Serving the Community With FUN! Crismor Farms Pumpkin Patch – Buhl, ID

smallPumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins! And gourds, and squash, and Indian corn and so much more! We’re highlighting a wonderful rural farm in Buhl ID  called Crismor’s Pumpkin Patch, that has EVERYTHING for your Halloween / Harvest fun. You can purchase straw bales for decorating, cornstalk bundles, Indian corn in beautiful rainbow colors, craft items and there are more than 27 different varieties of pumpkins to choose from.   Continue reading

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Destinations in Rural Communities: How Will We Find You?

tallThere are many wonderful destinations for inhabitants and visitors to rural communities. Have you visited a rural community and wanted to know ‘the best place’ to eat, fish, buy local art, have a great glass of wine … and more?  Before social media, we all relied on chatting up a ‘local’ about their favorite places and that worked out very well for that time. The only drawback to that was that you got only one person’s opinion on where to go and what to do or see.  With the advent of Social Media, you can now find out just about anything a community has to offer,  how people rate different establishments, hidden treasures and out of the way, non touristy things to see and do!

We would like to introduce a new friend to Southern Idaho Rural Development, Colton J. Townsend of Tall Town Design.  Below is his bio and what he and his partner, Connor Talbott have to offer your small business.



Colton J. Townsend

Colton J. Townsend and his lifelong friend Connor Talbott grew up in a cozy little town in eastern Washington called Waitsburg (it’s near Walla Walla). They went to college together at Washington State University and lived together as roommates in the big city (Seattle) for a while. Colton worked at a corporation that provides websites and online marketing/advertising services for the automotive industry while in Seattle. There, he was able to attain valuable insight into how big players market themselves effectively online. After growing tired of the dull city life, Colton and Connor decided to apply the skills and know-how of online marketing to a business focused on serving rural towns (like Waitsburg, their hometown)! That business is called Tall Town Design.


Connor Talbott

Tall Town Design offers website design services and digital marketing consultation to organizations in rural areas throughout the Northwest. Their aim is to provide small business owners with a means to take control of their online presence and succeed in today’s digital world. They optimize everything to provide affordable and appropriate websites for rural businesses.

(Colton will be presenting an outline at SIRD’s next Board of Directors meeting on Oct 27, 2016 which outlines how any small business can set a foundation using FREE services to establish their “online marketing foundation”. After the presentation has been shared at the SIRD Board Meeting, you will be able to view a copy  here on our WebBlog – a link will be provided)


Colton’s presentation to our SIRD Board of Directors will outline a plan for any small business, regardless of industry, to prepare for a successful online marketing foundation. There are many wonderful destinations for inhabitants and visitors in rural communities that aren’t effectively communicated online. Their goal is to fix that.

Colton J. Townsend / Owner and Director of Sales / 5095926407

Tall Town Design



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Idaho Receives $1 Million to Connect Job Seekers with Workforce Services — idaho@work

cropped-idaho-dept-labor-logoThe Idaho Department of Labor was awarded a $1.09 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to improve the process of connecting dislocated workers, unemployment insurance claimants, the long-term unemployed and other job seekers to all available services. Idaho is one of more than 40 states and territories receiving funds from the Reemployment & Systems Integration […]

via Idaho Receives $1 Million to Connect Job Seekers with Workforce Services — idaho@work

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101 small ways you can improve your city – Curbed

The least you can do to make a big difference where you live.

Source: 101 small ways you can improve your city – Curbed

This is such a great article.  We can think of several of these ideas that some of our local communities have implemented here in Southern Idaho.  Check it out and be inspired by what YOU can do to improve your community.

Posted in Community Design, Placemaking, Rural Design, Southern Idaho Rural Development | Tagged | Leave a comment

Idaho Department of Commerce Upcoming Events Calendar

Want more information like this?



SEP 15
STEP Applications Due
SEP 22
Pricing Your Exports Seminar
SEP 28
OCT 28
Governor’s Trade Mission to China
FEB  5
IWA Outdoor Classics
MAR 20
APR 12
Secutech Security Show
MAR 11
Paris Air Show

View all upcoming events

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Idaho’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant

Source: Idaho Commerce


STEP Year 2016-2017


The State of Idaho is still awaiting the announcement of awards by the U.S. Small Business Administration for the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant for federal fiscal year 2016. However, in anticipation of the potential award, we are moving forward as planned and are now open for applications for eligible projects occurring in the grant period: September 30, 2016 – September 29, 2017.

All Financial Assistance Award applications (Option #1) are due by 5:00 p.m. MDT on Thursday, September 15, 2016. This is to be the only application period for this option.

Visit our website for complete program guidelines.

All awards are contingent upon receipt of the 2016 award from the SBA.

Applications are accepted online at Idaho Commerce’s Grant Portal. To register for your online portal account and apply, contact STEP Grant Program Manager, Tina Salisbury at (208) 287-3164 or by email at

*Please note that log-in set ups are available Mondays-Fridays only, and we require a minimum of 48 hours prior to application due date.

“Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration”
There are two options to take advantage of STEP funds:

Option #1
Financial Assistance Award

Awards range from $3,000 minimum up to $15,000 maximum and a 35% cash match is required.

Maximum of 40 awards available; review and scoring process will be very competitive.

Eligible activities for Financial Assistance Awards include:

  • Governor’s or Foreign Trade Mission
  • Foreign Market Sales Trips
  • Services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Website translation to a foreign language, search engine optimization, localization services
  • Trade Shows – International or Domestic (supported/selected for the U.S. Department of Commerce International Buyer Program)

Option #2

Application Deadlines to be announced on a per project basis.

Outdoor Recreation:
ISPO Munich
Munich, Germany
February 5-8, 2017

Arms and Ammunition:
IWA Outdoor Classics
Nuremburg, Germany
March 3-6, 2017

Hannover, Germany
March 20-24, 2017

Pet Products:
Bologna, Italy
May 11-14, 2017

Paris Air Show
Paris, France
June 19-25, 2017

Director Led Trade Mission (Tentative):
Spring 2017

International Pricing Seminar

International Pricing Seminar
Thursday, September 22
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Get ahead of the competition!

Learn how to analyze pricing fees when exporting products to effectively grow your business. International fees and expenses can create obstacles for small businesses to integrate into global markets. New and even experienced companies sometimes struggle to identify costs associated with exporting products.

Join the Idaho District Export Council (IDEC) at the International Pricing Seminar to learn how to expand your business abroad! Learn about the costs of international trade and how you can effectively maintain your profit margin.

The Seminar will focus on pricing factors including:

  • International Transportation
  • Financing
  • Value Added Taxes
  • Foreign Exchange
  • Payment Methods

Cost: $35 (includes box lunch)
Location: 800 W. Main Street 17th floor, Boise ID, 83702

Click here to register.

Posted in Idaho, Southern Idaho Rural Development | Tagged , , , ,

2016 Gooding County Fair & Rodeo

Info in this article was taken from The Courier News, written and published by Edward Reagan. 

BANNERFAIRThe Gooding County Fair exhibit entries begin today  – August 15th .  All Open Class items (except flowers and garden produce) will be accepted from 9am to 9pm.  The flower exhibit will be open for entries on Tues Aug 16th from 4 to 8PM and field crops can be brought in on Wed morning at 8AM.

Wednesday evening August 17th the parade will roll down Main Street at 7PM.  Sign up begins at 4PM behind ISDB (Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind). Large entries (tractors, trucks, etc.) can line up along Main Street south of 13th Ave.  There is no fee to enter,  but if you have questions, contact Pete Etchart at the Gooding Valley County Store.  This year’s theme is “Fair-a-dise.”  GOODINGFAIR

After the parade you can head on over to the fairgrounds for Family Night at the carnival ($1 rides) or stick around downtown at the Sidetrack Bar for the Street Dance featuring Dirty Johnny.  Or, you can get your first taste of rodeo with the WPRA Barrel Racing Slack event starting at 9pm.  slide4

All fair exhibits are open for public viewing on Thurs from 10 to 10. Thurs August 18th is also Family Night at the Rodeo starting at 8PM. Friday August 19th is Tough Enough to Wear Pink luncheon and live auction at 12 noon and rodeo at 8pm.  The 4H/FFA Livestock Sale will be held on Sat August 20th at 10AM.

BULLSpecial event this year after Saturday’s rodeo – stick around for Bullfighters Only. Six of the world’s top bullfighters will go head to head with some of the country’s’ best bulls.  The 2016 Gooding County Fair will wrap up on Sunday morning with Cowboy Church 9AM at the Commercial Building.

The following link will take you to a full calendar of the week’s events and activities.  Gooding County Fair Schedule of Events

Posted in Bliss, Gooding, Gooding County, Hagerman, Southern Idaho Rural Development, Wendell | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Small Business Focus: The Oxbow Diner – Bliss ID

If you’ve lived in Southern Idaho for any length of time, you have likely had the pleasure of stopping for coffee and pie, lunch or dinner at the historic Oxbow Cafe right off the freeway in Bliss ID.  This local restaurant used to be a favorite stop for travellers, truckers and locals alike as the highway to / from Boise ID passed right through the city of Bliss. Things change and scenic highways and biways were passed by in lieu of speedier Interstate freeways – which was the case near Bliss.  The loss of through traffic affected several small businesses in Bliss.  The Oxbow Cafe finally closed, sitting vacant till recently, when the team of Bill Jones and Leslie Jones had the vision of re-opening this wonderful throw-back to more relaxed days of travel, homey diner atmosphere, and delicious homecooked foods.  The old Oxbow Cafe has now been given new life and a new name – the new Oxbow Diner.  Their hours are below: 

Closed Currently on Mondays
Tue-Thu: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm
Fri-Sat: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sun: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm

Continue reading

Posted in Bliss, Buy Local, Facebook, Gooding County, Southern Idaho Rural Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Small Business Focus: Jerome/Wendell Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Clinic


This article focusses on a new small business operating in the towns of Jerome & Wendell ID.   We would like to introduce Lon Egbert, PT, ATC, DPT and his team who are ‘movement experts’ as their website states.

