Ulukaya envisions Twin Falls becoming the “Silicon Valley of food”…
The Leftwing media outlet that posted a big glowing report of the wonders Chobani Yogurt has brought to Twin Falls, Idaho is called ‘Curbed.’
I had never heard of it so I checked it out here at wikipedia and see it is a real-estate industry blog owned by Vox Media. Curbed we learn was founded by one Lockhart Steele. Not a household name you say. Right, but he did get a bit of publicity back in October when he was fired from Vox in the great wave of exposed sexual harassers on the political Left.
(LOL! This was more interesting than the wet-kiss story about Chobani. Readers might remember that (exposing their bias) Vox had this to say about yours truly).
Lockhart Steele, Vox Media’s editorial director and former CEO and founder of Curbed Network, has been fired for sexual harassment after allegations made by a former employee.
“Lockhart Steele was terminated effective immediately,” CEO Jim Bankoff wrote in a memo to staff Thursday, which the company confirmed to Variety was authentic. “Lock admitted engaging in conduct that is inconsistent with our core values and is not tolerated at Vox Media.”
Steele’s name also has been removed from the Vox Media page listing company leadership. He joined the company through its November 2013 acquisition of Curbed, in a cash-and-stock deal reportedly worth $20 million to $30 million. The Curbed Network included Curbed.com, which covers real-estate; food blog Eater; and Racked, which covers retailing. Previously, Steele was managing editor at Gawker Media. Steele did not respond to a request for comment.
There was a time in American history when media on the Left would have been cheering for the American worker, not so much anymore, they are instead cheering for giant global corporations using cheaper and more compliant immigrant labor.
Now to the story at (tainted) Curbed/Vox on Chobani Yogurt and its sainted CEO Hamdi Ulukaya (emphasis is mine):
For Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of the Greek yogurt-making giant Chobani, Twin Falls, Idaho, helped his company expand in ways he could barely imagine when he arrived in the United States in 1994 as a Turkish college student who didn’t speak English. The small city of 48,000 in the Magic Valley, an agricultural center in the southern part of the state, home to the company’s 1 million-square-foot factory, will soon be the centerpiece of a new chapter for Chobani, one of the last decade’s most successful new food brands.
Earlier this month, Chobani announced plans to expand its sizable footprint in Twin Falls. A $21 million, 70,000-square-foot expansion, centered around an energy-efficient, glass-enclosed food research and development center (R&D), set to open next summer, aims to become a food-focused startup hub that will help Chobani and other entrepreneurs develop new products. Ulukaya envisions Twin Falls becoming the “Silicon Valley of food,” and Michael Gonda, the senior vice president of corporate affairs, says the expansion will double the research & development team, currently operating out of a double-wide trailer.
Mayor Shawn Barigar loves Chobani (doesn’t everyone). But, do the folks of Idaho want to “redefine rural?”
Chobani shows how economic development, innovation, and a new business can help change a city’s fortunes. Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar said the company exemplifies “redefining rural,” a local bid to build and innovate within its proud agricultural heritage. Since arriving in 2012, Chobani has helped the agribusiness hub thrive, creating 1,000 direct jobs, pumping more than $700 million annually into the region’s GDP, and becoming a big part of the state’s important dairy industry (its plant processes 3 million of the 40 million pounds of milk produced daily in Idaho).
Ulukaya’s story, and his company’s success, embody the American dream immigrants have chased for centuries. But in today’s political climate, Chobani has also found itself drawn into the city’s and the country’s reckonings with a wave of anti-immigrant, anti-refugee sentiment. Ulukaya has proudly supported and sought out refugees, employing hundreds in Twin Falls, where 11 or 12 different languages are spoken on the factory floor.
Twin Falls has been part of the nation’s refugee program for decades, with a resettlement office at the local College of Southern Idaho (CSI) helping to place roughly 300 refugees every year.
On that last bit, I sure hope Mr. Chobani Yogurt knows that the refugee numbers are going to be really low this year in Trump’s first full year of control of the flow.
Local citizens should watch for refugees being bused in from other cities and states. It is still a rumor so far but we are hearing that cheap-labor strapped food processing companies may be doing that in other states.
The good mayor of Twin Falls wears two hats!
When Chobani first considered expanding to Twin Falls back in 2011, none of this was central to the conversation or the courting of the fast-growing company. Barigar, then president and CEO of the chamber of commerce (a role he still performs in addition to being mayor), said the city and local economic development agencies spoke about the state’s economy and labor force. They “came for the milk,” he says, and quickly got to work. The Twin Falls factory, the world’s largest yogurt production facility at more than a million square feet, broke ground and was up and running in less than a year.
This last sentence above is a point that hasn’t ever been fully explored. How does a company that produces so much waste get up and running in less than a year? How did they get through environmental regulatory requirements at the local, state and federal level that fast?
There is so much in this article I would love to address, but you will need to read it yourself especially if you live in Twin Falls and have been living through this. Just one more bit here:
Persistent rumors, including a false story that Chobani was involved in a conspiracy involving child sex and spreading tuberculosis, led the company to file a successful defamation lawsuit against Infowars’ Alex Jones, who took down the fake stories as a condition of the settlement. As a private company, Chobani has no role at all in the refugee program, says Gonda.
Chobani lawyers have successfully silenced critical news, not just Infowars, about Chobani Yogurt and the refugee program.
Much more here at Curbed/Vox.
I recommend that anyone with the wherewithal should do a documentary film about Twin Falls, Idaho or St. Cloud Minnesota to show the rest of the nation what happens to a town when a food processing company or other corporations seek refugee labor, the city is changed and a ‘pocket of resistance’ forms.
Both small cities have it all! (Controversial mayors, global corporations, Republican elected officials in the bag for more immigrant labor, Muslim refugees, Chambers of Commerce pushing immigration, Leftwing ‘church’ groups, US State Department refugee placement contractors, refugee criminal cases, new mosques, citizen push back, defamation of rural patriotic Americans by the local media, etc.).
See my complete archive on Twin Falls by clicking here.
Oh, and by the way, all of the Leftist media attacks on the concerned citizens of Twin Falls imply that the citizens were making it up that Syrian refugees were coming to Twin Falls. Here is MagicValley.com’s April 30, 2015 headline:
CSI Refugee Center Expects Influx of Syrians
TWIN FALLS • The College of Southern Idaho’s Refugee Center is expecting an influx of Syrian refugees starting in October.
CSI Refugee Center works for Lavinia Limon of USCRI (photo above).