Listed below are the most recent meeting minutes approved by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC).
Attendees in person- Jeff Kossac, Grant Anderson, Bob Lindeman, Bryce Nelson, Mark Jossund, Paul McDivitt, Warren Formo, Paulo Pagliari, Mike Schmitt, Dan Kaiser, Melissa Wilson, Fabian Fernandez, Jeff Coulter, Bruce Montgomery, Luan Johnsrud, Russ Derickson
Attendees online -Ryan Kelbrants, Dan Benson, Kevin Kruise, Gary Prescher, Matt Weibers, Dan Froehlich, Paul Gray, Pat Murray, Emma Burt, Yuxin Miao, Margaret Wagner, Majchek Kazula, Steve Cummerford, Bev Durgan, Janet Kabat
Grant Anderson opened the meeting at 9:03 am with a quick welcome to all in attendance and asked all to introduce themselves and the organization they represent.
- Reviewed the 2022 RFP priorities from the August AFREC meeting.
- Provided Peer Review Team scoring results, how they ranked new projects, discussed pro & cons of proposed projects, detailed certain research considerations
- Described the process on how projects were selected to present at today’s meeting
AFREC Project presentations / updates were provided by:
- Paulo Pagliari
- Mike Schmitt
- Melissa Wilson
- Jeff Vetsch
- Yuxin Miao
Margaret Wagner gave an MDA update Clean Water funded project/activities
AFREC Project presentations / updates (cont.) were provided by:
- Fabian Fernandez
- Dan Kaiser – 2 presentations
Jeff Kosek of the MN Edible Beans Council
- There are about 275,000 acres of edible dry bean in production in MN.
- Producers use an average of 375 pounds of fertilizer per acre
- The EDB Council has a check off that raises $2,000,00 per year
- Since George Rehm at UofM retire – there has been little to no research in MN
- Majority of their research dollars goes to NDSU
- The EDB Council may ask for a board seat on the AFREC Council at the next reauthorization of the AFREC statues.
Bruce Montgomery Research Coordinator Update
- Flagged 4 2022 projects from an ROC viewpoint -why are we still funding these projects?
- Proposed some improvements to the AFREC RFP Process
- UofM needs to be part of the recommendation process
- Long-term projects have become the norm – Council should consider pre-proposals first
- Streamline the Continuation Projects process
- Revisit the mission statement
- Require project PI to justify their proposal in the context of the current RFP
- Create Special Project for “Outside of the Box” proposals
- Require multiple year project budgets – reject if not included
- Develop a fair way to reward projects that have leveraged outside funding
- Determine the importance of maintaining a High-Quality website
- Current website not searchable
- AFREC Ambassador Concept
- ROC to meet with outside organizations
- Provide overview of AFREC Research and importance to the MN Ag community
- Cost $5-10,000 per year depending on current year needs
2022 AFREC project funding voting
- Motion by Mark Jossund, second by Bryce Nelson to approve the December 7trh, 2021 AFREC meeting Minutes – Motion passed.
- Motion by Steve Commerford, and second by Paul Gray to fund projects “N” and “O” at $0 dollars for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Bryce Nelson, second by Paul Gray to fund project “I” for $0 dollars for 1 year. Motion passed
- Motion by Paul Gray, second by Dan Froehlich to fund project “H” at $0 for 1 year. (1 nay) Motion passed.
- Motion by Steve Commerford, second by Paul Gray to fund project ”Z” at $0 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Steve Commerford, second by Ryan Kelbrants to fund project “E” at $0 for 1 year. Motion passed
- Motion by Steve Commerford, second by Gary Prescher to fund Project “L” at $0 for 1 year. Motion passed
- Motion by Mark Jossund, second by Paul Gray to fund project “BB” at $38,600 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Steve Commerford, second by Paul Gray to Fund project “X” at $180,000 for 1 year including communications, economics research, MN Soil fertility website and $10,000 for separate urban research component for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Mark Jossund, second by Dan Froehlich to fund project “ A at $16,253 for 1 year. Motion passed
- Motion by Steve Commerford, second by Gary Precsher to fund Project “Q” at $56,806 for 1 year. Motion passed
- Motion by Gary Prescher, second by Paul Gray to fund project “P” at $103,686 for 1 year. Motion passed
- Motion by Steve Commerford, second by Paul Gray to fund project “Y” at $34,904 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Paul Gray, second by Bryce Nelson to fund project “C“ at $11,000 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Steve Commerford, second by Paul Gray to fund project “R “ at $20,000 for 1 year. (Mark Jossund abstained) Motion passed.
