Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
Nashville, TN
August 2002

Steve Umberger called the meeting to order and asked those present to introduce themselves.

Meeting Participants: 

Marion Simon
Joan Dusky
Clark Garland
Ross Love
Arlie Powell
John O'Sullivan
Ron Brown
Mike French
Lisa McKinley
Bill Hubbard
Curtis Absher
Nelson Daniels
Rafael Olmeda
Dan Smith
Edward Smith
Charles McPeake
Michael Ouart
Joshua Idassi
Steve Umberger
John Hayes
Glenwood Hill
Harold Benson
Louie Rivers
Fred Sanders
Mike Spranger
Larry Biles

No new agenda items suggested.
  1. Suggested to not limit discussion on NRCS programs to 3rd party vendors; need to discuss more broadly during the discussion.

  2. Question raised about a place for agroforestry in ANR discussions.

Minutes of previous meetings:

April 2002 meeting (Utah) Minutes approved as posted on the web. Revise to include Raphael's last name.

August 2001 meeting (Savannah)

Nominating committee: need to select a vice-chair and secretary. Steve Umberger appointed Ross Love (ch), Louie Rivers and Curtis Absher to serve on nominating committee.

Program Leaders night out (Tuesday) at Stockyard Inn.

PLC Representative Report (Ross Love)

  1. Report due from the meeting by September 9. Action items needing to go to PLC or ASRED needed for Wed am meeting. (Steve and I will need to do)

  2. Evaluation of this meeting important

  3. SRPL network - need to review the plan for reorganizing PLC before we discuss it. Ross highlighted a number of the items in the plan (plan of work; direction to committees; plans to plug administrators into PLC, joint meetings, etc.) Steve will work into the agenda later in the meeting for further discussion.

Later discussion (Tuesday)

  1. Plan of work (major things we are working on; action items; goals, etc.)

  2. Executive committee ok

  3. PLC member orientation

  4. Join up ASRED-AEA and PLC meetings with some overlap

  5. Program committee representatives-may be more than one person per institution (ex. A and NR could mean two different people covering ANR)

  6. Quarterly conference calls There were no major objections to the items listed above and reorganization of PLC. Ross and Louie will carry back to PLC.

Advisor's Report

Dan Smith and Larry Biles: (see handout)

  1. ANR conservation white paper has been submitted. Dan also distributed the document from Collien Hefferan's office on extension's role in the conservation title in the 2002 Farm Bill.

  2. ECOP structure and function: SR is moving well in e-extension and cecp and in reorganizing PLC.

  3. Vision of the 21st Century Report. Directors (led by Foster) moving to implement the report provisions.

  4. RREA funding. Met six months ago and decided on funding for those funds (went to Univ. TN for a web based learning center through negotiations with and UT natural resources team). $180,000 additional funds for focused funding. Some of the money will support the infrastructure for the learning center; some of the funds will be used to fund other institutions to develop learning modules. This is broader
    than forestry; includes forest and range resources. Disciplinary team, technical team and evaluation teams will be involved in the process; may select module development processes competitively. Funds can be used for anything regional, multi-state or national; must have national scope. Modules will be compatible with e-extension concept. Concerns raised about establishing new infrastructure at TN to support this effort; how is it different from what we are now doing with CECP and e-extension. Critical thing is for new material to be developed with same standards so it can be searchable and excerpt pieces to develop
    e-extension products tailored to individual states. Larry Biles needs team suggestions for technical and evaluation roles from the ANR group. Bill Hubbard recommended.

  5. Farm Bill-drought experiences this summer. Disaster program will be up front when congress comes back to session. Sharing of drought management info would be helpful. FSA training sessions underway to
    train trainers to provide training/education in the states. ATL meeting in our region.

  6. 02 Budget: Supplemental process will not provide any first responder funding for extension, as of now.

  7. 03 budget: lot of continuing resolutions expected to take us after the election. Both House and Senate has budgets up, mostly in NRI and integrated (406). Integrated programs to give priority to ifafs

  8. Farm Bill: $1.5 billion new money authorized to system around biotech, org research, rural e-commerce, renewable resources and biodiesel. Key roles in conservation title: education for farmers and
    training for third party vendors. On these roles, extension must be involved in state tech committees to be able to access funding for training and specific roles for extension. $10 million for educational
    activities annually is permitted for EQIP. Forestry title: RREA through 2007 reauthorized; up to $30 million authorized from $15,000; sustainable forestry outreach initiative (value, source of technical
    help) floated by NGO communities but no money appropriated; allocations only to universities-NGOs would have to broker with universities; new incentive program FLEP (farm land enhancement program)-if want to be in education team need to work with state stewardship programs; fire
    program outreach and education in fire management; Bill Hubbard was involved in developing the concept.

