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Governor Little Visits European Businesses With Ties To Idaho

governor_little_basque.jpg
Courtesy of Governor Brad Little
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Governor Brad Little met Basque officials inside the Ajuria Enea, the presidential palace.

Governor Brad Little and other Idaho officials are in Europe this week to foster economic relations with business leaders who have investment interests in Idaho. A visit to the Netherlands is part of an effort to bring new industry to the state.

When McCain Foods — the largest producer of frozen potato products in the world — expanded its operations in southern Idaho, it needed a larger storage unit. That’s where Netherlands-based NewCold came in. This spring, it opened a new mega-refrigerator in Burley. The $90 million facility is 14 stories tall.  

“We’re creating more food in the region than we ever have before and so there just needs to be more storage, too," said Connie Stopher, the Executive Director of Southern Idaho Economic Development. She said this project is particularly innovative in the food storage world because it’s entirely automated. 

Robots organize palettes of potatoes and regulate the temperature and chemical makeup of the rooms. The facility also employs around 80 people. 

Earlier in the week, the governor and his team were in the Basque country cross-promoting tourism. Later they’ll touch down in Ireland to visit the headquarters of Glanbia, a milk and cheese processor. 

 

Economic Development leaders like Stopher hope the governor's trip encourages other international companies to bring their businesses to Idaho. In particular, they see agriculture-related industries like storage and manufacturing as opportunities for further investment.

 

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen  

 

Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio

As the south-central Idaho reporter, I cover the Magic and Wood River valleys. I also enjoy writing about issues related to health and the environment.