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New Staff Announcement

Monte Koshel, Project Manager
Jason Robinson -Project Development Director-Food


Michael Gottsacker

Russell Herder






AURI Hires New Staff for Project Management and Project Development Roles

January, 2018, St Paul, MN—The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) is pleased to announce its recent hiring of Monte Koshel and Jason Robinson, who join the AURI team as a Project Manager and Project Development Director, respectively.

Within the Project Manager role, Koshel is responsible for leading and coordinating efforts of team members to plan, execute, and deliver AURI projects, initiatives and external funding opportunities.

“I’m excited about this new opportunity with AURI, Koshel said. “I’ve been building and working with teams my whole career and this is a great opportunity because AURI constantly works together in teams to help get value-added products to market.”

Koshel comes to AURI with nearly 25 years of experience in project management and development. Most recently, Koshel worked for the University of North Dakota. There he was responsible for developing and managing teams responsible for creating on-brand content for the school. This experience prepared Koshel for his new role with AURI.

Koshel will apply his extensive experience to new projects and his duties will span all four of AURI’s focus areas (food, coproducts, renewable energy and biobased products) as he manages projects underway throughout the state.  Koshel will be based in Crookston, Minnesota.

Jason Robinson, AURI’s new Project Development Director will identify and evaluate opportunities to advance value-added agriculture, with an emphasis on AURI’s food focus area for the purpose of increasing commodity usage and furthering economic development.  In this role, Robinson will be focused on assisting clients and partners to develop projects and initiatives resulting in the commercialization of new value-added food products.

“I am excited to apply what I have learned in the for-profit food industry to help AURI make an impact in the local food community that goes beyond what staff can directly influence,” said Robinson.  In particular, helping the small food entrepreneurs grow into viable, sustainable businesses from just an idea in his or her kitchen really gets me excited!”

Robinson comes to AURI with nearly 20 years of experience in food and packaging research and development (R&D). Most recently, Robinson worked for General Mills, where he led a cross-discipline team to identify solutions and commercialize strategies to eliminate food spoilage in healthy energy bars. This experience prepared Robinson to lead project development teams with AURI.  Robinson will service food clients throughout the entire state and will be based in the metro area.

“Jason and Monte each bring several years of technical experience in their respective fields as well as the passion and enthusiasm to advance AURI’s mission,” said AURI Executive Director Shannon Schlecht. “They are great additions to the AURI team and fill critical roles in helping entrepreneurs and businesses advance their agricultural and food innovation ideas forward to make a positive economic impact on the industry.”

About AURI

The Minnesota Legislature created The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute to generate economic impact in Minnesota by helping develop new uses for agricultural products through science and technology. AURI accomplishes this by helping businesses take advantage of innovative opportunities in four focus areasbiobased productsrenewable energycoproducts and food.


AURI’s mission is to foster long-term economic benefit for Minnesota through value-added agricultural products.