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.”

PIDA funds new industrial park in Berks County

A new industrial park will soon be built in Ontelaunee Township.
A new industrial park will soon be built in Ontelaunee Township through funds by PIDA.

A new industrial park will soon be built in Ontelaunee Township. Two loans, provided by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, will fund the purchase and development of land for an industrial park at the southeast intersection of Routes 61 and 73.

The loans, which were announced Dec. 27 by the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, amount to $2,250,000 each for two parcels of land that total roughly 122 acres.

According to the alliance, the loans were provided in order to address the community’s need for more industrial sites.

Mid Penn Bank, which operates four locations in Berks County, provided financing for both loans. Joseph N. Butto, regional president of Mid Penn Bank, said the bank is open to these kinds of financing deals, which he said spur local economic and business growth.

Dan Langdon, board chairman for the GRCA, expressed his appreciation for the work of Mid Penn Bank and Ontelaunee Township.  “…they have made it a painless process,” he said. “We look forward to building a great relationship with this municipality.”