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Food Systems Finance Resource Center

Food system finance is becoming an increasingly important local development focus. Communities throughout the country are reimagining the food system with various strategies aimed at creating new food enterprises, providing access to capital for establish food industry participants, supporting local farming, investing in the food deliver infrastructure and financing food scarcity challenges with innovative funding. While food system financing continues to present myriad challenges to local development agencies significant process is being made in this area.

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+Understanding Food Systems Finance

Funding Agricultural Best Management Practices with the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Members only Login
This report, produced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), discusses the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program and provides best practices for funding agriculture projects.
Building Sustainable Cities Through Blended CapitalMembers only Login
This Kresge Foundation case study examines strategies to confront the interconnected web of complex issues facing cities and their residents as they address income inequality and reimagine a sustainable Detroit.
Financing Solutions for Rural Food & Agricultural SystemsMembers only Login
Dafina Williams from the Opportunity Finance Network presents on financing rural food systems.
Access to Capital Strategies for AgricultureMembers only Login
Tim Crosby explores the most innovative and effective access to capital tools used for agriculture-based business, including loan funds and federal and state programs.
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA): The Year AheadMembers only Login
In Dr. Barbara Glenn's presentation she discusses NASDA's policy priorities, farm bill priorities, opportunities and challenging areas.
More Food Systems Finance


Access to Capital Strategies for AgricultureMembers only Login
Tim Crosby explores the most innovative and effective access to capital tools used for agriculture-based business, including loan funds and federal and state programs.
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.
Agricultural Economic Development in PennsylvaniaMembers only Login
Gary Smith covers the importance of connecting farmers to business resources, training and financing in order to grow business and promote smart agricultural economic development.
The National Farm to School Network Present Farm to Institution CollaborationsMembers only Login
Maximilian Merrill covers the core elements of farm to school collaborations.
The Rural CenterMembers only Login
Barry Ryan discusses what The Rural Center is doing to support rural economic development in North Carolina.
More Programs


+Training Courses

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.

This course will explore how bonds, tax credits, loan programs, foundation grants, and other financing tools can be used to support a local food system and encourage follow-on investment, small business development, and sustainable growth. In particular, this course will address the financing challenges associated with growing, processing, distributing, marketing, and selling food.


CDFA & OSU Webcast: Using the Successes of Energy Finance to Guide Progress in Food Systems Finance
The CDFA & OSU Webcast was a special one time offering. The webcast covered the Energy Finance Landscape and explored how its successes may be applied to the Food Systems Landscape. This webcast was run by students taking the graduate level Sustainable Financing class in the Department of City and Regional Planning at The Ohio State University.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Financing Food Systems - Old Problems, New ApproachesMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, listen to Joe Bute of Hollymead Capital, Larry Yee of the Food Commons, and David Safer of The Bank of New York Mellon discuss food systems finance. From food hubs to experimental local food sourcing programs this webcast will tackle old problems with some new approaches.
CDFA USDA Rural Project Marketplace Information Session
As part of the CDFA & USDA Rural Finance Partnership, a Project Marketplace will be created. This informational video helps explain the partnership and marketplace.
CDFA-Stifel Webcast: Food Systems Investments Driving New MarketsMembers only Login
The third installment of the CDFA-Stifel Rural Community Development Finance Solutions Webcast Series focused on how food systems investments can be used to drive other markets, benefitting the economy of small and rural towns throughout America.

CDFA National Sponsors

  • Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority
  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
  • Ballard Spahr LLP
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Frost Brown Todd, LLC
  • Grant Thornton LLP
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • MB Financial Bank, NA
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Squire Patton Boggs
  • Stern Brothers & Co.
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Wilmington Trust
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
Become a Sponsor