Detroit Lakes, Minn. — One of Minnesota’s premiere pet product companies was awarded the inaugural AURI Ag Innovator Award at a luncheon here June 19.

Pet Care Systems, Inc. of Detroit Lakes and its president Mike Hughes were selected for the award by the AURI board of directors. Pet Care produces “Swheat Scoop” wheat-based small animal litters.

The Ag Innovator Award is presented annually to an AURI client with an innovative product or process that has achieved commercial success and utilizes significant amounts of Minnesota agricultural commodities. It is also meant to draw attention to the contributions value-added agriculture has made to Minnesota’s economy.

“I think the board made an excellent choice in selecting Pet Care Systems,” said AURI Executive Director Edgar Olson. “Pet Care has made good use of AURI technical services, plus they’ve reinvented their product to match consumer needs and stay viable in the marketplace. Their success has added value to wheat that otherwise would likely have ended up as livestock feed.”

Pet Care Systems introduced Swheat Scoop litter more than seven years ago as an alternative to clay litters. Last year the company introduced a new generation of crumbled litter that is more absorbent and works in self-cleaning litter boxes, yet retains its original deodorant characteristics and is scoopable and flushable.

Printer awarded for

Ag Innovation News

For “superb craftsmanship” in producing Ag Innovation News, the St. Cloud Times recently received a bronze award from the Central Minnesota Printing Professionals organization. Printing supply vendors selected the “Gallery of Superb Printing” award recipients from more than 50 entries submitted by printers from central Minnesota and the metro area. The Times has printed AURI’s quarterly newspaper since it was launched in January 1992.