This quarter the Ag Innovation News brings you an interview with AURI board member, Jerry Hasnedl. Jerry has served with distinction for the last three years, representing Minnesota Farmers Union. In doing so, Jerry brings the necessary talents of critical thinking and problem solving to board meetings and offers unique insight in the area of value-added agriculture.

AIN: Which agricultural group do you represent?

JH: I represent Minnesota Farmers Union on the AURI board.

AIN:  Please give us some highlights around your ag background.

JH: After serving four years in the U.S. Air Force, I obtained an associate’s degree in ag economics. I then worked for and helped manage an agricultural equipment manufacturing company for eight years. After which I took over the family farm for the next 35 years and am now transitioning the farm to my son and his family. During that farming career, I served on many cooperative boards including 19 years on the CHS corporate board. I am just finishing my first three-year term on the AURI board.

AIN: What direction do you see value-added agriculture going during the next three years?

JH: I am inclined to think that the relationship between agricultural production, nutrition and related nutraceuticals may be at the forefront of value added.

AIN: As a leader of AURI, what kind of future collaborations would you like to see the organization undertake?

JH: I would like to see AURI build on its relationships with other farm organizations. More than ever, we see how important relationships are for supporting as well as sharing information and knowledge.

AIN: In this issue of AIN, the executive director unveiled the new fee-for-service model. What do think is important for people to know about this?

JH: I would like our current clients as well as future clients to share their thoughts and opinions with us as we introduce this new program. AURI needs to grow its funding base as we grow our organization.

AIN: What do you hope to accomplish during your time on the board?

JH: I hope to see this organization become even more relevant and important to agriculture. I want AURI to be financially solid with a clear path to providing technology and expertise to every client that walks through the door. I would also like to see AURI develop a regional footprint because it can benefit border-states by sharing expertise and resources.

AIN: What are your goals for the AURI Board of Directors?

JH: I want to see the AURI board focused on giving AURI’s staff the tools and resources to fulfill the organization’s mission.

AIN: What do you see as the AURI Board of Directors’ greatest strength as a group?

JH: The AURI board of directors exhibit the diversity of talents and expertise to provide leadership and direction for our organization. I see all the skill sets necessary to be successful in these challenging times.

AIN: Funding is a big topic right now with AURI moving to a fee-for-service model, as well as accepting donations from the public. Why are these important steps for AURI?

JH: I think the key to growing of funding sources is raising the awareness level about the organization. As people hear about our success stories and hear the stories our clients have to tell about what we have been able to do for them I believe people and organizations will step forward and help fund our efforts. We need to practice asking too!