HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program will provide $100,000 for two projects in Bradford and Sullivan counties, according to state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) and Rep. Tina Pickett (R-110).
In Bradford County, Strictly Organics, LLC, a Somerset County-based company, has been awarded $50,000 to construct a processing facility for organic dairy products in Albany Township. The company plans to manufacture, market and distribute organic milk, cottage cheese, butter and ice cream. Funds will be used for acquisition and equipment purchases.
In Sullivan County, Warburton Farm, located in Forks Township, has been awarded $50,000 for infrastructure development, construction and equipment purchases necessary to process A2 ice cream and butter. Currently, Warburton Farm bottles pasteurized A2 milk.
A2 milk, like A1, refers to a type of beta-casein protein found in dairy cows, which make it easier for people with digestive issues to process. Not all cows are carriers of the A2 gene, however, and the variants differ depending on the genetic profile of the cow producing the milk. A2 milk is different than lactose milk, as lactose intolerance is due to the sugars contained in the milk.
“The Dairy Investment Program is now in its second year and continues to foster innovative, value-added products that support our local dairy farmers,” Sen. Yaw said. “Whether it’s bottling A2 milk, processing butter using that A2 milk or producing A2 ice cream that can be enjoyed by more people because of its digestive qualities, these are innovative approaches that can feed more people and grow the industry as a whole. These are great investments for our region.”
“Dairy farms, not only in Pennsylvania but across the nation, have been experiencing extreme hardships due to the price of raw milk,” said Rep. Pickett. “In order to remain viable in today’s economy, they need to look at alternative measures to make ends meet. Both projects are excellent examples of such a business plan. I am pleased they were approved for state funding assistance.”
“The Warburton family is very excited to have the opportunity to add naturally A2 butter and ice cream to their A2 bottling facility,” said Eileen Warburton. “We currently make A2 ice cream in our home for our son who has an intolerance to the protein in A1 milk. It is always an exciting day when you see your child or your loved ones face light up because they too can enjoy a delicious ice cream cone at home or at a local ice cream shop.”
Once completed, these products will be sold to consumers through local shops, restaurants, and grocery and farmers markets. “We would like to thank the community and the Dairy Investment Program for the opportunities to bring natural A2 products to your homes,” Warburton added.
The Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program was established under Act 42 of 2018 for research and development, organic transition, value-added processing, and marketing grants in support of Pennsylvania’s Dairy Industry. The program is administered jointly by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the PA Department of Agriculture (PDA), under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA).
Interested applicants for the Dairy Investment Program must submit an application online with the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Electronic Single Application for Assistance at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us. Additional program details are available on DCED’s website at www.dced.pa.gov.
Rita Zielonis (Sen. Yaw)
Andy Briggs (Rep. Pickett)