Strategic Report

Agricultural and Energy Center Plan Summary

The Central Lakes College Ag and Energy Center is committed to providing leadership in crop applied research and demonstration including both field and horticultural crops, delivering education/training, and collaborating with industry.  Production practices provide revenue that supports sustainability of the Central Lakes College Ag and Energy Center as an enterprise of Central Lakes College.Farmers handshake over the wheat crop. Agricultural business.

Central Lakes College is located in the upper middle region of the state of Minnesota.  Farm land in this region is transitional in nature, dividing the high quality agricultural land to the south and the forested lands to the north.

The region served is currently facing economic challenges with many jobs being part-time or seasonal. However, the area does have a diversified economy of industries which includes manufacturing, construction, financial services, forest-wood products, healthcare, printing, publishing & marketing, specialty firms and tourism. Public schools and colleges, along with the healthcare system and tourism, are the major employers in the area.

The 2018 Strategic Plan was developed through a collaborative process with stakeholders from Central Lakes College, business and community leaders, and representatives from agricultural industries and institutions.  Valuable feedback was received and has been used as a basis for developing this new strategic plan.

As a result of the broad collaboration and participation in the planning process, goals have been developed for the Center along with purposes, process steps, and outcomes.  This plan will provide guidance for modifications to the existing work plan for the Center.  It will also provide direction to achieve the mission and vision of the Agricultural and Energy Center, resulting in an enhanced opportunity to provide partnership and leadership in agricultural and energy production and practices to support economic development for the region.

Our Mission:
Central Lakes College Ag and Energy Center builds futures as it delivers valuable products, services, and education which contribute to the economic vitality of the region.

Our Vision:
To be the premier Ag and Energy Center known for leadership and collaboration in innovative demonstration, research, education, and training.  

Strategic Goals: 

Goal 1:
Develop and deliver multi-faceted education, training, and outreach that is innovative and meets the needs of the agriculture workforce, K-16 education, the greater business community, and the local community.

Goal 2:
Expand the research activities of the Center, including upgrading of research equipment, by maintaining current partnerships and building new partnerships and focusing a portion of our research on projects that benefit local area farmers such as white mold, water quality, soybean cyst nematode, and cover cropping.

Goal 3:
Demonstrate, promote, and showcase best management practices (BMPs) in agricultural technology and environmental stewardship while maintain community citizenship when generating and evaluating data and disseminating results.

Goal 4:
Develop a comprehensive strategy that includes crop production, staffing needs, and aggressive pursuit of alternative funding sources such as grants to ensure the financial sustainability of the Center.

Goal 5:
Work to eliminate the disconnect between the public about who we are and what we do at the CLC Ag Center through legislative connections, student K-16 connections, and research opportunities.

Goal 6:
Identify a niche market for the CLC Ag Center that would potentially increase the profitability of farmers in the region specifically regarding opportunities in improving water quality and implementing cover crops and grazing.

Ag Advisory Notes Summary

Goal #1:  Develop and deliver multi-faceted education, training, and outreach that meets the needs of the agriculture workforce, K-16 education, the greater business community, and the local community.

 

  • Add a new element. There’s a trend toward newness.
  • What newness or uniqueness could CLC offer to attract more farmers to CLC Field Day

 

Goal #2:  Expand the research activities of the Center, including upgrading of research equipment, by maintaining current partnerships and building new partnerships and focusing a portion of our research on projects that benefit local area farmers.

 

  • More white mold research needs to be done
  • Research equipment investment
  • Grazing on fields after crop is taken off, cover crop grazing
  • White mold is the biggest problem with edible beans
  • Research is the big take away, the hope is to get rid of the bias that comes with the private sector
  • Water quality
  • Soybean cyst nematode is also becoming an issue

 

Goal #3:  Demonstrate, promote, and showcase best management practices (BMPs) in agricultural technology and environmental stewardship while maintain community citizenship when generating and evaluating data and disseminating results.

 

  • Sandy soils are difficult to work with, BMPs – write our own
  • Look at something beyond BMPs

 

Goals #2 and #3 have a lot of opportunity to improve and move them forward.

 

Goal #4:  Develop a comprehensive strategy that includes crop production, staffing needs, and aggressive pursuit of alternative funding sources to ensure the financial sustainability of the Center.

