Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale Helps Promote Tehama County Brand for Diverse Businesses, Outdoor Activities, and Scenic Beauty

2 Feb

Each year the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale attracts hundreds of people to Tehama County. Many of these visitors have never been to Red Bluff before and have no idea what to do when they get here. The sale got them here, but it’s up to our local business community to make them want to explore the area and come back again.

To introduce newcomers as well as veteran attendees to the wonderful assets our county has to offer, the Chamber of Commerce had a booth at this year’s event. “We had a lot of people stop by our booth asking where the good places to eat and fun places to go are,” said Brandy Rodelo, one of the volunteers staffing the Chamber booth. “The people wanted things to do while they were here, and they wanted to talk to us because we are familiar with the area,” said Erin Purcell, another booth volunteer.  Rodelo and Purcell noted that attendees were very interested in the literature with points of interest, such as the Museums of Tehama County, the Sacramento River, Lassen Park, Rolling Hills Casino, and the Tehama Trail of Wine and Olive Tasting. 

“It wasn’t just out of town visitors that stopped by the booth,” said Kristin Behrens, Former Chamber of Commerce Chair.  “Locals also were at the event and the booth was a great reminder of all our county has to offer.” 

Behrens understands first-hand how important events such as the Bull and Gelding Sale are in attracting tourists and businesses to the area. “The first time I came to Red Bluff was for a Bull and Gelding Sale,” said Behrens. “When we weren’t at the sale, we did some sightseeing and shopping, and fell in love with the area,” she said.  It is doubtful that Behrens would be living in Red Bluff now if she had not attended the event. 

“Events that draw people from outside our regional area make a significant impact on our local economy,” said Kate Grissom, Marketing Director of Rolling Hills Casino, a major sponsor of the Bull and Gelding Sale.  “Nationally advertised events help promote Tehama County as a popular tourist destination, and the success of annual events such as the Bull and Gelding Sale will make it easier to attract other large-scale productions to the area.” 

“The sale brings a great deal of money into our town,” agreed Adam Owens, General Manager of the event.  “All of the hotels were full on the Thursday and Friday of the sale, and hotels were able to premium rates during our event.  The people who came here for the sale were predominately businessmen and ranch owners with a high level of discretionary income to spend on dinner, lodging, entertainment, and local products.” 

The Red Bluff Chamber of Commerce and the Branding Coalition thank all the sponsors that supported the booth at the Bull and Gelding Sale including: RB Daily News, RB Round-Up, Rolling Hills Casino, Durango RV, Tonya Redamonti, Home Ranch Properties, Lassen Volcanic Park, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, and Lucero Olive Oil. 

Press Release By: Kristin Behrens

Tehama County Branding Project at Large Committee


Manton Wineries Provide Tourists and Locals a Much Needed Altitude Adjustment

26 Jan

Nestled in the foothills of Lassen Volcanic National Park lies the historic town of Manton and Tehama County’s scenic wine country. The estate vineyards of the Manton area rival those of the Napa and Sonoma valleys, yet are still relatively undiscovered by both locals and tourists. That will soon change if efforts by community and business leaders to promote tourism in Tehama County are successful. 

“Wine tasting isn’t the only reason to visit Manton,” said Nelse Weare, a resident of Tehama who had heard a great deal about the wineries and decided to check them out. While it was Weare’s first wine tasting tour of the area, he has spent a great deal of time exploring the countryside while staying at a cabin he owns in Mineral.  Those working to promote the Manton wine country agree with Weare, and preliminary marketing concepts developed by Roger Brooks and his company Destination Development International incorporate the attributes inherent to the cascade mountain region. 

Manton is a popular destination for those who enjoy outdoor activities with year round beauty, fishing and hiking opportunities, and events such as the Annual Apple Festival.  Streams fed by melting snow provide inspiration for fly fishing.  Several area ranches provide lodging as well as opportunities for outdoor exploration. 

 “Manton is rich in ranching history, including some wonderful love stories,” said Weare, who has a penchant for local folklore. The Bailey Creek Lodge on Twin Creek Ranch, Bar Z Ranch Bed and Breakfast, Digger Creek Ranch Lodge certainly provide the ambiance for a romantic getaway on acres of pristine ranch land with an abundance of wildlife, lakes full of rainbow trout, and hiking trails. 

