Growing up on a family dairy farm left a permanent mark on Jennifer Wagner-Lahr, so her love for agriculture and food run deep. As Senior Director of Innovation & Commercialization, Jen oversees food, renewable energy, coproduct and biobased projects at the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI). Jen’s interest in Grow North centers on innovation as a key to ensuring Minnesota’s food system remains competitive and delivers solutions for today’s global challenges. As such, there is great alignment with AURI’s work to assist businesses and entrepreneurs as they advance the development of new and innovative products.
Wagner-Lahr received her B.Sc. in applied economics, trade and development from the University of Minnesota, and her M.S. in international agricultural sciences from Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany. She was an exchange student to Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands.
She and her husband farm in Central Minnesota and have three children. She enjoys artisan dairy products, gardening, cooking, big red barns and entertaining on the farm.