HARRISBURG – A new state program will offer grants totaling $5 million to support Pennsylvania’s struggling dairy industry, according to Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Chairman Elder Vogel (R-47).
The Pennsylvania Dairy Industry Investment Program, which was created by lawmakers in June, is designed to improve the production, processing and distribution of dairy products throughout the state. The program will provide grants of up to $100,000 for research and development and marketing projects, and up to $50,000 for value-added processing projects and dairy operations transitioning to organic products.
“The dairy industry is one of the most important parts of Pennsylvania’s agriculture economy, but market conditions have created enormous challenges for dairy operations in communities throughout the state,” Corman said. “This new program will provide a much-needed opportunity for members of the dairy industry to modernize, streamline and expand their operations while keeping pace with changes within the industry.”
“Dairy farmers have been struggling for years due to a variety of financial issues that are largely beyond their control,” Vogel said. “Being able to purchase new equipment, offer new types of products for consumers or expand the market for their existing products will help many dairy operations not only survive, but also succeed and grow.”
Eligible applicants include dairy businesses and cooperatives, not-for-profit agricultural organizations, schools, and institutions of higher learning. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis as long as funding is available.
The program is administered by Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA). Grants are only available for projects that are not already underway; commencement of work on a project before receiving CFA approval will result in the project being deemed ineligible for funding. A 15 percent cash match of the total project cost is required.
Interested applicants must submit an application online with the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Electronic Single Application for Assistance at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us. Additional program details will be available soon on DCED’s website at www.dced.pa.gov.
CONTACT: Jenn Kocher (717) 787-1377 (Senator Corman)
Matt Parido (717) 787-3076 (Senator Vogel)