“The lodges provide wonderful accommodations for wine-tasting excursions,” said Donna Delgado, who operates u2vine, a popular wine tour service specializing in the Manton area. Delgado, who is a local resident and co-proprietor of Ringtail Vineyards, has extensive knowledge of local estate wineries and the history of the area. Passionate about wine, she offers intimate and informative wine-tasting tours for up to six people. “Each winery in Manton has its own character and ambiance,” she noted.  Indian Peak, Ringtail, Shasta Daisy, Cedar Crest, Mount Tehama, and Alger Vineyards all produce award-winning vintages that are helping to establish the area’s reputation as a must-visit, wine-tasting destination. 

Delgado’s partner at Ringtail Vineyard, Robert Carrillo is a fourth generation wine maker.  Carrillo planted his Manton Valley vineyard in the late 90’s after realizing that the region contained a unique soil for producing superior wine grapes.  

Indian Peak Vineyard owner, Fred Boots also praises Manton Valley’s red volcanic soil and optimal growing weather conditions for producing high quality wine grapes. “When we started our winery we knew we needed three things to be successful: Exceptional grapes, superior wines, and people to buy our wine, said Boots, “We have the grapes and the wine, and we are hoping the Tehama County Branding Project will help us attract more buyers through tourism.” 

Funded by individuals and businesses, the Tehama County Branding Project is an ambitious effort to promote tourism and put more cash into the local economy. Money rose through contributions and fundraisers made it possible to retain Destination Development International to develop a marketing focus that distinguishes Manton from other wine producing regions. 

 “Very, very few wineries are set among forests, particularly in a mountain setting. This makes this wine area truly unique from others,” said Brooks, whose company has helped thousands of places around the world over the past 30 years become more desirable for investment, tourism, and living.  

Preliminary branding concepts promote the experience of wine tasting in the mountains. The proposed marketing campaign centered on the “Adjust Your Altitude” brand, appeals to those who love outdoor activities, and evokes emotion by enabling potential visitors to envision tasting superb wines made from grapes grown in rich volcanic soil in a mountainous setting.  Both Fred and Delgado applaud the preliminary brand concepts and love the advertising mockups. “The campaign captures the attitude and culture of the tourists we hope to attract,” said Fred.   “The entire region will benefit from the branding project,” agrees Delgado.

 Manton is only a 30-minute drive from Red Bluff, which makes it a convenient destination for both tourists and Tehama County residents. “It was well worth the drive,” said Weare, who purchased vintages from each of the wineries he visited.

 Press Release by: Kristin Behrens

Tehama County Branding Project at Large Committee

The Goals of The Branding Project

26 Jan

By Suzanne Meunch

Published by Red Bluff Daily News January 25, 2012

It seems my husband and I have supported some of the goals of the Branding Project before we knew there was a Branding Project in Tehama County!

Our move to Red Bluff from southern California in 2009 was prompted when my husband, Dick Muench, accepted the job as Chief Probation Officer of Tehama County. Truthfully, I had never heard of Red Bluff before our move. Dick and I promised ourselves an adventure after the last of our three children finished college, and an adventure it has been.

The learning curve has been high for me from time to time adapting to our new life here. The first hard freeze I called property management to voice my concerns that the well was empty because we had no water. Ignorance? You bet!

I have lived on the coast of San Diego for the majority of my life. Remember the average temperature there is 68-degrees and my guess is very few native San Diegans even know about water wells. I shouldn’t be surprised at still being asked, “Where are you from?” I guess we city folks are easy to spot. We continue to appreciate the inquiries about our transition here, and yes, we have experienced two summers and still love to call Red Bluff home. (Yes, I know the last two summers haven’t really been that hot!)

Red Bluff was an easy sell for us after our first weekend visit in October 2009.  On the first day here, I was lucky enough to make a new friend, Mary Jayne Eidman, while shopping at her store, Discover Earth. Mary Jayne’s love and enthusiasm for the region was infectious.

 As we chatted, she described her interests and hobbies. I learned about an organization called Slow Food, whose mission is linking the pleasure of local food with a commitment to community and the environment. Sounded right up my alley! I was warmly invited to attend the Art Walk sponsored by the Tehama County Arts Council, and then recruited to join a committee or two.

Living here, I’ve experienced that community service in all forms is key for our area keeping improvements going. The generosity, resourcefulness and self-sufficiency of the people living here is a huge strength of this region.

Recently we hosted an early Christmas celebration that doubled as a family reunion. My mother, Rosemary Putnam, turned 90 this year, so the whole family welcomes any excuse for all of us to get together and honor her. Family and friends came from as far as Texas, Washington, Oregon, and Walnut Creek. Our children and the guest of honor arrived from Southern California. Our home allows a capacity of four guests, so the remaining twenty-one stayed at the Hampton Inn. Thanks to the Hampton Inn for the RoseMerry Christmas special rate and the warm and personal hospitality.

