Friday, June 17, 2011

Cmetery Tour Follow Up

What a great day!  Michael Zah's was fantastic, the food was delicious and the participants were wonderful.  We started off the morning with a full house and a wonderful program by Michael Zah's, followed by  a wagon ride to a pioneer cemetery where Michael Zah's gave a demonstration, next we enjoyed a delicious lunch catered by Fiesta Foods of Hartley, and then we all parted for a self - guided tour of the O'Brien County Cemeteries.  Each participant was given a audio CD and guide book while volunteers were on hand at the cemeteries to answer questions.

Friday, April 8, 2011

O'Brien County Tourism Announces Upcoming "Where the Journey Ends" Cemetery Tour

Primghar, Iowa, April 6, 2010 - O'Brien County Economic Development Corporation, in conjunction with O'Brien County Tourism, is seeking historical stories of O'Brien County as well as volunteers to help with our upcoming June 2nd "Where the Journey Ends" Cemetery Tour.
This event will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Prairie Heritage Center near Sutherland with a presentation by State Historian, Michael Zahs. A wagon ride through the tall grass prairie will take participants to the site of the Waterman Pioneer Cemetery where Mr. Zahs will share more on cemetery symbolism, pioneers and more. Lunch at the Heritage center will follow before participants set out on their own to explore cemeteries throughout the county. Volunteers are needed to be on hand at the county cemeteries from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on June 2 to assist in finding specific locations and to answer questions. O'Brien County Tourism is also looking for stories to share. If you know an historical story of O'Brien County that you would like to share, contact the O'Brien County Economic Development Office. Think about sharing your time and talents!
The "Where the Journey Ends" event is open to everyone. A $20 fee will cover the event as well as a copy of the Audio Tour and Guidebook. Preregistration is needed by May 19. Contact the O'Brien County Economic Development Office at 712-957-1313 to register. Space is limited. The O'Brien County Economic Development Office will have additional copies of the "Where the Journey Ends" Audio Tour and Guidebook available for purchase. For additional information or questions regarding this project, please contact Kiana Johnson, O'Brien County Economic Development Corporation, at 712.957.1313 or e-mail .

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sanborn Foods, Inc. Press Release

P.O. Box 616
160 S. Hayes
Primghar, IA  51245

P.O. Box 616
160 S. Hayes
Primghar, IA  51245


Kiana L. Johnson
O’Brien County Economic Development Corporation
Ph.: 712.957.1313
Fax: 712.957.3015

Sanborn Foods, Inc. Under New Ownership

Primghar, Iowa, January 14, 2011 –Scott and Teresa Vogelaar are the proud new owners of Sanborn Foods, Inc. in Sanborn, Iowa. The O’Brien County Economic Development Corporation is proud to be a supporter of the purchase of this family business through an O’Brien County Revolving Fund Loan. Scott and Teresa, who have over thirty years of combined experience in the grocery business, are looking forward to serving the community with great personalized service and competitive prices.

O’Brien County Economic Development, in conjunction with the O’Brien County Revolving Loan Fund Committee, has approved financing for this business acquisition. The Revolving Loan Fund is used to attract, retain or expand business or industry.  Revolving loan funds may be used for the following:  Land purchases, Building purchases, Building Construction, Machinery purchases, Equipment purchases and any other uses deemed appropriate by the RLF Committee.

O’Brien County Economic Development Executive Director, Kiana Johnson, said, “O’Brien County Economic Development Corporation is pleased to be part of this business purchase. Sanborn Foods has been a vital business on Sanborn’s Main Street for many decades. We are excited to see the Vogelaars committed to providing excellent grocery and meat department services to Sanborn and the surrounding area.” 

For additional information on O’Brien County Revolving Loan Funds, contact Kiana Johnson, O’Brien County Economic Development at 712.957.1313 or e-mail .

-- END –

Friday, June 18, 2010

O'Brien County Foundation Grant Awards

The O'Brien County Community Foundation (OBCCF) recently awarded grants totaling $97,315 to twenty-six nonprofit organizations in support of projects and programs throughout O'Brien County.

Since the first grants were made in 2006, over $366,000 has been awarded. Funding for the grant program is a result of County Endowment Fund legislation (HF2302) passed in 2005 which provides that a percentage of the state's gambling revenues is to be distributed among all Iowa counties that do not have a gambling entity.
"The OBCCF has had the opportunity to help various nonprofit organizations throughout the past few years. For example, we have awarded grants to help preserve the history of our county, for building updates to area fire departments, and to modernize daycare equipment in various communities." stated Ann Carpenter, OBCCF Advisory Board Chair.
The OBCCF was formally established in 2005 through affiliation with the Siouxland Community Foundation and is governed by a local nine-member advisory board composed of representatives from each of the communities in O'Brien County: Archer, Calumet, Hartley, Paullina, Primghar, Sanborn, Sheldon, and Sutherland; as well as one county-at-large member.
The mission of the O'Brien County Community Foundation is to enhance the quality of life in the communities served by encouraging permanent charitable giving to meet the needs of present and future generations.
For a complete list of grant awards:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Value Added Agriculture

O’Brien County Economic Development Corporation Seeking Producer Register Participants

Primghar, Iowa, May 18, 2010 – O’Brien County Economic Development Corporation, in conjunction with the O’Brien County Value Added Ag Committee, is seeking to identify producers and their products. They would also like to gather information about farmers markets in O’Brien County. Kiana Johnson, Executive Director of O’Brien County Economic Development Corporation stated, “Our vision is to build a farm fresh food register linking farmers and consumers and offering consumer and producer services in order to improve food, health, quality of life and community.”

