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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

CDFA Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook
Linking development finance and food systems can be a daunting undertaking for any community. Research on the current ecosystem of food systems finance has positioned CDFA to identify key strategies for the path ahead in this work. The Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook defines how traditional development finance tools can be used to launch and expand food and agricultural-related businesses and projects, and create successful food systems finance programs at the local and regional levels.
Growing Opportunity: A Guide to USDA Sustainable Farming ProgramsMembers only Login
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with farmer-serving organizations, such as the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and its members to better reach and serve an increasingly diverse farmer and rancher constituency for USDA programs. This free, comprehensive, practical guide includes detailed and concise program summaries, reference links, and key resources related to dozens of USDA programs that are designed to help farmers and ranchers start, maintain, and grow successful operations, as well as a matrix highlighting programs with prioritized funding for beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, and military veterans.
Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Strategic PlanMembers only Login
The Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Strategic Plan provides broad recommendations are coupled with specific, actionable strategies. The implementation of this plan is critical to achieving greater agricultural and natural resource resiliency, as well as a secure future for the generations of farmers and ranchers to come.
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.
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-Resources

View all Agriculture Finance Resources

-Agriculture Finance

CDFA Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook
Linking development finance and food systems can be a daunting undertaking for any community. Research on the current ecosystem of food systems finance has positioned CDFA to identify key strategies for the path ahead in this work. The Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook defines how traditional development finance tools can be used to launch and expand food and agricultural-related businesses and projects, and create successful food systems finance programs at the local and regional levels.
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Don’t Throw Away Opportunity! Creative Financing for Addressing Food-Related Waste
During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we explore how innovative partnerships are leveraging creative financing approaches to reduce food-related waste along the supply chain.
Investing in Regenerative Agriculture Infrastructure Across Value ChainsMembers only Login
Regenerative farms rely on small-to-mid scale, aligned infrastructure to process, transport, and market their products. These middle infrastructure businesses help to improve farm income and bolster regional food economies while providing significant social and environmental benefits. However, their unique business models require innovative and patient forms of capital to grow and succeed. This report identifies finance opportunities and pathways to build resilient value chains for regenerative farms.
Food Innovation: Investing to Feed Our FutureMembers only Login
The Franklin Templeton Institute, a global investment management organization, released its latest insights paper, “Food innovation: Investing to feed our future,” focusing on the innovation and investments needed to feed a growing global population in the face of climate change and geopolitical conflict.
Stronger Together - Federal Funding and Planning Strategies for Rural AmericaMembers only Login
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development and U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) launched a joint resource guide to help community organizations access USDA and EDA resources to build strategies to boost economic development in rural America. The guide outlines programs and services that can be used to advance community and economic development in rural communities through four key focus areas and features information and links to USDA and EDA key priorities and resources.
View more Agriculture Finance Resources

-Aggie Bonds

CDFA 2019-2020 Annual Volume Cap Report: An Analysis of Private Activity Bond & Volume Cap Trends
The CDFA Annual Volume Cap Report provides an overview of volume cap trends and how private activity bonds (PABs) were used from state to state. The 2019-2020 Annual Volume Cap Report is the most comprehensive analysis of PAB volume cap trends and data ever undertaken by CDFA.
Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Strategic PlanMembers only Login
The Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Strategic Plan provides broad recommendations are coupled with specific, actionable strategies. The implementation of this plan is critical to achieving greater agricultural and natural resource resiliency, as well as a secure future for the generations of farmers and ranchers to come.
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.
View more Aggie Bonds Resources

-Rural Development

CDFA Community Facilities Technical Assistance for Tribal Communities Press Release
The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) is pleased to announce the CDFA Community Facilities Technical Assistance Program for Tribal Communities, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This program aims to to increase investment in community facilities infrastructure by providing direct technical assistance and financing resources to tribal communities across the country.
Investing in Regenerative Agriculture Infrastructure Across Value ChainsMembers only Login
Regenerative farms rely on small-to-mid scale, aligned infrastructure to process, transport, and market their products. These middle infrastructure businesses help to improve farm income and bolster regional food economies while providing significant social and environmental benefits. However, their unique business models require innovative and patient forms of capital to grow and succeed. This report identifies finance opportunities and pathways to build resilient value chains for regenerative farms.
Stronger Together - Federal Funding and Planning Strategies for Rural AmericaMembers only Login
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development and U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) launched a joint resource guide to help community organizations access USDA and EDA resources to build strategies to boost economic development in rural America. The guide outlines programs and services that can be used to advance community and economic development in rural communities through four key focus areas and features information and links to USDA and EDA key priorities and resources.
Defining Distress: Lessons from the Federally Chartered Regional CommissionsMembers only Login
Widening geographic inequality in the United States has shifted federal policymakers' attention to investing in "places" as well as "people." Given the large proportion of rural places in the Appalachian Regional Commission, Delta Regional Authority, and Northern Border Regional Commission coverage areas, the use of "distress" by the commissions offers insights and lessons for reaching vulnerable rural communities.
Debunking Risk in Food System Lending
Food and agriculture-related businesses are often perceived as too risky for traditional lending approaches, yet CDFA research tells a different story. This report, with loan-level data from over a thousand funds nationwide, demonstrates that food system loans perform and that revolving loan funds can successfully support local food system borrowers in their communities.
View more Rural Development Resources

