HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Governor Ed Rendell has announced new investments in Pennsylvania farms and tourism that will enhance the state's first- and second-largest industries by investing $2.7 million in more than a dozen projects.

"Agriculture and tourism are two of our most important industries and these projects will have an impact in small communities across the state," the Governor said. "Nearly one million people work in agriculture and nearly 460,000 work in tourism. We are helping to keep Pennsylvania competitive.

"Our latest investments mean a family campground in McKean County will be able to build new roads and install water, sewer and electric lines," the Governor said. "In Blair County, a company will be able to build a greenhouse and retail facility, and a dairy farm in Snyder County will be able to buy more cows and build a barn.

"Since the debut of our First Industries Fund last year, we have invested in nearly 150 projects throughout the commonwealth and have secured almost $28 million in private sector investments to create and retain nearly 3,000 jobs."

Agriculture and agriculture-related projects may include production agriculture, agribusiness, the sale of farm commodities at wholesale, the retail sale of farm commodities by urban and rural supermarkets in underserved areas, farmers' markets, energy-related activities impacting production agriculture or agribusiness, and activities which implement best management practices related to agricultural waste, waste products and byproducts or fertilizer.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority is a seven-member board created to administer and fund projects from programs created by the governor's economic stimulus package. The CFA oversees the First Industries Fund, Business in Our Sites, the Tax Increment Financing Guarantee, New PA Venture Capital Investment, New Pennsylvania Venture Guarantee, Building PA, PennWorks, and the Second Stage Loan programs.

For guidelines and more information on the First Industries Fund and other economic stimulus programs, visit www.newPA.com or call 1-866-GO-NEWPA (1-866-466-3972).

SOURCE: Pennsylvania Office of the Governor.