Jan–Mar 2017, Vol. 26, No. 1
Ag Innovation News
It all began in January of 1992 when the first issue went out to 4,000 subscribers who read former Executive Director Richard Nelson’s thoughts on what the paper would be. He wrote “…these pages will offer a sampling of AURI’s accomplishments in ag product commercialization, technology transfer and applied research…there will also be news of important progress in agricultural utilization wherever it occurs.”
This month the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute will say goodbye to John Goihl one of its longest sitting board members. Goihl has served three consecutive terms (the maximum allowed by AURI), representing agribusinesses and Minnesota Pork Producers. Recently Ag Innovation News sat down with him to talk about his business, his time with AURI and some of the highlights from his nine years on the board of directors.
Minnesota has built a strong foundation for the biofuel and forest products industries, so the Minnesota legislature’s passing of the BioEconomy Production Incentive in 2015 was a significant step in advancing the state as a global center for bioeconomy project development. The goal is incentivising utilization of the state’s abundant agricultural and forestry feedstocks to add value to local economies and develop sustainable fuels and chemicals.
AURI is seeing much more activity in the alternative protein arena thanks to significant innovations in food products. This is a global trend recently explored by Lux Research who reported that “the demand for alternative proteins, beyond fish and meat…will grow at 14 percent annually by 2024.” Many food innovators are exploring new formulations to impact the existing protein supply chain. Total protein demand will double to 943.5 million metric tons in 2051, according the new report.
Since 2002, AURI has recognized these kinds of businesses with the Ag Innovator of the Year award, presented to a Minnesota company that has shown innovation in the development of an ag-based product or process. The goal is to recognize the accomplishments of one deserving business and draw attention to value-added agriculture’s contributions to the state.
“We present this award to recognize innovation and excellence in Minnesota’s food and agriculture space,” says AURI Executive Director Shannon Schlecht. “AURI sees many great ideas from across the state and the award provides an opportunity to highlight a unique idea and innovative business.”
Minnesota food innovators are producing hip, handcrafted shrubs and switchels from muddled fruit, sugar and vinegar. These traditional drinks have roots in Colonial times, when people used apple cider vinegar to preserve fruit for the winter.
Nanobionic spinach plants can detect explosives Spinach is no longer just a superfood; by embedding leaves with carbon nanotubes, MIT engineers have transformed spinach plants into sensors that can detect explosives and wirelessly relay that information to a handheld device similar to a smartphone. This is one of the first demonstrations of engineering electronic systems […]
The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) is dedicated to making its Ag Innovation News the most interesting, engaging and informative publication in the value-added agriculture sector. However, as it enters its 25th year of publication, the paper’s editorial staff understands that sometimes changes are necessary to stay current and meet the readers’ wants and needs. […]