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Eiynck Farms Named 2024 Ag Innovator of the Year

Mahnomen County Family Farm Honored for Innovation and Building Local Supply Chain

The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) announced on April 9 at its annual New Uses Forum that Eiynck Farms has been named its Ag Innovator of the Year for 2024.

David and Beth Eiynck run a farm and value-added business in Mahnomen County, Minnesota, with their two sons. The family grows soybeans, corn, peas, wheat, barley, dry beans, and oats. The Eiyncks developed a process to produce oat groats, which is the whole grain oat seed with the husk removed. They sell the oat groats as an ingredient, mainly for the pet food market. The operation grew quickly and resulted in significant expansion of the business. In 2023, the farm opened an oat groating facility in Waubun, Minnesota, that increased their processing capability considerably. The Eiyncks process about 650,000 bushels of oats a year but hope to expand that production to one million bushels a year with the new facility.

The Eiyncks use oats produced on their farm for the mill and contract with other oat growers in the area. The business helped to create a local supply chain and uses thousands of acres of oats from all over the state and region. The growth of this value-added operation is helping to secure the transition of an important business driver for the next farming generation and the area’s economy

The team at AURI and the Eiyncks have a long-term, collaborative working relationship. AURI advised on equipment selection for the buildout of the new facility, offered market and business development assistance, and provided support on a USDA Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant application. In addition, the Eiynck Farms’ plant was set up to expand as more markets are established, and AURI is working to help determine some of those emerging market opportunities

The AURI Board of Directors awards the Ag Innovator of the Year to a Minnesota company or entrepreneur that the organization has worked with that is making a substantial impact on product innovation, uniqueness, and commercialization potential. Awarded since 2002, it is AURI’s highest honor and recognition of its client portfolio.

“The Eiyncks are the ideal example of the kinds of companies we are looking to recognize with the Ag Innovator of the Year Award. The family is forward-looking and open to trying new things to create new opportunities and diversify their market opportunities,” said AURI’s Executive Director Shannon Schlecht. “They didn’t have to take the risk of creating a new business with a smaller acreage crop, but they saw an opportunity for a different future and had the ingenuity and commitment to put it together. Now, a new business exists that will benefit the region as well as other Minnesota farmers. On behalf of the AURI Board of Directors, I congratulate them on their success.”

About AURI
The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute is a nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate the expansion of the agricultural economy by empowering expanded uses and markets of agriculturally derived products. It accomplishes this by using science and technology to help develop new uses for agricultural products. It collaborates globally, acts regionally, and is known as an economic catalyst for Minnesota with a focus on bioindustrial products and food. AURI provides a broad range of services, including applied research and development, scientific assistance, and a targeted network across the value chain to foster collaboration. To learn more, visit