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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

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.
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.
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-Resources

View all Agriculture Finance Resources

-Agriculture Finance

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.
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Cultivating Equitable Lending Models in Agriculture Finance
During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we discussed strategies to expand access to capital for underserved farmers.
Investing in Rural ProsperityMembers only Login
The Federal Reserve has created this book to bring together community and economic development researchers, practitioners, philanthropists, and others to showcase the great work happening across this country and to outline a framework for conducting community and economic development that, if applied, can help more communities achieve shared economic prosperity.
USDA Resources for Rural EntrepreneursMembers only Login
This is a USDA resource guide to help people in rural America start and grow businesses, create good-paying jobs in their communities and strengthen America’s economy. The guide features information on how rural entrepreneurs can use USDA and other Federal programs to access financing and other assistance to help start and expand their businesses.
Financial Innovations to Accelerate Sustainable Agriculture: Blueprints for the Value ChainMembers only Login
The purpose of the report is to equip value chain actors with innovative financial mechanisms and incentive strategies that can be employed in agricultural sustainability projects to support producers in scaling conservation adoption.
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

SSBCI Technical Assistance Grant Program Guidelines
This document provides guidance on the application, award requirements, and administration of the TA Grant Program. Section II describes the available TA Grant Program funding. Section III defines eligible recipients, eligible beneficiaries, and eligible TA providers. Section IV provides detail on qualifying TA services. Section V describes the application process, including the components of the required TA plan, and more.
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 Rural Development Resources

-U.S. Department of Agriculture

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.
Investing in Rural ProsperityMembers only Login
The Federal Reserve has created this book to bring together community and economic development researchers, practitioners, philanthropists, and others to showcase the great work happening across this country and to outline a framework for conducting community and economic development that, if applied, can help more communities achieve shared economic prosperity.
USDA Resources for Rural EntrepreneursMembers only Login
This is a USDA resource guide to help people in rural America start and grow businesses, create good-paying jobs in their communities and strengthen America’s economy. The guide features information on how rural entrepreneurs can use USDA and other Federal programs to access financing and other assistance to help start and expand their businesses.
A Regional Imperative: The Case for Regional Food SystemsMembers only Login
This report explores the concepts, practices, challenges, and promise of regional food systems, focusing on the Northeast U.S. as a laboratory for regional food systems thinking and action, but it also describes and gives examples of regional food systems development across the country. The arguments in favor of regional approaches and explorations apply to all regions and embracing them could not be more imperative to address contemporary conditions.
USDA Advancing Equity in Distressed Rural CommunitiesMembers only Login
U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that the Department is increasing the maximum loan amount to $400,000 under the Intermediary Relending Program. This change is in accordance with provisions in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). USDA is offering priority points to projects that advance key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, advance equity and combat climate change.
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.

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.
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.
View More Case Studies

-Headlines

-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

  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • 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
  • 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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