- Motion by Bryce Nelson, second by Steve Commerford to fund project “B“ at $134,827 for 1 year. motion passed.
- Motion by Steve Commerford to fund Project T. Motion withdrawn before the chair asked for a second.
- Motion by Steve Commerford second by Gary Prescher to fund project “AA “ at $43,200 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Steve Commerford, second by Paul Gray to fund project “D “ at $37,579 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Paul Gray, second by Dan Froehlich to fund project “U “ at $121,801 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Steve Commerford, second by Pal Gray to fund project “S “ at $32,000 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Paul Gray, second by Ryan Kelbrants to fund project “K “ at $59,893 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Paul Gray, second by Steve Commerford to fund project “W “ at $16,201 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Paula Gray, second by Stave Commerford to fund project “J “ at $36,735 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Dan Froehlich, second by Gary Prescher to fund project “CC “ at $41,150 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Steve Commerford, second by Dan Froehlich to fund project “G “ at $35,000 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Dan Froehlich, second by Paul Gray to fund project “T “ at $49,060 for 1 year. Motion passed.
- Motion by Bryce Nelson, second by Steve Commerford to fund project “V “ at $40,000 for 1 year, ROC to negotiate with PI with Exec Committee approval. Motion passed.
- Motion by Paul Gray, second by Kevin Kruse to add $3000 to project ”BB” (ROC coordinator) project. motion passed.
- Motion by Mark Jossund, second by Paul Gray to give the AFREC Exec Committee to authority to negotiate with project PIs and make final approvals on all projects. motion passed.
- Luan Johnsrud If the council wants to issue a second RFP it is a simple matter of timing, Not that it is a problem from the MDA standpoint – the Council needs to be cognizant of possible dates of issue, open RFP times, RFP closing, project review, and voting, etc.
- Bruce Montgomery led a discussion on the possible 2022 summer AFREC meeting & tour. He proposed the SE MN (Rochester & Karst topography area).
- Motion by Steve Commerford second by Paul Gray to adjourn the meeting. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 4:44 pm
Minutes recorded by Russ Derickson and Luan Johnsrud
Members attending: Mark Bloomquist, Mark Jossund, Bryce Nelson, Gary Prescher, Steve Commerford, Keith Allan
AFREC Principle Investigators: Bruce Montgomery, Jeff Coulter, Mike Schmitt, Yuxin Miao, Wilson, Vashu Scharma, Dan Kaiser, Jeff Vetsch, Lindsey Pease, Anna Cates
Others: Jeff Kossek, Ryan Miller, Dan Hoffman, M. Kazula
MDA staff: Margaret Wagner, Russ Derickson
Margaret Wagner from MDA opened the meeting at 8:36 am with a short welcome and introductions
AFREC project update presentations: by Melissa Wilson, Vasu Scharma, Anna Cates/Lindsey Pease, Dan Kaiser, Mike Schmitt
Margaret Wagner provided the Council with a draft financial statement looking at the possible allocation for the 2023 AFREC grant cycle. Funds available are $1.048 million.
- Presented and viewed an MDA produced video on Southeast Minnesota groundwater in karst topography as a prelude to the research tour.
Videos can be viewed on the Southeast Minnesota Groundwater Resources page.
Bruce Montgomery reviewed the 2021-2020 AFREC RFP priorities
- Looked at some of the RFP topic areas from last year with no funded proposals – does the Council want to continue to solicit these types of projects for 2023? (manure/sugar beets & edible dry beans)
- Budget of $1.046 million would leave the Council approx. $50k of funding 100% of continuations
- RFP discussion
- AFREC should be for production ag
- Leveraging AFREC with Commodity groups grants would further stretch dollars further
- Look for additional outside interested partners (livestock groups like Beef, dairy, poultry, swine industries etc.
- Include unfunded priorities from 2021-2022 in 2023 RFP
- 2023 budget somewhat places AFREC in a corner
- Inflation costs are affecting types of research funding
AFREC summer tour
Bruce Montgomery Coordinator project update
- Served as MC at Nitrogen Conference and Nutrient management Conference
- Presenter at MVTL annual education conference
- Reviewed all AFREC annual reports prior to posting on MNSoilFertility.com
- Planned AFREC Summer mtg
- Presentations at Nutrient Management Conference, Nitrogen Conference, Potato/Irrigator conference
- Offered services for Commodity Groups regarding AFREC
- Legislative reauthorization
- Legislative reauthorization discussion
- Member Groups need unified message to bring to house & senate
- Mark Bloomquist asked for a set of talk points and a set of “elevator talking points”
- October 13th Meeting with MDA commissioner Peterson – legislative strategies
- Legislative reauthorization discussion
- December meeting
- Is the concurrent MCPR meeting useful?
