Gov. Wolf Announces $2.8 Million Investment in Feeding the Next Generation of Farm Prosperity

March 17, 2022

Governor Tom Wolf today announced awards of more than $2.8 million in tax-exempt, low-interest financing for five Lancaster and Chester County farms through the Next Generation Farmer Loan Program. The program gives beginning farmers access to affordable capital to purchase farmland or agricultural equipment, lowering interest rates and boosting farm profits through a unique state-federal-private industry partnership.

“Pennsylvania’s economy is strong and growing,” said Gov. Wolf. “Seven years of sound fiscal management and prudent investments in building our agriculture infrastructure and capacity help our farmers continue feeding our economy and our families. We’ve seen farm profits and production rise over the past year and are committed to feeding that momentum by raising a new generation of farmers and supporting the growth of the Pennsylvania farms we’re so proud of.”

With Next Generation Farm Loans, tax-exempt interest income to the lender or contract seller enables them to charge the borrower a lower interest rate that is exempt from federal, state, and county taxes. Loans are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of ​Community and Economic Development and local industrial development authorities. Program guidelines and information and a list of Industrial Development Authority contacts are at dced.pa.gov. Farmers apply through their county’s Industrial Development Authority.

The five beginning farmer operations awarded loans include:

Leon K. and Linda S. King, of Honeybrook Township, Chester County — $575,000 to finance the purchase of a 106.5-acre dairy farm from Leon’s parents. The Kings are currently managing the farm.

Andrew T. and Jaylene K. Brinton of Fulton Township, Lancaster County — $558,000 to help finance purchase of two farms totaling 306 acres from Andrew’s parents. The couple has operated a poultry layer house and hog barn on one of the properties for more than 10 years and grow corn, hay, and beans.

Joseph E. and Rachel S. Lapp of Little Britain Township, Lancaster County — $555,000 to fund the purchase a 67.7 farm owned by Jacob’s parents. The Lapps have been renting and farming the properties for 10 years. They raise beef cattle, corn and alfalfa.

Christ G. and Sarah K. Fisher of Paradise Township, Lancaster County — $558,000 to purchase a dairy farm they have operated for nine years from Christ’s parents. The family also raises hogs, and grows corn, hay and alfalfa for feed.

Gideon B. and Mary S. Esh of Sadsbury Township, Lancaster County — $558,000 to purchase a 65-acre dairy farm that they have been renting for the past seven years. The Eshes also raise corn and alfalfa for feed.

“Profitability is at the core of any business plan,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “A farm is a business without walls — one that needs access to capital and to seed and feed their growth, just like any other business. Next Generation Farmer loans are just one tool in a comprehensive package of economic resources from the state and our federal and local partners to help grow profits and feed our family farms’ future success.”

Pennsylvania agriculture feeds $132.5 billion into our economy annually and supports more than 593,000 jobs statewide. Since 2019, Pennsylvania has invested more than $50 million to support and sustain the industry’s growth through the PA Farm Bill, the first and only one of its kind in the nation. Governor Wolf’s proposed 2022-23 budget invests an additional $13.6 million in PA Farm Bill loans, programs and initiatives, recognizing agriculture a key economic driver and funding the Ag Business Development Center for farm transition planning, business planning, marketing, and diversification.

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