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Executive Director’s Column

Teresa SpaethWe live in a world that asks, “What have you done for me lately?” Change occurs rapidly, and if we just enjoy past successes we can get caught in the slow lane while progress zooms by.

At AURI we always look for ways to stay in the left lane — and not just as passengers. We want to be in the front seat of progress, navigating the terrain. By collaborating and maximizing resources, AURI helps identify new opportunities for using agricultural products.

For more than two years AURI has facilitated the Renewable Energy Roundtable, a model of collaborative leadership. At the Roundtable’s quarterly gatherings, dozens of organizations are represented — each with something to contribute and something to gain. By working together to move the renewable energy industry forward, we all win.

While we enjoy the advancements from our renewable-energy collaboration, we are also looking for the next big thing that will keep Minnesota in the left lane.

This issue showcases opportunities in bioproducts, new commodity uses and enhancing rural prosperity. For example, AURI is collaborating with the Metropolitan Council on reusing wastewater, with First District Dairy on increasing our state’s dairy processing capacity, and with several agricultural organizations and cooperatives on producing fertilizer from biomass.

AURI brings unique resources to the table, but we don’t undertake these endeavors alone. Collectively, we can keep Minnesota moving ahead in the fast lane