_RHP2381 copy  Minnesota company semi-finalist in national competition

Fergus Foods, LLC, the Minnesota maker of Nots! Snacks, is one of 10 national semi-finalists in the first-ever Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. The challenge provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations being developed in rural regions of the United States.

Nots! Snacks are a crunchy, non-nut snack for those with nut allergies. They are made in a new allergen-free commercial kitchen, created by Fergus Foods and located in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

After a series of virtual team interviews, judges will choose four finalists to continue in the challenge. The four challenge finalists will each win $15,000. They will pitch their business ideas to a team of judges at the American Farm Bureau Federation 96th Annual Convention in January in hopes of winning the Rural Entrepreneur of the Year Award for an additional $15,000, and the Peoples’ Choice Award for $10,000 more, totaling prize money of up to $40,000 to implement their ideas.

alfalfa-cmykSupporting innovation in rural economies

AURI Executive Director Teresa Spaeth presented on “Supporting Innovation in Rural Economies” at the national SSTI conference. SSTI is dedicated to technology-based economic development. Spaeth’s topic was on strengthening our rural roots, which focused on AURI’s role in enhancing the rural economy. Specifically Spaeth spoke about the help AURI provides to agriculture businesses regarding collaboration, project experimentation and research.

emmyFarm Fresh Road Trip series wins Emmy®

Farm Fresh Road Trip, a Twin Cities Public Television show sponsored in part by AURI and Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU), was recently recognized for its excellence. MFU President Doug Peterson and Membership Director Bruce Miller each won an Upper Midwest Emmy® Award for their work as producing partners for show.

The Farm Fresh Road Trip travels to restaurants across the state to film chefs using farm fresh local foods in their meals, as well as inform consumers about the importance of using Minnesota local foods.

The Farm Fresh Road Trip demonstrates to a television audience the connection between the farmer, the chef and the consumer while showcasing the underlying importance of local foods in Minnesota’s economy,” says Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President. “Twin Cities Public Television has done a great job in helping bring forward the importance of local foods and its benefits, and we are proud to be in a partnership with them. This Emmy® award is an honor.”

“Minnesota Farmers Union thanks AURI for the farm-to-table support, which allowed for the development and earning of this singular achievement and honor,” says Miller.