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Idaho Preferred Month||||||||||||||||||||

Idaho Preferred Month — A Recap!


Idaho Preferred Month is the time of year to spotlight Idaho’s fresh fruit and vegetable harvest season with our retail partner collaborations throughout the state of Idaho, and this harvest season was no exception. Several Retail Partners throughout the Gem State participated in Idaho Preferred Month retail promotions during the month of September, including Albertsons, Atkinsons, Boise Co-Op, Broulims, Fred Meyer, Lark & Larder, Moscow Food Co-Op, Red Top Market, Ridley’s, Stokes, Walmart, WinCo Foods, and Winter Ridge Natural Foods.

The promotion includes special in-store displays, product sampling, and fun consumer activities to encourage support of Idaho farmers, ranchers and food crafters and the purchase of their products. In communities where it is available, the retail promotions also feature radio remotes with local DJ talent and on-air advertisements encouraging consumers to support their local farmers by buying locally grown, raised or produced food.

Retail Partner support of Idaho Preferred Month has traditionally been overwhelmingly positive, and several retailers have added their unique touch to the promotions. Walmart brings in special farm equipment and has held regional contests among their 18(?) stores for the best in-store display…

Boise Co-Op was inspired by Idaho Preferred Month to celebrate their first ever “Harvest Festival” with a parking lot sale, in-store promotions, and samplings from local farmers, ranchers and food crafters. Idaho Preferred Month promotions are intended to support local producers sell more of their product.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to raise consumer awareness of Idaho’s diverse specialty crops…”

To find out about the benefits of becoming a retail partner, click here:

Idaho Preferred Month Harvest Series Tour

Idaho Preferred kicked off its annual month-long harvest celebration, Idaho Preferred Month, by hosting a special Harvest Tour on September 1st, 2022, for social media influencers, travel and tourism officials, teachers from the local agricultural community, and local food supply distribution workers. Guests explored Southwestern Idaho’s agricultural landscape to learn about the diversity of Idaho’s agricultural offerings. 

The itinerary included stops at a u-cut flower field, a winery, a farm-to-fork cafe, a u-pick orchard, a produce processing plant, a hops farm and production facility, and several local farm market stands.

Influencers were encouraged to create authentic content highlighting their insights and experiences during the tour to share with their social media followers and educate their respective audiences on the importance of Idaho’s abundant agricultural industries. Our guests took part in u-cut and u-pick visits, tastings and tours, and dined on some of the best fruit, produce, wine and meats from local Idaho producers that are so ubiquitous during Idaho Preferred Month.

The Harvest Series Tour helped spread the word about this important harvest festival and the hard-working farmers, ranchers and food crafters who make the celebration possible.

Salsa Wars Showdown

Thirteen local chefs competed in the Salsa Wars Showdown during Idaho Preferred Month for a chance to have their salsa recipe featured on the Idaho Preferred website. Contestants included members of the American Culinary Federation, both professional chefs and students alike whose culinary skills were put on display during this Idaho Preferred sponsored event.

The Salsa Wars Showdown, an event loosely modeled after the popular Food Network series, “Chopped,” took place at The Shed at Garrett Ranches, which provided the fresh produce to make savory, sweet and spicy salsa variations. Chefs were invited to choose specialty crop ingredients such as tomatoes, four different kinds of peppers, tomatillos, onions, pears, plums, apples, watermelon, cantaloupe, mint, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, and eggplant. 

L-R: Chloe Gibb, Jason Jones, Angie Garrett Swallow, Erica White

Jason Jones, first place winner in the Salsa Wars Showdown, chopped up a sweet, savory and spicy salsa mix that included tomatoes, onions, peppers, peaches, apple cider vinegar and honey. Look for Jason Jones’ recipe to be featured on the Idaho Preferred website.

Taking 2nd place was Sarah Mallard, who got creative with the use of cantaloupe and cucumber, concocting a bright and refreshing salsa. 

3rd place went to Caleb Randall, whose use of apples added crunch and a tangy sweetness to his more traditional recipe of tomato, onion, pepper and cilantro salsa.

The Shed at Garrett Ranches is a seasonal market stand operating from June through October, and sells fresh produce from its own garden and from area growers, as well as locally crafted foods from Idaho food crafters. The Shed at Garrett Ranches has been in operation for five generations.

The Salsa Wars Showdown is intended to highlight specialty crops, connect local chefs to their local food sources, and raise awareness within the culinary community about the importance of sourcing locally grown, raised or crafted ingredients. 

The American Culinary Federation’s mission is to promote a professional image of the American chef worldwide. It is the largest professional chef organization in North America.

Idaho Preferred Month is an annual event to celebrate Idaho’s bountiful harvest season. Each year, the Governor declares the month of September Idaho Preferred Month because it is the peak harvest season.