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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

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.
Financing the Local Food System in WashingtonMembers only Login
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.
View More Agriculture Finance

-Resources

View all Agriculture Finance Resources

-Agriculture Finance

Regenerative Agriculture and COVID-19 Capital Needs
Traditional sources of capital ranging from philanthropy to private equity to banking institutions have demonstrated a strong interest in investing in a more diversified, resilient food system. To better understand and capture the capital needs of current operators in the regenerative value chain during the COVID-19 pandemic, Croatan Institute and Thread Fund conducted original research focused on the livestock and grain sectors in the spring and early summer of 2020.
U.S. Agriculture's Opportunities to Contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals
Though challenges exist, there are unprecedented opportunities for U.S. agriculture to collaborate and build on its existing strengths to deliver business value for the sector as a whole while contributing to the sustainable development goals and the improved well-being of people and the planet.
USDA Programs in the Local Food Supply Chain
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to supporting robust regional food economies across the food chain. This graphic is designed to be a guide for which programs are best suited for different parts of the supply chain.
Financing Resilient AgricultureMembers only Login
There are several existing agricultural lender initiatives that can inform the development of lending programs or products for resilient agriculture. This report derives five key lessons from these initiatives, including the need to understand the financial benefits of and barriers to resilient agricultural practices, design loan structures and requirements that correspond with the financial characteristics of those practices, utilize loan support to launch initial products, collect data on financial and environmental performance to show results and adjust credit rating processes, and consider other forms of support farmers may need to ensure successful practice adoption.
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Neighborhood Revitalization Through Food Systems Finance
On this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will illustrate the many positive impacts that result from financing food systems at a neighborhood scale, with speakers to showcase the versatility of projects and financing approaches.
View more Agriculture Finance Resources

-Aggie Bonds

CDFA Annual Volume Cap Report: An Analysis of 2018 Private Activity Bond & Volume Cap Trends
This annual CDFA report reviews the 2018 use of private activity bond volume cap and the issuance of cap-subject private activity bonds in every state.
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 Annual Volume Cap Report: An Analysis of 2017 Private Activity Bond & Volume Cap Trends
This annual CDFA report reviews the 2017 use of private activity bond volume cap and the issuance of cap-subject private activity bonds in every state.
CDFA Annual Volume Cap Report: An Analysis of 2016 Private Activity Bond & Volume Cap Trends
This annual CDFA report reviews the 2016 use of private activity bond volume cap and the issuance of cap-subject private activity bonds in every state.
View more Aggie Bonds Resources

-Rural Development

USDA Programs in the Local Food Supply Chain
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to supporting robust regional food economies across the food chain. This graphic is designed to be a guide for which programs are best suited for different parts of the supply chain.
Financing Resilient AgricultureMembers only Login
There are several existing agricultural lender initiatives that can inform the development of lending programs or products for resilient agriculture. This report derives five key lessons from these initiatives, including the need to understand the financial benefits of and barriers to resilient agricultural practices, design loan structures and requirements that correspond with the financial characteristics of those practices, utilize loan support to launch initial products, collect data on financial and environmental performance to show results and adjust credit rating processes, and consider other forms of support farmers may need to ensure successful practice adoption.
Recreation Economy at USDA: Economic Development Resources for Rural CommunitiesMembers only Login
USDA’s Forest Service (FS), Rural Development (RD), and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) have developed this resource guide for rural communities to identify resources that develop the recreation economy.
Roadmap to Redevelopment Report: Mt Vernon, WA
The Roadmap to Redevelopment Report was developed through a 2-day process that included interviews with numerous stakeholders from the government, agriculture, business, and non-profit sectors. The plan provides a framework for the financing of the redevelopment of the library in Mt. Vernon, WA.
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.
View more Rural Development Resources

-U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA Programs in the Local Food Supply Chain
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to supporting robust regional food economies across the food chain. This graphic is designed to be a guide for which programs are best suited for different parts of the supply chain.
Financing Resilient AgricultureMembers only Login
There are several existing agricultural lender initiatives that can inform the development of lending programs or products for resilient agriculture. This report derives five key lessons from these initiatives, including the need to understand the financial benefits of and barriers to resilient agricultural practices, design loan structures and requirements that correspond with the financial characteristics of those practices, utilize loan support to launch initial products, collect data on financial and environmental performance to show results and adjust credit rating processes, and consider other forms of support farmers may need to ensure successful practice adoption.
Recreation Economy at USDA: Economic Development Resources for Rural CommunitiesMembers only Login
USDA’s Forest Service (FS), Rural Development (RD), and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) have developed this resource guide for rural communities to identify resources that develop the recreation economy.
American Broadband Initiative - Progress Report June 2020Members only Login
On February 13, 2019, the American Broadband Initiative was launched with the release of the Milestones Report, detailing the Administration’s strategy to drive changes across Federal Agencies to identify and remove barriers to broadband access and leverage public assets and resources. This progress report is intended to provide an update on its work to date.
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.
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.

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.
Financing the Local Food System in WashingtonMembers only Login
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.
View More Case Studies

-Headlines

-Training Courses

CDFA Virtual Summer School
August 3-13, 2020
Daily: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM Eastern
CDFA Virtual Summer School is a two-week-long series of courses presented by the CDFA Training Institute. These courses qualify for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Participants may register for up to four courses during CDFA Virtual Summer School. Complete three courses, and you will have fulfilled half of the requirements for the DFCP Program.
Register
Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse
December 9-10, 2020
12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse examines the development finance programs that sustain a local food system and how investments in that system can drive economic development on a broader scale. Topics covered include federal, state, and local sources of capital, stakeholders involved in the financing process, and case study examples that showcase the variety of financing programs.
Register
View All Courses

-Upcoming Events

CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Financing Food Systems Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, development finance professionals from around the country will describe their strategies for supporting local entrepreneurs in moving their business from idea to execution.
Register
Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse
December 9-10, 2020
12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse examines the development finance programs that sustain a local food system and how investments in that system can drive economic development on a broader scale. Topics covered include federal, state, and local sources of capital, stakeholders involved in the financing process, and case study examples that showcase the variety of financing programs.
Register
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

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 - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: Building the Road to Recovery
During the third installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we discussed the development finance tools that can support rural economies as they rebuild to be stronger than ever.
CDFA - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: Tools, Programs, and Opportunities Within Rural America
During the second installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we continued to explore what responses and resources are available to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on rural America.
CDFA - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series: COVID-19 Response Resources for Local Leaders
During the first installment of the CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series, we explored the immediate response and resources at the state, local, and national levels that local leaders can use to reduce the impact of this crisis.
COVID-19 Weekly Briefing - Federal, State, and Local Responses to COVID-19
On the March 27, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, we discussed how Development Finance Agencies have initially responded to COVID-19, examined Congressional legislation, analyzed how federal agencies are reacting, and looked at a few exemplary state and local financing programs.

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
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • MuniCap, Inc.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
Become a Sponsor