 

  • We’re a part of a national consortium – leverage funds that way?
  • Add on, but we still have to build our own budget
  • Tapped into some state funding for some leveraged equipment
  • Looking for opportunities

 

Goal #5:  Collaborate and build partnerships to show case local food and health in the local communities.

 

  • Achieved

 

Goal #6:  Develop and support a separate advisory committee for the Living Legacy Gardens.

 

  • Achieved
  • 15 people met and discussed the future for the Living Legacy Garden in August
  • Jim Kurpius has a vested interest in this project.

 

These last two goals #5 and #6 are completed and can be moved off the list.

  • Get more local people to know what we are all about, talking to other partners, getting research out to partners and farmers, do more PR
    • Legislatively how or how can we promote Ag and Energy Center
    • Looking for what makes me more profitable as a farmer
    • Implement it very slowly- buy new machinery
    • Try to eliminate the disconnect in the community
    • Combination of grazing and cover crops are information that farmers can actually use
    • Disconnect between farming and public perception
      • Public interest in water quality
      • More opportunity
      • People want to see research on water quality
      • Tie funding dollars to water quality and potential of receiving money increases

 

  • Identify a niche for CLC Ag and Energy Center for 2018 season to promote across the state
    • Water quality is a hot topic for farmers right now, emphasize our existing water quality research
    • Interest in the public for cover cropping
    • Opportunity for sandy loam soils – only place in the state besides Becker-they’re in limbo

 

  • Decrease in field day attendance
    • Reaching out to people to figure out what research is needed
    • Need a value add or a take away
    • More producers involved – ask farmers their impression on what they can glean from the field day

 

  • Go after funding for local research
    • Local research or finding a niche
    • Demonstrate alternative practices on coarse sandy soils and tie it back to water quality
    • LCCMR- look at finding a champion on the board to bring coarse-textured soils and alternative practices and research forward

 

Research needed that addresses both water quality and an agricultural issue is key.

  • A niche could also serve as a key
  • We need to be more proactive than reactive and educate the public

 

Keith views the advisory board as ambassadors

  • Keep giving us direction throughout the year
  • We’ll seek out public funds
  • Let us know about opportunities as well
    • 2 limitations
      • Non one on staff is a Ph. D and we sometimes need one as a lead
        • Kent knows of an independent Ph. D
      • Partners need to be all in and back us some as folks on the grant board will ask why the partner doesn’t just fund it – signed on and no reciprocal funds – no investment

 

Celebrating 50 years this year.

  • Have a nice dinner Thursday before with founding partners
  • Attempting to get Sonny Perdue, will have some type of legislative representation
  • History book organized by Del

 

Ag Programs at CLC

  • Not drawing students in
  • Driving toward bringing in non-traditional students that have no farm background
  • Trailer and industry paired together for AgCentric when they tour the state
  • Companies are seeking out students and graduates to go through their program that they can sponsor

 

Nominations for someone to chair the next meeting.

  • Chris Neal was nominated by Dale Schock and motion carred
  • Motion was seconded by Braden.

Ag Advisory Board

Name/Company
Andrew Schock – CMIC/Farmer
Bob Rick – FBM Instructor
Braden Halvorson – Midwest Machinery
Chris Neal – CMIC/Farmer
Dale Schock – CMIC/Farmer
Dan Kaiser – UMN/Associate Professor
Del Lecy – CLC/Former Administration
Hannah Barrett – Research Coordinator/CLC
Hara Charlier – CLC/President
Jake Bryce – Midwest Machinery
Jerel Nelsen – City of Staples
John Krause – CMIC/FBM Student/Farmer
Josh Stamper – MDA/Division Director
Joy Bodin – CLC/Vice President
Juan Osorno – NDSU Dry Bean Breeder
Kari Christenson – CLC/Administration
Kathryn Barrett – CLC college student
Keith Olander – Farm Director/CLC

Name/Company
Kelly Kohlman – RDO/Plant Manager
Lance Perius – Farmer
Kent Solberg – SFA/Livestock & Grazing
Melody Weber – CLC/Administrative Assistant
Mike Schmidt – Staples Motley High School Principal
Norm Krause – Former Director/Farmer
Ron Nelson – Ag Center Farm Manger/CLC
Ryan Perish – MDA/Soil Scientist
Sam Eisenbraun – Wensman Sales Rep.
Tara Karels – CLC/Dean of Staples Campuses
Tiffany Hulinsky – Ag Coordinator/CLC

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