Cowley First News

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Check out the latest information and announcements from Cowley First!

Barn Quilt 101 Classes Fall Schedule

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Cowley County is proud to be part of the Flint Hills Quilt Trail. The “Barn Quilt Movement” started in Ohio when a daughter wanted to honor her mother and her

Brother Barn Quilt 3 mi. west of Burden on Cowley 4

Appalachian heritage by having a painted quilt hung on her barn in Adams County, Ohio. This simple idea has spread to over 48 states and to Canada with over 7000 quilts participating in the organized American Quilt Trail, which includes the Flint Hills Quilt Trail.

To promote and grow the Cowley County leg of the trail, the Cowley County Tourism Alliance (CCTA) is coordinating Barn Quilt 101 Classes. The classes are designed to walk attendees through the process of creating their very own 2’x2’ barn quilt.

CCTA is taking registration for classes scheduled throughout the fall. Cost of each class is $35, which will be collected at the class. The cost covers supplies including a primed MDO board and exterior latex paint in a wide array of colors. Continue Reading

Volunteers needed for Reality U

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Reality U Program description

Reality U schedule

Reality U is an exercise geared towards sophomores that helps youth understand some of the “realities” involved in preparing for an employable future and adulthood. As adults we must have money to buy food, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc. and more often than not, we have to figure that out not only for ourselves but perhaps a spouse and children. Reality U provides students the opportunity to learn about those choices that must be made as adults. Reality U provides a valuable service to teens ­helping them learn to determine spending priorities and budget their money. The goals of Reality U are to show teens that their performance in school today will affect their future, and give teens a chance to learn and practice personal finance skills in a fun way.

I am needing volunteers for the following booths:

Banking, Child Care, Utilities, Communications, Housing, Insurance (car and life), Supermarket, Shopping Center, Entertainment, Transportation, Chance, SOS, Medical and Charitable Giving.

Time slots in Winfield on Oct 7th are: Continue Reading

US Small Business Administration Educates Cowley County Business Owners

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Two objectives of Cowley First are to provide educational opportunities for local business owners and to provide resource information that is beneficial to them as well. We appreciate opportunities when we can share in learning about these new resources. This week several of us learned of two valuable resources for small businesses.

Cowley First, in partnership with the Winfield and Arkansas City Chambers of Commerce, had the privilege to host the US Small Business Administration (SBA). Representatives provided resource information as well as participated in discussions about issues impacting local businesses. Continue Reading

Professional Development Courses

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Cowley First-Cowley County Economic Development has partnered with Wichita State Center for Management Development to bring workforce development classes to Cowley County.  

Managing Time and Multiple Priorities will be held Sept 24thand Improving Supervisor Skills will be held Oct 1st. Both classes will be at Cowley County Mental Health, 22214 D Street in Strother Field from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm.

Cowley First has discounted the cost of the classes to $100 for Managing Time and $75 for Supervisor Skills; more than half-off of the Wichita State price. Continue Reading

Hunt for Local Treasures

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Cowley State Fishing Lake Waterfall

With the holiday weekend approaching, the annual Discover Cowley County Treasure Hunt would be a great way to spend time with your family and weekend guests. To date over 100 local tourists are participating in the treasure hunt and discovering many of the hidden gems in Cowley County.

Participants decipher clues provided by the Cowley County Tourism Alliance, and then seek out the tourism site where they take a photo of his or herself or their fellow hunters at the location described. 

This year the Cowley County waterfall at the Cowley State Fishing Lake east of Arkansas City and west of Dexter along Highway 166 is one of the ten treasures. With the recent rainfall, the waterfall is flowing at full force and is a beautiful site to see. Few residents are aware that there is a publicly accessible waterfall, which is one of the reasons for the annual treasure hunt; to bring awareness of fun things to do and see in Cowley County.

Treasure hunters are asked to be cautious when taking pictures at the waterfall and to take the picture from the top of the waterfall.  For the safety of the participants, CCTA does not encourage or expect photographers to take photos from the bottom of the waterfall. Continue Reading

Supervisor Skills Class

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Cowley First-Cowley County Economic Development has partnered with Wichita State Center for Management Development to bring workforce development classes to Cowley County.  

Improving Supervisor Skills will be offered for a second time this year on October 1st. Cowley First has reduced the cost of the class from $219 and is offering the class for only $75. Deadline to register is September 22nd or until the class fills. To date more than 240 employees have attended this interactive and high demand course in Cowley County.

Improving Supervisor Skills, led by Dr. Gerald Graham, is designed for the newly promoted supervisors, soon to be promoted team leaders and managers that find it necessary to get work done through their employees. Experienced supervisors should attend to review and update their skills. Attendees will appreciate the refreshing insights given in this one-day program. Continue Reading

Cowley County Marketing Plan RFP

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Cowley First is seeking bid proposals for a countywide marketing plan with a primary use of workforce recruitment. A Communication Plan, developed by Dotty Harpool of Wichita State University, was completed through targeted research. Proposals should include strategies on how the firm will develop the recommended items described in the following Communication Plan. Continue Reading

Galaxy Technologies wins top honor

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Gov. Sam Brownback recognized Galaxy Technologies of Winfield with the Governor’s Award of Excellence and Kansas Aviation of Independence with the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award at the annual Team Kansas Awards Banquet in Wichita on Tuesday, June 17.

The two awards are the state’s top business honors and are the culmination of Business Appreciation Month, the Department’s annual statewide tribute to Kansas businesses for their contributions to the state. The event is sponsored the Kansas Department of Commerce and Team Kansas, a group of business leaders who promote the state as a desirable business location. Continue Reading

Best Western Plus now open

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Best Western Plus north of Arkansas City at Patterson Parkway opened for business Saturday, June 21. The first hybrid hotel in the nation features both extended-stay and standard rooms. Reservations can be made at 620-307-6767.

Barn Quilt Class a Success

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The Cowley County Tourism Alliance held two more Barn Quilt 101 Classes June 19 and 22 at the Winfield Chamber of Commerce Board Room. The class was $35 with all materials provided.

The Cowley County Tourism Alliance is sponsoring the “Barn Quilt 101″ classes to encourage participation in the art of barn quilt blocks, promoting agritourism and rural pride through the 22 county region of the Flint Hills. Those interested in barn quilt blocks may follow the art movement in the Kansas Flint Hills at For more information about the barn quilt trail, or for information on future classes in Cowley County, contact the Winfield Chamber office at 221-2420, or email

For pictures of the barn quilt classes held in Cowley County, follow the Cowley County Tourism Alliance on Flikr.