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PA Governor Rendell Says First Industries Fund Continues Investment in Agriculture, Tourism.

Agriculture and Tourism Projects Benefit from $3.8 Million

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today that projects involving the state's two largest industries - agriculture and tourism - will benefit from nearly $3.8 million in new investments from the state.

The money awarded today comes from the state's First Industries Fund (FIF), and will help projects in 16 counties, including the expansion of a poultry farm.

"The agriculture and tourism industries are playing a vital role as we continue to rebuild Pennsylvania's economy," Governor Rendell said. "The stability of businesses in these fields have a profound impact on our state - from our rural communities to our urban areas.

"When I took office, I was amazed by the limited resources Pennsylvania made available to industries that generate billions for our economy, so we changed that. Like any other company, agriculture and tourism businesses need investment capital to grow, that is why we launched the First Industries Fund as part of our economic stimulus package in 2005.

"Since then, we've infused more than $70 million into 316 agriculture and tourism projects across the commonwealth, projects that are creating new opportunities for our residents and attracting new visitors to our many attractions."

The First Industries Fund provides grants, loans and loan guarantees to agriculture- and tourism-related businesses in Pennsylvania.

The program is administered by the seven-member Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA). CFA is also responsible for overseeing other economic stimulus programs like Business in Our Sites, the Tax Increment Financing Guarantee, New PA Venture Capital Investment, New Pennsylvania Venture Guarantee, Building PA, PennWorks and the Second Stage Loan programs.

To date, all 19 economic stimulus programs have injected $2.18 billion into more than 2,000 projects across the state. These projects will eventually result in the creation of some 219,000 new jobs.

The following loan guarantee was approved by the CFA during its regular board meeting:
 -- The First Industries Loan Guarantee will guarantee half of a $425,000
 loan from The Progress Fund to Allegany Valley Management LLC in
 McKean County. The loan will be used to fund renovations to an
 existing 9,000-plus-square-foot building, new equipment purchases, and
 professional services.




For more information on the First Industries Fund and other parts of Governor Rendell's economic stimulus package, call 1-866-GO-NEWPA (1-866-466- 3972) or visit http://www.newpa.com/.

The Rendell Administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly newsletter, visit his Web site at: http://www.governor.state.pa.us/.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A list of loans approved by DCED and ratified by the CFA is attached. FIF loans will be provided through the Small Business First program (SBF) or the Machinery & Equipment Loan Fund (MELF).
 FIRST INDUSTRIES FUND -- AGRICULTURE LOANS (RATIFIED)

 Berks County
 -- A $200,000 SBF loan was awarded to help Gregory A. Zook acquire a
 farm that includes a single-family residence, bank barn, dairy barn
 and related outbuildings.

 -- A $140,000 SBF loan was awarded to the Sunnyside Dairy Farm to
 purchase 50 dairy cows and a new, 5,000-gallon milk storage tank.

 Blair County
 -- A SBF loan for $110,000 was awarded to Gerald E. and Linda K. Smith to
 purchase a 60-acre tract of land adjacent to their beef cattle and
 dairy farm.

 Bradford County
 -- George and Dawn Bolles were granted a $98,000 SBF loan for the
 purchase of a 197-acre dairy farm that's currently being rented.

 Chester County
 -- Walmoore Holteins Inc. received a $116,144 SBF loan for new equipment,
 construction and costs related to a new dairy farm manure handling
 system.

 -- A $117,500 loan was awarded through the MELF program to Bender Farms
 for the purchase of 140 dairy cows.

 Lancaster County
 -- A $200,000 SBF loan was awarded to Gretna View Farms, a chicken farm,
 to renovate existing layer houses and convert other buildings to cage-
 free organic houses.

 Gretna View Farms also received $570,000 through the MELF program to
 purchase cage-free laying equipment.

 Lebanon County
 -- A $280,842 loan was awarded through the MELF program to Steve and
 Bonnie Wenger to finance machinery and equipment purchases for their
 new turkey barns, and replace equipment lost in a recent fire at Wen-
 Crest Farms.

 Perry County
 -- A $112,400 SBF loan was awarded to expand Marvin Landis' dairy herd;
 to help finance the construction of a free stall barn and manure
 lagoon; and the purchase of new machinery and equipment.

 -- A $170,000 SBF loan was awarded to Edward C. Brofee of Nekoda View
 Farms. The loan will help this dairy, broiler and crop operation buy
 an 85-acre farm that's currently being rented.

 Snyder County
 -- A SBF loan for $158,000 was awarded to Michael C. and Deborah A. Ewing
 for the construction a layer house, which will result in the expansion
 of their dairy farm.

 Somerset County
 -- $493,275 was awarded through the MELF program to Dovan Farms to
 purchase machinery and expand the company's dairy operation.

 Susquehanna County
 -- Loch's Maple Fiber Mill Inc. was awarded $61,365 through the MELF
 program to purchase fiber processing machinery and equipment. The
 company processes quality custom fiber for hand spinners, knitters,
 fiber artists and animal owners.

 Tioga County
 -- $60,000 in MELF funding was awarded to Timberscombe Farm for the
 purchase of female breeding alpacas.

 Union County
 -- A $200,000 SBF loan was awarded to Alan J. and Kyle S. Ard for the
 construction of a 5,800-sq.-ft. addition to the Ard's Farm Market.


 FIRST INDUSTRIES FUND -- TOURISM LOANS (RATIFIED)

 Adams County
 -- Hiwasse Acres LLC was awarded a $200,000 SBF loan for the purchase a
 building that will feature a wine shop and restaurant at the Adams
 County Winery.

 Clinton County
 -- A $200,000 SBF loan was awarded to Lakshmi Inc. to purchase furniture
 and fixtures for a new, 75-room Hampton Inn & Suites hotel.

 Crawford County
 -- Nye's Marina Service LTD was awarded a $99,000 SBF loan to widen,
 dredge and install a retaining wall in the East Canal. The company
 serves as a retail shop and storage facility for boating customers of
 the Conneaut Lake region.




CONTACT: Michael Smith, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, +1-717-783-1116; or Neil Weaver (DCED), +1-717-783-1132.

CONTACT: Michael Smith, Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, +1-717-783-1116; or Neil Weaver (DCED), +1-717-783-1132

Web site: http://www.newpa.com/ http://www.governor.state.pa.us/
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