Technical Assistance

Intro Rural Development Finance Course
Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern


The Intro Rural Development Finance 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.

This course will qualify for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Join us online, and start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.


Course Objectives

  • Understand the financing challenges and opportunities for rural communities
  • Examine federal, state, and local financing programs supporting rural communities
  • Learn about essential financing sources employed by rural communities, including bonds, TIF, loan programs, grants, and other sources
  • Discover solutions for managing risk, building capacity, developing financing partners, and identifying resources
  • Consider strategies and best practices for expanding access to capital. rural business development, and infrastructure development and redevelopment
  • Discuss case studies from a variety of rural communities with different financing capacities, geographic areas, and population sizes

Topics Covered

  • Rural financing programs from federal, state, and local sources
  • Applying development finance tools for rural projects
  • Financing solutions for agriculture, infrastructure, energy, food systems, manufacturers, small businesses, and other rural businesses.
  • Identifying local financing partners, including CDCs, CDFIs, MEPs, developers, banks, and service providers
  • Understanding risk and long term financing strategies unique to rural communities
  • Case studies focused on structuring and layering financing sources together

Who Should Attend?

  • Bond Issuers
  • Economic Development Professionals
  • Community Development Professionals
  • Broker/Dealers and Underwriters
  • Elected Officials
  • Government and Nonprofit Finance Officers
  • Attorneys
  • Accountants
  • Financial Advisors
  • Policy Makers

Course Advisor

Angela Blatt Angela Blatt
Council of Development Finance Agencies
As Director of Knowledge & Networks Division with the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), Angela focuses on the W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded initiative “Defining the Food System Asset Class,” whereby CDFA explores opportunities for the... (More)


Day 1

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Welcoming Remarks & Introduction
Welcome participants, introduce CDFA and set the stage for the course.
12:15 PM - 1:00 PM
Introduction to Rural Development Finance
The Intro to Rural Development Finance session focuses on the unique challenges and opportunities that rural communities experience when it comes to development finance. During this introductory session, we will outline a variety of financing solutions and strategies to employ based on the types of financing risks facing rural communities.
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Financing Opportunities from the U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Rural Development offers several financing programs that support businesses, community projects, and cooperatives in rural America. The USDA manages hundreds of billions of dollars in loans, loan guarantees, and grants through these programs to invest in infrastructure, redevelopment, and job creation. During this session, we will learn about the types of financing programs available, and how to access those programs in your community.
2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
2:45 PM - 4:00 PM
Financing Solutions for Rural-Based Businesses
Unique development finance programs are necessary to provide resources for rural-based businesses to thrive and drive economic development on a broader scale in rural areas. This session will identify appropriate financing programs for the businesses in rural communities, strategies for developing partnerships with banks and other capital access providers, and provide an understanding of the capital needs of rural-based businesses.
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Food System and Agriculture Financing in Rural America
There are a plethora of development finance programs that can sustain a local food system, but how can rural communities make investments in that system to drive economic development? This session will explore federal, state, and local sources of capital to better understand the financing challenges and solutions associated with growing, processing, distributing, marketing, and selling food in rural areas.
5:00 PM

Day 2

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Revisiting Day 1
12:15 PM - 1:30 PM
Redeveloping Main Street
Many rural communities are engaged in revitalization efforts to restore their downtowns and main streets. In an effort to attract private capital to support real estate development in rural areas, it is vital to understand the unique landscape, build relationships, and secure community buy-in. This session will explain the various tools and programs available to redevelop rural downtowns, including tax increment financing, special assessment, tax credits, and more.
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Driving Rural Community Development
Community facilities are critical in every community, but rural communities often experience barriers to financing these projects. During this session, we will explore a variety of programs and approaches to building or improving essential community facilities, such as fire stations, community centers, healthcare centers, libraries, and more.
2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
Investing in Rural Infrastructure Development
Developing vibrant economies is essential to spur growth in rural areas. This session will explore the diversity of financing programs and resources available to build strong rural communities through investments in energy, transportation, water, and broadband infrastructure. We will address the capacity needs of rural communities and how to structure the financing for large-scale investments through public-private partnerships, targeted financing strategies, and navigating legal and regulatory requirements.
4:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Best Practices for Rural Development Finance Agencies
High performing development finance agencies that serve rural places have unique challenges and often have to understand who and when to bring in additional partners for projects and programs. During this session, discover best practices of development finance agencies to help you identify the right partner for your projects.
5:00 PM


The Intro Rural Development Finance Course is not currently on the schedule. Please check back for updates.


This course will be offered at CDFA Virtual Summer School, a week-long series of courses presented by the CDFA Training Institute. Participants may register for up to two courses during this week.

Scholarships are available to attend this event. Learn more about the CDFA Scholarship Program, and submit your application today.
Standard Rates
CDFA Member: $300
Non-Member: $450