Producers in O’Brien County can register to participate by contacting the O’Brien County Economic Development office and leaving their name, address, phone number and email address. A form will then be mailed or emailed for them to complete. Anyone with information on our local farmers markets, such as location, dates and hours, contact person and products available, should also contact the O’Brien County Economic Development Corporation. The farm fresh food register will then be compiled, printed and distributed throughout the county.

For additional information on the O’Brien County Economic Development Corporation and O’Brien County Value Added Ag Producer Register, contact Kiana Johnson at 712.957.1313 or e-mail .

Friday, April 23, 2010

Revolving Loan Fund Statistics

Since 2005 the RLF Committee has made 17 loans totaling $931,547, creating a capital investment of $11,671,489.00; creating 174 jobs and retaining 132 jobs.

If you have a business idea and need financial assistance please contact our office and learn how our low interest, gap financing, can help your business idea become a reality.

Friday, February 26, 2010


O'Brien County Economic Development has ended their second year of the MyEntre.Net program with success! Highlights of the annual report produced by UNI included:

10 business expansions
9 new full time equivalent jobs
106 total entrepreneurs engaged
$969,000 in new investments through personal and commercial loans

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

O'Brien County Tourism

O'Brien County Tourism was invited to make a presentation at the Hartley, Iowa Annual Chamber Meeting on February 1, 2010.  O'Brien County Tourism presented a power point show that detailed the history of O'Brien County Tourism, Tourism facts, O'Brien County Tourism accomplishments, and future plans.
Tourism in Iowa is a $6.4 billion dollar industry.  Tourism has helped O'Brien County Grow.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that a total of $6,651,830 will be coming to Iowa for projects to bring broadband internet access to businesses and residents in rural communities.  The grants and loans are being provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and were funded in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  Harkin worked to secure these funds through his role as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, which wrote the Recovery Act.

C-M-L Telephone Cooperative Association will receive a $1,519,225 grant and $1,519,225 loan.  Funding will provide services via a fiber optic network to rural communities with high speed internet exceeding 20 Mbps.  The Association is headquartered in the community of Meriden.  It is member owned and serves the communities of Cleghorn, Larrabee and Meriden in Cherokee County, and Archer in O'Brien County.  Along with these communities, it also serves approximately 225 square miles of rural Cherokee and O'Brien counties.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Revolving Loan Fund Meeting

The Revolving Loan Fund Committee met today to review and approve an application for financing.  Project Sponsor was Iowa State Bank of Paullina.  This project will be a great addition to the City of Paullina and the Revolving Loan Fund Committee is very excited to be a part of this new project.  Please check back for more details coming soon.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


O'Brien County is a designated Enterprise Zone helping businesses to Utilize and Rehabilitate Economically Distressed Areas.

Program offers a local property tax exemption, additional funding for training new employees, and a  refund of state sales, service or use taxes  paid to contractors during construction.

Next Enerprise Zone Commission Meeting is scheduled for January 8, 2010 at Primghar City Hall, open to the public.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Shop Local

The selection is there, the prices are right, and you can get a great sense of satisfaction in knowing you are doing something real to support your community.  Spending locally helps to pay the salaries of employees who then turn around and pay mortgages and buy food, clothing and gasoline. That dollar can also help pay the property tax or the retail sales tax that helps fund our schools and build our roads. That extra dollar can help your merchant increase the variety of their inventory and lower their costs, thereby providing a better shopping experience for you. O’Brien County Economic Development strongly encourages everyone to support our local merchants this holiday season, and all year long.

Small Biz Survival has compiled the following list.

Top Ten Reasons to Shop Local

10. Local stores are more likely to carry locally produced foods which supports local agriculture.
9. Local business owners contribute to more local fundraising and 501(c)3’s.
8. Local businesses provide a majority of jobs.
7. Local businesses support other local businesses.
6. The business community becomes reflective of this community’s unique culture.
5. The sales taxes I pay support this community and county: fixing my roads, maintaining my recreational facilities, . . .
4. Competition and diversity result in fair prices and more choices.
3. Shopping local reduces my carbon footprint.
2. Local business owners invest in the community and have a vested interest in the future of this community.
1. My hometown is most important!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Barn Quilts of O'Brien County Recipe Collection

This collection of recipes comes from several of the good cooks in O'Brien County. Each page is illustrated with one of the Barn Quilts in the county. The 36 recipes cover the mealtime: salad, main course, and deserts with extra snack time items too.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Living The Good Life

O'Brien County, Iowa is the perfect choice for agri-business success. Our proven track record and growing expertise is deeply rooted throughout our society, and is sustained by integrity, un-paralleled work ethic, solid knowledge and practical business sense.

Revolving Loan Fund - GAP Financing

Need Money?
The purpose of the O’Brien County Revolving Loan Fund and the IRP Account is to further the public purpose of economic development through joint private and public investments which involve the creation of new jobs and income, or the retention of existing jobs and income that would otherwise be lost

Revolving Loan Funds may be used for:

Land Purchases

Building Purchases

Building Construction

Machinery Purchases

Equipment Purchases

Any other uses deemed appropriate by the O'Brien County Revolving Loan Fund Committee.

Please contact Kiana Johnson for an application at: