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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

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.
Succession Opportunities in Local Food SystemsMembers only Login
Joe Bute, with Hollymead Capital and PittBusiness discuss the importance of recognizing the challenges of the "critical middle" in the regional food system and facing the challenges of ownership change.
The North Carolina Rural CenterMembers only Login
Barry Ryan discusses what The Rural Center is doing to support rural economic development in North Carolina.
View More Agriculture Finance

-Resources

View all Agriculture Finance Resources

-Agriculture Finance

Rural Development Hubs: Strengthening America's Rural Innovation InfrastructureMembers only Login
This report addresses questions often asked by caring people who shepherd resources that could be channeled to advance rural people and places — foundation leaders, individual investors and government officials.
Available CFA Resources - New York Regional Economic Development CouncilsMembers only Login
In 2011, Governor Cuomo created ten Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) and the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) to advance the administration’s efforts to improve New York’s business climate and expand economic growth. This 2019 document outlines information about each agency’s grant programs, including eligibility, scoring criteria, applicant requirements, and agency contact information.
CDFA Food Finance White Paper Series: Food Systems & Investment Tools
This paper continues a white paper series demonstrating the ways in which traditional development financing is already supporting food systems, with a focus on finance tools that help to stimulate investment. An overview of investment tools, such as tax credits and opportunity zones, is provided with examples of current programs as well as an extensive collection of case studies to illustrate how these tools can make an impact.
An Overview of Beginning Farms and FarmersMembers only Login
This report uses information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS, 2013 to 2017) to describe the structural and economic characteristics of beginning farms and illustrate how they differ from more established operations.
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 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

Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for ApplicantsMembers only Login
The Community Facilities (CF) Direct Loan Program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities. This is an Applicant Guidance Book for the USDA's Community Facilities Direct Loan Program.
Rural Development Hubs: Strengthening America's Rural Innovation InfrastructureMembers only Login
This report addresses questions often asked by caring people who shepherd resources that could be channeled to advance rural people and places — foundation leaders, individual investors and government officials.
CDBG Insular Areas Expenditure Reports, 2001 - 2019
This Excel sheet shows CDBG Insular Areas Expenditures for 2001-2019. Since CDBG funds may be used for a wide variety of housing, community, and economic development activities, the use of those funds may be identified in these profiles by as many as 90 different categories (matrix codes) depending on how an entitlement community has chosen to use its funds to meet local needs.
Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants Members only Login
The Community Facilities (CF) Direct Loan Program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community.
An Overview of Beginning Farms and FarmersMembers only Login
This report uses information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS, 2013 to 2017) to describe the structural and economic characteristics of beginning farms and illustrate how they differ from more established operations.
View more Rural Development Resources

-U.S. Department of Agriculture

Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for ApplicantsMembers only Login
The Community Facilities (CF) Direct Loan Program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities. This is an Applicant Guidance Book for the USDA's Community Facilities Direct Loan Program.
Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants Members only Login
The Community Facilities (CF) Direct Loan Program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community.
An Overview of Beginning Farms and FarmersMembers only Login
This report uses information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS, 2013 to 2017) to describe the structural and economic characteristics of beginning farms and illustrate how they differ from more established operations.
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.
Federal Financing Programs Targeting Opportunity Zones
The White House Opportunity & Revitalization Council released a list of over 160 federal financing programs that give preference to projects located in Opportunity Zones.
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.

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.
Succession Opportunities in Local Food SystemsMembers only Login
Joe Bute, with Hollymead Capital and PittBusiness discuss the importance of recognizing the challenges of the "critical middle" in the regional food system and facing the challenges of ownership change.
The North Carolina Rural CenterMembers only Login
Barry Ryan discusses what The Rural Center is doing to support rural economic development in North Carolina.
View More Case Studies

-Headlines

-Training Courses

The Intro Rural Finance Training Course focuses on how the development finance toolbox can be structured to support rural communities and help them with strategies to invest in infrastructure, redevelopment, and job creation. This course differs from other curriculums in that it focuses on designing programs targeted to serve rural communities.

Leaders in rural and agricultural development finance will discuss how to develop and establish long-term financing within rural communities. In addition, the course will highlight successful programs that are working throughout the country in communities with varying levels of capacity and size. Topics discussed during the course include targeted financing programs available at the federal, state, and local levels for rural communities, along with best practices for employing these financing programs.

The Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance Course is the foundation for all of CDFA’s educational offerings. This course will help you 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.

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-Upcoming Events

Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance WebCourse
January 29-30, 2020
Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Fundamentals WebCourse 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
Food & Social Equity: Detroit’s Approach to Financing the Food System
Monday, February 10, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
During this webinar, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we will hear from speakers working in Detroit, Michigan to correct social inequity through the support and financing of food-related businesses and projects.
Register
Strategies for Successful Funding through USDA's ReConnect Program
February 12, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
Join CDFA and experts from across the country as we discuss creative solutions for responding to ReConnect’s funding notice, and learn from the successes of the program thus far.
Register
CDFA Federal Policy Conference
April 14-15, 2020
Washington, DC
The federal government plays a critical role in driving private and public investment in innovation, job creation, infrastructure, and community development. With the 2020 presidential election quickly approaching, development finance will be a key policy issue across the nation. The 116th Congress will also play a major role in shaping our country’s economic development policy going forward. It's up to the development finance community to focus the national discussion on smart federal policy, and CDFA is the voice of the economic development finance community on Capitol Hill. For these reasons, CDFA will host its CDFA Federal Policy Conference on April 14-15 in Washington DC.
Register
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

ReConnecting Rural Broadband - Strategies for Funding SuccessMembers only Login
During this webinar, Lindsay Miller, Attorney with Ice Miller LLP, Heather Morgan, Executive Director of Project 17, Ryeon Corsi, Management and Program Analyst at USDA-RD, and Jeff Reiman, Vice President of The Broadband Group discussed creative solutions for financing rural broadband infrastructure and the USDA's ReConnect Grant and Loan Program.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Opportunities and Advancements in Water FinanceMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, learn from expert speakers Jordan Dorfman from the EPA, Tyler Old from PFM, John DeLuca from CoBank, and Jong Sook Nee from McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC as they discuss developments in the water finance space and how different financing mechanisms like bonds, RLFs, P3s, and other tools are being used to address today’s water infrastructure projects.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: 501(c)3 Nonprofit Financing – Healthcare, Education, Tribal & Community Facilities in the CrosshairsMembers only Login
This month's CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast , our expert speakers unlock financing for 501(c)3s to demonstrate the variety and depth of financial tools available to drive development in your community.
Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit Webinar - Rural Development Staff
The Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit can be used as a guide to help organizations and community leaders better understand the complex process that is required to successfully develop and construct a new facility. This webinar is designed to train Rural Development staff how to effectively use the toolkit by discussing the major capacity, credit, and logistical challenges that particularly confront America’s small towns and rural areas. The webinar will focus on sections within the Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit, which include concept development, planning, designing, environmental compliance, finance, and construction.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Connecting CRA to Development Finance ProjectsMembers only Login
The role of CRA in forwarding development finance initiatives is explored in this BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast by speakers Sharon Canavan and David Black of the Office of Comptroller Currency, Laura Choi of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Rena Nakashima of BNY Mellon.

CDFA National Sponsors

  • Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority
  • 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
  • Petros PACE Finance
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Wilmington Trust
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
Become a Sponsor