Jerome Wendell PT

Lon Egbert, PT, ATC, was selected in 2002 to be part of the medical staff as a Physical Therapist and Certified Athletic Trainer for the Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games. He was also selected for the World Games and the Olympic Trials leading up to those games. In 2007 he was again selected to help out at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO and the most recently at the 2008 Track & Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. He continues to volunteer his time and expertise with the local athletes at Jerome and Wendell schools.

“I continue to volunteer at the Certified Athletic Trainer for Jerome, Wendell, Gooding, Hagerman Athletic programs. I volunteer to help out with the all star games for the High Schools. We are currently trying to get donations to help Wendell MS/High Schools put in underground sprinkler system so our soccer and football fields are watered sufficiently and not by hand lines for more efficient watering system and to decrease injuries in our school district. All donations are accepted at Wendell school district office payable to Sprinkler System project.”


We encourage you to patronize this locally owned small business in Wendell OR Jerome ID.

Posted in Buy Local, Gooding, Gooding County, Idaho, Southern Idaho, Southern Idaho Rural Development | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

MVAC Art Scene Summer 2016 Upcoming Events

We love art and support local artists of all kinds in each of our communities.  In support of that; we want to share upcoming art related events and classes for the communities.  Check out the full roster of events hosted by Magic Valley Arts Council (MVAC).   We’re sure you’ll find something you will enjoy!

 Magic Valley Arts Council “Art Scene” Summer 2016
Twin Falls Center for the Arts
195 River Vista Place
Mark your calendars!

Click the name of the event to be re-directed to the
detail/registration page for that event

MVAC Offers Drawing Class – June 22 thru July 27, 2016
Jazz on the Canyon
– June 30, 2016
Corporate Evening June 29 is Sold Out!
Fabio Zini Performance – July 16, 2016
MVAC Arts in the Park – July 29 & 30, 2016
Kids Art in the Park – Sat. July 30, 2016
Thousand Springs Arts Festival – September 24 & 25, 2016



July 12-15 
Handmade Books with Tammy Scott, All Ages, 9:30-11 am – We’ll create simple sewn structures, accordion fold styles and instant books.  These will be tools for the artists and authors to create their own stories and sketchbooks.  We all have a story to tell!

Mixed Media with Cheryl Bruce, 3:30-5 pm – Explore creativity with a  variety of mixed media: paint, ink washes, colored pencils, markers, pens, custom-cut stencils, and more.

July 19-21 
Color Exploration with Tammy Scott, All Ages, 9:30-11 am – Color, color everywhere!  This class will lead you through the exploration of color as we learn how to mix e colors using primary colors.  Then, we will practice this skills creating art together!

Make Your Own Art Journal with Cheryl Bruce, 3:30-5 pm – Turn your morning’s cereal box into a one-of-a-kind journal while exploring a variety of mixed media. Learn basic bookbinding skills and equipment while making a simple book structure for your mixed media work. Discussion will cover various types of journals and methods for developing content for your pages.

July 26-28 
Printmaking with Tammy Scott, All Ages, 9:30-11 am – Let’s make prints!  Learn to make monoprints, screen prints, and create prints with found objects.  Each class will be paint, color and texture filled fun!

Getting Shady with Andy Juarez, Grades 6-12,  3:30-5 pm – Turn your drawings into realistic works of art by discovering the importance of shading.

Aug. 2-4 
Figure Drawing with Karen Fothergill, Grades 3-6 from 10-11:30 am – For beginners as well as those continuing with their figure drawing practice. Learn and practice proportions and correct relationship between the parts of the body and negative space

Eggshell Mosaics with Cheryl Bruce, 3:30-5 pm  – An eggs-ceptional experience for your little chicks! They will love seeing their art pop off the page as they peck away at this project.

Aug. 9-11
Collage with Tammy Scott, All Ages, 9:30-11 am – Who loves to cut and glue?  We do!  Learn art vocabulary while practicing the art of collage.  We’ll have fun      creating art from recyclables.  Magazines and found objects can inspire the artist within us all!

Zentangle with Cheryl Bruce, 3:30-5 pm – Zentangle is fun and creative way to increase your focus and state of mind.

Aug. 16-18
Explore Painting with Corinne Slusser, 10-11:30 am – Explore painting techniques as you learn.

Getting Shady with Andy Juarez, Grades 6-12,  3:30-5 pm – Turn your drawings into realistic works of art by discovering the importance of shading.

All classes are taught by local artists. Fee are $25 for Magic Valley Arts Council Members or $40 for non-MVAC members. Class size at the Twin Falls Center for the Arts is limited.  Reserve your space today by calling the Magic Valley Arts Council at (208) 734-ARTS (2787).

Posted in Calling All Artists, Gooding County, Hagerman, Magic Valley Arts Council (MVAC), Southern Idaho Rural Development, Tourism, Twin Falls, Twin Falls County | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment