Executive Directors Column: Starting Off On the Right Path

Happy New Year! I hope you celebrated the start of 2020 in good spirits with family and friends. Now that we’re a few days into the new year, I’m excited to share the achievement of several important milestones to expand AURI’s capabilities and enhance its client resources. The result being AURI is better positioning itself to make significant advances in the coming years.

First, toward the end of 2019 AURI added new infrastructure to its labs in Waseca and Marshall.

In Waseca, AURI’s Coproducts Lab installed a new drying system as well as a decorticator and finisher. Both of which will be an invaluable resource for AURI’s work in Minnesota’s burgeoning hemp industry. What’s more, to accommodate an increase in project activity, the Coproducts Lab added another site location and now utilizes two separate lab spaces in the Waseca area.

AURI’s Marshall facility also expanded to accommodate the needs of our clients by opening a new Food Product Evaluation and Sensory Lab on the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University. This new facility was custom built and is a unique resource for food entrepreneurs. I invite you to read the article on pages 6-7 to learn more about it.

In addition to these expansions, I’m pleased to report that AURI began providing small scale product lots for market research purposes for companies to test their ideas at a slightly larger commercial scale to help move them accelerate their commercialization efforts. I expect this new capability to be popular among clients who are trying to be as efficient as possible in their go-to-market strategy.

Last, but certainly not least, as I write this letter AURI is in the process of electing its second at-large board position. This new board member will bring additional perspectives to the board of directors, which is beneficial for an organization such as AURI that encompasses such a diversity of work and opportunities. I look forward to sharing more information about AURI leadership in the next issue of Ag Innovation News, but in the mean time keep an eye on auri.org for an announcement.

In closing, 2020 is starting off on the right path to be a bright year for AURI. The staff and board worked hard throughout the past year in an effort to position the organization as one that powers the future and develops innovative solutions for the development of the food and ag sectors.

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