On a Saturday, in between kitchen duties preparing dinner for twenty-five, several of us ran downtown for a shopping tour. A visit to House of Design was a perfect venue to prepare for our tradition of a Christmas ornament exchange. I noticed a little shopping was accomplished at each place we stopped, and lots of ooohhh-ing and aahh-ing everywhere. We also made it out to Randy Holbrook’s Christmas Open House, where we experienced his amazing pottery, as well as other local products available for sale.

My niece, Penny, a church administrator in her hometown of Bainbridge, Washington, met Randy and received information on communion chalices she was asked to find for her church. Hopefully, her pastor will choose Randy’s work. Either way, it gives me such pleasure knowing Penny will share a story about Red Bluff back home and that our local art is being discussed at Bainbridge Island Cross Sound Church. It was delightful sharing this aspect of Red Bluff’s people, places and things.

 As Chief Probation Officer, Dick has the opportunity to bring business to town in an unexpected way. Mandated training for his Probation Officers traditionally has been held out of town. After converting an unused space in Juvenile Hall, he started inviting trainers and participants from other Northern California counties to complete this required training here. Currently there are 2 – 3 classes held monthly with twenty-five participants. Each class brings four to five thousand dollars to the county which otherwise would have been spent elsewhere. Bringing business to town fits right into part of the Branding strategy.

An aspect of economic development each of us can do as residents is supporting and promoting the people, places, and things our region has to offer; with family, friends, visitors and others.  Branding economic prosperity starts at home with local communities supporting their own goods, services and businesses.

 With recent press, fund raising events, and the hard work of many, branding has become a catalyst for conversation. Tehama County Branding Project is a movement in response to an opportunity and desire to improve the economic prosperity of Tehama County and its anchor communities of Red Bluff, Manton and Corning. Sounds good to me!

The brand itself, along with the marketing plan, does not address all the issues that challenge the future success of our town and county. It is, however, a good start at fusing a collaborative effort amongst our leaders. If you have an opinion on how it can be improved, please get involved and be part of the solution.

Tehama County will benefit as all dedicated residents strive to make their hometown a better place to live. Many very worthwhile projects could benefit from your contribution of time.  Ask yourself how you can support your community’s desire to improve and thrive.  In the world of branding, economic prosperity is a journey of discovery and the development of activities, enhancements and new business opportunities that reinforce our community assets. Care to join us?

Suzanne Muench is a resident of Red Bluff and a member of the Tehama County Branding Economic Prosperity At Large Team.



Buying Local Makes Impact on Tehama County

10 Jan

Does buying local really matter? Tehama County business and community leaders believe buying local is so important the fate of our towns depends upon it.

“Buying local has a tremendous impact on the entire community in terms of employment, continued economic development, sales tax revenues, and prosperity. When a person buys a product or service from a locally-owned business, they are helping other businesses in the region at the same time,” said Kathryn Schmitz, CEO of the Job Training Center.

Several studies support Schmitz’s claim. One study showed that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 remains in the local economy; while for every $100 spent at a national chain only $14 stays in the local economy.

Small businesses employ most of America’s workforce, and tend to pay higher wages than chain stores. “At a time of high unemployment, we need our small businesses and family farms to not only survive, but prosper,” said Schmitz.

Charitable organizations also depend upon local businesses prospering. Non-profit organizations receive an average of 250% more support from local business owners than they do from large corporate businesses. “Shopping locally enhances our economy, and spreads good will. We encourage our employees to give back to the community by shopping local since the community provides us with so much throughout the year!” said Kristin Behrens, Marketing and Community Relations Manager of St. Elizabeth Community Hospital.

While the economics of doing business locally is significant, the character businesses bring to a community is just as important. Several studies show that entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities with one-of-a-kind businesses and a distinctive character. “It’s the businesses that are unique to our area and out of the ordinary that differentiates us from other communities,” said Kate Grissom, Marketing Director of Rolling Hills Casino. “These businesses make us proud to live here and will help attract tourists and new businesses to the area.”

There is more to buying local than shopping at stores in the area. “It may be convenient to grab a bottle of olive oil manufactured in Italy off the grocery shelf, but it doesn’t support our local economy, and its not as fresh as the bottle you can buy from a Corning olive oil producer such as Lucero’s,” said Schmitz. “Plus when you buy it at Lucero’s, you can taste it first.”

