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Agriculture Finance Resource Center

Agriculture finance is one of the most important components of state and local development finance efforts. Agriculture remains one of the country’s most important and productive industries and is the primary economic engine for most rural communities. From beginning and established farmers to agriculture production and processing, the needs of the agriculture industry are vast. Resources are also very limited and the barriers to capital for agriculture are daunting. Dozens of states offer financing resources such as loan funds, grants and aggie bonds to assist with the agriculture industry. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides vast resources to rural communities to support agricultural development.

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-Understanding Agriculture Finance

COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide
USDA and its Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This resource matrix organizes funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America.
California Rural Infrastructure Finance Guidebook
CALED knows from its work supporting economic development throughout California that infrastructure financing is a challenge for many rural communities. CALED collaborated with CDFA to develop this guidebook to meet the need for a resource to help build capacity in those areas, as well as move economic development projects forward.
Tax-Exempt Bond Financing for Beginning and Low-Equity Farmers: The Case of Aggie BondsMembers only Login
Established in the 1980s, the ‘‘Aggie Bond’’ program provides beginning and low-equity farmers with access to capital. The bonds, which pay tax-exempt interest, may be used by qualifying famers for purchases of farm real estate and equipment. The authors use 25 years of data to examine whether the Aggie Bond program has had an impact on farm entrance, land ownership, and the size of operation.
Maximizing Rural Opportunities for Businesses and Communities in WisconsinMembers only Login
Urban communities like Milwaukee and Madison are not the only places looking for help to fund economic development. Wisconsin is filled with rural communities and small towns who are also in need of financing strategies. These areas face unique development financing challenges and needs such as downtown revitalization and talent and business development. Barb LaMue with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation explores the cutting-edge strategies driving development in the state, and how to access them.
Financing the Local Food System in WashingtonMembers only Login
Mike Lufkin and Bea Covington discuss the local food systems in WA and how it's become a growing challenge. Mike and Bea discuss changes to the way food is reaching consumers and addressing social issues.
View More Agriculture Finance

-Resources

View all Agriculture Finance Resources

-Agriculture Finance

Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on Food and Agricultural Markets
COVID-19 disrupted nations around the world in 2019 and 2020. It continues to cause death and economic damage in many countries. The changes in lifestyle and measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have significantly altered economic activity, employment, food consumption, and workplace environments.
City of Columbus & Franklin County, Ohio Local Food Action Plan
The Columbus & Franklin County Local Food Action Plan provides a framework of common goals and actions that serve to unify residents, schools, community organizations, businesses, and local government in supporting a healthy, strong, and resilient local food system. The plan’s goals and actions represent those with the greatest potential for a positive impact on the food-related issues facing our community.
Organic Opportunities: Investing in the Expansion of Organic Food and Agriculture in Northeastern North CarolinaMembers only Login
The Organic Agriculture Revitalization Strategy (OARS) builds upon the basic insight of this emerging research – that certified organic agriculture can provide not only environmental benefits but also socio-economic benefits, revitalizing rural landscapes and communities and building community health and wealth together.
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: The Landscape of Food Systems Finance
For the second installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will present key initiatives and programs being used to finance local food systems, and how CDFA is continuing to prove the food system as an asset class.
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: The Landscape of Food Systems Finance
Over the past several years, CDFA has been researching the ways traditional development finance tools can be used to support food-related businesses and projects, leveraging further investment to catalyze local and regional food systems. For the second installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will present key initiatives and programs being used to finance local food systems, and how CDFA is continuing to prove the food system as an asset class.
View more Agriculture Finance Resources

