The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) has added three new staff members to expand its resources to benefit the agricultural industry. As of Jan. 1, 2022 AURI added a new meat innovation specialist, a business development director of meat and a communications coordinator.
Clay Newton, a native of Echo, Minnesota, serves as AURI's meat innovation specialist. In this role, he provides direct assistance to the meat sector by integrating novel and existing meat innovations to stakeholders and clients. Newton will provide product development and scale up assistance, education and training coordination as well as manage AURI's meat laboratory in Marshall, Minnesota. Newton's background is in product development, meat lab operations, research project management and teaching. He is proficient in the slaughter, fabrication, processing and sales of beef, pork and lamb, including packaging and displaying products in the retail store.
Laura Bachmeier, originally from Apple Valley, Minnesota is AURI's business development director of meat. In this role, she assists in advancing the value-added meat industry for the purpose of rural economic development by providing meat science leadership through education and training coordination, exploring new meat innovations and developing professional networks. From an early age, her passion for the agriculture industry stemmed from raising and showing beef cattle and swine at the county, state and national level. Furthermore, her family grows crops and raises beef cattle throughout Minnesota and North Dakota.
Lisa Martinez was born and raised in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the heart of the Red River Valley. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of North Dakota and brings more than 10 years of experience working in marketing and communications. She worked at the United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Area managing social media accounts and websites, coordinating events and serving as media liaison. Following her tenure at United Way, Martinez joined the Division of Marketing and Creative Services at her alma mater where she managed projects for academic programs and colleges, helped develop and execute strategic marketing plans, and coordinated the development, production and distribution of traditional and digital communications.
The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute's mission is to foster long-term economic benefit through value-added agricultural products. It accomplishes this by using science and technology to help develop new uses for agricultural products. It partners with businesses and entrepreneurs to generate economic impact in Minnesota communities by helping businesses take advantage of innovative opportunities in four focus areas: biobased products, renewable energy, coproducts and food. AURI provides a broad range of services, including applied research and development, scientific assistance and a targeted network of resources to develop value-added uses for crops and coproducts.