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Public’s opinions wanted on Food Innovation Feasibility Study

Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 11:51 AM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Region 4 Development and Southern Idaho Economic Development are working together to conduct a Food Innovation Feasibility Study for the Magic Valley.

“Could our region support a food innovation center?” was the question Jeff McCurdy asked himself over a year ago. It was that question which brought him here today.

“We have established the Magic Valley Food Innovation Center Committee, and that has representatives from Region 4 Development, Southern Idaho Economic Development, Small Business Development Center and Dairy West,” said McCurdy. “We also have some representatives from the College of Southern Idaho and the University of Idaho that are part of this.”

Thanks to a grant from the Chobani Community Impact Fund, USDA Rural Development, Dairy West, Southern Idaho Economic Development and Business Plus, they are able to conduct a food innovation center feasibility study.

“The feasibility study is going to help us understand if there is a need and demand for a facility like this, so we really want to facility to help serve existing food businesses, but also entrepreneurs,” said Connie Stopher from Southern Idaho Economic Development. “So it will tell us hopefully that there is a demand and it will tell us what kind of services and programs need to be in that facility and how best to make it a success.”

Currently they are in the public comment phase of the study, they are taking comments and opinions from people in the food industry and the public. After they finish that, they will determine how the innovation center will be structured, and where it will be located. They want the center to become a part of the Magic Valley Community.

“The backbone of our region is agriculture so this is just another opportunity to help our ag producers as well as our industries to take new ideas, improve upon them, innovate them, and give them to the marketplace,” said McCurdy.

They are asking for the public’s opinion and have released a survey.

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