  9. NPLs: directors are concerned about lack of leadership from national program leaders, especially through retirement. D. Smith will ask SR directors to express concern to Herreran about leadership from CSREES program leaders.
  10. Rozum: one more open comment period for draft manure regulations, especially poultry. Animal feeding rule will be final December 15. EPA TMDL go final on December 15.
SARE Administrative Update: John O'Sullivan reported on the following items from his handout:
  1. SR SARE PDP management is changing, effective January 1, 2003. Proposals are due September 6. Questions raised about this group sending suggestions to SARE AC. Absher made a motion that ANR PLs recommend in writing to SARE AC to select a model including 1890/1862/NGO partnership to continue leadership for PDP. Ross Love seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Absher will draft a letter.

  2. National conference in Raleigh October 23-26. Registration flyers passed out.

  3. Reviewed competitive PDP grants funded this year, state coordinators budgets ($20,000) and $15,000 for grantwriting workshop for preproposal writers. (Rosanne, let PLs know about who's invited to attend the grantwriting workshop).

  4. Target project by KSU for assisting limited resources farmers.

  5. Additional funds possible for region-wide core curriculum on sustainable agriculture issues. John O will want to have some action by end of the meeting on Tuesday to liaison with the SARE project team.
CECP: Joan Dusky
  1. Focus on agent professional development, but do some demonstrations on producer education modules.

  2. Timeline for taxonomy and standards-when will they be available for other groups to access? Taxonomy defines, for the purposes of agent training, the program area, domain (agronomic, animal science, wq, sust ag, etc), subtopics (basic competencies within domain areas), and then individual teaching points. Priorities are the program areas that are most important to develop based on needs identified.

  3. Competencies were take from all 13 states that were not duplicated. Took 70 competencies and put them in small number of categories.

  4. Need to develop taxonomies, determine program proposals to focus on, develop calls for proposals to develop modules, system for peer review.

  5. Mechanism for developing priorities in the states. Need to involve state specialists, heads, extension leaders in identifying taxonomic elements and priorities.

  6. End product will be a searchable database they can go to to get learning tidbits to develop teaching modules.

  7. Committee will design web based survey to collect data on priorities, competencies, and capacities to work on the project in next two months. Idea would be to agree on taxonomy and priorities and assemble teams at the spring meeting. Need to do some preliminary iterations of the data prior to spring meeting, whatever spring means.


Dr. Scott Sampson introduced by Michael Ouart to comment of Remote
Sensing and GIS.

  1. Suggested initiating multi-state or regional program in geospatial technologies. Asked us to check with our respective campuses to collaborate to bring together workshops in a catalog available across the south. Develop a one-stop shop in geospatial technologies. Could ultimately evolve into a multi-state program opportunity involving collaboratively program development, etc. See handout on Mississippi Geospatial Technologies Extension Program.

  2. Another set of modules is being developed for field agents. Will need to start with map reading and photo interpretation, then to remote sensing technologies or to GIS, and then to GPS systems.

  3. Our faculty contact Scott Sampson if interested in collaboration.

Gae Broadwater comments on Creating Vibrant Communities in the South Training Curriculum (see brochure) Sally Maggart: mentioned SR SRDC and SARE joint program efforts. Several deputy administrators in CSREES are asking PLs to develop strategies to integrate training and other programs across different program areas. Also, programs in the Farm Bill will involve cross program areas work and across different mission areas.

Tuesday 8/27/02

Steve Umberger introduced Lisa McKinley, extension/EPA liaison to report on a variety of programs (see two handouts)

EPA has increased their funding to $10,000 per year and renewed her contract for another 3 years.

LM works with the WQ program (406 program; gone competitive with any 4-year institutions; $2.08 million for 4 yr), healthy homes and the conservation title

SR extension WQ Conference last held in October 2001.

SR Water Quality Program web site includes seven core program areas, state specific programs with links among states, degree programs, GIS data by states for counties and watersheds.

