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RESULTS AND NEXT STEPS

The vote on CREATE-21 by the Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) has been completed, and I wanted to share with you the results of the vote and report on what the Policy Board of Directors have identified as the next steps to the enactment of our proposal.

Results

Some 398 ballots were distributed to all voting members of the BAA in August with a September 11, 2006 deadline for response. Balloting has closed and the votes tallied. The question before the BAA was as follows:

 

"The CREATE-21 efforts as currently designed and as reflected in the CREATE-21 Power Point dated July 24-26, 2006 and its associated documents on the CREATE-21 website should be adopted as the basis for new legislative language for the next Farm Bill and the committee should initiate and/or continue those activities to effect support for the same. No new assessment will be levied for this activity."

In response to the question, there were 232 voting "yes" and 36 voting "no." On behalf of the Policy Board of Directors, I am pleased to report that this positive vote (86.6%) represents a clear mandate to move forward.

Therefore, I am requesting that you distribute this memorandum and the attached document to all members of your organization.  It is not our intention to communicate with stakeholders or others beyond NASULGC at this time. As noted below, Cornerstone Government Affairs and the CREATE-21/Farm Bill Committees will develop a communication and advocacy plan.  However, for now, it is important that all members of our system be aware of the positive vote and our implementation plan.

Next Steps

The BAA has voted overwhelmingly to proceed with the CREATE-21 proposal. Accordingly, the CREATE-21 Committee, the Farm Bill Committee, NASULGC staff, and our advocacy team at Cornerstone Government Affairs will proceed to prepare a legislative product (bill language, explanatory materials, etc.) and an advocacy/communications plan for presentation to and approval by the BAA's Policy Board of Directors at our meeting on November 10, 2006 in Houston, Texas:

Cornerstone will take the lead in preparing a draft bill to incorporate the provisions in the legislative outline as approved by the BAA. Cornerstone will also prepare a "red-line" document showing how CREATE-21 would change existing law and a section-by-section analysis of the legislative draft. There will, of course, be opportunity for the BAA's constituent sections to recommend changes to improve the final product.

The Farm Bill Committee and the CREATE-21 Committee will jointly supervise the legislative drafting effort. These two committees met together in Washington last week to review proposed farm bill changes beyond the scope of CREATE-21 and to discuss the BAA's approach to the upcoming farm bill debate. The two committees will continue to work jointly.

Leaders of the Farm Bill and CREATE-21 Committees, Cornerstone, and NASULGC staff will meet in the next few weeks with top officials at USDA, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and with House and Senate Agriculture Committee staff. These meetings will inform these key individuals as to the depth of support from inside the land-grant university system for the CREATE-21 proposal. We will also discuss the administrative review of REE functions recently initiated by Gale Buchanan, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics. (Click Here for the Under Secretary's Directive)

Cornerstone also will prepare and the Farm Bill and CREATE-21 Committees will approve a detailed communications and advocacy plan. This plan will guide our effort in the next few months as we seek to secure support for the CREATE-21 proposal within Congress and the Administration and those outside interests which influence these federal decision-makers.

Our overarching objective is to have a complete legislative package ready for introduction when Congress returns for its post-election "lame-duck" session. To achieve that objective, I urge each of you to work with your sections and through your Farm Bill and CREATE-21 representatives to help us make this the best possible product.

On behalf of the members of the Policy Board of Directors and the membership of the Board on Agriculture Assembly, we extend our sincere appreciation to those who served on the original "Think Tank" Task Force and those serving on CREATE-21 for their hard work and dedication resulting in the current proposals for positive change on behalf of us all.  We look forward to working with CREATE-21/Farm Bill Committee members to take the next steps that hopefully will result in beneficial changes for all concerned through the next farm bill.

Kirklyn M. Kerr,  Chair, Policy Board of Directors, NASULGC's Board on Agriculture Assembly, 09-15-06

For Additional Information, Contact the CREATE-21 Co-Chairs

Jeffrey Armstrong, Michigan State University*

Fred Cholick, Kansas State University*

L. Washington Lyons, 1890 Extension, North Carolina A&T*

 

   

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