HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Wolf announced the approval of more than $8 million in grants and low-interest loans to support Pennsylvania’s farms, including $5 million in grants awarded through the new Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program.
“We created the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program last year with one purpose: to help Pennsylvania’s dairy farmers,” Gov. Wolf said. “The grants approved today are just the beginning of our mission to help modernize and support our dairy industry in a challenging, rapidly-changing business environment.”
The Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program provides grants to eligible applicants for researching new technologies, products and best practices; marketing to new domestic and international markets and exploring new business opportunities to diversify their operation and revenue streams; transitioning to organic production methods; and incorporating or expanding value-added dairy production, such as cheese and yogurt products.
The governor’s Pennsylvania Farm Bill proposal includes continued funding for this program in the Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget and signals a commitment to Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry, with a special focus on helping dairy producers access the tools and resources they need to weather challenging market conditions. The $5 million in grant funding awarded at today’s Commonwealth Financing Authority meeting will benefit 29 projects across 20 counties: Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Berks, Cambria, Chester, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Franklin, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Mifflin, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Snyder, Sullivan, Westmoreland and York counties, in addition to two projects with statewide reach.
The projects include:
- Adams County: $427,474 to Apple Valley Creamery to design and build a new dairy processing facility located in Reading Township;
- Allegheny County: $23,500 to Turner Dairy Farms, Inc. for research and development of a new ready-to-drink coffee beverage to be produced at the dairy processing facility in Penn Hills Township;
- Armstrong County: $50,000 to Le-Ara Farms LLC to assist with the establishment of a milk processing facility at the dairy farm located in North Buffalo Township;
- Armstrong County: $28,985 to Bostonia Farms LLC for the purchase and installation of milk processing equipment at the family dairy farm in Mahoning Township;
- Berks County: $393,597 to Enchanted Acres Farm Group LLP dba Simpler Way Nutritionals LLC for research, development and marketing to develop a value-added process for producing infant formula from Pennsylvania-sourced milk at its facility in Reading;
- Berks County: $40,078 to Rebecca Ruth Seidel for the construction of a milk processing facility at the family dairy farm located in Heidelberg Township;
- Berks County: $42,118 to Valley Milkhouse LLC for the purchase and installation of milk processing equipment at its processing facility in Oley Township;
- Cambria County: $427,474 to High View Inc. to expand its dairy processing facility in Munster Township;
- Chester County: $50,000 to Horseshoe Trail LLC dba Birchrun Hills Farm to expand its dairy processing facility located in West Vincent Township;
- Columbia County: $46,325 to Whitenight Family Farms to construct a raw milk bottling facility at the family dairy farm located in Fishing Creek Township;
- Crawford County: $366,364 for Titusville Dairy Products Corporation for the construction of a new cheese room for their Titusville City production facility;
- Cumberland County: $69,000 for Country Food LLC in for research and development of five new fermented milk products for production at its Monroe Township dairy processing facility; and $210,018 to increase capacity for processing lactose-free fermented yogurt for pets;
- Franklin County: $363,353 to Revittle to expand a creamery in Lurgan Township;
- Franklin County: $50,000 to Destiny Dairy Bar to assist with the establishment of a dairy processing facility in Peters Township;
- Lancaster County: $97,750 to Kreider Dairy Farms Inc. for marketing costs for their line of lactose-free milk produced and processed at the dairy farm located in Penn Township;
- Lehigh County: $38,556 to Haven Farmstead, LLC to construct a cheesemaking facility on Willow Haven Farm in Weisenberg Township;
- Luzerne County: $318,765 to Milkhouse Creamery, LLC to purchase equipment for a diary processing facility located in Sugarloaf Township;
- Mifflin County: $28,109 to Hameau Farm for the construction of an onsite testing lab and creamery facility located in Union Township;
- Northumberland County: $289,192 to Ross Family Farm Inc. to assist with the expansion of its milk processing facility at the family farm located in Upper Augusta Township;
- Philadelphia: $63,376 to Philabundance to market the Abundantly Good cheese brand in the greater Philadelphia region;
- Snyder County: $500,000 to Penn Dairy, LLC to for facility improvements and upgrades at the dairy processing facility located in Jackson Township;
- Sullivan County: $36,845 to Warburton Farm to construct a milk processing facility at the family dairy farm in Forks Township;
- Westmoreland County: $286,744 to Box 244H LLC, dba Pleasant Lane Farms, to construct a creamery for cheesemaking at the family dairy farm located in Unity Township; and $77,338 for marketing costs and the construction of an on-farm classroom and tour facility;
- York County: $425,741 for Caputo Brothers Creamy to assist with the expansion of its cheese processing facility located in Spring Grove Borough;
- York County: $49,297 to Michael Saylor Dairy to purchase equipment for a dairy processing facility at the dairy farm located in Warrington Township;
- Statewide: $100,000 for the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association to expand the “Choose PA Dairy” campaign at targeted retailers across Pennsylvania; and
- Statewide: $100,000 to the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association for marketing costs of the Choose PA Dairy, Goodness That Matters campaign targeting central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
“These investments are a significant step toward sustainability for Pennsylvania’s dairy sector,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “Helping dairy producers diversify, respond to consumer trends and market their products lets them focus on what they do best – produce the finest dairy products in the world.”
During the meeting, the board also approved nine low-interest loans through the First Industries program to support farming operations and increase tourism. These loans will assist farmers with construction costs that will enable them to diversify their operations and acquire land. The First Industries program represents an important tool to support Pennsylvania’s agricultural sector and help individual farmers across the commonwealth.
The loans, totaling more than $3.2 million across five counties, can be found here.
— Office of Gov. Tom Wolf