I would like to open the first 2017 issue of Ag Innovation News with a thank you to our dedicated readers—especially those who have been with us since the beginning. Your support over the years is the reason why AURI is celebrating the paper’s 25th year of publication. I think this is definitely a noteworthy milestone deserving celebration. To that end, I would like to take some time now, and in future issues, to look back on the storied history of the Ag Innovation News (AIN).

Your support over the years is the reason why AURI is celebrating the paper’s 25th year of publication.

It all began in January of 1992 when the first issue went out to 4,000 subscribers who read former Executive Director Richard Nelson’s thoughts on what the paper would be. He wrote “…these pages will offer a sampling of AURI’s accomplishments in ag product commercialization, technology transfer and applied research…there will also be news of important progress in agricultural utilization wherever it occurs.”

The paper definitely set the right tone from the beginning. The first issue in 1992 included the following headlines:

  • CENEX/Land O’Lakes introduces corn, soybean-based surfactant developed in partnership with AURI
  • Le Center utilized new organic oil processing technology
  • Minnesota producing beans for Japanese markets
  • Lactic acid from waste starch to be used in degradables
  • High starch potato is developed for paper industry
  • AURI explores new opportunities in fish farming
  • Omega-3 fatty acids from fish make for health foods

Looking back at these articles, I think it is safe to say AIN raised awareness levels of new and innovative happenings and was definitely ahead of its time.

Since then, the paper has grown to become an information resource for more than 12,000 farmers, processors, entrepreneurs and legislators in the Midwest, while continuing to report on important topics. I think a major element of the paper’s longevity is its success in making research and technical information easy to read and enjoyable for readers
of all backgrounds and interests.

Consistently achieving this goal has been a point of pride for everyone at AURI throughout the past two-and-a-half decades. As I write this, I cannot help but wonder if Executive Director Nelson had any idea that a quarter century later the AIN would still be a trusted voice in the arena of value-added agriculture.

Now, as we move into 2017, I hope you will join me in celebrating AIN’s Silver Anniversary. Over the coming months, there will be more articles highlighting the past 25 years of the publication with retrospectives and unveiling of new plans for the publication’s future. It is sure to be an exciting year for AURI as we highlight the many innovative food and ag happenings in Minnesota and the region.