|Consumer Food System Survey|
|A record-breaking year for the Siskiyou County Enterprise Zone.|
A record-breaking year for the Siskiyou County Enterprise Zone.
Siskiyou County businesses broke records in 2012 by hiring and retaining more employees through the Enterprise Zone program than ever before. The Siskiyou County Economic Development Council administers the Enterprise Zone that issued 583 vouchers from more than 80 distinct companies from January 1st to December 31st, 2012. Linda Freeze, the SCEDC Vice President, was happy to report that: “The SCEDC has continued to issue more Enterprise Zone vouchers year after year. Each voucher means that a job was created or retained for a local citizen of Siskiyou County. This activity will go far in improving the business and employment environment in Siskiyou County. The record-breaking number of vouchers is great news and will spur even greater efforts on behalf of the SCEDC to help local citizens, create jobs, and issue even more vouchers in 2013.”
The Siskiyou Enterprise Zone is one of only 42 in the entire state. The purpose of the program is to provide tax incentives to businesses to spur private capital investment in the local economy. The Enterprise Zone specifically provides tax credits for employee hiring and equipment purchases, incentives for loaning to small businesses, accelerated depreciation on equipment, and a number of other incentives.
Mt. Shasta City Manager Ted Marconi spoke about the Siskiyou Enterprise Zone, adding: “It’s a wonderful program. 124 individuals were vouchered in Mt. Shasta last year, and many of those jobs might not have been available without the incentive of the Enterprise Zone to encourage businesses to expand their workforces in these challenging economic times.”
The SCEDC works with local jurisdictions, businesses and tax preparers to carry out this task. Steve Baker, Yreka City Manager summed up this report by adding: “The success of the program this last year reflects the diligence of our local organizations in reaching out to existing companies to inform them about advantages of the Enterprise Zone. We look forward to another great year of helping our local businesses to grow and prosper – and making Siskiyou County a better place.”
For information on the Enterprise Zone, contact the Siskiyou County Economic Development Council at (530) 842-1638 or email us at Julie@siskiyoucounty.org.
|Belcampo Butchery Grand Opening|
It was a ribbon cutting of a different kind on Friday when international meat company, Belcampo, specializing in organic, sustainable and responsibly raised meats, held a ribbon cutting – or more accurately, a sausage cutting – ceremony to commemorate the grand opening of their butchery on Phillipe Road near Yreka.
The event was well attended by over 70 people, including county supervisors, Yreka city council members, local residents, and Belcampo representatives and employees.
Before the sausage cutting, Aaron Baustad, Belcamp butchery general manager, thanked the community, local government and the Siskiyou County Economic Development Council (SCEDC) for their help and support in making the butchery possible.
“We’re going to take meat products raised here in Siskiyou County as far and wide as we can go in every direction,” Baustad told the crowd.
Belcampo Meat Company operates a 10,000-acre ranch near Gazelle that specializes in organically raised, rare and heritage breeds. The opening of their state-of-the-art Yreka butchery facility will add 30 jobs to the local community. Belcampo will also soon be featured in upcoming issues of both Sunset Magazine and Food & Wine.
Mark Klever, Belcampo’s local ranch general manager said the facility is equiped to process both organic and non-organic animals and will be offering custom butchery for local meat producers, though it has not begun doing so yet.
The company’s home office is located in Oakland, Calif. In addition to their Gazelle ranch, they also operate farms/ranches in Uruguay and Belize where they raise meat and grow produce sold across the nation. They also operate a butcher shop and restaurant in Larkspur, Calif.
Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors Chair Grace Bennett told the audience the company would be a “tremendous asset” to Yreka and the county.
“A long time ago the city council had a vision for this property. They ran sewer and water here in the hopes that it would become an industrial park someday,” Bennett said, adding that she hoped this would be just the first in a series of businesses to build in the industrial zone.
Yreka Mayor David Simmen did the honors of cutting the sausage after speaking to the assembled browd. He thanked Belcampo for choosing Siskiyou County and thanked the community and the SCEDC for their support and hard work in facilitating the process, adding that the business brings jobs and spurs development in the area.
“This is a very important link in the economic chain,” Simmen said, explaining that economic development in Siskiyou County depends on many different pieces working together like a chain to make a larger, strong unit.
The SCEDC issued a press release before Friday’s event to highlight the role of the Enterprise Zone program in encouraging Belcampo, as well as Castle Rock bottled water company in Dunsmuir, to locate their operations in Siskiyou County.
“We are excited to celebrate with these two new Siskiyou County businesses. The Enterprise Zone program provided the necessary incentives to attract Belcampo Butchery and Castle Rock Water Company to locate in Siskiyou County. These businesses will create a net of 50 to 100 new jobs at full capacity,” stated Tonya Dowse, the executive director of SCEDC.“Here we have two businesses in our area not only thriving, but expanding. This is great news for the entire county and just another example of the Enterprise Zone program at work,” Dowse added. “Since January of 2012, the Siskiyou Enterprise Zone has supported the retention of 377 existing and the creation of 144 new jobs.”
To learn more about Belcampo visit their website at belcampomeatco.com/.
|Siskiyou Officials Welcome Bottling Plant in Dunsmuir|
After about a year’s development and a five-month slog through bureaucratic red tape, Castle Rock Water Company opened its doors to the public for a dedication ceremony Friday.
The Dunsmuir event drew a crowd that included county and city officials from north and south Siskiyou.
“This is a great achievement for Dunsmuir and the county,” said Siskiyou County Chief Administrative Officer Tom Odom. “From an economic standpoint, it fills a building and creates jobs. I think a lot of small cities would love to have this facility in their communities.”
