The annual New Uses Forum may be AURI’s premier value-added agriculture event, but it’s far from the only place AURI promotes emerging opportunities and the services it provides to further develop those innovations.

Project Manager Becky Philipp says AURI staff participates in over 30 events each year, including tradeshows, conferences, forums, and other partner events.

“They provide an opportunity for teamwork and collaboration with agribusiness, farmers and others,” Philipp says. “There is also the opportunity to network and build relationships with the industry and commodity sectors, and hopefully, identify new value-added project opportunities that AURI can help develop and move towards commercialization.”

The MN Ag Expo is a key event. Hosted by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, MN Ag Expo is scheduled for January 22-23, 2020, at the Verizon Center in Mankato.

“AURI participates in the MN Ag Expo to collaborate with the agricultural sector, soybean and corn growers, industry professionals, and to offer AURI’s assistance in adding value to Minnesota commodities through innovation and new and expanded uses,” says AURI Project Development Director Harold Stanislawski. “We also participate to continue our collective efforts to educate people about sustainable biobased products made from the commodities grown in Minnesota and to showcase those products. It’s all in an effort to expand market opportunities.”

Events like the MN Ag Expo are largely grower focused. Philipp says since AURI’s mission is to add value to Minnesota agriculture commodities, it’s important to connect with growers.

“Working hand in hand with farmers and grower organizations is the way collaboration gets done,” Philipp explains. “Showcasing products made from the commodities farmers grow reinforces the valuable roles AURI and the promotion councils play within the value-added supply chain.”

AURI has enjoyed relationships with commodity groups since the organization’s creation in the 1980s. Those connections remain vital more than 30 years later. Recent successful corn and soybean-based projects include soy-based road sealants and the expanded uses for corn in sustainable packaging. Those projects and more will be on display at the MN Ag Expo.

“We plan to have an exciting and interesting research and innovation exhibit” Philipp says.