This year the following groups are joining AURI at Farmfest:
Smude Sunflower Oil: After the hot, dry summer of 2007 took a toll on Tom Smude’s corn and soybean crops, he learned that hardy sunflower plants could thrive in such adverse conditions, and he began to explore the idea of producing sunflower oil.
AURI was there to help by providing nutritional analysis, product development assistance, troubleshooting and innovation networking.
Today, Smude’s is on shelves in major grocery chains, has a loyal customer base, is expanding its offerings to include flavor-infused sunflower oils and employs four part-time staff.
Minnesota Soybean: AURI is partnering with Minnesota Soybean to give away $500 worth of biodiesel. Be sure to stop by our tent and enter to win!
Midwest Ag Enterprises: This AURI client wanted to find a protein feed source for nursery pigs and poultry to replace fish meal, which is decreasing in supply. AURI staff helped them identify a process to remove oligosaccharides, which interfere with digestion and nutrient absorption, from soy meal to make it an attractive feed option.
Lac Qui Parle Vineyard: For about fifteen years Susan Roisen has grown grapes on a corner of her family’s corn and soybean farm in Dawson, producing Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, Marquette grapes for a vineyard in St. Peter called Chankaska. But then she realized that not everyone drinks wine, so they decided to plant grapes for eating and grapes for juice as well, and King of the North grape juice was born. AURI then helped Roisen commercialize her new product and ready it for market.
North American Fertilizer: A producer of biomass ash fertilizer, North American Fertilizer worked with AURI to conduct ash fertilizer trials and plant setup. At the time of the project North American Fertilizer was the only company of its kind in the U.S. and one of only two in the world.
Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL): A strategic partner of AURI’s, MARL is a dynamic two-year educational experience featuring nine three-day in-state seminars, a six-day national study seminar and a 10- to 14-day international study seminar.
Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs): This AURI partner is a statewide network with a shared mission to connect individuals and their communities to the resources they need to identify and implement community-based clean energy projects. They empower communities and their members to adopt energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy technologies and practices for their homes, businesses, and local institutions.
Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Coalition (MAWRC): In addition to sponsoring the drinking water at this year’s AURI tent, the MAWRC is a research and education organization comprised of the primary farm organizations in Minnesota, working together to identify and address water issues. Since its inception in 2008, MAWRC programs have evolved in response to constantly evolving water concerns, but the one constant is its commitment to providing useful information to Minnesota farmers and ranchers.
Redhead Creamery: This AURI client came online in 2014, producing artisan cheese in its Brooten, Minnesota facility. AURI provided cost-share assistance for scale-up and product development, pre-engineering related costs, and product analysis and nutritional fact labels. AURI also served as a resource for other needs as they arose, such as calibrating of their thermometers and boiler-related questions.
Today Redhead Creamery makes and sells a combination of fresh cheddar cheese curds and aged cheddar cheese.