Agricultural tourism enhanced by recognition program | News, Sports, Jobs

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Grant recipients to promote agricultural tourism in Center County.

As tourism is the #1 driver of business in Center County, the area has a long and rich tradition in agricultural ventures, from apple orchards and tree farms, to family-run producing businesses and even breweries. crafts, with the exception of athletics and Penn State sports. fields.

Scenic mountains descend to some of Pennsylvania’s most fertile soil which produces an amazing plethora of colorful flowers and crisp fresh vegetables. These agricultural gems of Happy Valley have received renewed support to grow their business, attract new visitors, and improve the guest experience and their facilities with a grant from the Happy Valley Adventure and Tourism office as well as the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. Center County industry.

Since COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on small and medium-sized businesses, this grant can, in some cases, help businesses continue operations.

“It’s a great feeling to know that the projects funded today will improve the agricultural supply in the county and allow farms and agriculture-related businesses to grow their businesses,” said Greg Scott, President and CEO of CBICC.

Fritz Smith, President and CEO of Happy Valley Adventure, shared the announcement of the initiative.

“Inviting visitors – and local residents – to enjoy what we grow, make and create is the mission of Happy Valley Agventures”, said Smith. “The proposed projects will make it even more inviting to visit Happy Valley, enjoy and appreciate our agricultural heritage.

Twenty-eight regional agricultural businesses applied for grants and all received a portion of the awarded amount, which offered up to $10,000 for individual grants. An additional $200,000 will be matched by private investments within the county. Center County has a unique variety of agricultural businesses offering a variety of rare specialties.

Bear Meadows Farms, one of the recipients, is one of the state-licensed companies offering a rarity, raw milk, that is gaining popularity. Goot Essa is an Amish team establishment that offers high quality specialty cheeses.

Leslie Zuck, owner of Common Ground Farm in Spring Mills, said the vision for the diverse 80-acre farm is to share their family farming experience, including growing vegetables and flowers, landscaping with native plants , regenerative agriculture and climate-smart agriculture.

“The upgrades made possible through this grant will help us provide safe and comfortable farm tours and educational opportunities for schools and organizations,” Zuck said. “We are firm believers in learning by doing and are truly looking forward to providing hands-on farming activities for farm and garden enthusiasts, especially children and young people, the future stewards of the Earth.”

Rimmey Road Farm owner Keith Brainard said the grant funding would be “definitely allow” the farm to become a viable agritourism destination that can contribute to the county’s tourism economy. Rimmey Road Farm raises heritage breed Mulefoot pigs on the land adjacent to Rhoneymeade.

Center County Grange Fair will use its $9,000 grant for technology improvements in the cattle judging area.

“We at Center County Grange Park/Centre County Grange Fair are very grateful and thrilled to be chosen as a recipient of the Happy Valley Agventure grant program,” said Darlene Confer, General Manager of Grange Park/Grange Fair.“This grant will help provide technology enhancements, such as live streaming capabilities, for agricultural shows and events held at Grange Park.”

Agriculture and agritourism are an integral part of our establishment and the surrounding communities,Confer continued. “With these grants, we hope to further promote agribusiness in Center County.

The selection criteria have been a factor of ingenuity in the agricultural field and the preservation of companies established for a long time in the region with a solid clientele. The idea behind the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau grant is to further improve the customer experience, which can lead to the growth of product lines and increased new offerings for visitors to the area as well as for long-time customers.

State Sen. Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) has worked hard to make this grant an opportunity for the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau and the Center County Chamber of Commerce and Industry to award these funds to these local agricultural enterprises.

Happy Valley Agventures is a joint agritourism initiative of the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau and the Center County Chamber of Commerce and Industry. For more information on agriculture-related things to see and do in Center County, visit

The recipients of the Happy Valley Agventures scholarship are:

• Bear Meadows Farm — $7,800 for additional paved parking, road widening and beautification

• Bee Tree Berry Farm — $8,600 for controlled outdoor storage of fresh fruits and vegetables

• Central PA Tasting Trail – $10,000 for two promotional billboards in Central and Mifflin counties

• Center County Farmland Trust — $5,000 to reprint three Farm Routes guides and one program postcard

• Center County Grange Fair — $9,000 for technology improvements in the cattle judging area to attract different agricultural fairs

• Common Ground Farm — $9,500 to improve infrastructure and resources to be ready for visitors

• Township of Ferguson — $8,000 for infrastructure needs of Route 45 getaway participants, tourist directional signs (TOD), banner displays

• Goot Essa — $9,800 for pavilions and an outdoor picnic area at the cheese factory

• Happy Valley Vineyard & Winery — $9,000 to expand outdoor seating area, including pergola, shade cloths and picnic benches

• Harner Farm — $4,100 for parking and patio

• JL Farm and Cidery — $9,800 for a paved driveway and outdoor pavilions

• JNJP Holdings – $5,000 for stone signage for better visibility in the driveway

• Meyer Dairy Farms — $9,800 for public washroom renovations/upgrades

• Nittany Meadow Farm – $9,000 for construction to meet Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture licensing requirements for dairy goat farms

• Nittany Meadow Farm — $2,000 to upgrade buses to travel with goats to promote agricultural and educational opportunities

• Pasto Agricultural Museum: $8,000 for museum entrance upgrades, including lighting and retail shop

• Pine Grove Hall — $9,500 for parking lot expansion

• Pole Cat Hollow Farm — $5,500 to convert a farm shed into an agricultural education area for visitors

• RE Farm Café in Windswept — $9,800 for the addition of a ground floor outdoor patio with awning, seating, stairs and fire pit

• Rhoneymeade: $8,800 for sound system, DJ equipment, lighting and other needs to support Rhoneymeade Fest

• Rimmey Road Farm — $8,500 for farm improvements for retail space and events

• Rooted Farmstead — $9,000 to improve the site, equip the outlet and establish a peony garden

• Schaeffer Farm: $6,000 for a year-round farm stand, refrigerators/freezers, parking improvements

• Scott’s Roasting — $8,000 for farm wrap by food truck

• Seven Mountains Wine Cellars — $8,500 for a permanent outdoor dining facility

• Sinking Creek Meats — $8,500 to build retail space

• University Wine Company — $5,000 for outdoor seating upgrades

• Wasson Farm: $8,500 for facility expansion to increase production and meet customer demand for ice cream

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Elisha A. Tilghman