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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

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.
Succession Opportunities in Local Food SystemsMembers only Login
Joe Bute, with Hollymead Capital and PittBusiness discuss the importance of recognizing the challenges of the "critical middle" in the regional food system and facing the challenges of ownership change.
View More Agriculture Finance

-Resources

View all Agriculture Finance Resources

-Agriculture Finance

COVID-19 Stimulus Phase 3 Supplemental Appropriations Summary
This is a Summary of the Supplemental Appropriations included in the Senate's third COVID-19 Stimulus package, the CARES Act. More than 80% of the total $339.855 billion provided in the emergency supplemental appropriations goes to state and local governments and communities.
COVID-19: Comprehensive Recovery Strategy
Based on the input of our 500+ members, CDFA has developed a set of policy proposals that would allow state and local governments, through development finance agencies, to be immediate problem solvers that can help alleviate the extreme economic challenges facing small businesses and communities to put America securely on the path to recovery.
Economic Recovery and Business Dynamism in Rural AmericaMembers only Login
While the discourse on rural America following the Great Recession has revolved around the resulting lack of jobs and loss of services, the lack of startups and entrepreneurial activity in these communities should not be ignored. Firm growth is a crucial part of economic development, and business creation has been critical in the aftermath of previous recessions. But policies geared toward encouraging startups have not been effective in rural areas, leading to a growing regional divide.
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.
Food & Social Equity: Detroit’s Approach to Financing the Food System
Localized food systems are being developed in communities across the country in order to strengthen local economies, increase entrepreneurship, address social issues, and lessen environmental impacts. At the same time, many places are expanding access to capital and financing programs for those with historically limited access - including people of color, women, immigrants, and low-income populations. During this webinar, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we will hear from speakers working in Detroit, Michigan to correct this inequity through the support and financing of food-related businesses and projects.
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

COVID-19 Stimulus Phase 3 Supplemental Appropriations Summary
This is a Summary of the Supplemental Appropriations included in the Senate's third COVID-19 Stimulus package, the CARES Act. More than 80% of the total $339.855 billion provided in the emergency supplemental appropriations goes to state and local governments and communities.
COVID-19: Comprehensive Recovery Strategy
Based on the input of our 500+ members, CDFA has developed a set of policy proposals that would allow state and local governments, through development finance agencies, to be immediate problem solvers that can help alleviate the extreme economic challenges facing small businesses and communities to put America securely on the path to recovery.
Economic Recovery and Business Dynamism in Rural AmericaMembers only Login
While the discourse on rural America following the Great Recession has revolved around the resulting lack of jobs and loss of services, the lack of startups and entrepreneurial activity in these communities should not be ignored. Firm growth is a crucial part of economic development, and business creation has been critical in the aftermath of previous recessions. But policies geared toward encouraging startups have not been effective in rural areas, leading to a growing regional divide.
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.
Strategies for Successful Funding through USDA's ReConnect ProgramMembers only Login
During this webinar, experts from across the country discussed creative solutions for responding to the second round of funding for the ReConnect Program, and attendees learned from the successes of the program thus far.
View more Rural Development Resources

-U.S. Department of Agriculture

COVID-19 Stimulus Phase 3 Supplemental Appropriations Summary
This is a Summary of the Supplemental Appropriations included in the Senate's third COVID-19 Stimulus package, the CARES Act. More than 80% of the total $339.855 billion provided in the emergency supplemental appropriations goes to state and local governments and communities.
COVID-19: Comprehensive Recovery Strategy
Based on the input of our 500+ members, CDFA has developed a set of policy proposals that would allow state and local governments, through development finance agencies, to be immediate problem solvers that can help alleviate the extreme economic challenges facing small businesses and communities to put America securely on the path to recovery.
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.
ReConnect Program Fact Sheet, February 2020Members only Login
The Broadband ReConnect Program furnishes loans and grants to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. This fact sheet was updated on February 12, 2020 to reflect changes with the second round of funding for the ReConnect Program.
Strategies for Successful Funding through USDA's ReConnect ProgramMembers only Login
During this webinar, experts from across the country discussed creative solutions for responding to the second round of funding for the ReConnect Program, and attendees learned from the successes of the program thus far.
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.

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.
Succession Opportunities in Local Food SystemsMembers only Login
Joe Bute, with Hollymead Capital and PittBusiness discuss the importance of recognizing the challenges of the "critical middle" in the regional food system and facing the challenges of ownership change.
View More Case Studies

-Headlines

-Training Courses

The Intro Rural Finance Training 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.

The Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance Course is the foundation for all of CDFA’s educational offerings. This course will help you understand the variety of development finance tools available, from bonds, tax credits and TIF, to federal financing programs, RLFs, and access to capital lending resources.

View more Training Courses

-Upcoming Events

CDFA Federal Policy Conference (cancelled)
April 14-15, 2020
Washington, DC
The federal government plays a critical role in driving private and public investment in innovation, job creation, infrastructure, and community development. With the 2020 presidential election quickly approaching, development finance will be a key policy issue across the nation. The 116th Congress will also play a major role in shaping our country’s economic development policy going forward. It's up to the development finance community to focus the national discussion on smart federal policy, and CDFA is the voice of the economic development finance community on Capitol Hill. For these reasons, CDFA will host its CDFA Federal Policy Conference on April 14-15 in Washington DC.
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Disaster Recovery for the Food System
Thursday, April 16, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
During the first installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will explore creative financing efforts being launched to support our local food economies during this time of unprecedented crisis.
Register
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: The Landscape of Food Systems Finance
Thursday, May 28, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
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.
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 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
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

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 // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Opportunities and Advancements in Water FinanceMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, learn from expert speakers Jordan Dorfman from the EPA, Tyler Old from PFM, John DeLuca from CoBank, and Jong Sook Nee from McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC as they discuss developments in the water finance space and how different financing mechanisms like bonds, RLFs, P3s, and other tools are being used to address today’s water infrastructure projects.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: 501(c)3 Nonprofit Financing – Healthcare, Education, Tribal & Community Facilities in the CrosshairsMembers only Login
This month's CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast , our expert speakers unlock financing for 501(c)3s to demonstrate the variety and depth of financial tools available to drive development in your community.
Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit Webinar - Rural Development Staff
The Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit can be used as a guide to help organizations and community leaders better understand the complex process that is required to successfully develop and construct a new facility. This webinar is designed to train Rural Development staff how to effectively use the toolkit by discussing the major capacity, credit, and logistical challenges that particularly confront America’s small towns and rural areas. The webinar will focus on sections within the Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit, which include concept development, planning, designing, environmental compliance, finance, and construction.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Connecting CRA to Development Finance ProjectsMembers only Login
The role of CRA in forwarding development finance initiatives is explored in this BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast by speakers Sharon Canavan and David Black of the Office of Comptroller Currency, Laura Choi of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Rena Nakashima of BNY Mellon.

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
  • Petros PACE Finance
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Wilmington Trust
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
Become a Sponsor