Michael Sparby is the Commercialization Director of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), responsible for developing projects, securing grant funds, assists in the program delivery, oversees the annual AURI stakeholder analysis process and is responsible for AURI’s Cooperative Development Center through USDA’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant program.
Over the course of his more than 20 years at AURI, he has identified opportunities to develop and commercialize value‐added agricultural products throughout Minnesota. He has implemented and managed the development and coordination of AURI’s Renewable Energy Roundtable, presented more than 24 public presentations annually and aided in defining the direction of the organization.
Before joining AURI, Sparby held a variety of leadership positions, including Medicaid fraud investigator and consumer mediator for the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Prior to his tenure with the attorney general’s office, he worked as a communications coordinator at the Minnesota Trade Center and as assistant director of Concordia Language Village’s Norwegian Village.
Sparby is a graduate of Moorhead State University and received his Bachelor of Science degree in public relations and mass communications. He also holds an Economic Development Finance Professional certification from the National Development Council, which provides a foundation for financial and business credit analysis as well as deal structuring.