This quarter, Ag Innovation News highlights one of its newest board members, Federico Tripodi. He is AURI’s first-ever Director-at-Large and has extensive experience in agricultural, food and health R&D and product development during his two-decade career in the ag tech and seed industry. In this interview, Mr. Tripodi shares his thoughts on AURI, its board of directors and what he sees in the future for both.

AIN: Was there a specific reason you wished to join the AURI Board of Directors?

FT: Agriculture is changing at an accelerated pace with consumers driving much of it. At the same time, collaborative ecosystems and supply chains are crucial to what is coming in agriculture. I wanted to join the AURI board of directors because I believe AURI’s mission to foster value-added economic development provides a platform to continue supporting these changes in the region and can make Minnesota a leader in value added agriculture.

AIN: How did you first learn of AURI?

FT: Having worked in value-added agriculture in the Midwest for 15 years, I learned about AURI when I first moved to Minnesota to work in the space. What we have here, with AURI, is unique and the organization has a tremendous opportunity to influence beyond the state’s borders in a way that
will be synergistic and help accomplish
our mission in Minnesota.

AIN: Do you have experience with value-added agriculture? If yes, please describe.

FT: I have led R&D projects, established supply chains, led business development, manufacturing, sales, teams and companies that were 100 percent focused on value added solutions in agriculture. I have had the privilege to collaborate not only on the agricultural productivity side but also on food, supplements, bio-materials and biofuels.

AIN: What do you want to achieve as a new board member?

FT: Over the next three years I would like to see more recognition for the upper Midwest having a best-in-class ecosystem for value-added agriculture and can be a strong alternative to the traditional supply chains and east coast/west coast innovation hubs.

AIN: Have you worked with AURI in the past?

FT: No, but I attended some AURI sponsored events and was very impressed with the cross section of participants and thought leaders across the whole food and ag value chain.

AIN: What are your goals as a new board member?

FT: At the board we are all about furthering AURI’s mission of creating economic development. Personally, as an entrepreneur, I want to help the organization increase its impact beyond its current programs and approach. There are a lot of exciting things happening in agriculture and food, and AURI is poised to lead collaboratively.

AIN: What do you most look forward to in this new position?

FT: I look forward to supporting AURI’s Executive Director, Shannon Schlecht, and the rest of the staff in accomplishing some lofty goals that will certainly make a difference in our region.