This fall, the United States Department of Agriculture awarded $10 million in grants to 10 agricultural innovation centers throughout the country – including AURI’s Center for Producer-Owned Energy. Each grant recipient is constructing a Web site to report on their mission and progress. Although we are including all the new centers in this section, not all Web sites are up and running. Check back in a couple months. And don’t forget to click on AURI’s site: www.auri.org for all our latest news and information.
Agriculture Innovation and Commercialization Center
Purdue University, Indiana
Purdue University’s center shepherds value-added products and processes, from initial idea to value-added enterprise, through education and assessments. The AICC site is attractive, easy to use and worth bookmarking for future reference. Sections include upcoming activities, education materials and information about product development.
Iowa Agriculture Innovation Center
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
This site is not yet running, but check back in a few months. The Iowa Agriculture Innovation Center assists producers who are processing, developing and marketing value-added agricultural commodities and products. Iowa leads the nation in corn, soybeans, hog and egg production.
Kansas Ag Innovation Center
Kansas Department of Commerce
The Kansas Ag Innovation Center provides specialized business support services, such as business development, bridge management, one-on-one management coaching, education and training. The center will also provide education and outreach programs to help value-added initiatives amplify and sustain their competitive advantage. This site is in progress so check back for updates.
Great Lakes Agriculture Innovation Program
Michigan State University
This Web site hasn’t been activated yet. Michigan State University’s innovation program serves Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. Services include technical, business, marketing and organizational assistance to clients. AIP’s internal work plan includes developing a sustainable organizational/legal structure for three state programs, designing a well-trained professional network of innovation counselors, and conducting rapid-opportunity assessments to guide client-service delivery.
Minnesota Center for Producer-Owned Energy
Agricultural Utilization Research Institute
AURI’s center uniquely focuses on renewable energy and the coproducts of energy production. The Energy Center helps create and support producer-owned, energy-related businesses, offering technical and business assistance. Although the center will serve only Minnesota producer groups during its first year, the long-term goal is to be national in scope. This site is up and running and will soon be updated with staff listings, news and services.
Montana Agriculture Innovation Center
Montana State University
Montana’s center helps clients define and evaluate their projects, analyze the market, solve technical problems, write business plans and commercialize projects. The site includes general information on the center, research reports and some useful links.
Food Innovation Research and Extension Center
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
This Food Innovation Center provides business and technical services to a variety of constituents, including farmers, cooperatives, start-up food companies, and existing small and mid-sized food companies. Rutgers’ center offers business, market, product, process and workforce development services. It also assists with training, regulations, manufacturing issues, quality assurance and food safety systems.
New York Farm Viability Institute: The Center for Value-Added Agriculture
Cornell University, New York
Site not yet named
The New York center wants to help farmers increase the value of their products through on-farm product development, packaging, branding, quality enhancement and business planning. A Web site has not been designed, but some information on the Center is available through the New York Farm Bureau at www.nyfb.org
Agriculture Innovation Demonstration Center
North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives
Site not yet named
North Dakota’s center will provide technical, marketing and business services to help producers establish businesses that market value-added agricultural commodities or products. The center’s purpose is to uncover innovations that could add value to all agricultural market segments. A Web site has not yet been designed.
Keystone Agricultural Innovation Center
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Site not yet named
The Keystone Center offers educational and technical assistance to producers, with the goals of increasing agricultural wealth, creating employment opportunities, and providing education and support. The center offers an impressive range of leadership and information expertise to Pennsylvania producers. A Web site has not yet been developed.