By Shannon Schlecht, AURI Executive Director

One of the greatest privileges of being AURI’s Executive Director is being able to share exciting news about the organization’s future. This quarter is no different because I get to be the first one to announce AURI will coordinate a New Agricultural Uses Innovation Forum in March of 2017.

With record 2016/17 U.S. crop yields projected for several Minnesota grown commodities, the support and expansion of value-added agricultural products within Minnesota and the greater Midwest is of the utmost importance to spur new demand opportunities. To that end, I am working with AURI staff and key partners to build an informational and educational event for Minnesota’s agricultural industry about the latest ideas and opportunities for developing new uses for Minnesota grown crops and agricultural processing byproducts.

My vision for the forum is to be an event that brings together the most innovative ideas and knowledgeable voices on the topic of value-added agriculture. There will be panel discussions, Q&A sessions, networking opportunities and keynote addresses tailored to the interests of MN agriculture. Above all, this will be an event to bring people together under the common goal of encouraging new growth and innovation here in Minnesota.

I am excited about this forum and hope you will join us next March. We plan to send out updates via email and place them on our website, so be sure we have your email address and keep checking back at auri.org for more news about this event. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/AgriculturalUtilizationResearchInstitute) and Twitter (@AURIcomm) to get the most current updates as the event comes together.