Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA)
December 8, 2007
by PATRICK BURNS
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA – EDC Finance Corp., the financing partner of a Lancaster County quasi-government organization, will soon hit the milestone of helping local agricultural entities obtain $50 million in financing since 2000.
Through the Lancaster Economic Development Co., EDC-procured funds have directly impacted 70 farms and more than 5,000 agricultural acres in Lancaster County.
Dave Nikoloff, president of Lancaster Economic Development Co., said the agency will mark the $50 million milestone with an event Dec. 11 at Spring Lawn Farm, which features Lancaster County’s first robotic “voluntary milking system.”
State Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolfe and other state and local government officials will tour the farm.
EDC in June helped Spring Lawn Farm, 248 Stoney Lane, Pequea Township, garner a Small Business First loan totaling $700,000 from Commonwealth Financing Authority.
The Spring Lawn dairy farm, which has been in the Gerber family for 150 years, used the loan to construct a new freestall barn, silo and milking parlor, and buy cattle and the robotic milking equipment.
The entire project required a $3 million investment. “As a key economic engine in Lancaster County, strategic investments like this help Lancaster farmers stay on top of their game,” Nikoloff said.
The 70 projects EDC Finance helped fund include 40 dairy farms, 10 broiler farms, six crop farms, five layer operations. a duck farm and four hog finishing farms.
Nikoloff stressed that the EDC partnership with the agricultural community shows economic development is not exclusive to Lancaster city projects or helping to draw business there.
“It’s also very much about helping the county’s farmers improve production output, take advantage of new technologies and buy additional land,” Nikoloff said.
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