AURI likes to reward innovation.
Businesses we work with are developing ag-based products that lead to opportunities, economic activity and jobs. They deserve our recognition.
This year, AURI’s annual Ag Innovator of the Year award goes to Suntava. This Minnesota business extracts the natural color Sayela™ from Suntava™ Purple Corn bred by Red Rock Genetics of Lamberton, Minn.
Suntava’s natural colorant is in a range of products, from sports drinks to tortilla chips. And company CEO Bill Petrich says they are tapping into markets he didn’t foresee — like cosmetics, nutraceuticals and even seed coatings.
Sayela colorant is close to the hue of red dye #40, which is the most prevalent synthetic dye used in U.S. foods and beverages. Since the purple corn handles similar to field corn, it can be dried and stored for extended periods, giving it an advantage over other more perishable natural colorants.
Every year we honor an entrepreneurial company like Suntava that has achieved success in the marketplace — and used AURI’s services to get there. We also want to highlight value-added agriculture’s contribution to Minnesota’s economy.
AURI is driven by and for innovation. It is our role to help move agricultural products into new places and recognize those who accomplish it. For to be truly innovative, a product idea has to be implemented.
BY DAN LEMKE Founders of the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) in Benson were among the first to ride Minnesota’s growing ethanol wave. CVEC formed in 1995 and began processing corn into ethanol in 1996, becoming just the fifth enterprise in a state that now boasts 21 corn ethanol plants. CVEC’s Benson facility has the […]
Since 2002, AURI has recognized these kinds of businesses with the Ag Innovator of the Year award, presented to a Minnesota company that has shown innovation in the development of an ag-based product or process. The goal is to recognize the accomplishments of one deserving business and draw attention to value-added agriculture’s contributions to the state.
“We present this award to recognize innovation and excellence in Minnesota’s food and agriculture space,” says AURI Executive Director Shannon Schlecht. “AURI sees many great ideas from across the state and the award provides an opportunity to highlight a unique idea and innovative business.”
EarthClean Corporation is being recognized for its innovative approach to utilizing Minnesota’s agricultural commodities for an environmentally friendly firefighting additive and its commitment to expand the product line of natural solutions to difficult problems.
> Listen to a radio segment about Suntava Bill Petrich says he didn’t know for sure how expansive the business could be when he became CEO of Suntava in 2007. Petrich was hired to build a fledgling business marketing products from a variety of purple corn the company’s founders had developed. Initial efforts focused on […]
>Read the full report Economic Contribution of the Agbioscience Industry in Southeast Minnesota Agbioscience—especially the food sector—is a critical component of Southeast Minnesota’s past and future. A new research report shows that in one year alone agbioscience supported $8.3 billion in economic impact in Minnesota’s Southeast region. This is 11 percent of the region’s total […]