Stream restoration program and EPA training funded by $9,000 Interagency agreement; training provided by Greg Jennings from NC.

Children's environmental health partnership program with 1890 institutions. In third year. Have received $167,000 discretionary funds to date. It's to build state capacity to address children's environmental health hazards. The program is in all 8 of Lisa's states. Contacts and resource lists have been developed; program available throughout region 4. Have received $220,000 to provide compliance assistance for EIP'a lead-based paint program.

New proposal: Building State Capacity Water Outreach Partnership will develop programs and funding mechanism so that a partnership of CSREES, LGUs and other partners will build state capacity to support EPAs water quality objectives. If funded, this would double 406 WQ funding. Could become a national model. New money would be $50,000 per state and $50,000 for the training program.

White paper on extension's roles in the conservation title of the farm bill. Hefferan has met with NRCS Bruce Knight. Two things: joint letter that extension directors and nrcs state conservationists; joint program/conference to begin developing training curriculum for conservation programs. Fee paid training is likely, but will need to negotiate between directors and State Conservationists on who pays for NRCS/district training.

Two November meetings: SR Extension Water Quality Coordinators meeting on 11/4-5 for WQ coordinators, ANR leaders and directors; one discussion item will be the focus of LAM's position-just water or broader. Tours on 11/6 in AL,GA,SC and TN. IPA National Ag Sector on 11/7-8 for EPA ag contact group. M. Ouart mentioned possible access to EPA for funding for CECP curriculum funding in WQ or related areas.

Third party vendor issues:

  1. Joan Dusky shared the MOU from Florida to provide training to third part vendors. (see handout) All the money came from State Department of Ag to support the training. Training manuals cost covered by fees
    charged for training. It only is for nutrient management plan development. This concept came out of their state technical committee. HOWEVER, the budget really is for only two years, with a reevaluation of the contract after two years.

  2. General consensus that universities/extensions should not be in the certification business for 3rd party vendors, only do the training and maybe the examinations. Could do the way we do PAT for third party

Bill Hubbard-Regional Forester Report

Reviewed forestry items in the new Farm Bill; descriptions are included in the handout.

Need to work on getting Extension and State Foresters working together more effectively.

Reviewed regional Master Tree Farmer II and Master Wildlifer satellite courses. Public Law 106-393 program implemented in SC and MS. Other satellite programs: New Dimensions for the New Millenium Urban and Community Forestry last October and Forest Certification for Landowners past December. Reviewed internet activities.

Triennial conference will be May 12-14, 2003 in Asheville, NC

Other dates and programs mentioned in Bill's handout.


Marty Sailus NRAES (provided catalog and strategic plan)

$90,000 per year for southern region to become a part of NREAS. Membership can purchase books at 50% discount. They also market their services to members and the world. Members faculty initiate projects
and carry them to completion.

Virginia Tech uses the materials and publications to provide to county extension offices. 10% of revenues go back to author's program if a book breaks even by a certain time.

Philosophy is if products are put on the web, it will increase sales. Don't have a mechanism to determine highest priority needs, but rely more on what authors come to them with.

VA Tech survey of agents indicated that they should continue their membership with NRAES.

Michael Ouart has asked for list of their publications with authors; will provide to ANR leaders. Determine cost advantage of regional vs individual state memberships and develop recommendation to take to
directors. Bring info to spring meeting for discussion and to determine recommendation.

request for IEG or program committee. Joan Dusky shared her conversations with the group andshared their request for some type of multi-state recognition. Sheshared a proposal from the group, which meets annually, and the vegetable production guide they have developed. Joan moved that arequest be made to the
directors to approve their establishment of group as a formal committee; Michael Ouart seconded. The motion passed. Joan will respond to the group. Will relay the ANR approval thru the minutesto the directors for their information.

Roger Crickenberger presented information and feedback from discussions with specialists about the triennial Animal Science Specialists group. There's interest in continuing this activity with a well planned program
for the region, mentoring, and connecting activity for beef, small ruminant, forages, and veterinary specialists. McPeake suggested contacting departmental extension coordinators for interest and travel
ability. Roger will contact all states regarding replanning this workshop, possible times, and locations.

Roger also briefed the group on the fresh fruits and vegetable food safety training brochures that are products of the food safety regional project funded by USDA at NC State University.

