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Harrisburg - Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding today recognized three top economic development groups for their commitment to providing local farmers with the capital they need to grow during a luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 13, at the 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Redding presented awards to the Adams County Economic Development Corporation, Chester County Economic Development Council and Economic Development Company Finance Corporation of Lancaster based on their contributions to local economies and number of private and public loans provided.

Redding said in cooperation with PAgrows, which helps producers gain access to grants and low interest loans, the companies have helped local agriculture business owners to advance the economic strength of the industry.

The development groups provided the following:
Adams County Economic Development Corporation provided 42 private loans totaling more than $14,482,000;
Chester County Economic Development Council provided 38 private loans totaling more than $41,519,500; and
EDC Finance Corporation of Lancaster provided 114 private loans totaling more than $62,703,000.

Since its inception, PAgrows has invested nearly $150 million in 655 projects that have been matched by nearly $340 million in private funding. Redding said the substantial impact of the program would not have been possible without the help of loan organizations and economic development councils.

Recognized companies are non-profit, privately owned and dedicated to assisting existing employers in their areas and attracting new employers through economic development services such as low interest financing, energy consulting, international business assistance and workforce training.

Governor Edward G. Rendell launched PAgrows in 2005 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show to work directly with other state and federal agencies and statewide service providers to find the right program for individual farmers. For more information, visit or call 1-888-724-7697.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 290 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 8-15 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10.

For more information, visit

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For photos of the event, click here.