Technical Assistance

Intro Rural Finance Course

BNY MellonBricker & Eckler LLPBryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLPBusiness OregonCohnReznickFBT Project Finance Advisors LLCFrost Brown Todd LLCgener8torHawkins Delafield & Wood LLPIce Miller LLPKeyBanc Capital MarketsKutak Rock LLPMcGuireWoodsMuniCap, Inc.NW Financial Group, LLCPGAV Planners, LLCRaza Development FundSB Friedman Development AdvisorsStern BrothersStifel NicolausU.S. BankWells Fargo SecuritiesZ. The Bond Buyer


The Intro Rural Finance Course focuses on how the development finance toolbox can be structured to support rural communities and help them with strategies to invest in infrastructure, redevelopment, and job creation. This course differs from other curriculums in that it focuses on designing programs targeted to serve rural communities.

Leaders in rural and agricultural development finance will discuss how to develop and establish long-term financing within rural communities. In addition, the course will highlight successful programs that are working throughout the country in communities with varying levels of capacity and size. Topics discussed during the course include targeted financing programs available at the federal, state, and local levels for rural communities, along with best practices for employing these financing programs.

This course qualifies for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the the financing challenges and opportunities for rural communities
  • Examine federal, state, and local financing programs supporting rural communities
  • Learn about essential financing sources employed by rural communities, including bonds, TIF, loan programs, grants, and other sources
  • Discover solutions for managing risk, building capacity, developing financing partners, and identifying resources
  • Consider strategies and best practices for expanding access to capital. rural business development, and infrastructure development and redevelopment
  • Discuss case studies from a variety of rural communities with different financing capacities, geographic areas, and population sizes

Topics Covered

  • Rural financing programs from federal, state, and local sources
  • Applying development finance tools for rural projects
  • Financing solutions for agriculture, infrastructure, energy, food systems, manufacturers, small businesses, and other rural businesses.
  • Identifying local financing partners, including CDCs, CDFIs, MEPs, developers, banks, and service providers
  • Understanding risk and long term financing strategies unique to rural communities
  • Case studies focused on structuring and layering financing sources together

Who Should Attend?

  • Bond Issuers
  • Economic Development Professionals
  • Community Development Professionals
  • Broker/Dealers and Underwriters
  • Elected Officials
  • Government and Nonprofit Finance Officers
  • Attorneys
  • Accountants
  • Financial Advisors
  • Policy Makers

Course Advisor

Angela Blatt Angela Blatt
Council of Development Finance Agencies
Director, Research & Technical Assistance
As Director of Research & Technical Assistance with the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), Angela focuses on the W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded initiative “Defining the Food System Asset Class,” whereby CDFA explores opportunities for... (More)


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wed 7:30 AM - 8:00 AM
Breakfast & Registration
Wed 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Welcoming Remarks & Introduction
Welcome participants, introduce CDFA and set the stage for the course.
Wed 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Introduction to Rural Development Finance
The Intro Rural Finance Course focuses on the development finance challenges and opportunities in rural communities. The opening session of the course will outline the variety of financing programs available and consider the types of financing risks facing rural communities and the solutions to employ.
Wed 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Financing Sources from the U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Rural Development offers 40+ financing programs to support rural-based businesses and communities. They manage a $210 billion portfolio of loans, and administer approximately $38 billion in loans, loan guarantees and grants through its various programs. During this session, learn about the types of financing programs available, including those for economic development and infrastructure, and how to access those programs in your community.
Wed 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Wed 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Financing Solutions for Rural-Based Business
This session will examine the development finance programs that drive business development and sustain economic development on a broader scale in rural areas. Topics covered include identifying appropriate financing programs for the businesses in your community, developing partnerships with banks and other capital access providers, and understanding the capital needs of rural-based businesses.
Wed 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Lunch Session: Financing Solutions for Rural Food & Agricultural Systems
This session will examine the development finance programs that sustain a local food system and how rural communities can make investments in that system can drive economic development. Topics covered include federal, state, and local sources of capital, stakeholders involved in the financing process, and understanding the financing challenges associated with growing, processing, distributing, marketing, and selling food.
Wed 1:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Wed 1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
Financing Solutions for Rural Downtown Development
Many rural communities are engaged in revitalization efforts to restore their downtowns and mainstreets. This session will explain the various tools and programs available to revitalize and redevelop rural downtowns, including tax increment financing, special assessment, tax credits, EB-5, and others. Topics covered include building relationships with developers, building community buy-in to support redevelopment, and attracting private capital to support real estate development.
Wed 3:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Wed 3:15 PM - 4:30 PM
Financing Solutions for Sustainable Rural Infrastructure
This session of the course will look at the variety of financing programs and resources available to build strong rural communities through investments in energy, transportation, water, and broadband infrastructure. Topics include public-private partnerships, targeted financing strategies, and navigating legal and regulatory requirements. This session will have a special focus on the capacity needs of rural communities and how to structure the financing for these large-scale investments.
Wed 4:30 PM


This course is currently not scheduled for this year. Please check back frequently for more information about when this course will be held in the future.


The Intro Rural Finance Course qualifies for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.
Early Bird Rates
CDFA Member: $550
Non-Member: $825
Standard Rates
CDFA Member: $600
Non-Member: $875