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Posts in category: News

Pierz Company Chosen for Annual AURI Award: A Sunny Future for Smude Oil

Posted on January 4, 2019, in Ag Innovation News

The path to commercial success is rarely linear. Instead, it’s often chock full of twists, turns and unexpected challenges, something to which Tom and Jenni Smude can likely attest. The Smudes, who own Smude Enterprises, makers of Smude’s Sunflower Oil, have turned necessity into a thriving business that is being recognized as AURI’s 2018 Ag […]

Small Investment Big Impacts

Posted on April 6, 2018, in News

USDA Grant to AURI Yields Impressive Returns by DAN LEMKE Sound investments should generate a positive return, and a federal program providing support for rural economic development through AURI is producing returns most investors could only imagine. AURI was recently awarded a 2018 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) through a […]

The DNA of Innovation: AURI Award Winner Has Long Value-Added History

Posted on January 6, 2018, in Ag Innovation News, AURI News, News, Success Stories

BY DAN LEMKE Founders of the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) in Benson were among the first to ride Minnesota’s growing ethanol wave. CVEC formed in 1995 and began processing corn into ethanol in 1996, becoming just the fifth enterprise in a state that now boasts 21 corn ethanol plants. CVEC’s Benson facility has the […]

Taking the Next Step

Posted on January 5, 2018, in Ag Innovation News, News, Success Stories

The next generation of Hmong farmers is poised to step into value-added product arena by DAN LEMKE They may not raise corn, soybeans or wheat, or farm large parcels of land, but Minnesota’s Hmong American farmers have transformed the state’s urban agriculture and local food landscape. Now the next generation of Hmong farmers is poised […]

Popcorn Pair: Smude’s introduces microwave popcorn made with heart-healthy sunflower oil

Posted on October 11, 2017, in Ag Innovation News, News, Success Stories

By Liz Morrison Business is popping at Smude’s Sunflower Oil in Pierz. Seven years ago, Tom and his wife, Jenni, central Minnesota cattle farmers, began working with AURI to develop Minnesota’s first cold-press sunflower oil manufacturing company. Now, Smude’s Sunflower Oil is expanding into microwave popcorn. The fast-growing company’s newest product is made with Smude’s […]

Innovation Celebration

Posted on January 4, 2017, in Ag Innovation News, News

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.”

Pure Flake Soap

Washing Away the Competition

Posted on October 6, 2016, in Ag Innovation News, News

Looking at what is available in the marketplace today is a great way to gauge the average consumer’s interests. Going to supermarkets, of various sizes and locations (urban and rural), can give the industry and others an idea of what consumers want along with upcoming trends.


2016 Farmfest Recap

Posted on October 6, 2016, in Ag Innovation News, News

This past August AURI once again hosted a tent at IDEAg Farmfest 2016, one of Minnesota’s largest agricultural events. In addition to AURI scientists and staff, AURI welcomed a number of strategic partners and clients who shared their own experiences of working with AURI on various projects with a number of VIPs visitors.

New meal deal

Posted on January 4, 2016, in Ag Innovation News, News

A Minnesota feed company has a new meal deal. Midwest Ag Enterprises in Marshall is making a high-protein soybean meal to replace expensive fishmeal in livestock diets. NutriVance, introduced last spring, is designed for young pigs, young poultry, and fish, which need a high-protein, low-fiber diet.

EarthClean named Ag Innovator of the Year

Posted on November 20, 2015, in Ag Innovation News

EarthClean Corporation is being recognized for its innovative approach to utilizing Minnesota’s agricultural commodities for an environmentally friendly firefighting additive and its commitment to expand the product line of natural solutions to difficult problems.