Greater Berks Development Fund awards $400K for acquisition of 81-acre farm in Jefferson Township

Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger announced Tuesday five new funding awards through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) totaling $1,885,000 in loans from DCED’s First Industries Fund.

These new CFA awards align with the Shapiro Administration’s focus on strengthening the agriculture industry and spurring economic development across Pennsylvania. Agriculture is a major driver of Pennsylvania’s economy, contributing over $132 billion annually and supporting nearly 600,000 jobs statewide.

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“The Shapiro Administration understands that agriculture is a crucial component of Pennsylvania’s economy, which is why we’re making investments to boost the industry in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary Siger.

“These loans approved today by the CFA will help Pennsylvania farmers acquire new properties and make critical infrastructure improvements that will help them grow and prosper. Our new economic development plan will help ensure the Commonwealth continues to be a national leader in agriculture ― helping the industry thrive well into the future.”

The First Industries Fund (FIF) aims to boost Pennsylvania’s agriculture and tourism industries through loan guarantees. Funds can be used for land and building acquisition and construction, machinery and equipment purchases and upgrades, and working capital.

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Berks County, the following FIF loans were approved: Dustin W. and Amber G. Fessler, through the Greater Berks Development Fund, received $400,000 for the acquisition of an 81-acre farm at 7283 Bernville Road in Jefferson Township.

Agriculture is one of the five key industries highlighted in the Governor’s Economic Development Strategy, the first plan of its kind in almost 20 years.

The CFA was established in 2004 as an independent agency of DCED to administer Pennsylvania’s economic stimulus packages. The CFA holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania’s economic growth.

Visit the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s website for more information on the CFA or its programs.

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