Gov. Wolf Announces More Than $1.8 Million to Support Agricultural Projects in Berks and York Counties

September 15, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of five agricultural projects being funded through the First Industries Fund (FIF). These projects, located in two counties, will help existing farms expand their operations, bring in additional revenue, and transition agribusinesses to the next generation of farmers.

“It is critical that we support the commonwealth’s agriculture industry throughout COVID-19 recovery efforts,” Gov. Wolf said. “With Pennsylvania’s agribusiness entwined in communities across the state that rely on them for life-sustaining food and services, we must continue to invest in this industry’s expansion.”

The approved projects are as follows:

Berks County
David and Marilyn Weaver, through the Greater Berks Development Fund, were approved for a 15-year, $400,000 Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) loan at a 0.75 percent reset rate to construct two 63-feet-by-500-feet broiler houses on their property in Berks County. The Weavers have recently obtained a seven-year contract from Bell and Evans for both houses. The total project cost is $1,275,000.

Leon and Lina Burkholder, through the Greater Berks Development Fund, were approved for a 15-year, $400,000 PIDA loan at a 0.75 percent reset rate to purchase a 137.70-acre farm property in Albany Township. The farm has a 200-plus cow dairy facility plus 100 acres of tillable land. The total project cost is $1,070,000.

Ricky and Miriam Manwiller, through the Greater Berks Development Fund, were approved for a 15-year, $273,750 PIDA loan at a 1.75 percent fixed rate to purchase a 47.5-acre farm property located in Heidelberg Township. The couple currently lease the property’s 30 tillable acres. The property includes a single-family dwelling, a detached garage, a bank barn and some other outbuildings. The land will continue to be utilized for crop farming. The total project cost is $547,500.

Nelson and Mary Troutman, through the Greater Berks Development Fund, were approved for a 15-year, $400,000 PIDA loan at a 1.75 percent fixed rate to construct two 63-feet-by-500-feet broiler houses on their 121-acre farm. The J&N Troutman, LLC, has been pursuing plans to build these houses for the past two years with Bell and Evans. J&N recently received a seven-year contract from Bell and Evans for the two broiler houses and plans to construct a third broiler house on the property in the near future. The total project cost is $1,150,000.

York County
Eric and Bethany Good, through the York County Economic Development Corporation, were approved for a 10-year, $400,000 PIDA loan at a 1.75 percent fixed rate to purchase a 144.34-acre property located at 4840 Biesecker Road, Dover Township. The property houses four 31,500 sq. ft. poultry broiler houses, 65 tillable acres, 30 acres of pasture, 30 acres of woodlands, a barn and a residence. All four broiler houses are under a long-term contract with Perdue Foods LLC/Colman Natural Foods Organic Production Program. The totally project cost is $3,200,000.

More information about the Commonwealth Financing Authority can be found on the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) website.

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