Charles McPeake introduced Craig Wood. SR horse specialists provided small funding for Craig to develop the knowledge base product. Craig presented a handout summarizing development and highlights of the knowledge base. (see handout)

Developed grant application to develop SR Equine Knowledge Base to USDA Telecommunications Program; got $45,000

RightNow Technologies software

Designed to be "just when they want it."

Each state gets small amount of money to develop information for database.

Want it functional by October 2003.

The system will serve general horse clientele, but there will be opportunities for agent training and other learning modules.

Annual operations maintenance will be $18,000 for two years; intention is to develop financial support from horse industry to sustain operations of the system.

All 13 states in the region are involved.


Some states indicated they'd provided factsheets, newspaper articles and other info to counties dealing with biosecurity strategies and recommendations. Steve reminded the group if they have bioterrorism
information to get it on the EDEN web site. Discussion about operational procedures of extension workers in the event of foreign animal disease or bioterrorism, restrictions, etc. OK related concerns
they've seen about children visiting animal farms and possible e. coli contamination of visitors. GA held conference to train agents and others; info on

Slate of officers Chair Roger C
Vice chair Nelson Daniels
Secretary Michael Ouart
Special thanks to Steve Umberger for serving as chair this year.

Location: Texas A&M
Time: Spring Suggested late March to early April
Ed Smith will check on local arrangements and such.
AGENDA items:
Followup on NRAES
Special speakers
Program committee: Ed Smith, Roger Crickenberger, Nelson Daniels,
Michael Ouart

CRD UPDATE Clark Garland
Value added entrepreneurship course December 3-5 in Franklin TN for about 30 people as advertised in the SRDC training catalog.

REVIEW OF PROGRAM COMMITTEES (see updates on handout).
Steve Umberger will update list and fo. rward to Bonnie Teater. Added SR Vegetable
Crop Production, chair Gerald Holmes (NC); Fletcher NC/ 8/02; meet next 8/03; advisor Joan Dusky.

Ross Love: PLC updates. Tentative dates Aug 24-27, based on accepting the new PLN in probably Little Rock, AR. Approved continuation of curriculum project. CIT interested in already complete curriculum with
diversity (diff media), and lots of parts so they could take and do the next level demo. Suggest check products in states and let Joan Dusky know of products that might be nominated, contact person in the next
three weeks. Ross will forward action and informational items from ANR to PLC and to Bonnie Teater.


  1. Liability may be one of the biggest sticking issues. Possibly if states could form a compact on liability, then each state would honor the other states' sovereign immunity, and the liability issue wouldn't
    be an issue. General discussion on program strategies, liability and insurance, travel policies, sharing equipment costs, professional development policies, evaluation and salary adjustments, P&T management
    and isssues. Discussed a number of situations in which states are sharing specialists and/or agents. Possibly consider this for agenda item for spring meeting.


  1. Member states of EDEN have access to drought info there.

  2. States should make sure there drought info is on the EDEN website


June Naples, FL meeting of NR specialists, expressed interest in establishing a working group/info clearing house function in place. Agroforestry involves integrating ag production into wooded land. Interested in medicinal herbs-interactions with forest trees, soils, etc., etc. Other states interested in producing hybrid walnuts. Joshua Issad will continue discussions with the interest group and possibly bring a proposal to the spring ANR meeting. SARE, ARS, Forestry might be willing to put funds available to help support the program development. Debra Hill, Louie Rivers, Jarek Nowak (FL) have been involved in the discussions with Joshua.

DAN SMITH on international opportunity. Meeting in Perth, Australia
next July on Farm Management

A number of comments were shared complimenting Curtis Absher for his contributions to ANR leaders and programs across the south and in USDA. Curtis suggested source identified food products in the next wave of
tech development in agriculture. Because of security may not be able to move food all over the place. May de-WalMart the USA or the world. Need to talk more about food products and adding value and using coops,
associations and other groups to market food products more locally. Predicts the buyout program will happen.

Mike French shared about Tyson Pork cutting out pork production in Arkansas and eastern OK. 132 growers affected; 5-10 will be picked up by another contractor.

Meeting adjourned with Steve reminding us to complete the evaluation.

Mike French thanked Steve for his leadership and conduct of the meeting and to PLC for adjusting the program to allow more program committee time.