This committee had met for the first time in October and now for the second time this Tuesday. They have completed most of what they were assigned to do, receiving reports from the Advisory committee on Sustainable Agriculture. Because year after year nothing is done with this topic, they are submitting a draft bill to do away with the annual reporting. The issue is that no one can adequately define sustainability in this regard. Of the 20 members, only one voted against.
They also heard from SBARE about what is happening, with the number one priority to replace Waldron Hall at North Dakota State University. That is the old and undersized plant pathology and diagnostic lab which also houses NDAWN. Then there were three different reports from the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) with this version focusing on what the DOT has done to prepare for road trains should they become real in North Dakota. Director Panos explained all of the planning and advertising they had done to find pilot project participants for what they have termed Long Combination Vehicles (LCVs). There were no applications. Seems the hang up is that they cannot get the blessing of the Federal Government to travel on their Interstate system which is obviously key to getting freight or commodities anywhere.
They have two studies to attend to with the Beef Commission taking center stage first. The issue seems to be about how they choose their board. It is a checkoff entity and the board members are appointed. Some would like to see elections and perhaps a different refund policy. No action was taken after various sides were heard from. The capstone of this meeting was the U.S. Fish and Wildlife easement policy and many sides again were heard from. No one has a solution, but there was talk of asking attorneys, what if anything, North Dakota could do to help aggrieved landowners.
Okay, this is a continuation of reporting from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) meeting that I spoke of in Murphy’s Law...