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Published May 07, 2012, 08:37 AM

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Buchanan named NDSU associate dean

By: Agweek Wire Reports, Agweek

Buchanan named NDSU associate dean

• FARGO, N.D. — David Buchanan, a North Dakota State University professor in the Animal Sciences Department, has agreed to become the associate dean for academic programs in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources. “Dr. Buchanan brings a wealth of experience in academics to his new position, as well as a profound and deep commitment to student advising and faculty mentoring,” says Ken Grafton, vice president for agricultural affairs, dean of the NDSU College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources and director of the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. “His knowledge of North Dakota and the region also will be exceptionally useful in student recruitment.” Buchanan has been with NDSU in the Animal Sciences Department since 2007. His research interests include animal breeding and genetics. Before coming to NDSU, he was a faculty member at Oklahoma State University for almost 28 years. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve as associate dean for the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources,” Buchanan says. “There is excitement in the industries served by our college, and I look forward to the challenge of recruiting students, helping to enhance our academic offerings and working with the alumni of our college. When many work together, dreams can be realized.” Buchanan, a Fargo, N.D., native, earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from NDSU. He earned both a master’s degree in animal science and a doctorate in animal breeding and genetics from the University of Nebraska. He has held numerous positions with professional animal science organizations, won awards, published research and given numerous speeches on animal science during his 32-year career. Buchanan was given the 2006 Excellence in University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences Award by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Crystal executive says no change in contract offer

• GRAND FORKS, N.D. — American Crystal Sugar Co has agreed to sit down with the Bakery Workers union and a federal mediator June 8, “but our final offer is our final offer,” ACS spokesman Brian Ingulsrud said May 3. Ingulsrud, the vice president for administration, says the company has always honored the mediator’s meeting requests, but adds that position changes aren’t in the offing. “We feel our final offer is attractive,” he says. “We’ve had more than 7,000 applicants and hired more than 800 employees, including a number of locked-out workers who have returned. That number continues to grow.” John Riskey, president of Local 167G, which represents locked-out workers at factories in East Grand Forks, Minn., Moorhead, Minn., and Drayton, N.D., says previous meetings with a mediator have not been fruitful. “We hope there will be negotiations,” Riskey says. “The last few times we met, (company representatives) just listened.” The last time the two sides met was in February. Management wants union members to pay health insurance premiums, offering to pay for one year, and the right to promote by merit rather than seniority. Union members respond that paying insurance premiums would erase too much of the raises.

Minnesota governor signs omnibus ag legislation into law

• ST. PAUL — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has signed into law the 2012 Omnibus Agriculture Policy bill. The legislation, streamlines and modernizes statutes covering food safety enforcement, grain trade and renewable fuels. The bill streamlines and modernizes the statutory language governing MDA’s Dairy and Food Inspection Division by consolidating the enforcement provisions of Minnesota State Statutes 28 (cold storage), 28A (licensing food handlers), 29 (eggs), 30 (wild rice, potatoes and apples), 31 (food), 31A (meat and poultry) and 34 (non-alcoholic beverages). The bill creates one chapter that clearly describes the enforcement options for food product categories overseen by MDA, and eliminates multiple definitions of key terms. The bill also updates state grain statutes for the 21st century, repealing nearly 150 statutes and rules while modernizing statutes to reflect today’s marketplace. Language was changed to eliminate multiple reporting requirements, eliminate multiple bond types and streamline licensing processes required in the grain trade. Similar to the consolidation of the food statues, enforcement provisions from multiple grain chapters were consolidated into a single, consistent chapter. Another section of the bill fine tunes the course of biofuels in Minnesota by extending Minnesota’s E20 mandate for two years and directing agencies to develop recommendations for incorporating biofuels other than ethanol into the mandate. The bill also extends exemptions on the state’s 10 percent biodiesel requirement for three more years, while directing MDA to develop proposals for evaluating the exemptions with an eye toward ending them. Finally, the bill creates a new Immigrant and Minority Farmer Loan Program to address a “credit gap” that has been a roadblock for some members of the state’s immigrant and minority populations seeking to get into the farm and food sector or to expand their farm. The loans will be available for working capital, the purchase of feed or supplies or the purchase of machinery or equipment.

Briefly . . .

• Young Farmers idea contest: Africa Rural Connect, an online project of the National Peace Corps Association, has launched a new contest to promote youth-oriented agricultural initiatives aimed at generating ideas for new programs. Participants are invited to share their ideas on new ways to engage youths in sub-Saharan Africa younger than 18 through educational projects, community-building initiatives and social programs, all centered around agriculture and farming. Contestants can enter through May 31. Information: http://arc.peacecorpsconnect.org/contest.

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