PIDA approves $400,000 loans for 2 Berks County farms

The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority approved two economic development loans for $400,000 each for projects in Berks County, according to the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance.

One loan will help RanShar Farms in Tilden Township build a duck finishing barn that will be able to produce 247,000 ducks annually. The barn, which will total 40,500 square feet, will generate additional income that will allow the farm to stay family.

RanShar Farms is owned by brothers Randy and James Reppert. The farm was previously owned by their parents, and focused on hay, corn and soybean production.

The loan “will ensure that our family farm will be able to stay in the family for generations to come,” said James Reppert.

The other loan was granted to Nevin and Stella Burkholder for the acquisition of a 102 acres at 1302 Pleasant Hill Road, Maidencreek Township. The site, formerly the Pleasant Hill Golf Course, will be used raise corn, wheat and soybeans, and will supplement their existing farm operation in nearby Richmond Township.

“GRCA is excited that these two loans will have such an immediate impact on local farming businesses,” said Pamela J. Shupp, executive vice president and COO of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance. “It reaffirms our commitment to expanding our support for agri-businesses in the Greater Berks region.”