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A note from the editor Oct. 15

We totally didn’t plan this, but our focus this week encompasses more than agriculture.

The Magic Valley area makes an appearance in three stories, with a new manufacturing facility (the first of its kind in the area), a large equipment acquisition (both in equipment size and the size of the deal) and in an expanding bake shop.  

Fundraising for expanding business ventures is also a recurring theme in our coverage this week.

Our news not to miss includes a piece for data enthusiasts and retail stakeholders: The U.S. Census Bureau has launched a new tool for tracking monthly sales data specific to each state, and our expert data reporter Catie Clark tried it out.

For our agriculture coverage, Catie gives us an overview of how many of Idaho’s staple crops — barley, sugar beets, wheat and, of course, potatoes, to name a few — did amidst a lower snowpack, hot summer and dry season. Agriculture is an industry near and dear to many, and this year proved rough for those in it.

Additionally in the focus section, you will find some uplifting news: Jerome County is getting its first industrial hemp manufacturing plant, and stakeholders expect it to bring a lot of positives to the area, from jobs to a new crop-growing opportunity. Through virtual fundraising, the company exceeded its financial goal by over $1 million.

Still in the Magic Valley, Catie has written about one of the area’s large equipment manufacturers — this one specializing in snow blowing — now sharing a place alongside a potato equipment company under the private equity umbrella of Snake River Holdings, less than a year old and located in Burley.

On to Twin Falls, frequent freelancer Brooke Strickland shares an announcement from a local bake shop leaving its home business phase and looking to enter the city’s food retail scene. Like the hemp manufacturing plant, this business took to the internet to raise funding for its future location and was warmly received by the local community and farther. Uniquely, the bake shop used a locally based crowdfunding website.

Beyond the Magic Valley, intrepid freelancer Sharon Fisher takes us to eastern Idaho, to Idaho National Laboratory, where researchers are continuing to advance technology in far reaching industries. This week, the tech is intended to service infrastructure.

Speaking of infrastructure, versatile freelancer Ken Levy writes about another entrepreneurial competition, this one in the home building field. You may see a similarity to his prior piece, in our Oct. 8 edition, that shared details of a new cybersecurity-focused entrepreneurial challenge. The competitions wrap up this month, and the hope is the winners will bring some new ventures to Idaho.

For those curious about cybersecurity, we are hosting two Expert Forum events on the topic this month.

To round out construction news this week, our adaptable freelancer Ryan Lowery gives us an update on the state’s new Fish and Game Department headquarters, located in Boise.

For construction news next week, check out a recap of our Top Projects event.

 — Alx Stevens is the managing editor for Idaho Business Review. Contact her at [email protected]

About Alx Stevens