-U.S. Department of Agriculture

CDFA Community Facilities Technical Assistance for Tribal Communities Press Release
The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) is pleased to announce the CDFA Community Facilities Technical Assistance Program for Tribal Communities, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This program aims to to increase investment in community facilities infrastructure by providing direct technical assistance and financing resources to tribal communities across the country.
Investing in Regenerative Agriculture Infrastructure Across Value ChainsMembers only Login
Regenerative farms rely on small-to-mid scale, aligned infrastructure to process, transport, and market their products. These middle infrastructure businesses help to improve farm income and bolster regional food economies while providing significant social and environmental benefits. However, their unique business models require innovative and patient forms of capital to grow and succeed. This report identifies finance opportunities and pathways to build resilient value chains for regenerative farms.
Food Innovation: Investing to Feed Our FutureMembers only Login
The Franklin Templeton Institute, a global investment management organization, released its latest insights paper, “Food innovation: Investing to feed our future,” focusing on the innovation and investments needed to feed a growing global population in the face of climate change and geopolitical conflict.
Stronger Together - Federal Funding and Planning Strategies for Rural AmericaMembers only Login
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development and U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) launched a joint resource guide to help community organizations access USDA and EDA resources to build strategies to boost economic development in rural America. The guide outlines programs and services that can be used to advance community and economic development in rural communities through four key focus areas and features information and links to USDA and EDA key priorities and resources.
Growing Opportunity: A Guide to USDA Sustainable Farming ProgramsMembers only Login
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with farmer-serving organizations, such as the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and its members to better reach and serve an increasingly diverse farmer and rancher constituency for USDA programs. This free, comprehensive, practical guide includes detailed and concise program summaries, reference links, and key resources related to dozens of USDA programs that are designed to help farmers and ranchers start, maintain, and grow successful operations, as well as a matrix highlighting programs with prioritized funding for beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, and military veterans.
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.

CDFA Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook
Linking development finance and food systems can be a daunting undertaking for any community. Research on the current ecosystem of food systems finance has positioned CDFA to identify key strategies for the path ahead in this work. The Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook defines how traditional development finance tools can be used to launch and expand food and agricultural-related businesses and projects, and create successful food systems finance programs at the local and regional levels.
Growing Opportunity: A Guide to USDA Sustainable Farming ProgramsMembers only Login
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with farmer-serving organizations, such as the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and its members to better reach and serve an increasingly diverse farmer and rancher constituency for USDA programs. This free, comprehensive, practical guide includes detailed and concise program summaries, reference links, and key resources related to dozens of USDA programs that are designed to help farmers and ranchers start, maintain, and grow successful operations, as well as a matrix highlighting programs with prioritized funding for beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, and military veterans.
Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Strategic PlanMembers only Login
The Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Strategic Plan provides broad recommendations are coupled with specific, actionable strategies. The implementation of this plan is critical to achieving greater agricultural and natural resource resiliency, as well as a secure future for the generations of farmers and ranchers to come.
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.
View More Case Studies

-Headlines

-Webcasts

CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series: Best Practices for Rural Development Finance Agencies
During the third installment of the CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series, we discovered best practices of development finance agencies to help you identify the right partner for your projects.
Enhancing Local Workforce Development and Building for the Future
Automation, shifting demographics, COVID-19 and increased telework opportunities are reshaping the workforce landscape amid shifting industry needs. Counties, through local and regional partnerships and workforce development boards, are working with public, private, and nonprofit partners to help train job seekers and connect them with local employers.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Rural Broadband & Telehealth Financing
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, experts explain how rural communities can embrace the challenges of financing high-speed internet for the economic and societal gains provided by broadband.
CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series: Financing Disaster Resiliency in Rural Communities
During the first installment of the CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series, hear about a new technical assistance program from CDFA designed to support rural communities that have recently experienced a natural disaster. Experts discussed the variety of financing tools available from federal, state, and local sources to encourage investment resilient infrastructure.

CDFA National Sponsors

  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • Cirrus Secure
  • CohnReznick
  • Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • MuniCap, Inc.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • PGAV Planners, LLC
  • Raza Development Fund
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
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