The time is right. After more than eight years as AURI executive director, it’s time for me to turn over the reins of this fine organization, move to the next chapter of my life and enjoy retirement.
I leave AURI in a position of strength. By focusing on our core strengths of technical and feasibility assistance, product development and applied research, AURI fills a vital role for developing value-added opportunities in Minnesota.
The road hasn’t always been smooth, but it seldom is. The path we’ve taken has helped us learn and made us who we are.
We’ve learned how to be better partners with others who have the same goals. We regularly connect with our stakeholders and partnering organizations to match our activities with their priorities. This way we are able to positively impact as many producers as possible.
We’ve learned to better focus our strengths and provide services not offered elsewhere. AURI often collaborates with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the University of Minnesota. While MDA is a regulatory and marketing organization, the University provides education and bench-top research information. AURI provides technical assistance and applied research for existing or emerging businesses. Working with others who bring expertise and resources to the table can return exponential results.
While we’ve learned many things, what’s exciting about an innovative organization is learning doesn’t stop. New technology develops. Discoveries are made. Intriguing questions are asked. It all spawns further innovation that leads to new opportunities.
AURI will be there to support and develop those ag-based innovations. But someone else will be at the helm because, for me, the time is right.
A troubled rural economy that spurred creation of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute 20 years ago differs from today’s troubles. But AURI’s key tool to help rev the economy is still innovation. The 1980s was a difficult decade for American farmers. In the Midwest, thousands of families lost their homes and farms amid a serious […]
Marshall, Minn. — AURI’s “oilman” retires July 1. Max Norris joined AURI in 1990, soon after it was founded. He organized the Institute’s laboratories and led fats and oils research and technical services for nearly two decades. Norris headed up AURI’s early biodiesel initiatives, the first such efforts in the state. And he guided successful […]
Crookston, Minn. — Fifteen years ago, Teresa Spaeth left suburban Indianapolis for rural Mahnomen to help take over her husband’s family farm. Today she is totally immersed in agriculture and rural life. Her expertise and devotion to rural economic development led to Spaeth’s appointment as AURI’s executive director in February. The position started March 5. […]
The phrase ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ is not necessarily true of agricultural products. Corn isn’t just corn. Soybeans aren’t just soybeans. Wheat isn’t just wheat. All these commodities contain smaller components — oil, starch, germ — that may have as much value as the whole grain, sometimes more. And […]
It’s one thing to talk about renewable energy, and another to do something about it. Many Minnesotans recognize the impact renewable energy has on agriculture and our economy. But recognizing opportunity isn’t enough. Capitalizing on it is key — and it’s happening in Minnesota. The state legislature has elevated our national leadership in ethanol production […]