Senator Mensch Announces Grants for Local Dairy Farm in Berks County

Harrisburg – Two grants, awarded by the Department of Community and Economic Development and the PA Department of Agriculture, will allow for research and development, organic transition, value-added processing, and marketing grants in support of Pennsylvania’s Dairy Industry, according to Senator Bob Mensch (R-24).

Woods Beach LLC, who is doing business as Wholesome Dairy Farm, is located in Earl Township, Berks County, and will be receiving a total of $123,884 through the PA Dairy Investment Program.

Woods Beach LLC will receive $73,884 to help develop a milk protein and plant fiber-based packaging composite material that will be able to replace plastic as a dairy foods packaging material. The material will be renewable and biodegradable while serving as a safe and effective replacement. Research will begin with the development of the casein polymer and the selection of the plant fiber binder. The remainder of the project will be spent completing the development of the composite material.

They will also receive an additional $50,000 to construct a 40’ x 60’ storage building and milk safety laboratory adjacent to their existing value-added processing facility. This building will allow the dairy to purchase processing supplies in larger quantities and produce their foods in a more cost-efficient manner. The laboratory space will allow the applicant to conduct on-site food safety testing required by law.

“It is great to see a local farm receive funding that will allow for significant changes in production and sustainability,” Mensch said. “The grants to the Wholesome Dairy Farm are a vital way to promote local businesses as well as our local economy.”

Wholesome Dairy Farm has produced yogurt, Greek yogurt, and kefir in small batches for approximately seven years using milk from their own dairy herd. The funding was provided through the Dairy Investment Program, which is administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).

 

CONTACT: Madison Scarfaro mscarfaro@pasen.gov  (215) 541-2388