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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

2021 Infrastructure Report Card - A Comprehensive Assessment of America's Infrastructure
The 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure reveals we’ve made some incremental progress toward restoring our nation’s infrastructure. For the first time in 20 years, our infrastructure is out of the D range. While this report grades 17 categories individually, our infrastructure is a system of systems and more connected than ever before.
2020 New Mexico Affordable Housing Needs Assessment
The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority authored this affordable housing needs assessment in 2020. Housing markets in New Mexico vary widely between larger metro areas, many of which are growing and stable, and rural areas with declining populations and low economic activity.
Build America Bureau - Credit Programs Guide (TIFIA & RRIF)Members only Login
This resource guide from the Build America Bureau covers the objectives and provides an overview of how the TIFIA and RRIF credit programs operate. This includes details about the required terms for individual credit instruments, how these instruments are funded, eligibility requirements concerning types of projects, activities, cost limits, and applicants, the process by which potential applicants may apply for credit assistance, and more.
Success Factors, Challenges, and Early Impacts of the POWER Initiative: An Implementation EvaluationMembers only Login
This evaluation was designed to help ARC and its stakeholders learn from the POWER Program's implementation successes and challenges; identify technical assistance needs; and report on the qualitative impact of investments made, to date, with POWER funds.
POWER Initiative Evaluation: Factors and Results of Project ImplementationMembers only Login
This report by Chamberlin/Dunn offers an evaluation of two consecutive years (FY19-FY20) of the Appalachian Regional Commission's POWER Initiative. The report aims to understand successes, challenges, and lessons learned through implementation, and it also examines early results of POWER projects.
View more Rural Development Resources

-U.S. Department of Agriculture

CDFA - Ice Miller Broadband Financing Series: Financing Tools for Broadband Projects
COVID-19 has highlighted the need for broadband and the gaps in broadband access. As part of our collaboration with Ice Miller, this video is designed to provide a review of the various approaches to expanding broadband access and how to assess which approach best accommodates community needs and capabilities.
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.
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

-Upcoming Events

CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Rural Broadband & Telehealth Financing
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Eastern
During this webinar, experts will explain how rural communities can embrace the challenges of financing high-speed internet for the economic and societal gains provided by broadband.
Register
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Financing Food Systems Through FinTech
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Eastern
Local food systems face similar barriers accessing technology as they do financing for small businesses and development projects. Technological innovations have the potential to help build localized food systems that are more equitable, sustainable, and efficient. From agtech to online lending to locavesting, there are a variety of financial technologies - or “fintech” - that can bring capital to small food businesses and invest in communities as they restore their local food system. In this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will explore how tech innovations are increasing access to financing for food-related businesses and projects, and how finance is supporting the integration of new technology in local food systems.
Register
CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Investing in Critical Community Facilities
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series, several federal agencies will discuss their financing solutions for local community facilities and how to coordinate with partners.
Register
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Debunking Risk in Food System Finance
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Eastern
The food system is often perceived as loosely defined and fragmented which leads to many food-related businesses to regularly be perceived as too risky for traditional lending. The perception of risk can be detrimental for the ability of local food-related businesses to access affordable capital. Luckily, the participation of a development finance agency can reduce both real and perceived risks and protect the viability of a project. In this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will break down the real and perceived risks of lending and discuss a variety of affordable financing solutions that are being employed by development finance agencies to invest in local food-related businesses and projects.
Register
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.
Register
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

CDFA - Ice Miller Broadband Financing Series: Case Studies & Best Practices of Broadband in P3s
Public-Private Partnerships, or P3s, have been used across the country to finance broadband. As part of our collaboration with Ice Miller LLP, this video will cover best practices of the P3 model and provide case studies that explore the various avenues of broadband projects in both rural and urban areas.
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 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