As you may know, AURI was created by the Minnesota Legislature in the late 1980s during the farm crisis, and in hopes of mitigating its effects on farmers throughout the state. To mark this milestone, AURI celebrated it’s 30th anniversary earlier this year, on January 16, with a special event for current and past supporters.
The evening event, which followed AURI’s Annual board meeting, started with a welcome by AURI Board Chair Ron Obermoller. This was followed by remarks from Governor Tim Walz, during which he congratulated AURI on its longevity and underscored the importance of organizations, like this, to Minnesota’s economy and its reputation as an innovation hotbed.
This was followed by comments from Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen, who discussed AURI’s importance to ag producers and his experiences with AURI over the years.
After Commissioner Petersen, AURI Board Member Jeanne Poppe presented Executive Director Shannon Schlecht with a House Resolution congratulating AURI on its 30th anniversary. This was definitely a surprise honor for most of those in attendance and made for another reason to celebrate the occasion.
This presentation was followed by Senator Rich Draheim’s discussion of AURI’s impact on his district and what he described as AURI’s unique position to support Minnesota farmers.
Next, Senator Roger Moe provided a historical context and summary of AURI’s formation at the legislature in the 1980s and the goals and objectives for the organization at that time.
The evening’s festivities closed out with comments from past board members and a current client sharing their experiences of working with AURI over the years and the impact the organization has made on both personal and professional levels.
To mark the occasion, AURI also created a number of displays for the event from throughout its history. These included memories from long-time staff members, who shared their experiences and reflections on the organization and how it evolved over three decades. Another display included samples from many of AURI’s clients throughout its past. The samples ranged from soil amendment products to foods and beverages, which have been available to consumers at different points throughout AURI’s 30 year lifespan.