AUSTIN, Minn., January 15, 2009 –  Business leaders from across the state will visit The Hormel Institute today hosted by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.  “Leadership Minnesota”, comprised of some 35 business executives from companies across the state of Minnesota along with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, will tour The Hormel Institute as part of their visit to southern Minnesota.
 Leadership Minnesota, a program developed by the state chamber,  holds five two-day sessions each year and takes members on a tour of the state.   The objective is for business leaders to learn about the state’s key assets with a goal to strengthen and grow Minnesota business and industry.  The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota focuses on cancer research and is a medical research partner with Mayo Clinic.
 “The Hormel Institute is honored to contribute to the strength of the state of Minnesota through our contributions to research and economically because of our growth,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director.  “Our goal is to continue to make significant contributions on into the future.  We are very thankful for the support we have from our community and our state.”

 The Hormel Institute hosted Leadership Minnesota in 2008, but this year’s group will be the first to see and tour the $23.4 million expansion of the medical research facility.  Institute leaders will share expansion and economic impact information.  Since the institute broke ground for the expansion in 2006, over 40 new faculty and staff jobs have been added to The Hormel Institute.

 Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson will be one of the featured speakers at today’s event.