$50K state grant to benefit Pinegrove Township farm

From staff reports

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) on Wednesday approved a $50,000 grant to assist a Pinegrove Township farm with the creation of an on-farm milk processing facility.

The total cost for the Mitch-Hill Dairy Farm’s project is $122,624, according to a joint news release from state Sen. Scott Hutchinson and state Rep. R. Lee James.

The new facility, which will be adjacent to the farm’s current milk house, will process milk and flavored milk for commercial sale, the release said.

The site of the new facility will be excavated, and a concrete pad will be poured, the release said. A container dairy processing plant with pasteurizer, bottle filler/capper and walk-in cooler will be purchased and installed on the concrete pad.

By placing the container plant next to the milk house, the release said, the safety of raw-milk handling will be maintained, as it will be able to be pumped directly into the processing room without having to use a milk truck for transport.

“As Pennsylvania’s dairy industry has been challenged in the last few years, it’s more important than ever for us to support our hardworking farmers who are trying to boost our local economy,” James said. “Avoiding the need to use a milk truck not only saves money, but also provides greater convenience.”

Hutchinson said he was pleased Mitch-Hill Dairy was selected to receive the grant from the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program.

“In recent years, consumers have been inundated with all sorts of advertisements and claims about other products in the grocery store,” Hutchinson said. “We must do all we can to support our dairies and help them promote their healthy, natural and locally produced dairy products.”