- Is another venue better or more conducive?( Minneapolis Convention Center is inconvenient, congested location, parking issues)
- 2023 Summer meeting discussion
- Showed map of past meeting locations
- Proposed 2023 summer to be concurrent with Rosholt Research Farm near Glenwood
- Suggested to add Minnesota Edible Bean Council to AFREC as an Ex officio member
Steve Commerford led discussion for AFREC business meeting (no quorum -only 6 members present)
- Add objective to look at collaborative funding effort
- Can AFREC leverage clean water research covering water quality issues related to fertility?
- Possible issue is both RFP timelines don’t match up right now
- With reduced funding for 2023 we can ask principle investigators of continuation projects which of the project’s objectives are higher priority
- National Corn Growers has reduced scope of projects
- Ask PIs how they would deal with a 10% funding reduction or a 10% increase
Meeting adjourned at 3:15pm
Members and Alternates: Dan Benson, Gary Prescher, Kevin Kruise, Grant Anderson, Ryan Kelbrandts, Steve Commerford, Mark Bloomquist, Bryce Nelson, Bob Lindeman, Dan Schmitt, Keith Allen, Jeff Kosek*, David Kee, Mark Jossund
Others: Dan Kaiser, Paul McDivitt, Jack Wilcox, Tamara Benjamin, Jeff Coulter, Jeff Vetsch, Mike Schmitt, Carl Rosen, Matt Wiebers, Fabian Fernandez
MDA staff: Margaret Wagner, Russ Derickson
Bruce Montgomery opened the meeting at 9:03am with a quick review of new AFREC project proposal that were received by the due date of Nov. 23
- 20 projects – 15 continuation projects and 5 new projects with a funding request total of $1.07 million
- Reviewed meeting with Tom Petersen, Commissioner of Agriculture:
- Petersen says AFREC will have our work cut for us
- There is plenty of time (2 legislative sessions) to get AFREC reauthorized
- He suggested AFREC membership groups ask for a legislative hearing in 2023
- He suggested a AFREC report like MDA’s 2015 report be completed again
- He liked idea of support letters from commodity groups
- He suggested showing the water quality perspective for urban legislators along with demonstrated value
- AFREC can be an urban-rural issue not necessarily a political issue
Project presentations by: Jeff Coulter, Carl Rosen, Matt Weibers, and Dan Kaiser
Margaret Wagner updated the Council on the latest available dollars for possible allocation at the January grant selection meeting. The current AFREC balance is $1,229,858.
Project presentations by: Jeff Vetsch, Fabian Fernandez, Mkie Schmitt
Grant Anderson – led a discussion on AFREC reauthorization
- Grant gave his legislative reauthorization perspective from meeting with Petersen
- suggested either AFREC or commodity groups request legislative update hearings
- suggested each AFREC member group have internal discussion on their comfort level regarding reauthorization
- suggested creating support letter from each member group
- Self-imposed fee shouldn’t be political issue
- Tonnage fee vs percentage of fertilizer sales to fund AFREC (CA only state with % based funding)
- Keep AFREC language the same – easier to pass
- Ask legislature to fund additional research beyond AFREC collected fees with budget surplus
- We need to lean on each member group lobbyist to help with AFREC reauthorization
- Which year legislative session should AFREC move for reauthorization?
- Be careful about what you ask for – things can blow up in your face if it goes awry
- Don’t stir the pot too much
- AFREC tonnage fee has been flat since the start in 2008
- The legislature likes public-private collaborations
- Suggest to legislature to fund parallel research funding to complement existing AFREC research (manure was given as an example – it is related to fertility but is not commercial fertilizer)
Motion by Steve Commerford , second by Mark Jossund “…. to direct the ROC (Bruce Montgomery) to create an AFREC legislative report similar to one created by the MDA in 2015.” - Motion passed.
Motion by Keith Allen, second by Ryan Kelbrant “…to grant ex officio AFREC membership to the North Harvest Bean Council”. Motion passed*.
Meeting adjourned by acclamation by AFREC Chair Grant Anderson at 4:29 pm