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Executive Director’s Column

AURI cannot be explained in a sentence. Describing the what, how and why of what we do — and who we do it for — makes for either a long, rambling dissertation or an inadequate description.

After all, AURI has evolved and grown appreciably over the years, and it may not be clear to everyone what today’s AURI offers Minnesota.

But here’s a 15-second sound bite that may help:

AURI provides scientific technical expertise, feasibility reviews and targeted network coordination to add value and long-term economic viability to Minnesota agriculture and communities.

In other words, we’re all about providing hands-on technical assistance in our labs and at project sites to develop innovative uses for Minnesota ag products. We have unique facilities and staff expertise to help the state’s businesses get a leg up on the competition and stay on top of emerging opportunities.

While AURI offers a range of valuable services, we are not all things to all people. When a need doesn’t match our resources, we can tap a network of collaborators — commodity groups, farm organizations, universities, state agencies, economic developers, business developers and research laboratories. If it’s not offered by AURI, we can still help Minnesota businesses access the assistance they need.

That’s what we do. Here’s why:

AURI intends to create economic opportunity and vitality in Minnesota for producers and agri-businesses. We strive to give farmers, cooperatives and other ag-based enterprises advantages so they can be profitable. Financially-healthy businesses are good for more than just the agricultural economy — they benefit all of us.

AURI not only works with businesses that come through our door or are referred by our partners, we pay close attention to emerging trends. Identifying potential markets opens up possibilities.

Between AURI’s resources, our network of collaborators and more than 17 years experience developing successful value-added ventures, AURI is a star resource for Minnesota value-added agriculture.