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AURI’S Food Team Has Added Expertise to Meet Client Demand in a Rapidly Changing Landscape

    The Food Team at the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) is evolving to meet the needs of clients through proactive investment in the technology, capabilities and resources that new and emerging companies need to be successful. Its team of scientists and business consultants is committed to transforming Minnesota’s rich agriculture products into sustainable food businesses by providing access to consumer and food science expertise and infrastructure. It has been a… Continue Reading AURI’S Food Team Has Added Expertise to Meet Client Demand in a Rapidly Changing Landscape

    AURI Says ‘Cheers to Cheese’ at Redhead Creamery

      Throughout its three decade history in Minnesota, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) has collaborated with hundreds of food and beverage entrepreneurs to help turn their dreams into reality. The organization assists with everything from product testing to recipe development and revision to nutrition labels and packaging to help bring products to market. An excellent example is AURI’s work in supporting a couple of young cheese enthusiasts from small-town Minnesota.… Continue Reading AURI Says ‘Cheers to Cheese’ at Redhead Creamery

      Minnesota Shared-Use Commercial Kitchen: Final Report

        The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), commissioned a research report to develop a better understanding of the shared commercial kitchen business model and its dynamics. The project team conducted a landscape analysis of the shared-use commercial kitchen industry throughout the state of Minnesota. The work consisted of interviews with key stakeholders, three regional focus groups, four case studies highlighting different operating models… Continue Reading Minnesota Shared-Use Commercial Kitchen: Final Report

        USDA’s Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity- Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA) ensures that participants in USDA’s Meat and Poultry Supply Chain initiatives have access to a full-range of technical assistance (TA) to support their project development and success. These supply chain initiatives–including the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) Program and the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP)–support the growth of domestic processing capacity and the ability of independent facilities to serve more customers in more markets.

        USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is investing up to $25 million to establish a nationwide MPPTA network of support focusing on four key areas, or scopes:

        • Federal Grant Application Management: Navigating federal grants processes and procedures, from pre-award applications processes through post-award grant management compliance.
        • Business Development and Financial Planning: Business and financial planning resources, market intelligence, and project/concept feasibility analyses.
        • Meat and Poultry Processing Technical and Operation Support: Advice and resources to support the operational needs–including workforce development–of processing plant development and utilization.
        • Supply Chain Development: Support for the development and maintenance of successful supply chain and marketing relationships–between suppliers, processors, distributors, and customers.

        In March 2022, AMS identified the following organizations to serve as TA Providers.

        *The Flower Hill Institute also serves as the overall Technical Assistance Coordinator for the MPPTA Program, working closely with AMS and the TA Providers to connect meat and poultry processors, USDA grant applicants, and grant-funded project managers to the resources and expertise best suited to support a project’s needs.

        What does the MPPTA Offer?

        • Access to technical experts from across industry, academia and state and federal government.
        • Focused content for diverse stakeholders, including family-owned, rural, minority-owned, Native American and Tribal-owned businesses, as well as other underserved entities seeking to build or expand meat and poultry processing and supply chain capacity.
        • General assistance with navigating USDA grant application and award processes, and successful post-award grant management.
        • One-on-one advising, including project and proposal reviews tailored to the specific needs of diverse stakeholders, from small and very small processors and new enterprise startups to organizations developing regional concepts and established mid-sized processing companies.
        • Educational resources, events, and webinars covering topics of interest for meat and poultry processing enterprises of all types.

        Note: The MPPTA Program does not offer or provide contractor services or financial capital. It does not offer grant writing or project management services, nor does the voluntary use of MPPTA guarantee the success of a grant application or the grant-funded project.

        MPTTA Fact Sheet (pdf)

        Request Assistance

        USDA Meat and Poultry Supply Chain program participants are encouraged to reach out directly to Flower Hill Institute to discuss their technical assistance needs.


        Photo of USDA logoTechnical assistance is provided to small meat processors through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Agricultural Marketing Service, under the Meat and Poultry Processing Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA). MPPTA is part of the USDA’s efforts to build a fair, competitive and more resilient meat and poultry supply chain. This initiative is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.