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Executive Director’s column

There is nothing quite like the feeling that comes from a job well done. The satisfaction from putting sweat and effort into a successful project is a reward unto itself.

At AURI, that’s the way we feel when our efforts lead to the development of a new product or the identification of a new market opportunity.

Yet with every success, there is a realization that more needs to be done. There is more research to conduct, more technical troubleshooting and problem-solving to make ag businesses viable, more producers to impact. And ultimately, there are more success stories waiting to be told.

At its base, AURI’s mission has always been to provide unique assistance to develop new uses and processes for Minnesota commodities. By providing producers with opportunities to capture more value from what they grow, these new uses are key to strengthening the rural economy. Producers and processors appear to recognize this fact, because the need for AURI assistance has not diminished over time.

On a monthly basis, AURI averages 25 to 30 new projects. These emerging opportunities are added to a list of more than 200 other active projects receiving AURI support. While not all will result in new products or business formations, some will. These successful ventures provide the activity that helps keep the rural economy pumping.

Given the number of opportunities and ideas continually brought forward, there are many needs that remain unmet. But AURI is committed to meeting those needs in our efforts to benefit rural Minnesota.

Now, if you will excuse me, there is work to be done.