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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.

Want regular updates on Agriculture Finance? Subscribe to NCOSAFP & CDFA's Food and Agriculture Finance Update newsletter.

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+Understanding Agriculture Finance

Financing the Local Food System in Washington
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.
A Look at Financing First Time Farmers in Iowa
Tammy Nebola from the Iowa Agricultural Development Division of the Iowa Finance Authority discusses farming in Iowa and what it takes to finance first time farmers around the state.
Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food Investments to Transform Communities
Debra Tropp from the USDA introduces a new publication from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and USDA entitled Harvesting Opportunities: The Power of Regional Food Systems Investments to Transform Communities. Consumers are increasingly interested in where their food comes from and using their food dollars to support desired social and environmental goals.
Succession Opportunities in Local Food Systems
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.
The Rural Center
Barry Ryan discusses what The Rural Center is doing to support rural economic development in North Carolina.
View More Agriculture Finance

+Aggie Bonds

CDFA Annual Volume Cap Report: An Analysis of 2016 Private Activity Bond & Volume Cap Trends
This annual CDFA report reviews the use of private activity bond volume cap and the issuance of cap-subject private activity bonds in every state.
Harvey Rogers, Economic Development Financing in Oregon: from the Sublime to the Ridiculous
Harvey Rogers described the current bond market in Oregon and explored bond financing case examples which prove their effectiveness in addressing critical infrastructure needs.
Financing Solutions for Rural Food and Agricultural Systems: Aggie Bonds
Tammy Nebola from Iowa Finance Authority covers Beginning Farmer Loan “Aggie Bond” Program from the perspective of the most active issuer of the bonds.
CDFA Annual Volume Cap Report: An Analysis of 2015 Private Activity Bond & Volume Cap Trends
This annual CDFA report reviews the use of private activity bond volume cap and the issuance of cap-subject private activity bonds in every state.
IRS Publication 4078: Private Activity Bonds
This IRS Publication 4078, Tax-Exempt Private Activity Bonds, provides a revised overview of the general federal tax law rules that apply to qualified private activity bonds.
More Aggie Bonds

+USDA Resources

Access to Capital for Native Communities in Arizona
Clint Kaasa discusses how the USDA provides financing programs and strategies for Native communities in Arizona and considers how to leverage the available capital for even greater investment.
Financing the Local Food System in Washington
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.
Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food Investments to Transform Communities
Debra Tropp from the USDA introduces a new publication from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and USDA entitled Harvesting Opportunities: The Power of Regional Food Systems Investments to Transform Communities. Consumers are increasingly interested in where their food comes from and using their food dollars to support desired social and environmental goals.
The Rural Center
Barry Ryan discusses what The Rural Center is doing to support rural economic development in North Carolina.
Rural Development and Small Town Approaches to Access to Capital - Environmental Infrastructure Funding
Urban communities like Cleveland and Cincinnati are not the only places looking for help to fund economic development. Ohio is filled with rural communities and small towns that are also in need of financing strategies. These areas face unique development financing challenges and needs such as downtown revitalization, food systems, infrastructure and energy finance. Julie Ward of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership discusses the Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program.
View More USDA Resources

+Case Studies

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

Financing the Local Food System in Washington
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.
A Look at Financing First Time Farmers in Iowa
Tammy Nebola from the Iowa Agricultural Development Division of the Iowa Finance Authority discusses farming in Iowa and what it takes to finance first time farmers around the state.
Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food Investments to Transform Communities
Debra Tropp from the USDA introduces a new publication from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and USDA entitled Harvesting Opportunities: The Power of Regional Food Systems Investments to Transform Communities. Consumers are increasingly interested in where their food comes from and using their food dollars to support desired social and environmental goals.
Succession Opportunities in Local Food Systems
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.
The Rural Center
Barry Ryan discusses what The Rural Center is doing to support rural economic development in North Carolina.
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.

+Webcasts

CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Opportunities and Advancements in Water Finance
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.
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 Projects
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 USDA Rural Project Marketplace Information Session
As part of the CDFA & USDA Rural Finance Partnership, a Project Marketplace will be created. This informational video helps explain the partnership and marketplace.
CDFA-Stifel Webcast: Paving the Way to Sustainable Rural Infrastructure and Energy Financing
The various targeted financing solutions to revitalize rural infrastructure and energy systems is explained in this webcast by Gary Bojes, Ph.D. of USDA, Bennett Johnson III of Ocean's Energy, Andrew Jacob with CoBank, and Christopher Sheehan of Stifel.

CDFA National Sponsors

  • Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority
  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
  • Ballard Spahr LLP
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Frost Brown Todd, LLC
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • MB Financial Bank, NA
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • Miles & Stockbridge P.C.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Squire Patton Boggs
  • Stern Brothers & Co.
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Wilmington Trust
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
Become a Sponsor