A rural consultant from Colorado has told Sanpete County officials that the county's greatest asset is its dedicated and stable people.
County officials hired Frank Gray, Denver city and county planner and rural consultant, to give them an outsider's viewpoints on the county's resources, possibilities and needs.During his three days in Sanpete, Gray talked with high school students, teachers, business owners and other knowledgeable people, visited Snow College, Moroni Feed Co., the tiny Applied Composite Technologies plant in Fayette, cattlemen, turkey raisers and the headquarters of several local industries. He even attended the Manti High School prom.
He also met with small groups that wanted to hear what an outsider - but an observant and trained outsider - had to say about Sanpete County. Some of his observations:
- "People are your greatest asset; they are stable and dedicated."
- "Make sure the youth have good libraries and ready access to electronic resources."
- "The county has a good agri-business base," and it needs to look for diversity, like further processing of sheep, turkeys and maybe even cattle.
- Don't look for big business to come in - that's pretty much a forlorn hope, so develop your own resources.
"Snow College is a wonderful resource, but it is way underutilized," Gray said. As examples he mentioned the college's Activity Center and its people who have expertise in agriculture and business.
And the college students are undermarketed, Gray commented. "The students are not poor; they have money. Why aren't we marketing to them?"
"Sanpete County is warm and wonderful," Gray said. But the county needs to use promotion, he added, recommending the use of the county economic development office as a focal point for commercial and industrial information and contact.
The county should make available a directory of what is available in goods, services and facilities, Gray said. "Do collective marketing."
"Hang together or hang separately," Gray warned. "We need to think as a community of Sanpete County. Our growth will not come from outside. We need to grow from within."