Idaho’s six-county region known as "The Magic Valley" was recognized earlier this month as a top 12 U.S. manufacturing community by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership) – one of four U.S. regions in the Food Manufacturing category.
Southern Idaho secured a record-setting seven projects in 10 months during 2012-2013, including new investments from food giants Chobani, Monsanto, Clif Bar and Frulact Group as well as expansions of Glanbia Foods, McCain Foods and Calva/Brewster.
Southern Idaho will receive a number of direct and significant benefits because of this federal designation, including preferential consideration for federal funding, food-related talent attraction and training opportunities, direct access to federal economic development resources and national branding as a select U.S. Manufacturing Community.
“This designation will directly impact the sustainability and future growth of our region’s food production, processing and science industry cluster,” said Carleen Herring, COO of Southern Idaho’s Region IV Development Association.
The Southern Idaho region has a strong agricultural base of row crops, sugar beets, potatoes, barley, winter/summer wheat, oats, seed production, pork processing, cattle/calves, dairy production/processing, aquaculture, food science/R&D, and lamb, mink and honey production.
Idaho ranks in the top third of U.S. states for food processing, and Southern Idaho leads the state’s agribusiness industry by contributing well over half of the state’s nearly $9.7 billion agriculture receipts for 2014.
In addition to natural resources, the region offers food companies the infrastructure to process, package and transport agriculture products.