New Farm Brings Economic Growth

Huntingdon County’s agriculture industry has gained a new member. Amy Wise, executive director of Huntingdon County Business and Industry (HCBI), recently announced Lancaster County-based Penn’s Peaceful Meadows LLC will be expanding its operations to Little Valley Road, James Creek.

She said the company is owned by two brothers, Cody and Dustin Musser, who have spent their lives involved in agriculture.“It’s an expansion of an existing business that operates inMount Joy,” Wise told The Daily News. “They were here on vacation and saw a business opportunity and took advantage of it.”
 
The brothers purchased controlling interested in the Mount Joy farm from their father in 2012 and saw an opportunity in Huntingdon County to purchase and operate a 112-acre farm.
 
“We always like to keep land as agricultural land,” Wise said. “Farmland conservation is part of this. Keeping a farm a farm is important.”
 
She added while industrial development has its place, HCBI has to make sure “we do responsible economic development.”
 
Wise said the farm is “diversified,” filling four agricultural segments. She said one segment of the farm’s operation focuses on grain. The farm also offers specialty breeding of dairy cattle.
 
“No matter what the economy is, they’re diversified enough to weather any storm,” Wise said. “The goal for the farm here is to provide more crops to feed their animals.”
 
Wise added she is glad one of the county’s main economic drivers, tourism, could aid in the expansion of another one of the county’s economic engines.
 
“This was a great opportunity that tourism turned into a business,” Wise said.
 
She added both the Mussers are in their 30s and said she is glad to see more young professionals coming to the area to do business.
 
Wise added HCBI provided funding to aid in the business expansion. The agency recently closed a $542,200 loan with the farm.
 
Wise said some of the funds came from HCBI’s Local Economic Assistance Fund (LEAF). She said HCBI is also applying for a loan through the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the state Industrial Development Authority.
 
The Mussers were not available for comment.
 
Candy can be reached at cprice@huntingdondailynews.com.