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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

CDFA Reframe, Build, Plan: Restoring America's Local Food Systems
CDFA released the final publication of the CDFA Food Finance White Paper Series, Advancing Local Food Systems Through Development Finance. This webinar provides an overview of this publication as we review CDFA's framework for expanding traditional financing and attracting capital to local food systems through the Reframe, Build, Plan approach.
A Vision for Native Food and Agriculture Infrastructure Rebuilding and Recovery Members only Login
An investment in food infrastructure will ensure that Native producers have access to reliable markets and the wraparound support services that are so critical to robust food systems. By approaching infrastructure from a new model and linking infrastructure investments to the food access needs of Native communities, a more resilient food system can be built over time. Local and regional economies will recover while also ensuring that food insecurity is addressed in terms that link food producers to those needing healthy food.
Catalytic Capital and Agriculture: Opportunities to Invest in Healthy Soils, Resilient Farms and a Stable ClimateMembers only Login
The purpose of the report is to highlight opportunities for catalytic capital to advance agricultural conservation, resilience and sustainability. In this report we define catalytic capital as capital intentionally deployed to identify, financially support and scale promising solutions for environmental and social impact that would otherwise be unlikely to raise funding on a purely commercial basis. This report is for foundations, philanthropists or investors that wish to deploy their financial and nonfinancial resources to catalyze lasting and systemic change in U.S. agriculture. It is also for anyone designing projects, enterprises or initiatives that share those objectives.
Interim Report on the Economic and Trade Agreement between the U.S. and China
This Interim Report issued by United States Trade Representative and Secretary of the Department of Agriculture identifies key achievements from February to October 2020 in the area of agricultural trade between the United States and China.
CDFA Food Finance White Paper Series: Advancing Food Systems Through Development Finance
This is the sixth and final 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 presents three replicable strategies for restoring local food systems: reframe food systems development as infrastructure and economic development; build effective relationships and partnerships across the entire food system; and plan for strategic food system financing.
View more Agriculture Finance Resources

-Aggie Bonds

CDFA 2018 Annual Volume Cap Report: An Analysis of Private Activity Bond & Volume Cap Trends
In 2018, the 50 states and the District of Columbia received $37.1 billion in new volume cap allocation, an increase of nearly $1.8 billion from 2017. Total private activity bond issuance slightly decreased from $24.86 billion in 2017 to $24.14 billion in 2018. Multi and Single-Family Housing Bond issuance increased by $1.11 billion in 2018, climbing from a combined $20.98 billion in 2017 to $22.09 billion in 2018.
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 2017 Annual Volume Cap Report: An Analysis of Private Activity Bond & Volume Cap Trends
In 2017, the 50 states and the District of Columbia received $35.3 billion in new volume cap allocation, an increase of $205.3 million from 2016. Even though total volume cap capacity was lower in 2017, total private activity bond issuance increased dramatically from 2016, rising from $20.38 billion to $24.86 billion. Multi and Single-Family Housing Bond issuance also increased in 2017, climbing from a combined $18.47 billion in 2016 to $20.98 billion in 2017.
CDFA 2016 Annual Volume Cap Report: An Analysis of Private Activity Bond & Volume Cap Trends
In 2016, the 50 states and the District of Columbia received $35.14 billion in new volume cap allocation, an increase of $263 million from 2015. Total private activity bond issuance in 2016 increased from 2015, climbing from $12.98 billion to $20.38 billion. Multi and Single-Family Housing Bonds accounted for 91 percent of total private activity bond issuance.
View more Aggie Bonds Resources

-Rural Development

CDFA Charter Schools Financing Initiative: Development Finance Strategies for Charter Schools
CDFA's first publication of the CDFA Charter Schools Financing Initiative series, funded with support from the National Alliance For Public Charter Schools. This paper demonstrates how charter schools can access development finance tools and public finance and provides real-world examples of how these tools have been successfully implemented.
CDFA Food Finance White Paper Series: Advancing Food Systems Through Development Finance
This is the sixth and final 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 presents three replicable strategies for restoring local food systems: reframe food systems development as infrastructure and economic development; build effective relationships and partnerships across the entire food system; and plan for strategic food system financing.
Local and Urban Food Systems: Selected Farm Bill and Other Federal ProgramsMembers only Login
More than 30 USDA grant and loan programs provide support and assistance for local and urban food producers and producer groups. These grant and loan programs may be grouped into several broad program categories, including marketing and promotion; business assistance and agricultural research; rural and community development; urban and indoor production; nutrition and education; and farmland conservation.
USDA Programs in the Local Food Supply Chain
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to supporting robust regional food economies across the food chain. This graphic is designed to be a guide for which programs are best suited for different parts of the supply chain.
Financing Resilient AgricultureMembers only Login
There are several existing agricultural lender initiatives that can inform the development of lending programs or products for resilient agriculture. This report derives five key lessons from these initiatives, including the need to understand the financial benefits of and barriers to resilient agricultural practices, design loan structures and requirements that correspond with the financial characteristics of those practices, utilize loan support to launch initial products, collect data on financial and environmental performance to show results and adjust credit rating processes, and consider other forms of support farmers may need to ensure successful practice adoption.
View more Rural Development Resources

-U.S. Department of Agriculture

Local Food Systems Response to COVID
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health and social distancing mandates caused unprecedented shifts and disruptions for Local and Regional Food Systems (LRFS). USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) along with the cooperating research team led by the University of Kentucky seek to enrich existing efforts within LRFS communities of practice who provide essential support to our nation’s local food producers.
A Vision for Native Food and Agriculture Infrastructure Rebuilding and Recovery Members only Login
An investment in food infrastructure will ensure that Native producers have access to reliable markets and the wraparound support services that are so critical to robust food systems. By approaching infrastructure from a new model and linking infrastructure investments to the food access needs of Native communities, a more resilient food system can be built over time. Local and regional economies will recover while also ensuring that food insecurity is addressed in terms that link food producers to those needing healthy food.
Interim Report on the Economic and Trade Agreement between the U.S. and China
This Interim Report issued by United States Trade Representative and Secretary of the Department of Agriculture identifies key achievements from February to October 2020 in the area of agricultural trade between the United States and China.
CDFA Charter Schools Financing Initiative: Development Finance Strategies for Charter Schools
CDFA's first publication of the CDFA Charter Schools Financing Initiative series, funded with support from the National Alliance For Public Charter Schools. This paper demonstrates how charter schools can access development finance tools and public finance and provides real-world examples of how these tools have been successfully implemented.
CDFA Food Finance White Paper Series: Advancing Food Systems Through Development Finance
This is the sixth and final 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 presents three replicable strategies for restoring local food systems: reframe food systems development as infrastructure and economic development; build effective relationships and partnerships across the entire food system; and plan for strategic food system financing.
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

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 studies that showcase the variety of financing programs.
Register
View All Courses

-Upcoming Events

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 studies that showcase the variety of financing programs.
Register
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

CDFA - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: Access to Captial and Community Facilities
During the fourth installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we discussed resources for community facilities and other accessible capital for rural community development.
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.

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
  • 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