Curious whether AURI can help your business? Here are a few of the questions we frequently receive.

What does AURI stand for?

AURI is an acronym for Agricultural Utilization Research Institute.

What kind of organization is AURI?

AURI is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation created by the Minnesota state legislature.

What is AURI’s mission?

AURI works to foster long-term economic benefit through value-added agricultural products.

What is value-added agriculture?

Value-added agriculture is the practice of creating new uses for, or value improvements to raw agricultural commodities. For example, rather than selling raw corn and receiving the market price, a producer may provide corn to a farmer-owned ethanol processing plant, receive the market price plus additional dividends from the sale of the ethanol produced from that corn. Value has then been added to that corn, making it more profitable than when it is sold as a raw commodity.

Who does AURI help?

We work with individual entrepreneurs, businesses, cooperatives, commodity groups and farm organizations that have ideas for new uses to benefit Minnesota producers.

Where does AURI get its funding?

While we are an independent nonprofit corporation, we are funded by the citizens of Minnesota through a direct appropriation from the state legislature. Each biennium AURI goes through the state budgeting process for that funding.

What kinds of service does AURI provide?

We provide a wide range of services from new product development and feasibility testing to assisting with an assessment of business and marketing needs. Our work focuses on four core areas: food, renewable energy, biobased products, and coproducts.

Is there a charge for AURI services?

Technical and business assistance are free services provided to Minnesota businesses, entrepreneurs and cooperatives that have ideas for new uses and value additions for Minnesota farm commodities.

Does AURI provide funding?

Depending upon a projects focus and fit with the mission of AURI, financial support can be obtained in the form of grants. These grants require a one-to-one match. Initial Project Assessments require a one-to-one cash match, while Market Assessment Program recipients may provide cash, in-kind or a combination as the match.

How do I access AURI programs?

The best way to access AURI assistance is to contact the regional office nearest you. This first step allows staff to meet with clients directly and help assess needs. AURI offices are located in Crookston, Marshall, St. Paul and Waseca.

Are AURI programs geared for individual crop or livestock production?

AURI programs are not intended for crop or livestock production. Programs are available to applicants who can demonstrate that their project will impact the use of existing agricultural commodities, alternative crops or livestock. All projects must show that they will benefit the state of Minnesota.

How do I know if I qualify for AURI assistance?

Since there can be a number of factors that determine program qualification, the first step you should take is to contact the AURI office nearest you. That initial contact with AURI staff will help determine your needs and match you up with the appropriate resources offered by AURI and our partnering organizations.

What types of business does AURI assist?

AURI works with a wide variety of small- and medium-sized agricultural-based businesses, including entrepreneurs who are just getting started as well as long-standing businesses with ideas of how to improve processes or create new products. AURI also collaborates closely with a variety of stakeholders, from commodity groups to rural development organizations.

When should I contact AURI?

If you have an idea for a new product or process relating to agricultural commodities or if you are looking for research or information related to our four focus areas—food, coproducts, renewable energy or biobased products—contact us.

How should I contact AURI?

Fill out the contact us form or contact one of our staff members. We look forward to working with you.