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CDFA Food and Agriculture Finance Update - November 12, 2019

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CDFA Food and Agriculture Finance Update
November 12, 2019
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CDFA Food & Agriculture Finance Update


CDFA Releases White Paper 5: Food Systems & Investment Tools
CDFrecently released the fifth white paper in the CDFA Food Finance White Paper Series. This paper, Food Systems & Investment Tools, focuses on finance tools that help to stimulate investment, such as tax credits and opportunity zones. An overview of this category of tools is provided, with examples of current programs as well as an extensive collection of case studies to illustrate how these tools can make an impact.

Lavender Farm Opens and Partnered with Harvest Returns' OZ Fund
Under the Stars Farm, a lavender farm specializing in you-pick agritourism and events, recently opened in Gloucester, VA. The farm also just announced that it has partnered with Harvest Returns' Sustainable Agriculture Opportunity Zone Fund for an equity capital raise. The funds raised will help the Under the Stars Farm team expand lavender production to approximately seven to eight million lavender stems per year by 2021.

Farm Country Feeds America. But Just Try Buying Groceries There.
The challenges of starting a small grocery store in rural America at a time of increasing consolidation in the food business are daunting. A few states offer tax credits and loans to help stores finance construction projects and move to underserved places. In March, a bipartisan cluster of lawmakers in Washington proposed a new tax credit for grocery stores in food deserts.

Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union, First to Focus on Agriculture, Opens
Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union, the first in the nation to focus solely on agriculture, opened for business on October 8th. Maine farmers and food producers report a $180 million gap in access to financing for land and equipment, and it's one of their biggest obstacles to growth. Maine Harvest expects to loan $12 million to 100 farmers and food producers in its first six years, financed by 1,000 members.

Starbucks Investing $10M to Boost Small Business Lenders in Chicago, IL
Starbucks announced that it will pour $10 million in local community development lenders to spur economic development in Chicago's underserved neighborhoods. The investment will be split between four community lenders: Accion Chicago, Chicago Community Loan Fund, Local Initiative Support Corporation and IFF. The $10 million is expected to finance over 500 loans.

How States Are Helping Farmers Adopt Sustainable Practices
At a time when federal funding for conservation and soil health is static at best, and efforts to increase it resulted in several battles during the passage of the last farm bill, this state-level interest is no coincidence. And the momentum suggests that while some farmers and ranchers have signed on to support a Green New Deal, action on agriculture and climate may have a better chance of picking up steam within state governments. A handful of states have recently passed soil health bills that incentivize carbon farming practices, for example.

New Seasons Market in OR Launches Microloan Program
Portland, Oregon-based New Seasons Market has launched a microloan program called the New Seasons Partner Fund. The fund will offer low-interest loans and business mentorship to underrepresented food entrepreneurs who historically struggle to get capital. New Seasons will allow independent food producers who have been in business for at least two years and have fewer than 25 employees to apply, with loans starting at $5,000 to $25,000.

Upcoming Events
Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse

CDFA-Bricker PACE Webinar Series: New Construction PACE
November 18, 2019 - 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Eastern
In this webinar, the discussion will focus on the use of PACE financing as a tool in new construction projects. Learn from industry leaders and finance experts about how C-PACE can be a tool for new commercial development. PACE as a new form of capital provides unique alternatives to close financing gaps and to replace developer equity in projects under development.

CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Unlocking Capital for Native American Communities
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 1:00 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series, we will discuss financing tools for Native American-owned businesses to assist in strengthening tribal nation's local economies.

Food & Agriculture Finance News

Farmers in Crisis Turn to High-Interest Loans as Banks Pull Back
The Wall Street Journal | Nov. 10 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Food Systems Finance

US Senators Announce $400K in Rural Business Development
Augusta Free Press | Nov. 8 | Federal | Food Systems Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs)

Price Incentives Boost SNAP Produce Purchases
Politico | Nov. 7 | Food Systems Finance | U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

Acres of Obstacles for Young Farmers to Get Loans for Land
Star Tribune | Nov. 4 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Food Systems Finance | Tax Credits

Opportunity Zones—Reaping the Rewards of Raw Land Investments
Bloomberg Tax | Nov. 4 | Agriculture Finance | Opportunity Zones

Working to Make Santa Fe, NM a Food Hub
Albuquerque Journal | Nov. 3 | Access to Capital | Bond Finance | Food Systems Finance | Public-Private Partnership (P3) Financing

New Tax Credit for Ag Land Might Help Rural MN School Funding
Brainerd Dispatch | Nov. 1 | Agriculture Finance | Community Development | Legislative | Tax Credits

Farm Bankruptcies Rise Again
Farm Bureau | Oct. 30 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Food Systems Finance

Birmingham, AL Committee Approves $865K in Incentives for Grocery
Biz Journals | Oct. 29 | Community Development | Food Systems Finance | Incentives

$36M Expansion of Food Manufacturer Gets OH Tax Credit
Journal-News | Oct. 29 | Economic Development | Food Systems Finance | State Finance Program | Tax Credits

The U.S. Food Supply Chain Mapped
Fast Company | Oct. 28 | Food Systems Finance

Farm Storage Facility Loan Program Available to Producers
The Columbus Dispatch | Oct. 26 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Food Systems Finance | Infrastructure Finance | U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

How a Farm Lender Left a Trail of Defaults, Lawsuits
Reuters | Oct. 23 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Food Systems Finance

The Present and Future of Food Tech Investment Opportunity
Tech Crunch | Oct. 22 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Food Systems Finance | Green Finance

Looking for an Oasis in the Food Deserts of Baton Rouge, LA
Business Report | Oct. 21 | Access to Capital | Community Development | Food Systems Finance | Tax Credits

Getting a Food Truck in Gear
Crain's Cleveland Business | Oct. 20 | Access to Capital | Food Systems Finance | U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

New Leaf Community Markets in CA Introduces the Partner Fund Microloan
Patch | Oct. 15 | Access to Capital | Food Systems Finance

KY Dairy Parlor Reconstruction and Farmland Loans Approved
The Lane Report | Oct. 14 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Food Systems Finance

New Resources

Equitable Food-Oriented Development
Access to Capital | Community Development | Food Systems Finance | Incentives | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs)
Equitable Food Oriented Development (EFOD) is a framework, and growing movement, to reap the powerful benefits of food projects and enterprises as vehicles for community development and health, while investing deeply in the self-determination and leadership of community residents.

The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) is a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation's leading and most knowledgeable members of the development finance community representing public, private and non-profit entities alike. For more information, visit www.CDFA.net or email info@cdfa.net.

Council of Development Finance Agencies
100 E. Broad Street, Suite 1200
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 705-1300


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