This edition of the Ag Innovation News marks a milestone for AURI and time to celebrate! Thirty years ago, the Minnesota Legislature showed a great deal of wisdom and foresight in creating an organization to support the state’s economy by developing new uses and added value for commodities. Simply put, they created the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute.
Created at a time when the nation’s ag economy was struggling and the state’s farmers were fighting for survival, AURI was tasked with finding new opportunities and uses for Minnesota’s commodities. From day one, that’s exactly what we did—working with farmers, producers and processors to find new ways to utilize their commodities in the market, and even develop valuable uses for byproduct and waste streams.
However, the ag economy is cyclical, and as it improved and the stresses on farmers became less, AURI had to evolve in order to continue supporting the state. Rather than being a reactive organization, working with clients who reached out first, AURI began researching the industry and looking for gaps in knowledge to determine where it could make the greatest impact. This was a model AURI pursued for many years and continues through today. While the landscape and economy have changed, AURI’s mission has never changed. What’s more the dedication of this unique organization has never wavered. Seeing that makes me truly proud of all that AURI has become over the past 30 years and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I also want to express a big thank you to all of the past directors and staff that have contributed to the mission and positive impact to Minnesota’s agricultural economy.
As you will see in this edition’s feature on AURI’s anniversary, the organization entered the world in a tumultuous time, innovated, evolved and, above all, remained market driven in order to serve Minnesota’s agricultural sector. Please join me in wishing a happy anniversary to everyone at AURI!