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Photo of Jerry Hasnedl

Jerry Hasnedl Retires from AURI Board of Directors After Nine Years

January 2024 officially marked the conclusion of Jerry Hasnedl’s nine years of service to the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute’s (AURI) board of directors.

Hasnedl was born and raised on a farm in Northwest Minnesota. He served four years in the United States Air Force, including time in Vietnam. He was discharged in Florida, where he met his wife Ruth and convinced her that Northern Minnesota “wasn’t that bad.” They moved to his parents’ farm, eventually assuming ownership with their two children, Jeremiah and Angela.

Throughout his lifetime, Hasnedl has served on many local boards and dedicated 19 years of service to the Harvest States and CHS boards.

Hasnedl was first introduced to AURI by fellow CHS board members and other industry leaders who praised the organization’s mission and accomplishments. He was appointed to represent the Minnesota Farmers Union on AURI’s board of directors in January 2015. The Minnesota Farmers Union is one of two general farm organizations prescribed by the state statute to comprise the 11-member AURI board. While Hasnedl’s original intent was to serve one term of three years to share his knowledge with fellow board members, he ended up serving three terms.

“I credit Michael Sparby [AURI’s Director of Commercialization] with building interest and excitement about serving on the board,” says Hasnedl. “Continuing this service for three consecutive terms can be explained by the important mission, excellent staff, and the success that the organization has been able to accomplish.”

Hasnedl believes AURI best supports Minnesota agriculture by providing technical knowledge, assistance with research, connections to financial experts, and being a valuable sounding board. He’s most proud of the leadership team assembled by the board of directors, led by AURI Executive Director Shannon Schlecht, to help AURI in its mission to accelerate the expansion of the agricultural economy by empowering expanded uses and markets of agriculturally derived products.

“Shannon has provided the staff with the tools and help needed to raise the organization to heights never seen before,” says Hasnedl.

When reflecting on how AURI has changed from when he first joined the board to his retirement, Hasnedl points to the growing awareness of AURI’s mission and value. This is especially evident in the Minnesota Legislature’s willingness to fund new technology and equipment updates to move projects forward and advance AURI’s mission.

Hasnedl wishes the public could witness firsthand the passion and expertise the AURI staff showcases to the board during its meetings to advance impacts and outcomes for the industry and state. “Whether it’s a soy-based biodegradable soil film for growing higher value crops, assisting food entrepreneurs with their products like Smude’s popcorn out of Pierz, MN, exploring ways to envision green hydrogen applications for agriculture, or developing sustainable waste treatment systems for food processing or livestock production, AURI staff and their expertise touches so many aspects of our lives.”

With years of service to AURI in the books, Hasnedl wants to travel more with Ruth and plans to spend more time with his children and grandchildren. He also plans to spend more time stargazing, gardening, and honing his cooking skills.

Schlecht notes: “The entire organization, directors and staff, thank Jerry Hasnedl for his 9 years of service, leadership, and guidance to advance AURI’s impacts and benefit Minnesota agriculture.”