well. AUTM meeting will be held in Madison, WI.
  • Invite each state’s IP person to AUTM (Association of University Technology Managers;

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