From olive tasting in Corning to wine tasting in Manton to candy tasting in Dairyville, more and more local food producers are making it fun to purchase local products. This is a trend Schmitz, Behrens, Grissom, and others involved in the Tehama County Branding project applaud. “Tehama County is a world-renowned producer of walnuts, olives, wines and fruits. The Branding Project is all about showcasing our bounty to tourists and residents,” said Schmitz.

“The Christmas season is a great opportunity to buy local,” said Behrens. “By doing so, we showcase our local vendors to others, especially if we plan to send gifts to loved ones during the holidays,” she adds.

For residents wanting a meaningful and memorable shopping trip this holiday season as well as places to bring out of own visitors, Grissom recommends taking a tour of Tehama County. For ideas on where to go, visit

Press Release by: Kristin Behrens

Tehama County Branding Project at Large Committee

The Town Built by Branding

10 Jan

Warren Woodson once called Corning the town of advertising.  He would know.  If it was not for advertisements he placed and his vision, Corning may have been nothing more than a railroad station.  He is the man behind the brand “The Olive City, which like the trees he planted has endured the test of time and promises prosperity for the future.

 “Woodson was a marketing genius,” said Laurie Dana, a Marketing Communications Consultant. “Woodson’s branding initiatives in the late 1890s to bring people from across the nation to the Corning area provide the foundation for current branding efforts to promote tourism and increase business in the area.”

In the 1880’s, Woodson and partners purchased 3,107 acres surrounding Corning from George Hoag, one of the original pioneers in the area.  They subdivided the property, which they named Maywood Colony, and sold lots up to forty acres. The Maywood Colony grew to become one of the largest real estate speculations of its time, with over 40,000 acres of subdivisions. At the time, the town of Corning was only 161 acres.

Woodson placed advertisements promoting Maywood Colony and the town of Corning in newspapers and magazines across the United States. A vintage ad from 1899 currently selling on reads:  “We sell fruit land as good as there is in California, in lots of 2 1/2, 5, 10 or 20 acres, at $50 per acre. Terms of payment runs three years, making the purchase an easy one.  Then we contract to plant these lots to peaches, prunes, pears, walnuts, apricots, and other fruits for $35 an acre.  This charge covers cost of trees (90 per acre) planting and care for first year, $12.50 for the second year, and 12.50 for the third year. . . . You don’t have to plant unless you want to.”

Woodson had a vision of what he wanted the Corning area to be, which he promoted by advertising the Maywood Colony subdivision as another Garden of Eden. More than a million fruit trees were planted to fulfill this vision, but it was the olives that thrived. Olive trees do not require as much care as most trees, and they are drought, disease and fire resistant. For this reason, olives eventually became the tree of choice for the Maywood Colony.

In 1923, Woodson branded Corning, “the Olive Town.”  However, this was not the first brand used to promote and transform the city.  According to an article written by Ellen Hultgren in 1985, the town had gained a reputation as a saloon town in the early 1900s. In an effort to rid the city of bars and establish local parks, Woodson led a campaign to incorporate Corning. Incorporated in 1907, the town enacted prohibition laws and Woodson as mayor started an advertising campaign naming “Corning, the Clean Town.” The brand promoted a wholesome image for families and hard working individuals. Labels with the slogan were glued to every box shipped out of town and posted on railroad cars. He used the same strategy to later market the “Olive Town” brand.

A slogan alone is just one small part of branding.  “A brand is about creating points of differentiation,” says Jordan Pogue, a consultant for the Tehama County Branding Project.  “Branding is also about what you want to be known for, perhaps not what you have today.”

Woodson understood this when he planted the orchards and marketed Maywood Colony as another Garden of Eden.  People were buying orchards not yet planted, because Woodson created a strong vision of what was possible.  Woodson wasn’t just selling agriculture; he was marketing values that appealed to the type of individuals he wanted to move here. People bought land with the belief that Maywood Colony and the town of Corning would become what Woodson promised. It was a brand the community embraced and made a reality.

The values Woodson promoted are essentially the same proposed by current branding initiatives. Incorporating a theme that welcomes visitors as family will extend the brand focus beyond agriculture to include retailers, restaurants and the niche culinary markets.  The direction is a vision of what Corning can be if the community and businesses embrace the new branding initiatives.

Woodson would applaud the new push to use branding to transform the Corning area, as it’s the same strategy he employed over 100 years ago when he planted the first olive trees and placed his first advertisements for orchard land. Through strategic marketing, Woodson transformed Corning from a stop on the railroad to a town with a population of 7,000 boasting the world’s largest olive cannery and several gourmet olive oil producers.  “That is quite a testament to the power of branding,” said Dana. “I look forward to seeing how the Tehama County Branding Project transforms the area further in the years to come.”

