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CDFA Food and Agriculture Finance Update - October 12, 2021

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CDFA Food and Agriculture Finance Update
October 12, 2021
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CDFA Food & Agriculture Finance Update

Features

Restoring Local Economies, Preserving Small Business, and More at the CDFA Virtual National Summit
The past two years have challenged our nation like no other time in our history. From the COVID-19 pandemic, elections, and economic distress to the social, racial, and equity challenges facing many communities, our nation is looking for answers. The CDFA Virtual National Summit will take on these challenges and explore ways development finance can once again rise to the occasion.

USDA to Launch Loan Guarantee Initiative to Strengthen America's Food Supply Chain
As part of the Administration's efforts to address food systems challenges arising from the pandemic as well as those going back decades, USDA announced plans for another $100 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. The funding would leverage hundreds of millions more in lending through community and private sector lenders to expand meat and poultry processing capacity and finance other food supply chain infrastructure.

Healthy Food Financing Initiative Announces $4M Available in Funding
Reinvestment Fund is inviting applications for grant awards and technical assistance through the 2021 round of the America's Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants Program. The 2021 HFFI round is offering at least $4 million in grant funds for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, create and preserve quality jobs, and revitalize low-income communities.

Portland Regenerative Farming Lender Raises $8.8M from Investors
Steward, a nonbank private lender, has raised $8.8 million in a Series A to expand its work lending to small, sustainably run farms, fisheries, ranches, and food producers. Steward is an online lending platform that allows users to participate in secured, interest-bearing loans that are made to farmers and producers working in regenerative agriculture, which is farming practices, land stewardship, and food systems that are small-scale and sustainable.

USDA Announces $3B Investment in Agriculture, Animal Health, and Nutrition; Unveils New Climate Partnership Initiative
USDA announced a comprehensive set of investments to address challenges facing America's agricultural producers. These include assistance to address challenges and costs associated with drought, animal health, market disruptions for agricultural commodities, and school food supply chain issues. Secretary Vilsack also outlined and requested public comments on a new climate partnership initiative designed to create new revenue streams for producers via market opportunities.

Climate Mitigation is Actually Agricultural Market Development, Says Vilsack
The USDA will put a "significant" amount of money into large-scale pilot projects of climate-smart agricultural practices to create new markets for sustainably produced products, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Partnership Initiative would provide incentives for the adoption of climate-smart practices on working land and would quantify and monitor the carbon and greenhouse gas benefits resulting from those practices.

Higher Loan Limit Now Available for USDA Guaranteed Farm Loans
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing a higher loan limit will be available for borrowers seeking a guaranteed farm loan starting Oct. 1, 2021, from $1.776 million to $1.825 million. In addition, FSA will permit a second Disaster Set-Aside for COVID-19 and a second DSA for natural disasters for those who had an initial COVID-19 DSA. Requests for a COVID-19 DSA or a second DSA must be received no later than May 1, 2022.

Good Food Markets Open Location in Prince George's County, MD
Officials in Prince George's County have welcomed Good Food Markets, a new grocery store aimed at improving food access and community health by providing fresh healthy food in underserved communities. The new store was funded through grants, a Healthy Food Financing Initiative loan from the Low-Income Investment Fund, and an Economic Development Incentive Fund loan from the PGC-Economic Development Corporation.

Upcoming Events
CDFA Virtual National Summit

Intro Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Finance WebCourse
December 8-9, 2021 - Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Finance WebCourse will explore the process of creating, operating, and maintaining a community-based PACE program. This two-day course will feature a comprehensive overview of PACE including program design, capital markets analysis, investor attraction, legal and regulatory considerations, market potential, and operations.

CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Preserving Local Food Systems with Federal Financing
Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series, hear from experts at the USDA about their various programs available for rural food systems and agricultural producers to recover from the pandemic.

