–by Teresa Spaeth

As the 2013 legislative session came to a close this May, we at AURI were again thankful for the support of so many legislators, commodity groups, higher education organizations and others at the capitol. It was more than 25 years ago that the legislature created AURI. We’re pleased that today they still find value in our work and continue to invest in our efforts to drive agriculture innovations from idea to reality in order to create jobs and economic development.

I’d especially like to acknowledge Rep. Jean Wagenius [Minneapolis] and Rep. Jeanne Poppe [Austin], the House ag finance and ag policy chairs, along with Senators David Tomassoni [Chisholm] and Dan Sparks [Austin], the Senate ag finance and ag policy chairs, for allowing us to present in their committees and for listening to our story.

We take this investment from the legislature and Minnesota taxpayers very seriously and look for ways to make the most of every dollar invested in AURI by leveraging the state’s funds through matching monies and grants from other organizations in order to have the greatest impact. Our staff is daily looking for ways to grow our collaborations around the upper Midwest. It is essential to our success that all facets of agriculture work together to secure a strong future.

While we continue to provide the excellent service that our clients, partners and the state of Minnesota have come to expect, we look to the future to help create an agricultural strategy that ensures a prosperous future for Minnesota. We are doing that by working with Minnesota’s research and promotion councils to identify the highest-priority agriculture research opportunities. At the same time, AURI staff is working with the renowned Battelle Memorial Institute to identify the capacities and strengths of Minnesota’s various agriculture research organizations. Through these two initiatives, AURI is bringing together the right people to do the right research at the right time in order to generate impact for the agriculture industry. We then have the opportunity to implement that research, bring it to commercialization and create economic growth for the state.

Thank you for your investment and your trust in AURI. We are committed to doing good work, creating new products, processes and jobs in food, biobased products, renewable energy and coproduct utilization to help ensure a strong future for agriculture and the state of Minnesota.