AURI recently welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors! During its January meeting, the AURI Board elected a new director from agribusiness and its first-ever at-large director. Each director will serve a three-year term on the Board, providing guidance to the Executive Director and staff. Additionally, the new Minnesota House of Representatives appointed its delegate to the AURI board.

Watch for Q&A articles with each of AURI’s new Board members in future editions for Ag Innovation News

Jon Veldhouse

Jon Veldhouse is currently a Business Development Manager responsible for identifying and realizing new opportunities for Cargill’s Bioindustrial Group. Mr. Veldhouse began his career with Cargill in 1999 as a Chemist at the Blair, NE biorefinery campus, followed by several years developing lactic acid fermentation technologies for the NatureWorks joint venture in Minnetonka, MN.

In 2009, Veldhouse transferred to Cargill’s Cultures and Enzymes business and led process and new product developments for dairy industry applications. He later became Senior Principal Scientist and a member of the Global Biotechnology R&D Leadership Team, focusing on microbial fermentation development, large scale manufacturing, and product commercialization.

Jon holds a B.S in Biotechnology from St. Cloud State University. Jon grew up on a family farm in western MN and now resides in Plymouth, MN with his wife (Jill) and 3 children (Kennedy, Maddy, and Henry).

Federico A. Tripodi

Federico Tripodi has served as a public company executive with extensive experience in agricultural, food and health R&D and product development. During his two-decade career in the ag tech and seed industry he has led organizations in both Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial settings. Most recently, he was the CEO of Calyxt Inc., a food ingredient company developing based on a gene editing technology invented at the University of Minnesota.

During his tenure at Calyxt, he transformed the company from a research-based entity to a commercially focused growth corporation that delivers food ingredients, such as High Oleic Soybean Oil, directly to food companies, taking the company public via an initial public offering and successfully raising over $120 million.

Rep. Jeanne Poppe

Representative Jeanne Poppe is the Chair of the Minnesota House Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division. Poppe lives in Austin, Minnesota, and represents House District 27B in southern Minnesota. She is an educator and a counselor, with degrees in sociology and counseling. Now in her 8th term in the Minnesota House she also serves on the Greater Minnesota Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division, Higher Education Finance and Policy Division, Housing Finance and Policy Division and the Ways and Means committees.

Since 1999 Rep. Poppe has been a college counselor at Riverland Community College and served as president of the Minnesota State College Faculty Counselors Association from 2002-2004. Prior to her work as a counselor, she was the college’s director of admissions from 1995–1999, and the women’s center director from 1993-1995.