District 2 Supervisor Ed Valenzuela said, “We have city and county administrators here. The variety of people shows full support for this operation. I have heard no negative comments.” Speaking of the long path to the grand opening, he said, “It’s exciting to finally see something come to fruition.”
“Everybody should be in support of this adventure,” said Montague City Councilor Kitty Aiello. “Everything like this that happens in the county affects all the other cities.”
Among those attending were Dunsmuir City Manager Brenda Bains; Dunsmuir City Council Members Arlis Steele, Ed Steele, Chris Raine, Nick Mitchell, and Diane Dolf; Dunsmuir Planning Commissioners Dick Kelby and Tim Padula; and Weed Mayor Dave Pearce.
The event also attracted members of a supportive public, including one of the founders of the original company.
“I haven’t been in this building since 1998,” said Scott Lidster of Redding, who along with two others cleared the land for the building. “We literally cut trees.”
He said the day they first turned on the switch for production was the day the train carrying metham sodium derailed into the river in 1991.
“We had to change the name of the company,” said Lidster. “Dunsmuir was on the label.” The name was changed to Castle Rock Water Company.
Lidster said they sold the company to Danone Waters of North America for “a great big check.” Later Danone was acquired by the Coca-Cola Company.
Amid shiny water pipes and water tanks, Mayor Arlis Steele addressed a crowd of nearly 50 gathered for the ceremony in the plant. “It all started when Coca-Cola donated the plant and water rights back to the city,” he said. “We were thrilled at the prospect of Flora Foods leasing our plant and bottling our spring water.”
Flora signed a 10-year contract in March 2011. Owner Thomas Greither later said they adopted the company name Castle Rock Water to emphasize the quality of their product, pure spring water.
However, state and federal regulations, enacted since Lidster’s 1990s enterprise, halted production last May. Castle Rock Water Company could not print the words “spring water” on their labels without certification, according to Mayor Steele.
He said that of five springs in town, two were certified as spring water, and the pipes feeding the plant supplied water from one of the unapproved three. Dunsmuir Public Works Supervisor Ron LaRue finally broke the bureaucratic logjam by selectively shutting off spigots.
“As Ron closed off the two springs that they approved, the water [levels] would rise several inches in the other springs, therefore proving that they were fed by the same source,” Steele explained.
Later, Siskiyou Economic Development Program Director Jason Darrow said his office also helped with gaining approval. “We worked quite a bit on the applications process,” he said. “Where we really put the effort was in the poking and prodding of state agencies.”
Now that his plant is in production, Castle Rock Water Company President Greither told the crowd his biggest tasks lie ahead. “The most difficult part is making a competitive product,” he said.
As part of the marketing he referred to a photograph on a poster taped to the front of his podium. It was a six-pointed star of ice, created in the laboratory of Dr. Masaru Emoto in Japan. This image, Greither said, is of a water crystal frozen under special conditions and shot through a microscope.
He said that not all water samples crystallize into a star. “From water from big cities you don't get this,” he said, pointing at the photo. “This is our water.”
Castle Rock Water employee Gabriel Lightfriend emphasized how special their water is. “We get water out of big steel pipes from the mountain, from lava tubes,” he said. “We get it before it sees the light of day, after hundreds of years underground. So we’re getting water that is free of any modern-day pollutants”
He continued, “I wrote a book on cancer and its number one cause is toxicity. The body is 70 percent water, and water should be the first medicine. It is the ideal nutrient to flush out all the poisons.”
Greither said Castle Rock Water Company, as with all of Flora’s concerns, places the community high in its priorities. “We’re bottling in glass because recycling companies won’t take plant-based plastic back,” he said. “And we’re all-American, which was difficult because everything – like caps, labels – is made somewhere else.”
Looking down the road, he said they plan to add carbonation, for producing soft drinks.
Herbal medicines, for which Flora is well-known, will also be produced at the plant.
“Hopefully we can hire 100 plus employees,” he said.
|Belcampo Butchery Groundbreaking|
Since 2006, Belcampo Meat Company has been raising animals for consumption in Siskiyou County, and on Monday a groundbreaking ceremony on Phillipe Lane in Yreka set the stage for a new venture that is expected to bring jobs to the area and give rise to a new way for the producer to go from “pasture to plate.” In an interview Monday, Belcampo Farm General Manager Mark Klever said that the company, which has ranches in Gazelle and Grenada, now has a part of the industrial park on the edge of Yreka where it hopes to open an animal harvest/slaughter facility in the summer of 2012. “We want our products to be fully traceable and we want to be fully accountable for the quality of those products,” Klever said. Part of that effort, he said, is to make sure that the animals’ histories are known and that they are raised humanely and organically, which includes ownership of the means of slaughter. The multiple species raised by the ranches include beef cattle, swine, geese, goats, lamb, quail and more, all which the company will be able to accommodate at the planned facility. According to Klever, beyond the production of distinct local meats, the venture is expected to create 10-15 jobs at the facility to complement the approximately 13 currently employed on the two ranches. While much of the market is aimed at out-of-county consumers, Klever explained that part of the vision does include a mode of sale within the county for locals who want local meats. When asked, he added that while no details have been fully realized, there may be an option in the future for accommodating other local meat producers at the slaughter facility. Klever, who noted that he has a long background in conventional farming, said of the Belcampo experience that personally, he wants to do something to give his children “the opportunity to see that we can be creative and responsible in how we produce the products we consume.”
|SCEDC receives Pacific Power grant for Industry Study|