-Aggie Bonds

CDFA Annual Volume Cap Report: An Analysis of 2018 Private Activity Bond & Volume Cap Trends
This annual CDFA report reviews the 2018 use of private activity bond volume cap and the issuance of cap-subject private activity bonds in every state.
Tax-Exempt Bond Financing for Beginning and Low-Equity Farmers: The Case of Aggie BondsMembers only Login
Established in the 1980s, the ‘‘Aggie Bond’’ program provides beginning and low-equity farmers with access to capital. The bonds, which pay tax-exempt interest, may be used by qualifying famers for purchases of farm real estate and equipment. The authors use 25 years of data to examine whether the Aggie Bond program has had an impact on farm entrance, land ownership, and the size of operation.
CDFA Food Finance White Paper Series: Food Systems & Bonds
Researched and written by CDFA, this is the third white paper in a series examining the potential creation of a food systems asset class that supports the market growth of local and regional food systems. This paper focuses specifically on bond financing, which CDFA considers a ‘bedrock tool’ for the historic and foundational role bonds have played in public financing.
CDFA Annual Volume Cap Report: An Analysis of 2017 Private Activity Bond & Volume Cap Trends
This annual CDFA report reviews the 2017 use of private activity bond volume cap and the issuance of cap-subject private activity bonds in every state.
CDFA Annual Volume Cap Report: An Analysis of 2016 Private Activity Bond & Volume Cap Trends
This annual CDFA report reviews the 2016 use of private activity bond volume cap and the issuance of cap-subject private activity bonds in every state.
View more Aggie Bonds Resources

-Rural Development

American Broadband Initiative - Progress Report June 2020
On February 13, 2019, the American Broadband Initiative was launched with the release of the Milestones Report, detailing the Administration’s strategy to drive changes across Federal Agencies to identify and remove barriers to broadband access and leverage public assets and resources. This progress report is intended to provide an update on its work to date.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Financing Rural HealthcareMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, we explored financing programs that support healthcare development and showcase successful projects that have increased access to healthcare for rural communities.
CDFA - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: Building the Road to Recovery
During the third installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we discussed the development finance tools that can support rural economies as they rebuild to be stronger than ever.
CDFA - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: Tools, Programs, and Opportunities Within Rural America
During the second installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we continued to explore what responses and resources are available to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on rural America.
CDFA - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: COVID-19 Response Resources for Local Leaders
During the first installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we explored the immediate response and resources at the state, local, and national levels that local leaders can use to reduce the impact of this crisis.
View more Rural Development Resources

-U.S. Department of Agriculture

American Broadband Initiative - Progress Report June 2020
On February 13, 2019, the American Broadband Initiative was launched with the release of the Milestones Report, detailing the Administration’s strategy to drive changes across Federal Agencies to identify and remove barriers to broadband access and leverage public assets and resources. This progress report is intended to provide an update on its work to date.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Financing Rural HealthcareMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, we explored financing programs that support healthcare development and showcase successful projects that have increased access to healthcare for rural communities.
CDFA - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: Tools, Programs, and Opportunities Within Rural America
During the second installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we continued to explore what responses and resources are available to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on rural America.
CDFA - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: COVID-19 Response Resources for Local Leaders
During the first installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we explored the immediate response and resources at the state, local, and national levels that local leaders can use to reduce the impact of this crisis.
COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide
USDA and its Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This resource matrix organizes funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America.
View more USDA Resources

-Programs Map

Search the map below for agriculture finance programs by state. This specialized search is part of CDFA's State Financing Program Directory, the only online resource cataloging the development finance programs offered by state governments. Click on a state to see a sample of state energy programs available. Login with a CDFA Member account at the top of the page to view full results.

-Case Studies

Agricultural financing tools are essential to American rural development and sustainability. CDFA has collected dozens of case study examples.

COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide
USDA and its Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This resource matrix organizes funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America.
California Rural Infrastructure Finance Guidebook
CALED knows from its work supporting economic development throughout California that infrastructure financing is a challenge for many rural communities. CALED collaborated with CDFA to develop this guidebook to meet the need for a resource to help build capacity in those areas, as well as move economic development projects forward.
Tax-Exempt Bond Financing for Beginning and Low-Equity Farmers: The Case of Aggie BondsMembers only Login
Established in the 1980s, the ‘‘Aggie Bond’’ program provides beginning and low-equity farmers with access to capital. The bonds, which pay tax-exempt interest, may be used by qualifying famers for purchases of farm real estate and equipment. The authors use 25 years of data to examine whether the Aggie Bond program has had an impact on farm entrance, land ownership, and the size of operation.
Maximizing Rural Opportunities for Businesses and Communities in WisconsinMembers only Login
Urban communities like Milwaukee and Madison are not the only places looking for help to fund economic development. Wisconsin is filled with rural communities and small towns who are also in need of financing strategies. These areas face unique development financing challenges and needs such as downtown revitalization and talent and business development. Barb LaMue with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation explores the cutting-edge strategies driving development in the state, and how to access them.
Financing the Local Food System in WashingtonMembers only Login
Mike Lufkin and Bea Covington discuss the local food systems in WA and how it's become a growing challenge. Mike and Bea discuss changes to the way food is reaching consumers and addressing social issues.
View More Case Studies

-Headlines

-Training Courses

CDFA Virtual Summer School
August 3-13, 2020
Daily: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM Eastern
CDFA Virtual Summer School is a two-week-long series of courses presented by the CDFA Training Institute. These courses qualify for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Participants may register for up to four courses during CDFA Virtual Summer School. Complete three courses, and you will have fulfilled half of the requirements for the DFCP Program.
Register
Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse
December 9-10, 2020
12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse examines the development finance programs that sustain a local food system and how investments in that system can drive economic development on a broader scale. Topics covered include federal, state, and local sources of capital, stakeholders involved in the financing process, and case study examples that showcase the variety of financing programs.
Register
View All Courses

-Upcoming Events

CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Federal Recovery Resources from the EPA
July 17, 2020
1:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern
This webinar will focus on COVID-19 recovery assistance through the EPA by highlighting best practices, case studies, and mitigation tools that will allow your community to be more resilient in the face of natural disasters.
Register
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Neighborhood Revitalization Through Food Systems Finance
Thursday, July 30, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
This installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series will illustrate the many positive impacts that result from financing food systems at a neighborhood scale, with speakers to showcase the versatility of projects and financing approaches.
Register
CDFA Virtual Summer School
August 3-13, 2020
Daily: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM Eastern
CDFA Virtual Summer School is a two-week-long series of courses presented by the CDFA Training Institute. These courses qualify for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Participants may register for up to four courses during CDFA Virtual Summer School. Complete three courses, and you will have fulfilled half of the requirements for the DFCP Program.
Register
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Financing Food Systems Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, development finance professionals from around the country will describe their strategies for supporting local entrepreneurs in moving their business from idea to execution.
Register
Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse
December 9-10, 2020
12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse examines the development finance programs that sustain a local food system and how investments in that system can drive economic development on a broader scale. Topics covered include federal, state, and local sources of capital, stakeholders involved in the financing process, and case study examples that showcase the variety of financing programs.
Register
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

CDFA - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: Building the Road to Recovery
During the third installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we discussed the development finance tools that can support rural economies as they rebuild to be stronger than ever.
CDFA - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: Tools, Programs, and Opportunities Within Rural America
During the second installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we continued to explore what responses and resources are available to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on rural America.
CDFA - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: COVID-19 Response Resources for Local Leaders
During the first installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we explored the immediate response and resources at the state, local, and national levels that local leaders can use to reduce the impact of this crisis.
COVID-19 Weekly Briefing - Federal, State, and Local Responses to COVID-19
On the March 27, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, we discussed how Development Finance Agencies have initially responded to COVID-19, examined Congressional legislation, analyzed how federal agencies are reacting, and looked at a few exemplary state and local financing programs.
ReConnecting Rural Broadband - Strategies for Funding SuccessMembers only Login
During this webinar, Lindsay Miller, Attorney with Ice Miller LLP, Heather Morgan, Executive Director of Project 17, Ryeon Corsi, Management and Program Analyst at USDA-RD, and Jeff Reiman, Vice President of The Broadband Group discussed creative solutions for financing rural broadband infrastructure and the USDA's ReConnect Grant and Loan Program.

CDFA National Sponsors

  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Frost Brown Todd, LLC
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • MuniCap, Inc.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
Become a Sponsor