Redding touts dairy investment program
KIRKWOOD — Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding on Thursday visited two Lancaster County farms that supply cheese to Philabundance, a nonprofit which received a $63,000 PA Dairy Investment Program grant earlier this year to market their Abundantly Good cheese brand in the greater Philadelphia region.
Oak Shade Cheese in Kirkwood and Sunset Farms in Ronks supply cheese to Philabundance. Proceeds from the sale of the cheese brand go to purchase surplus milk from Lancaster County dairy farmers to produce more cheese that is then donated to Philabundance clients.
“Abundantly Good cheese is the gift that keeps on giving,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Philabundance has perfected innovation in dairy by producing a value-added product that simultaneously supports local dairy farmers and feeds Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable.”
The Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program provides grants that support on-farm innovation, research and development, organic transition, and value-added processing of products like cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. Funding for a second year was made possible by Governor Tom Wolf’s Pennsylvania Farm Bill.
“The PA Dairy Innovation grant has allowed us to reach our goals of supporting local dairy farmers by driving sales to Abundantly Good products, and providing high-quality cheese to those in need,” said Elizabeth Sanon, Manager, Food Acquisition at Philabundance. “By increasing visibility of the brand, reaching over 12,000 individuals, our brand has a triple bottom line impact on people, planet, and profit.”
Applications for the second round of the Dairy Investment Grant Program are currently open and close on Nov. 15.
“We saw through the first round of dairy investment grants that innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Pennsylvania dairy,” added Redding. “I’m excited to see dairy thrive in the commonwealth, nourished through this necessary investment.”
The PA Farm Bill is a comprehensive package of legislation signed by Governor Wolf in July that provides targeted support and investments to the commonwealth’s leading industry.
For more information about the PA Farm Bill and investments to support Pennsylvania agriculture, visit agriculture.pa.gov.