116O.09 AGRICULTURAL UTILIZATION RESEARCH INSTITUTE.
Subdivision 1. Establishment.
The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute is established
as a nonprofit corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as
amended. The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute shall promote the establishment of
new products and product uses and the expansion of existing markets for the state's agricultural
commodities and products, including direct financial and technical assistance for Minnesota
entrepreneurs. The institute must establish or maintain facilities and work with private and public
entities to leverage the resources available to achieve maximum results for Minnesota agriculture.
Subd. 1a. Board of directors.
The board of directors of the Agricultural Utilization Research
Institute is comprised of:
(1) the chairs of the senate and the house of representatives standing committees with
jurisdiction over agriculture finance or the chair's designee;
(2) two representatives of statewide farm organizations;
(3) two representatives of agribusiness; and
(4) three representatives of the commodity promotion councils.
Subd. 2. Duties.
(a) In addition to the duties and powers assigned to the institutes in section
, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute shall:
(1) identify development opportunities for agricultural products;
(2) implement a program that identifies techniques to meet those opportunities;
(3) monitor and coordinate research among the public and private organizations and
individuals specifically addressing procedures to transfer new technology to businesses, farmers,
(4) provide research grants to public and private educational institutions and other
organizations that are undertaking basic and applied research to promote the development
of emerging agricultural industries;
(5) assist organizations and individuals with market analysis and product marketing
(6) to the extent possible earn and receive revenue from contracts, patents, licenses, royalties,
grants, fees-for-service, and memberships;
(7) work with the Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture,
the Department of Employment and Economic Development, and other agencies to maximize
marketing opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally; and
(8) leverage available funds from federal, state, and private sources to develop new markets
and value added opportunities for Minnesota agricultural products.
(b) The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute board of directors shall have the sole
approval authority for establishing agricultural utilization research priorities, requests for
proposals to meet those priorities, awarding of grants, hiring and direction of personnel, and
other expenditures of funds consistent with the adopted and approved mission and goals of the
Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. The actions and expenditures of the Agricultural
Utilization Research Institute are subject to audit. The institute shall annually report by February 1
to the senate and house of representatives standing committees with jurisdiction over agricultural
policy and funding. The report must list projects initiated, progress on projects, and financial
information relating to expenditures, income from other sources, and other information to allow
the committees to evaluate the effectiveness of the institute's activities.
(c) The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute shall convene a Renewable Energy
Roundtable, the purpose of which shall be to further the state's leadership on bioenergy issues.
(i) The Renewable Energy Roundtable shall consist of one representative appointed by the
commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, one appointed by the commissioner of
the Minnesota Department of Commerce, one appointed by the chancellor of the Minnesota State
Colleges and Universities, and one appointed by the president of the University of Minnesota.
The appointees must have expertise relevant to bioenergy.
(ii) The board shall oversee the activities and shall provide staff to assist the Renewable
(iii) The Renewable Energy Roundtable will engage professionals and experts from private,
government, academic, and nonprofit entities across the state to identify bioenergy opportunities
and collaborate with a broad group of interested parties to identify future alternative courses of
action the state can take to sustain a long-term competitive position in renewable energy through
the year 2025. The Renewable Energy Roundtable will consult, advise, and review projects and
initiatives funded by the state as directed by the administration and the legislature.
Subd. 3. Staff.
The board of directors shall hire staff for the Agricultural Utilization
Research Institute. Persons employed by the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute are not
state employees and may participate in state retirement, deferred compensation, insurance, or
other plans that apply to state employees generally and are subject to regulation by the state
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
Subd. 4. Agricultural research grants.
The institute may make matching grants for
agricultural product utilization research to the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota State
Colleges and Universities, a Minnesota private college or university, a private corporation, or
a person. Grants may be matched from private sources, including farm commodity groups and
Subd. 5. Advisory board.
A 26-member advisory board may be established to identify
priorities for the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. Members of the advisory board
are appointed by the board. The advisory board consists of: the chair of the Minnesota House
of Representatives Agricultural Committee; the chair of the Minnesota Senate Agricultural
Committee; a representative from each of the ten largest agricultural-related businesses in the
state as determined by the corporation; a member from each of the appropriate trade organizations
representing producers of beef cattle, dairy, corn, soybeans, pork, wheat, turkey, barley, wild rice,
edible beans, eggs, and potatoes; a member of the Farmers's Union; and a member of the Farm
Bureau. Terms and removal of members must be set by the board and members of the advisory
board serve without compensation but shall receive their necessary and actual expenses.
The advisory board shall annually provide a list of priorities and suggested research and
marketing studies that should be performed by the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute.
Subd. 6. Bylaws.
The board of directors shall adopt bylaws necessary for the conduct of the
business of the institute consistent with this section. The corporation must publish bylaws and
amendments to the bylaws in the State Register.
Subd. 7. Place of business.
The board of directors shall locate and maintain the institute's
place of business within the state.
Subd. 8. Chair.
The board of directors shall annually elect from among its members a chair
and other officers necessary for the performance of its duties.
Subd. 9. Meetings.
The board of directors shall meet at least twice each year and may hold
additional meetings upon giving notice in accordance with the bylaws of the institute. Board
meetings are subject to chapter 13D, except subdivision 1b as it pertains to financial information,
business plans, income and expense projections, customer lists, market and feasibility studies, and
trade secret information as defined by section
13.37, subdivision 1
, paragraph (b).
Subd. 10. Conflict of interest.
A director, employee, or officer of the institute may not
participate in or vote on a decision of the board relating to an organization in which the director
has either a direct or indirect financial interest.
Subd. 11. No benefit to private individuals or corporations.
This institute shall not afford
pecuniary gain, incidental or otherwise, to any private individual, firm, or corporation, except the
payment of reasonable fees for goods and services provided and approved in accordance with the
bylaws of the corporation. No part of the net income or net earnings of the institute shall, directly
or indirectly, be distributable to or otherwise inure to the benefit of any individual.
Subd. 12. Funds.
The institute may accept and use gifts, grants, or contributions from any
source. Unless otherwise restricted by the terms of a gift or bequest, the board may sell, exchange,
or otherwise dispose of and invest or reinvest the money, securities, or other property given
or bequested to it. The principal of these funds, the income from them, and all other revenues
received by it from any nonstate source must be placed in the depositories the board determines
and is subject to expenditure for the board's purposes. Expenditures of more than $25,000 must be
approved by the full board.
Subd. 13. Accounts; audits.
The institute may establish funds and accounts that it finds
convenient. The board shall provide for and pay the cost of an independent annual audit of its
official books and records by the legislative auditor subject to sections
. A copy of
this audit shall be filed with the secretary of state.
For purposes of this section, "institute" means the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute
established under this section and "board of directors" means the board of directors of the
Agricultural Utilization Research Institute.
History: 1987 c 258 s 12; 1987 c 386 art 2 s 9; 1989 c 246 s 2; 1989 c 350 art 7 s 1-3;
1991 c 322 s 6-14,19; 1996 c 395 s 18; 1997 c 202 art 2 s 63; 1997 c 216 s 120-122; 1Sp2001
c 2 s 139; 2003 c 128 art 3 s 41-43; 1Sp2003 c 4 s 1; 1Sp2003 c 23 s 4; 1Sp2005 c 1 art 1
s 79; 2007 c 45 art 1 s 57