Press Release by Kristin Behrens,
Tehama County Branding Project at Large Committee

Tehama County Trying for its Own Economic Brand; Consultant’s Plan Due Soon

4 Jan
By Janet O’Neil
Published by The Record Searchlight on November 30th, 2011

The movement to boost economic prosperity in Tehama County is about to come into sharper focus, with the imminent return of a consultant advising the community. Roger Brooks, president and CEO of Seattle-based Destination Development International, is expected to unveil a plan after the first of the year, said Kristin Behrens, marketing and community relations manager at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff and a spokeswoman for the Tehama County Branding Project.

Initially, organizers hoped to have distinct brands for Red Bluff, Corning and Manton, plus an “umbrella brand” for the county, by early December. But more discussions are needed among the four teams helping develop those identities. “We’re gathering some feedback now,” Behrens said Tuesday. “We’ll review what we love and what we want to see different.”

Those brand-development teams sprang in part from an August workshop Brooks gave in Corning, after which he held some 20 meetings with groups around the county. He also launched a survey to help identify what’s valued in the area. “We had a favorable number of responses” to the questionnaire, Behrens said, but an exact number was not immediately available.

If an early November fundraiser is any indication, enthusiasm remains high for the effort. The 100-mile Harvest dinner and auction brought in nearly $20,000, Behrens said, compared with $12,500 raised at the inaugural event a year ago. Produce, grains and poultry from area farms were featured, along with nuts from local orchards and wines from Manton. Trail rides, an outing on the Sacramento River and a stay at Drakesbad Guest Ranch at Lassen Volcanic National Park were among items auctioned. Brooks has maintained that Manton’s wines and Lassen park have long been overlooked as tourist magnets. Last year, he and his staff toured the area by car, compiling the region’s assets and liabilities in a 97-page report.

Tehama has been working on the notion of a brand since 2009, after a report on economic growth suggested it as a means to lure people off the freeway by capturing a unique image. The original goal was to raise $200,000, including $125,000 for the work done by Brooks plus a $75,000 war chest to sustain marketing efforts. By August 2011, organizers had raised about $75,000, enough to pay for the first phase.

To see the original story, please visit:

New Signs in Corning Guide Tourists to ‘Center of the Olive Universe’

4 Jan
By Janet O’Neil
Published in the Record Searchlight on December 15th, 2011

CORNING — Two new welcome signs greet visitors to this Tehama County city, offering a guide to the area’s olive-based attractions and other points of interest. “Dewey Lucero’s kind of been the real champion of the whole thing,” Corning Planning Director John Stoufer said. Last week volunteers installed the signs, 16 feet tall and 7 feet wide, that point the way to Lucero’s company, Lucero Olive Oil LLC, and other businesses.

Both feature a “swoosh” logo Lucero had designed by a graphic artist and endorsed by the City Council in July. The signs are at the southeast corner of Solano Street and Highway 99 west near Taco Bell, and the northeast corner of South Avenue and Highway 99 west near Love’s Travel Stop. “The whole goal is to try to get travelers up and down I-5 to circulate through Corning and to help the business climate any way we can,” Stoufer said. While the city worked to modify sign rules to accommodate the installation, the Rotary Club contributed funds, the six destination businesses split costs and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. donated labor. Tom White Construction and Bob Seaman Welding also helped. “It kind of came together as a community effort,” Stoufer said.

The signs are part of a plan to draw tourists, including a city theme: “Center of the Olive Universe.” Lucero provided the city with a second, simpler logo for municipal use, which appears on the side of a police car. “All for under $25,000,” including the designs, advertising and signs, he said. Corning’s efforts are separate from a countywide branding campaign, under the guidance of Seattle-based Destination Development International. Fundraising is ongoing for the plan, which ultimately will produce a Tehama County brand as well as brands for Red Bluff, Manton and Corning.

“We pushed forward and I’m so glad we did,” Lucero said. The signs already are getting attention in town. “We’ve had a ton of comments just from local people,” Lucero said.

They were put to the test Saturday, when his olive oil company hosted its first winter crush celebration. Some 2,000 people showed up throughout the day to see citrus olive oil being made, taste the end product and witness cooking demonstrations, Lucero said. “There were several comments about the new sign,” Lucero said. “It made it convenient to find where they were going.” He has long maintained that the area’s agricultural attributes can do what wine has done elsewhere. “I think this is really going to put us on the map as the Napa of olives and olive oil,” he said.

To view the original story please visit: