Yakima County Development Association - Tieton Farm & Creamery Wins Enterprise Challenge

Jonathan Smith

The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news. 



Tieton Farm & Creamery Wins Enterprise Challenge

December 10, 2010

Our organization is excited to announce that three emerging businesses were selected as winners of the association’s inaugural business plan contest.   These entrepreneurs were selected by seven judges that reviewed plans and heard pitches from our final contestants.

Tieton Farm & Creamery won New Vision’s Enterprise Challenge and received a check for $10,000.  The farm and creamery is on a 21-acre farm located in Tieton.  Tieton Farm & Creamery combines responsible farming methods and artisanal cheese making techniques to produce small batches of high-quality cheeses, such as fresh chevre, feta, provolone and grill-able Halloumi.  Owners Lori and Ruth Babcock want to expand the business by developing a farm-oriented bed and breakfast on the property.

Jenny Mae’s Gluten Free Bakery placed second in the contest and received a check for $5,000.  Jenny Mae’s gluten free bakery is an allergen free bakery, specializing in breads, buns, cookies, pies, and more.    The company started last year and has plans to expand into wholesale baked goods over the next year.

Cascade Animal Care Products took third place in the contest and won $2500.  The company specializes in total care for animals.   Started last year, the company is quickly positioning itself as Yakima’s experts in animal care – dogs, cats, horses or livestock.  Products include antibiotics, vaccinations, dewormers, special supplements and retail supplies to keep animals healthy and happy. The company plans to expand its retail and wholesale sales over the next two years.

The other five final contestants received consolation prizes that can be redeemed for legal, accounting or internet support from local businesses.  “We are thrilled with the results of our business plan contest”, said New Vision’s Tammy Everts.  “All our contestants have enormous potential in terms of launching or running successful local businesses.  If these emerging companies get off the ground according to their plans we should see them add investing in our local economy and adding a significant number of jobs.”

Ruth and Lori Babcock, owners of Tieton Farm and Creamery, were thrilled to win the contest:  “We benefited tremendously from participating in the business plan contest.  It gave us an opportunity to learn more about growing our business and helped us pinpoint how we can expand over the next few years.  The funds we won will literally allow us to keep our expansion plans moving forward.”

New Vision’s Enterprise Challenge started in September and featured several educational events where contestants could learn more about managing a business.  There was also a coaching round for final contestants where they could get advice from local experts.  The development association is planning to run the contest again next year.  According to Everts, “The contest helps anchor our initiative to support local entrepreneurs.  We learned a lot this year as a result of organizing the Enterprise Challenge and we think the 2011 contest will be even bigger and better.”

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"The reason Valley Processing is located in the Yakima Valley is because of the close proximity to fruit, good transportation infrastructure, and a good workforce. " - Terry Bliesner, Vice President, Valley Processing