The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) is pleased to announce that Dan Skogen and Jennifer Berquam are joining the AURI staff this January. Skogen is planning and government relations director with responsibilities that include identifying and evaluating opportunities to advance value-added agriculture and serving as the liaison between AURI and state and federal agencies. Berquam will be project manager for collaborative initiatives with responsibilities including building state and regional relationships and initiatives on behalf of AURI. Both Skogen and Berquam bring extensive experience in agriculture and public affairs.
Skogen comes to AURI with deep roots in agriculture, having grown up on a dairy farm in central Minnesota. He has spent more than 30 years in radio broadcasting, served in the Minnesota Senate from 2007-2010, and was on the board of directors for a rural electric cooperative, all while continuing to hobby farm with small grains, hogs and beef. During his time in the Senate, Skogen was vice chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and also served on the Agriculture and Veterans Affairs, K-12 Education, and Commerce and Consumer Protection Committees.
Berquam served most recently as the committee administrator for the Agricultural and Rural Economies Committee and Finance Committee of the Minnesota Senate. Prior to that, she worked with the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training as a legislative and rules coordinator and with Messerli & Kramer as a legislative assistant.
AURI helps develop new uses for agricultural commodities through science and technology, partnering with businesses and entrepreneurs to bring ideas to reality with the goal of generating economic impact by helping businesses take advantage of innovative opportunities in four focus areas: biobased products, renewable energy, coproducts and food.