Thursday, March 3, 2011

Help Develope and Economic Model for Butte County March 7th

Horizons participants, as well as local government officials, business owners and all other interested members of the community are invited to participate in developing an economic model of Butte County and Central Idaho using Participatory Social Accounting and Facilitation (PSAF). Dr. Abelardo Rodríguez, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology of the University of Idaho, will make three trips to central Idaho to assist community members in developing county and regional models that will permit them to understand the economic linkages in their communities and identify opportunities for economic development. Members of the community will meet with Dr. Rodríguez on Monday, March 7th at 6:00 PM for a no-host supper at the Golden West Café for an introduction to the modeling process and a discussion of how the model can be used by community members. The PSAF approach for economic modeling is different from other approaches to economic development in the sense that it involves the community in the modeling process and provides participants with the tools to understand and use the model in the future. Community input is imperative to obtain a realistic representation of our economy.

After the preliminary meeting on Monday, Dr. Rodríguez will meet with members of the community over the next two days, in a workshop environment, to screen state data on Butte County, to “aggregate” the economy, and to identify the socioeconomic groups to be tracked by the model. On the third day, we should be able to produce a preliminary version of the Butte County model and discuss the preliminary results, as well as how this type of model has been utilized by other communities.

After interacting with the Lost Rivers Valley community, Dr. Rodríguez will travel to Lemhi County for a similar process and spend time in Custer County gleaning information for the regional model that will be presented on his second trip to the area.

On the second visit, the county and regional models will be presented to the communities. The communities will edit the model if necessary to properly reflect the economic realities of our communities and the region. In addition, members of the teams from each of the counties will meet in Challis to go over the regional model and come to a consensus on aggregating industries, since the individual county aggregations may not be identical.

On the third visit, the final versions of the regional and county models will be presented, along with workshops on how to interpret and utilize the model.

The hard product of the process will be a study and document similar to one done for the Teton Region. That model is reported in Bulleting 872, “Uncovering Hidden Linkages in Idaho’s 2006 Teton Regional Economy” Rodríguez, et al. The document can be viewed for the Butte Communities Blog at or at You may also request a copy from the Butte County Extension Office, at 527-8587. If you are interested in participating or would like additional information about the process, please contact the Extension Office at 527-8587.

1 comment:

  1. I want to thank you for your warm welcome. I am deeply impressed with careful attention and dedication you've shown in developing the regional economic model. I'm looking forward to the next steps.
    Abelardo Rodriguez