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Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Explores Local Ag-Related Education, Research
August 10, 2006

Contacts:
Krista Lemos, director of communications, 218-281-8438 (klemos@umn.edu)
Becky Philipp, AURI executive coordinator/HR-IT manager, 218-281-9012 (bphilipp@auri.org)
 
CROOKSTON, MN (August 10, 2006) – The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Board will get a first-hand look at the local education and research that support production agriculture in rural Minnesota during tours of the University Minnesota, Crookston, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), and Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC) on Monday, August 14, 2006.

Nearly 30 board members and their guests, who are visiting the region next week, will get details on University of Minnesota, Crookston education programs and applied research and demonstration projects in agriculture and natural resources that support production agriculture and land use. These educational opportunities successfully prepare graduates for positions where they can make important contributions to this region and beyond. UMC’s degrees in agricultural business; agronomy, with tracks in agronomic science and crop production; horticulture, with tracks in production horticulture and environmental landscaping; and natural resources management are just some of the highlights.

Tours to the horse arena at the University Teaching & Outreach Center (UTOC), the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC), and Bergland Laboratory are also on tap. NWROC is an arm of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station system and conducts research in agronomy, dairy, entomology, feedlot beef, natural resources/prairie management, plant pathology, small grains extension, soil, and sugarbeets. The Center operates on some 1,500 acres of land and assists in providing laboratories, fields, and herds for use by UMC students enrolled in agriculture and natural resource programs.

The Farm Bureau group will also hear about activities at AURI, a nonprofit organization created and supported by the Minnesota legislature that provides scientific technical assistance and research and development services to the state’s agriculture industry. Guests will learn about AURI’s Center for Producer-Owned Energy and get a look at the Fermentation lab and Product Development facility to learn more about how AURI works to enhance Minnesota’s economy through the development of new uses and new markets for agricultural products. An overview of projects in Northwestern Minnesota, including activities in biodiesel development, gasification of ag-based coproducts, advancements for the paper industry, and others will also be included.