Skip to content

Monthly Webinars for Minnesota’s Food and Ag Sectors


The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) hosts a monthly webinar series called: AURI Connects: Webinar Wednesday. Each episode explores different aspects of Minnesota’s food and ag sectors – from resources for food entrepreneurs to innovations in coproducts and biobased energy. 

The program, launched in May 2020, is a virtual option for engaging audiences across the Midwest region and beyond. Webinars convene over the lunch hour on the second Wednesday of every month. 

“Webinar Wednesday offers a great opportunity for a broad audience of entrepreneurs, business owners, educators, financers, non-profits, producers and others interested in value-added agriculture to learn about important and timely topics that may help their operations be successful,” said Nan Larson, AURI Connects manager and program manager. “The virtual platform allows participants to partake in the comfort of their own environment, and the recordings make it possible to do so as individual schedules allow.” 

The program is part of AURI Connects, which replaced AURI’s Innovation Networks Program. The sub-brand houses AURI’s networking programs and focuses on engaging the value chain on topics related to value-added agricultural opportunities and challenges. The goal is to improve the competitiveness of agricultural producers, businesses and entrepreneurs by providing purposeful convening opportunities for connection as well as knowledge sharing of opportunities and trends. 

Reducing Anti-Nutrients Related to Wheat Digestibility

Research indicates that gluten protein and “anti-nutrients,” such as amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATI), and fructans (a component of fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols-FODMAPs) in wheat can be triggers of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Efforts to reduce the discomforts resulting from the consumption of wheat-based products is critical in improving the health of consumers and increasing the profitability of wheat farmers. This webinar covered a multi-year research project – funded through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Grant program – focused on increasing wheat digestibility. 

Green Ammonia’s Future in Minnesota 

Efforts are currently underway globally to decarbonize sources of energy, including transportation and industrial fuels. Green ammonia has the potential to be a product opportunity emerging from this energy transformation with significant economic implications and opportunities for agriculture. The University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) in Morris, Minnesota is a pioneer in the development and demonstration of renewable energy technology which supports the potential of green ammonia in agriculture. WCROC’s Renewable Energy Director Michael Reese provided a technology overview of the systems that support production of green ammonia and the economic implications for agriculture in Minnesota and the region.

Paving the Way for Ag-Based Asphalt Preservation Solutions

Transportation budgets are a persistent and growing challenge– from the maintenance of asphalt infrastructure to funding new roads. Starting in 2016 with a partnership between the City of Hutchinson, the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and AURI, we began a multi-year research project for an environmentally friendly biobased asphalt preservation product for communities across Minnesota to consider. In this webinar, AURI’s Dr. Jimmy Gosse takes participants on a five-year road trip through the case study on the use of RePlay Agricultural Oil and Preservation Agent® by the City of Hutchinson. This research was funded by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.