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Food and Agriculture Finance Update - August 8, 2017

CDFA Food and Agriculture Finance Update
August 8, 2017
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NCOSAFP & CDFA Food & Agriculture Finance Update


The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities
This new publication, entitled "Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities", from the Federal Reserve is designed to highlight the prospects available in the regional food systems sector, advance efforts to provide meaningful earnings and job opportunities for LMI households and communities, and illustrate the vital partnerships needed to deploy the necessary knowledge and capital to support the sector's continued growth.

Harvest Returns Launches Agriculture Investment Platform in TX
Harvest Returns, a financial technology company founded in 2016, will launch its agriculture investment platform this month. In the platform's equity partnership format, agriculture producers and landowners are able to collect capital and maintain control over their operations, while investors passively fund them and collect returns from harvests. Agriculture producers receive their funding after the full amount of their deal is raised; most deals range between $500,000 to a few million dollars.

VA Cooperative Extension Educating Farmers on Using Solar Power
As solar energy becomes more widespread and less expensive, farmers are tapping into the technology to not only bring energy costs down but bring energy to areas where it didn't previously exist. On a statewide level, Virginia Farm Bureau policy, as outlined in the organization's policy book, encourages "the continuing development of alternative, cost-effective energy supplies" and supports "incentives for farmers to install and use more alternative energy systems for farm use."

MD Incentives Lead to United Foods Opening Belcamp Plant
The Japanese maker of Asian sauces and spices, United Foods International, chose Harford County, Maryland, for its plant, which is now officially opened, to serve East Coast customers better than it can from its California plant. The company was drawn to Maryland in part by a memorandum of cooperation Gov. Larry Hogan signed last summer between Maryland and Japan.

SMADC Announces New Programs for Farmers Including RLF
SMADC and MARBIDCO have established the Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund to assist Southern Maryland farmers with smaller agricultural projects that may not typically be financed by a commercial lender. Loan amounts range from $10,000 to $20,000, targeted to three specific areas: livestock, small fruits, and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and food safety upgrades.

KY Farm Bureau Donates $1M to UK's Grain and Forage Center
In continuing its long-standing support of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment's Research and Education Center at Princeton, the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation's (KFBF) Board of Directors voted, during its last meeting, to donate a total of $1 million to initiatives at the facility's new Grain and Forage Center of Excellence.

NC RTP Landlord Creating Unique Campus for Ag-Tech R&D
Already a major landlord in the Research Triangle Park, California-based Alexandria Real Estate Equities is developing a unique multi-tenant research and development campus in the Research Triangle Park to drive North Carolina's global leadership in agricultural biotechnology. There are already two tenants, including AgTech Accelerator Corp. which funds new ag tech companies.

Ruiz Foods Expanding Operations in SC
Ruiz Foods is bringing in 705 new jobs to the Florence County, South Carolina, facility. The company is making a $79 million investment and doubling its current capacity and manufacturing.

Grant Supports SW PA Food Hub
The Fayette County Community Action Agency and Republic Food Enterprise Center have been approved for a $1.75 million grant through the Appalachian Regional Commission's Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization initiative to develop a local food shed in southwestern Pennsylvania. The initiative will bridge the gap between farm and table, creating agriculture products and jobs for communities impacted by the decline of the coal industry.

MN Ag Land Tax Credit Coming in 2018
New facilities and major repairs in Minnesota cost quite a bit, and most districts obtain funding for these projects through school bonds. But in a largely ag-based economy, that means Minnesota farmers end up doing a lot of heavy lifting. However, there appears to be relief on the horizon. A new tax credit, dubbed the Ag2school tax credit, has been passed by the Minnesota Legislature.

Pilot 4-H Program Focuses on Healthy Living in LA
UnitedHealthcare announced that it plans to invest an additional $1 million to extend its partnership with the National 4-H Council to deliver food budgeting and nutrition education to children and families. The expansion of a 4-H program focused on physical and mental health will be piloted in Cleveland County, LA.

Upcoming Events
NCOSAFP Annual Conference 2017
CDFA National Development Finance Summit

The National Council of State Agricultural Finance Programs provides national representation for states that operate finance programs for farmers, ranchers, and the agricultural industry. Organized in 1984, the NCOSAFP is a non-profit organization that provides a forum for sharing ideas and serves as an information clearinghouse for its member state agencies. The Council provides information about state programs on farm finance issues and legislation developing in Washington, D.C. In addition, the Council is involved in the promotion and support of rural economic development programs. For more information about NCOSAFP, visit www.stateagfinance.org.

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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