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CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series
February 27, April 30, June 25, September 24 & November 26, 2024
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Eastern

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-Overview

The CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series is a free online series demonstrating how businesses and projects within the food system can be connected to development finance tools, such as bonds, tax increment finance, tax credits, and revolving loan funds, to create equitable local and regional food systems. This series will showcase how development finance agencies from across the country are investing in local food systems. Speakers will present case studies on a range of food systems projects – including production, processing, distribution, retail, storage, and more – to explain why various financing tools were chosen for the specific project and how those financing tools work. Each installment of this series will explore how the development finance toolbox can be used to drive investment across the food supply chain.


With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, CDFA is researching how development finance agencies can become more engaged in developing localized food systems through traditional finance approaches. The premise of this project is to suggest and then prove that, if organized and defined properly, the food system can become a defined asset class worthy of traditional investment. Through this work, CDFA aims to advance opportunities and leverage existing capital financing streams that scale local and regional food systems and increase access to better food while creating new living wage jobs in communities across the country.


>>> Visit the CDFA Food Systems Finance Resource Center to View Previous Webinars

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-Agenda

CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Tue 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Exploring Bonds as the Foundational Financing Tool
Bonds are the bedrock tool of public development finance and provide attractive, affordable sources of capital for diverse food- and agriculture-related ventures, spanning infrastructure, industry, and agriculture. During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, speakers will explore the potential for leveraging this foundational financing tool to cultivate resilient and thriving local and regional food systems.
Moderator(s)
  • Angela Blatt, Director, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Speaker(s)
  • Frank Canning, Vice President Investment Banking, MassDevelopment
  • Jim Rubingh, Director, Colorado Agricultural Development Authority
  • Mitchell Smith, Senior Director, Government & External Affairs, Council of Development Finance Agencies

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Tue 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Financing Food Systems with Revolving Loan Funds
Thousands of revolving loan funds across the country provide access to capital for small food and agriculture businesses as a part of the local economy. During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, panelists will discuss how revolving loan funds can be used to support small businesses, entrepreneurs, and microenterprises to strengthen local and regional food systems. The discussion will also identify how these tools can help unlock affordable capital for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
Moderator(s)
  • Fawn Zimmerman, Director, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tue 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Empowering Agriculture with PACE Financing
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is an economic development tool that enables low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects. An increasing number of states are broadening PACE legislation to encompass agricultural enhancements, driving sustainable growth and progress in the sector. In this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, experts will highlight the innovative ways in which PACE programs are evolving to support the agriculture industry across the country.
Moderator(s)
  • Angela Blatt, Director, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies

Tuesday, September 24, 2024

Tue 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Driving Food Systems Investment with Tax Credits
Federal and state tax credits incentivize individuals and companies to encourage private sector engagement in food-related projects and businesses. In this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will look at tax credit programs that allow businesses and investors to claim a tax credit for committing resources to a food system project or business. We will also explore how these tools can catalyze investment in communities that have historically been discriminated against.
Moderator(s)
  • Fawn Zimmerman, Director, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies
Speaker(s)
  • David Misky, Assistant Executive Director, City of Milwaukee
  • Sara Pietka, Director of Community Investments, Ecotrust

Tuesday, November 26, 2024

Tue 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Reframe, Build, Plan to Advance Food Systems Finance
Reframe, Build, and Plan are three success factors that should be implemented simultaneously for restoring local and regional food systems while also considering the unique needs of individual communities. During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, CDFA will present this customizable framework and illustrate how it can expand financing and drive capital into local food systems. Speakers will explore how this strategy can help focus resources toward socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and small business owners across the food system.
Moderator(s)
  • Angela Blatt, Director, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies
  • Fawn Zimmerman, Director, Research & Technical Assistance, Council of Development Finance Agencies

-Location

The CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series will take place on Zoom.

Webinars will be recorded and placed online for participants to access afterwards. Attendees who miss a webinar will have access to the online recordings as well.

-Registration

Register in advance to confirm your participation and receive login information. Registration is free and open for CDFA members and non-members.

Register