Food & Agriculture Finance News

Mills Administration Announces First Call for Proposals Since 2017 for Land for Maine's Future Program
The Piscataquis Observer | Oct. 11 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Energy Finance | Water Finance

USDA Commitments to Equity in Agriculture Include Nearly $25M for Programs Reaching Underserved Communities
USDA | Oct. 7 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Food Systems Finance | Social Finance | U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

FARM Act Introduced to Combat Foreign Interference in Agriculture
The Pampa News | Oct. 7 | Agriculture Finance | Economic Development | Food Systems Finance | Legislative

Texas Department of Agriculture Endorses AgriTech Project in Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund
EIN Presswire | Oct. 6 | Agriculture Finance | Opportunity Zones

New Coalition Aims to Support Black Farmers Throughout Washtenaw County, MI
Second Wave Media | Oct. 4 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Foundations | Innovation Finance | Social Finance

St. Cloud, MN Uses TIF Funding for a Grocery Warehouse
KNSI Radio | Sep. 28 | Economic Development | Food Systems Finance | Tax Increment Finance (TIF)

Local Food Business Doubles Down After Tough Pandemic Year
NNY 360 | Sep. 27 | Access to Capital | Food Systems Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs)

Critics Say It's Time to Stop Using the Term ‘Food Deserts'
Governing | Sep. 26 | Access to Capital | Food Systems Finance | Public-Private Partnership (P3) Financing | U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

Minnesota Governor Proposes $10M Drought Aid Plan for Farmers
MinnPost | Sep. 24 | Agriculture Finance | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Resiliency | Rural Development | State Finance Program

Vermont Farm Fund Launches New Producer Loans
VermontBiz | Sep. 24 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Food Systems Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development

New Funding Program Available for California's Smallest Businesses
Escalon Times | Sep. 23 | Access to Capital | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Food Systems Finance | Public-Private Partnership (P3) Financing | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | State Finance Program | COVID-19

New USDA Program Would Provide Loans for Precision Agriculture Technology
U.S. Senator Deb Fischer | Sep. 20 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Federal | Legislative | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

Agriculture Sector Received $35.1B in Federal COVID Aid
Arkansas Business | Sep. 20 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Federal | U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) | COVID-19

Developers of Color Still Swimming Against the Current in Commercial Real Estate
Next City | Sep. 17 | Access to Capital | Food Systems Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs)

Port Covington Celebrates Construction of New Market in South Baltimore, MD
The Baltimore Sun | Sep. 17 | Bond Finance | Economic Development | Food Systems Finance | Redevelopment | Tax Increment Finance (TIF)

Government Investment in Farmer-Led Catchment Groups Passes 150 Mark
Rural News | Sep. 15 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Rural Development

New Fund to Support Black Farmers in Washtenaw County and Beyond
CLICKONDETROIT | Sep. 14 | Agriculture Finance | Community Development | Crowdfunding | Rural Development


CDFA Resources

Participatory State and Regional Food System Plans and Charters in the U.S.
Agriculture Finance | Community Development | Food Systems Finance
Completed in August of 2021, this report offers a snapshot of national trends, and a directory of food systems plans and charters that exist at state and regional levels across the United States (see the directory at the end of this document). It is intended to serve as a resource to facilitate network building and co-learning among practitioners leading these efforts and groups interested in launching their own plans and charters.

How Innovative CDFIs Fund Equitable Food Oriented Development
Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Community Development | Economic Development | Food Systems Finance | Foundations | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Social Finance | Tribal Finance
This report describes how three CDFIs drive economic growth in low-income and historically marginalized communities through a model defined by the EFOD Collaborative as Equitable Food Oriented Development (EFOD). EFOD is a development approach that supports locally owned food-based economies. The report details systemic financial barriers that business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs face in marginalized communities.


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
info@cdfa.net

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CDFA National Sponsors

  • Baker Tilly
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Brownfield Superfund Advisory, Inc
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • gener8tor
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • MuniCap, Inc.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • PGAV Planners, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
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