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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 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.
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.
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-Resources

View all Agriculture Finance Resources

-Agriculture Finance

Participatory State and Regional Food System Plans and Charters in the U.S.
Completed in August of 2021, this report offers a snapshot of national trends, and a directory of food systems plans and charters that exist at state and regional levels across the United States (see the directory at the end of this document). It is intended to serve as a resource to facilitate network building and co-learning among practitioners leading these efforts and groups interested in launching their own plans and charters.
How Innovative CDFIs Fund Equitable Food Oriented Development
This report describes how three CDFIs drive economic growth in low-income and historically marginalized communities through a model defined by the EFOD Collaborative as Equitable Food Oriented Development (EFOD). EFOD is a development approach that supports locally owned food-based economies. The report details systemic financial barriers that business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs face in marginalized communities.
USDA Resource Guide for Rural Workforce Development Members only Login
America’s rural workforce provides a vital foundation for the nation’s economy. Rural America supplies the nation’s food and energy resources, and the fiber necessary for goods and manufacturing. As USDA continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and help restore the economy, USDA remains committed to supporting rural employers and job seekers.
San Diego County Food Vision 2030Members only Login
San Diego County Food Vision 2030 holds a unique opportunity to build a better and stronger food system for all San Diegans, one that prioritizes health, sustainability, and justice. This ten-year plan provides our region with a clear pathway to improve the health of our local communities, environment, and economy.
City of Wichita / Sedgwick County Food System Master Plan Members only Login
The Wichita-Sedgwick County Master Food Plan was created from the energy, hard work, and input of our community. The over-arching goals in this plan are to: foster food system coordination and education; improve access to healthy food; and increase local food production.
View more Agriculture Finance Resources

-Aggie Bonds

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.
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

Joint Resource Guide to Strengthen and Expand Child Care Facilities in Rural Communities Members only Login
Together, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development mission area have developed this Joint Resource Guide to further our commitment to supporting rural families by expanding childcare facilities.
Disaster Resiliency and Recovery Resources: A Guide for Rural CommunitiesMembers only Login
USDA Rural Development (RD) developed this guide as a resource for rural communities seeking disaster resiliency and recovery assistance. The recent National Climate Assessment (NCA) identifies that more frequent and extreme weather and climate-related events, as well as changes in average climate conditions, are expected to continue to damage infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities.
CDFA-TEDC Webinar: Driving Investment into Texas' Rural Opportunity Zones
During this webinar, expert panelists provided best practices and tips for economic development practitioners on driving investments into rural Opportunity Zones in Texas.
Broadband Interactive Federal Funding Guide for 2021Members only Login
This Interactive Guide from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) provides an interactive, step-by-step approach for users to filter through more than 90 broadband related programs compiled from 12 federal agencies and the FCC. It highlights general information about each program, including program descriptions, important dates, contact information, and links to program websites.
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.
View more Rural Development Resources

-U.S. Department of Agriculture

Joint Resource Guide to Strengthen and Expand Child Care Facilities in Rural Communities Members only Login
Together, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development mission area have developed this Joint Resource Guide to further our commitment to supporting rural families by expanding childcare facilities.
Disaster Resiliency and Recovery Resources: A Guide for Rural CommunitiesMembers only Login
USDA Rural Development (RD) developed this guide as a resource for rural communities seeking disaster resiliency and recovery assistance. The recent National Climate Assessment (NCA) identifies that more frequent and extreme weather and climate-related events, as well as changes in average climate conditions, are expected to continue to damage infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities.
Broadband Interactive Federal Funding Guide for 2021Members only Login
This Interactive Guide from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) provides an interactive, step-by-step approach for users to filter through more than 90 broadband related programs compiled from 12 federal agencies and the FCC. It highlights general information about each program, including program descriptions, important dates, contact information, and links to program websites.
USDA Resource Guide for Rural Workforce Development Members only Login
America’s rural workforce provides a vital foundation for the nation’s economy. Rural America supplies the nation’s food and energy resources, and the fiber necessary for goods and manufacturing. As USDA continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and help restore the economy, USDA remains committed to supporting rural employers and job seekers.
USDA Resource Guide for Rural Workforce DevelopmentMembers only Login
This guide was created by the USDA in 2021 for community leaders and other local entities. The guide highlights four key assistance types necessary to building a stronger rural workforce: 1) Workforce development planning; 2) Infrastructure and equipment financing; 3) Industry and employer engagement, entrepreneurship, and local business development; and 4) Education, training, and apprenticeship.
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 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.
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

-Training Courses

Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance Course
January 26-27, 2022
Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
CDFA's Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance Course is the foundation for all of CDFA’s educational offerings. This course helps attendees understand the variety of development finance tools available, from bonds, tax credits and TIF, to federal financing programs, RLFs, and access to capital lending resources.
Register
View All Courses

-Upcoming Events

CDFA Virtual National Summit
November 1-5, 2021
Daily: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM (Eastern)
Register
CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: When it Comes to Financing Smart Cities, What Counts as Smart?
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Eastern
The concept of Smart Cities is no longer brand new, yet most communities are still working to understand what kinds of smart infrastructure they want and need at the local level - and how to pay for it. Join CDFA for this next installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series to learn about what types of smart infrastructure projects are happening around the country and how these efforts are being financed.
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
Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance Course
January 26-27, 2022
Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
CDFA's Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance Course is the foundation for all of CDFA’s educational offerings. This course helps attendees understand the variety of development finance tools available, from bonds, tax credits and TIF, to federal financing programs, RLFs, and access to capital lending resources.
Register
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

CDFA-TEDC Webinar: Driving Investment into Texas' Rural Opportunity Zones
During this webinar, expert panelists provided best practices and tips for economic development practitioners on driving investments into rural Opportunity Zones in Texas.
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.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Unlocking Capital for BIPOC-owned BusinessesMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, we will be discussing creative financing approaches to minimize barriers and increase access to capital for minority-owned businesses across the country.
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 Members only Login
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 National Sponsors

  • Baker Tilly
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Brownfield Superfund Advisory, Inc
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • gener8tor
  • 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
Become a Sponsor