ESCOP Executive Committee Meeting
Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort Hotel
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane
Orlando, Florida. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

1:45-5:00 PM

Attendees: Dan Rossi, Eric Young, Adel Shirmohammadi, Bill Borwn, Ernie Minton, Connie Kays, Bret Hess, Bill Frost, Deb Hamernik, Jeff Jacobsen, Steve Slack, Marikis Azvarez, Carolyn Brooks, Shirley Hymon-Parker, Hunt Shipman, Parag Chitnis, Steve Loring, Mike Harrington, Gary Thompson, Saied Mostaghmi, Clarence Watson, Jane Schuh, Harriett Paul, Bob Shulstad, Sonny Ramaswamy, Moses Kaird, Darren Kate, Marshall Steward



Action Items


 Approval of Minutes - Approved
 Approval of Action Items - Approved

 4.0 Approved - motion to approve ESCOP’s CLP representative presenting this legislative issue to  the CLP at its meeting on Tuesday morning, Nov 4. 
 5.0 Approved - Motion to approve composition of permanent joint ECOP/ESCOP National Impact  Database Steering Committee
 8.0 Approved - Motion to endorse unified message concept and support working toward development of that message




Topic and Presenter(s)




Call to Order - Bob Shulstad, Chair

1.1 Approval of the Agenda

1.2 Approval of July 22, 2014 ESCOP Meeting Minutes, San Diego, CA

1.3 Approval of Interim Actions

Approved - Minutes
Approved - Action Items




Economic Research Service Update - Mary Bohman, Administrator, USDA-ERS

In meeting report:

  • Amber Waves app available for tablets and smartphones
  • Distributing info in small bites so stakeholders can digest it easier
  • Series of charts on different agricultural segments that are released and updated on a rotating basis.  All available as downloadable files in hi res graphics
  •  Also using social media to get info out broadly
  •  Partnerships - $5 -9 Million per year in extramural funding, more diverse areas than intramural
    • Core investments are aimed at long term trends
    • Work closely with Food Service Agency
  • Working to increase diversity in social sciences/economics
  • Challenge hiring people with experts on ag markets
  • How can AES help ERS?
    • Increase knowledge about ERS’s services
    • Increase partnerships, particularly on grant applications
    • Encourage interns and postdocs at ERS
    • Invitations to speak at meetings and present seminars
  • Need to maintain national focus and having everyone in DC helps to do that
  • As distance technology is refined the possibility of ERS scientists being located on campus becomes more doable
  • Don’t expect a widespread placement of ERS on campus, but may be some in future



 NIFA Update - Sonny Ramaswamy, USDA-NIFA

 In meeting report:

  • Matching - new language on web site defining this, most intuitions will be exempt, excepted, or waived
  • Commodity Boards with check offs can propose RFA's with matching funds from AFRI or other competitive program.  Will be an upper and lower limit, other polices will be settled soon
  • Centers of Excellence – language defining this is currently with attorneys.  Center of Excellence status will only be used to break tie if review marks are exactly same.  Criteria for recognizing Center of Excellence are coming
  • Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Board has 1st face to face meeting this Thursday and Friday
    • $200 Million allocated to attract matching funds from industry
    • FFAR has web site now
  • Workshop being planned on gap between what industry need in their employees and what Universities are teaching/training
    • ESCOP should be involved in this workshop
  • NRC review of AFRI – implementing most the recommendations, except not dropping large grants completely 

 International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture Ratification Support on  CLP Agenda - Gary Thompson. Hunt Shipman and Eric Young

 In meeting report:

  • Background given at workshop in Jekyll Island, info is on web for that session
  • Support Senate ratification so US will have a vote on modifying the SMTA terms
  • Gary Thompson/Shirley Hymon-Parker  – motion to approve ESCOP’s CLP representative presenting this legislative issue to the CLP at its meeting on Tuesday morning, Nov 4. – Approved




Recommendation on Impact Database Steering Committee  - Bill Brown and Eric Young

In meeting report:

  • Reviewed proposal for permanent joint ECOP/ESCOP National Impact Database Steering Committee
  • Motion to approve committee composition – Bill Brown/Gary Thompson, Approved




Healthy Food Systems, Healthy People Steering Committee Update  - Shirley Hymon-Parker, Clarence Watson, and Eric Young

In meeting report:

  • Steering committee appointed, one conference call


Seeds & Breeds Dialogue Update  - Steve Slack and Jeff Jacobsen 

In meeting report:

  • Two conference calls, waiting on Sonny to send a statement on goals and outcomes desired from conversation with S&B 


Unified Message - Greg Bohach and Wendy Wintersteen

In meeting report:

  • Project started last November and Riley Foundation is leading effort
  • Current document is simply a call for a unified message on increasing agricultural research funding
  • December 5th program at National Press Club will start public discussion
  • AHS have endorsed it and would like ESCOP’s endorsement and letter of support
  • Motion to endorse unified message concept and support working toward development of that message - Gary Thompson/Adel Shirmohammadi, Approved 

 Central State University

 In meeting report:

  • Beginning in 2016 Central State University will receive Evans-Allen and 1890 Extension funds
  • Amounts quoted by NIFA don't seem correct so 1890's are asking then to check formula calculations


Budget & Legislative Committee's Return on Investment White Paper  - Gary Thompson and Mike Harrington

In meeting report:

  • Return on Investment white paper
    • ESCOP/ECOP effort to document value of competitive funding as well as competitive
    • Hope to have a final version of document by CARET/AHS meeting in March 
  11.0 FSLI Update - Marshall Stewart, FSLI Director


Communication and Marketing Committee Update - Nancy Cox and Dan Rossi

In meeting report:

  • More focus on general public awareness
  • Improved web site a lot and enhanced how often it shows up in on-line searches
  • Enhanced social media effort
  • Focused more on traditional media, over 500 stories in 3rd quarter
  • Currently doing message testing research with focus groups 


CARET Report - Connie Kays, CARET Liaison to ESCOP

In meeting report:

  • Following their new strategic plan 


Public Data from Hatch 

In meeting report:

  • Discussion is ongoing about whether or not Hatch activity should be included in public disclosure of data requirements
  • If Hatch is excluded it may appear those funds are not as important as competitive
  • Guidelines for data management plans will be included in some RFA’s released after Jan 1
  • Data management plan guidelines for Hatch will be developed last 




March ESCOP meeting time  - Bob Shulstad and Eric Young

In meeting report:

  • CARET/AHS meeting and Hill Visit has been moved to a day later, starting on Monday
  • Therefore ESCOP can meet on either Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning
  • Majority preferred Tuesday
  • Next ESCOP meeting will be Tuesday morning, March 3, 2015, in DC 




2015 ESS, AES, ARD Meeting & Workshop Plans - Shirley Hymon-Parker and Carolyn Brooks

In meeting report:

  • Monday, September 28 – 30, 2015 in Charlotte, NC at the Ballantyne Hotel
  • Start with regional meetings Monday afternoon and end with dinner Wednesday night
  • At some point there will be a tour of the Kanapolis research campus where NC A&T and NCSU faculty are working, along with other university and industry scientists




2016 Joint Meeting with NEDA 

In meeting report:

  • Joint meeting will be at Jackson Lake Lodge in Jackson Hole, WY, week of September 19, 2016