Five agricultural projects being funded through the First Industries Fund were announced Tuesday. The projects 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.”

Approved Projects

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.

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