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Executive Director’s Column

Teresa SpaethThe word has been on the masthead of this newspaper for 16 years — innovation.

Innovation has become a popular term these days as businesses seek to differentiate themselves from the competition by being more creative, more willing to think outside the box.

By definition, to innovate is to bring forward something new. It’s not just about generating ideas, but bringing ideas to reality. It’s more than conceiving a great thought, it’s about follow-through.

Since our inception, AURI has been all about innovation. Our mission is to move ag products to new places and create new uses to make them worth more. That’s innovation.

Innovation doesn’t just happen. It takes effort to think innovatively, to see around corners then follow through. It’s not productive to do things the way they’ve always been done, then expect to be innovative.

Those of us who have been around it know that innovation is part of agriculture’s fabric. Producers have adjusted with the times and with technology. In many cases, it has been farmers who have been the catalysts responsible for changing the times, evidenced by ag-based renewable energy.

AURI staff is focusing on ways to be more innovative in our thinking and actions. We are striving to think innovatively internally and in our external actions. This is a concerted effort to provide assistance and resources that will help keep Minnesota at the forefront of innovation.

We certainly can’t and don’t do this alone. But by collaborating with our partners, talking to our stakeholders, listening to experts, paying attention to technology and other advances, AURI is well prepared to bring good ideas to reality.

That’s innovation. That’s leadership.

P.S. We also hope that everyone had a safe and prosperous harvest season, regardless of what you were harvesting.