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The Importance of Agribusiness

With open space, lush fields, an accessible location and a fantastic climate, Cumberland County includes a thriving agribusiness community that provides many necessary services to the area.

What is Agribusiness?

While you may think of farmers when you hear the term “agribusiness” — and they do make up a vital part of the sector — this term includes much more. Agribusiness involves any activity within the food and beverage growing and production business that relates to natural resources. This includes companies that:

  • Sell products such as feed and other needed items to farms
  • Provide service to other companies in the agribusiness category, such as making herbicides
  • Transport, process and manufacture, market or distribute agriculture products

While some agribusiness belongs to the public sector, you find a great deal in the private sector, as well, including many in this area. With so many natural resources and an accessible location for distribution to draw on, Cumberland County provides excellent opportunities for those looking to enter agribusiness or those already in the industry who want to expand.

The Importance of Agribusiness in Cumberland County

Agribusinesses play a key role in the Cumberland Valley business community. Cumberland County ranks among the commonwealth’s top 10 in terms of value for agricultural products. The area’s skilled workforce, trained in programs for agribusiness, provides needed employees for these businesses. Many people make a living from the agribusiness industry, making it an essential part of the area’s economy.

In many parts of the country, you can’t drive very far without seeing a farm, a reminder of the fantastic land resources that have been handed down across generations. We have more than 70 food and beverage production companies here, as well as some 1400 farms.

The area boasts transportation opportunities that have turned it into a hub for processing and distribution. Businesses in the area can access five ports within easy driving distance, and we have rail and air options nearby, as well. Local farmers enjoy high nutrient levels in the soil and flat topography, ideal for planting. The area also has an ample water supply and nearby access to technical support so necessary to any modern business.

What Agribusiness Industries Thrive in Cumberland County?

Cumberland County is home to many agribusinesses, contributing to more than $210 million in annual agriculture sales in the area. The top product in the county is cows’ milk, followed by the grouping of grains, oilseeds, dry beans and dry peas. Meat makes up the rest of the top five, including cattle and calves, poultry and eggs, and hogs and pigs.

Prominent food processing facilities and agribusinesses in Cumberland County include:

  • Kessler Foods, Inc., which processes and packages meat
  • Land O’Lakes, a milk processor
  • Coca-Cola, which has a distribution center
  • Nestle Purina PetCare Co., which makes dog and cat food

How Can CAEDC Assist Your Agribusiness?

Perhaps you inherited a tractor business from your parents and are eager to expand your marketing to reach a larger customer base across Cumberland County.

Whatever your dream, the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation can help you reach it with programs designed for entrepreneurs in the area. We can assist you with securing:

  • A Location for Your Business: Our site selection and development services can help you identify the right place to build or expand your business. Agribusinesses often need large tracts of land with ample space. Using our resources, you can also receive vital input on community planning and permit navigation. We can point out local zoning codes you should be aware of and guide you as you navigate economic development zones.
  • Funding for Your Business: We provide all types of financing services in Cumberland County, helping you connect with a program or loan that fits your unique needs. Pennsylvania agribusinesses may qualify for funding through the PA Department of Community & Economic Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You can also consider Small Business Administration loans and tax-exempt financing through CAEDC, which you can use to purchase machinery and equipment.

We have worked with many agribusinesses in the area and helped them create their own success stories. Agribusiness is a growth area in Cumberland County and a smart sector to get into for those who appreciate the comprehensive infrastructure in place to assist them with their goals.

Contact CAEDC to Talk About Agribusiness Opportunities

Those interested in agribusiness have many options available for financing that we can lay out for you. In addition to supporting many agribusinesses, Cumberland County has a low cost of living compared to surrounding urban areas and an educated, dedicated workforce eager to aid new businesses.

Agribusinesses play an important role in Cumberland County and represent a growth area we’ll be watching for some time as innovations in technology move the industry forward. Get in touch with CAEDC today to see how we can assist your new or growing business. Contact us today by filling out our online contact form or calling (717) 240-7180.

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