The Powder River Basin Resource Council's Bill Bensel says without a USDA meat plant in Wyoming local meats can’t get to state schools and stores. However, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture's Derek Grant says that’s not true.
“Our producers can take their livestock to those meat plants and then sell the products in the state of Wyoming to restaurants and school and individuals.”
Bensel says the problem is that there are too few slaughtering plants—only 12 state wide—to make it economically feasible for ranchers to process in-state.
According to a recent analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, mining occupied approximately 35 percent of Wyoming’s GDP in 2013, up from around 29 percent in 2003. That makes Wyoming the most mining-dependent state in the country.
The increase comes despite calls from the Wyoming Business Council to diversify the state’s industries.
Wyoming Principal Economist Jim Robinson said that after concentrating on energy for so long, growth in areas outside energy is slow.
An event that connects businesses with researchers from federal labs and Universities is coming to Denver for the first time next month. The one-day event, called WBT's Open Innovation Forum, aims to show small to mid-size companies and advanced manufacturers in the West how to partner with federal labs.
Amanda Radovic, the CEO of WBT's Innovation Marketplace, said these partnerships can lead to scientific innovation.
The Wyoming Business Council voted to approve all five of its Business Ready Community Grants today/Thursday. Among them is a 5 point 4 million dollar grant to fund construction of a new data and technology park in Laramie.
The State Loan and Investment board approved a one point five million dollar community readiness grant to build a power plant that will use human waste to power a Microsoft data center.
Construction of the Dry Creek Water Reclamation Facility begins in January. The facility recycles common waste bi-products, creating a stream of biogas methane. This biogas is used as the fuel for a fuel cell. The Fuel Cell converts the biogas into electricity to power the Microsoft data center, which will be located in Cheyenne.
After four years aging in barrels, the first batch of Wyoming Whiskey sold out to distributors in only four minutes today.
Three-thousand cases of Wyoming Whiskey went on sale to state liquor license holders at 3:00 p.m. on the Wyoming Department of Revenue’s E-Liquor website. At 3:04, the website crashed because it experienced such heavy traffic. Of the state’s 1,250 retailers, only about 75 were able to purchase the whiskey.
Americans have mixed feelings about Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when many big box stores open early and offer steep discounts to kick off the holiday shopping rush. Small businesses in Downtown Laramie had mixed reactions to the occasion.
Some have been working hard not to be forgotten at the official start of the holiday shopping season.
During the campaign season, many fossil fuel developers dreaded the idea of a second term for President Obama.
Bruce Hinchey of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming says during the last four years, it’s been harder to secure oil and gas leases on federal land, get drilling permits, and have environmental impact statements approved.
But Bob Spencer of the Equality State Policy Center says it’s prudent for the administration to strike a balance between mineral production and preserving land for wildlife and public enjoyment.
In a letter to the Laramie Boomerang last week, Subway and Bagelmakers franchise owner Tim Woodward wrote that if President Obama wins re-election, and the Affordable Health Care Act stands, he would sell off two-thirds of his stores by 2014, cancel health insurance for managers, and shift full-time line workers to less than 30 hours a week. The open letter angered a number of area residents who have planned to boycott businesses Woodward and his brother, Rob, operate in Wyoming and Colorado.
The Wyoming Business Council and the Wyoming Women's Business Center are sponsoring a grant-funded loan program that could help licensed childcare providers improve their businesses.
Rosemany Bratton of the Wyoming Women's Business Center said she hopes the Community Development Block Grant Child Care Facility Loan Program will help participating providers fill service gaps across the state.