Agriculture Secretary Highlights $1.75 Million Support for New, PA Dairy-Based Infant Nutrition Operation in Reading Creating 50 Jobs
READING, April 28 – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding highlighted a $1.75 million state investment in ByHeart, Inc. today, supporting Pennsylvania's dairy industry and creating 50 new, local jobs. ByHeart, Pennsylvania's first FDA-approved infant formula manufacturing facility, is expanding infant nutrition options for parents and improving the market for Pennsylvania dairy.
"ByHeart is providing wholesome, nutritious formula for our youngest Pennsylvanians," said Secretary Redding. "We are proud to support companies like ByHeart that embody the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation of Pennsylvania agriculture. They're a family-owned business that saw a need from their own family experiences and are now creating healthy options for Pennsylvania families and farmers."
Governor Tom Wolf invested $1.75 million into the ByHeart expansion through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).
"We spent two years auditing infant formula plants around the world," said ByHeart CEO and Co-Founder Ron Belldegrun. "We chose the commonwealth as our home-base because of local expertise, rich agricultural heritage, and a commitment to furthering value-added dairy, which – together with our expertise in infant nutrition innovation – has the potential to transform Reading into a national and global hub for the export of the most fundamental and vital food in the world."
The new facility directly supports Pennsylvania's dairy industry. Pennsylvania ranks seventh nationally in total milk production, with nearly 520,000 cows producing more than 10.6 billion pounds of milk annually. The industry supports 53,300 jobs and contributes $14.1 billion to the state's economy.
In recent years, Pennsylvania dairy has faced market challenges due to increased costs and changes in supply and demand. Recognizing these challenges, Governor Wolf has invested more than $50 million since 2015 to better position Pennsylvania's dairy industry for the future.
In 2015, the Wolf Administration launched the Dairy Development Program. The program convened dairy economists, industry, the PA Department of Agriculture and the Center for Dairy Excellence to strategize a positive path forward for Pennsylvania dairy, creating a five-part 2017 Pennsylvania Dairy Study that outlined strategic recommendations to strengthen the industry.
The Wolf Administration also supported Pennsylvania's dairy industry through unstable markets during the COVID-19 pandemic by funding the $15 million COVID-19 Dairy Indemnity Program for farmers that lost milk and the $5 million dairy allocation to the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System for farmers who donated surplus dairy products to the charitable food system, both funded through Pennsylvania's Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allotment.
Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funds support critical expansion and community revitalization projects across the commonwealth.
For more information on the Wolf Administration's work to strengthen the resilience of Pennsylvania agriculture, visit agriculture.pa.gov.