Edgar Olson

A poster caught my eye the other day. It was a picture of a large piece of moldy bread. The poster’s caption admonished the reader to “Stay fresh, or be fed to ducks.” A unique approach, but a worthwhile message nonetheless.

In any industry, competition necessitates staying abreast of current technologies and business practices. At AURI, we try to go one better. Our staff endeavors to provide top-quality service while keeping an eye on the future.

The AURI staff has years of experience in industry, business, higher education, and research. The expertise and connections gained from years of working in ag-related fields, combined with an intimate knowledge of many key industries, represent a wealth of resources for our clients.

But the search for knowledge does not end there. To be a leader means not only grasping the current status of an industry but also foreseeing emerging opportunities. Those opportunities are what drive AURI.

AURI undertakes initiatives to examine potential markets for ag commodities. In our recent past, initiatives have examined the promise ag commodities and coproducts hold for fuels and biobased products such as plastics (see related stories on pages 4 and 16). We have also looked into emerging markets for meat products resulting from Minnesota’s changing ethnic population (see story on the lamb industry, page 12). Those are just two of dozens of initiatives we have undertaken.

We also use market information to pinpoint opportunities. Staff members attend conferences, meet with collaborators, do research and take classes in an effort to stay current. We do all that we can to identify new markets for Minnesota-grown goods.

While it is a never-ending search, we are having an impact. In the past year alone, AURI has worked on projects that have involved more than 30 Minnesota-grown products.