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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

Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Strategic Plan
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.
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.
View More Agriculture Finance

-Resources

View all Agriculture Finance Resources

-Agriculture Finance

Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Strategic Plan
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.
Summary of State and Local Funding Sources in the American Rescue PlanMembers only Login
This table includes all the federal-to-local funding streams in the American Rescue Plan that reach cities and their residents. It does not include appropriations to Tribal Governments or Agency appropriations focused on program operations at the federal level with no further sub-allocation. It is a dynamic summary to be paired with the Federal Investment Guide produced by Accelerator for America, Drexel University, and the US Conference of Mayors.
American Rescue Plan: Federal Investment GuideMembers only Login
This report from Drexel University's Nowak Metro Finance Lab provides a guide to federal funding in the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The authors place a special emphasis on formula funds received by local anchors, competitive grants, and funds distributed to public authorities that city leadership can leverage to boost their recovery. They clarify which entities are responsible for applying for grant funds, when funding expires, and what role city and county leadership can play even when they will not be the primary applicant for funds.
Food Forward NYC: A 10-Year Food Policy PlanMembers only Login
Food Forward NYC is the City’s first ever 10-year food policy plan, laying out an ambitious interagency policy framework to reach a more equitable, sustainable, and healthy food system by 2031. The success of this plan depends on the partnership of everyone involved in the food system. Food businesses large and small, community-based organizations and advocates, philanthropies and academic institutions, regional partners, and the state and federal government all have a critical role to play.
Vermont Agriculture and Food Systems Strategic Plan 2021-2030Members only Login
The Plan estimates that additional public and philanthropic investment is needed over the next ten years: approximately $9.7 million in one-time funding and $23.3 million in recurring funding. This level of funding will ensure sufficient land access and conservation, climate resilience, food security, infrastructure investments, regional market development, and workforce development to meet the growing needs of the sector. Public and philanthropic funding will also stimulate additional private sector investment.
View more Agriculture Finance Resources

-Aggie Bonds

Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Strategic Plan
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.
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.
View more Aggie Bonds Resources

-Rural Development

OZ Prospectus - City of Yucaipa, California
This is an Opportunity Zone Prospectus for the City of Yucaipa, California. It was produced through collaboration between the City, San Bernardino County, and Local Equity LLC.
OZ Prospectus - County of San Bernardino, California
This is an Opportunity Zone Prospectus for the County of San Bernardino, California. It was produced through collaboration between San Bernardino County and Local Equity LLC.
OZ Prospectus - City of Needles, California
This is an Opportunity Zone Prospectus for the City of Needles, California. It was produced through collaboration between the City, San Bernardino County, and Local Equity LLC.
OZ Prospectus - City of Loma Linda, California
This is an Opportunity Zone Prospectus for the City of Loma Linda, California. It was produced through collaboration between the City, San Bernardino County, and Local Equity LLC.
OZ Prospectus - City of Highland, California
This is an Opportunity Zone Prospectus for the City of Highland, California. It was produced through collaboration between the City, San Bernardino County, and Local Equity LLC.
View more Rural Development Resources

-U.S. Department of Agriculture

Summary of State and Local Funding Sources in the American Rescue PlanMembers only Login
This table includes all the federal-to-local funding streams in the American Rescue Plan that reach cities and their residents. It does not include appropriations to Tribal Governments or Agency appropriations focused on program operations at the federal level with no further sub-allocation. It is a dynamic summary to be paired with the Federal Investment Guide produced by Accelerator for America, Drexel University, and the US Conference of Mayors.
American Rescue Plan: Federal Investment GuideMembers only Login
This report from Drexel University's Nowak Metro Finance Lab provides a guide to federal funding in the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The authors place a special emphasis on formula funds received by local anchors, competitive grants, and funds distributed to public authorities that city leadership can leverage to boost their recovery. They clarify which entities are responsible for applying for grant funds, when funding expires, and what role city and county leadership can play even when they will not be the primary applicant for funds.
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.
Reimagining Rural Policy: Organizing Federal Assistance to Maximize Rural ProsperityMembers only Login
The federal programs and tools available today to help generate social and economic development in rural communities serve as a reminder of active and broad federal involvement in the 20th century, and the possibilities for federal leadership to help rural communities meet the current moment. Yet they are outdated, fragmented, and incoherent. This report identifies over 400 programs open to rural communities for economic and community development, spanning 13 departments, 10 independent agencies, and over 50 offices and sub-agencies.
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.
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.

Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture Strategic Plan
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.
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.
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 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 - 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 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
  • PGAV Planners, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
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