About AURI

Shannon Schlecht

Executive Director

sschlecht@auri.org
218.281.7600 ext. 125

Shannon M. Schlecht, Executive Director of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) is responsible for the overall strategic and operational oversight for the organization’s staff, programs and execution of its mission.  AURI provides technical services to businesses, conducts applied research initiatives and convenes networking events to create value-added economic opportunities for the food and agriculture sector.  AURI operates three laboratories and its dedicated staff assist industry participants on over 200 food and agricultural innovation projects each year to further the Institute’s mission of fostering long-term economic benefit for Minnesota through value-added agricultural products.

Schlecht most recently served as Vice President of Policy for U.S. Wheat Associates in Arlington, Virginia and held numerous roles within the trade association during his 14 years with the organization. He has extensive background in agriculture, policy, market development, international trade, strategic planning and management. He served as the wheat industry representative to the USDA Secretary of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative for the Grains, Feed, Oilseeds, and Planting Seeds Agricultural Trade Advisory Council. He was also the liaison to multiple agricultural coalitions, and staff lead for national committees covering trade policy and biotechnology as well as a food aid working group. Internationally, he conducted initiatives to develop U.S. wheat exports in over 40 countries.

He holds Bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees from North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota.